I’m Julien Parven, Director of Daisy Partner Business and, as lockdown has eased and life begins to restart, I share my thoughts on hosted telephony and its future in the channel, the changes and challenges we’re facing as an industry and any important updates we have here at Daisy Partner Business.
Initially the pandemic put the market into panic mode because of the uncertainty, unawareness, and unpreparedness about what was happening. Businesses wanted people working remotely and made initial moves to hosted VoIP as an interim fix because they needed to communicate, and they needed to be able to do that from anywhere. Fast forward 16 months from that point and now I think the pandemic helped shape the hosted telephony landscape.
Previously, some businesses were aware of the PSTN Switch Off and were already on the journey towards hosted telephony and the pandemic only served to accelerate that journey. Some businesses were aware of the PSTN Switch Off but weren’t quite ready to transition to hosted but, when the pandemic struck it drove urgency within those businesses. Lastly, there were businesses that weren’t even aware of the PSTN Switch Off and ended up scrabbling around looking for a solution. However, where we are now sees hosted solutions much more front of mind and, for some businesses, hosted telephony is now ingrained within their business.
Within the hosted telephony market, the product that arguably saw the biggest shift in popularity and growth was Microsoft Teams. To most businesses, whether they were big or small, Microsoft Teams was, arguably, an unknown name. However, when the pandemic hit there was a race to see whether Zoom or Microsoft Teams would become the go-to and, because of the weight and finances Microsoft put behind Teams, Teams is now seen as the standard for most businesses and Microsoft Teams has been central in unifying the hosted telephony side of the market with internet communications.
Over the next 12 months I imagine the hosted telephony landscape will transform again and, from a Daisy Partner Business perspective we’re excited about the launch of DHV Lite which is the micro-SME variation of Daisy Hosted Voice and, thanks to its mobile client feature, offers greater mobile convergence for those businesses. I think, over the next year, there’ll be more renewed needs for businesses to adapt and evolve and hosted telephony will be central to businesses wanting to communicate and drive innovation.
When selling hosted telephony, problems and challenges can arise around security, resilience, and stability and, as a partner, it’s our job to satisfy concerns about those elements. The biggest challenge comes when a customer has the hosted voice product with one supplier and connectivity with another. Having both hosted voice and connectivity with the same provider gives you assurance that, if something does go wrong, then you haven’t got two alternative providers blaming each other. It also means the time to fix is much more rapid because the understanding of the problem is in one place.
From the challenge around security, stability, and resilience, I think it’s about understanding that you’ve got a partner behind you that’s able to give you that security and a built-in fail safe which you can then communicate and annunciate to the end customer to give them the same sense of security.
In summary, the pandemic has forced a mindset shift and opened businesses eyes to the reality of what’s happening and what they can expect in the upcoming years. The pandemic has driven an awareness of the situation and with awareness comes great opportunity for everyone, especially those in channel.
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