iotum’s Callbridge brings private-labelled video calling to providers, for an independent unified solution
Direct synchronous video communication has always been a critical part of the UCaaS toolkit, but right now the demand for it has never been greater — as more and more organisations suddenly need to experiment with brand new online-only approaches to collaboration.
And as they turn to their telco providers, eager for an all-in-one immediately deployable solution, for some a robust video product is still missing from the jigsaw puzzle — according to Jason Martin, President & CEO of iotum, when I spoke to him about the benefits of their Callbridge virtual meeting platform:
“A lot of vendors have a WebRTC product, but it’s not supported by a good network. Or they’ve got a private label of Webex or Zoom or some older product, that they’ve put out there as their own. But we’ve put together a mesh network with points-of-presence around the globe, and an MPLS network between those points, so there is consistency and robustness to the video offering.
We’ve created this WebRTC offering that’s very contemporary and quite bleeding edge”, he explained. “Older technology really can’t compete with what’s available these days.”
Indeed, the speed of evolution of video calling in recent years has been breathtaking, alongside consistency of connectivity which only raises expectations — the clunky stuttering ‘conferencing’ applications of the past simply no longer cut it. So, it’s not surprising that channel partners turn to trusted names in the industry — but as Martin points out there are unexpected downsides to offering a ‘powered by…’ solution to your clients:
“If you’re a PBX provider and continually providing value to your customers, using one of these third parties provides a kind of ‘Trojan Horse’ into your customer base, that takes clients away from your channel.” So, the big videoconferencing brands with multi-million dollar marketing budgets are able to lure away users from their “partners” in this way, by forcing them back to their own portals, to log in and out of calls, and upgrade. “They’ve clearly indicated their intention to disintermediate the channel, and they’re being very effective at it. Those users are not coming back.”
Because it’s a competitive marketplace, even while it’s rapidly growing, and in 2020 channel partners need to raise their game to win and keep business.
“The idea that you can rely on a plastic phone on your desktop as your value proposition is no longer compelling”, Martin points out
“But the good news is, these channel partners have the relationship with their customers — they just need to be competitive with what’s being offered in the market.”
Nowadays that means AI-enhancement to the video platform, but Callbridge has this covered, with automated transcripts, and a robust network which reduces the amount of volatility in calls. “We want to make our partners look good,” Martin explains, straightforwardly. “We’ve got mobile apps, we’ve got an admin and provisioning portal, we’ve got customer facing self-serve…”
“Channel partners can have their own marketplace, so their customers go in and sign themselves up, and receive support”
iotum is working on a Callbridge Teams product, creating new integrations and other features as quickly as possible. That responsive relationship works both ways and partners are requesting new offerings to private-label. Keeping the UCaaS scene diverse and competitive is a win-win for users and providers alike, so products like this really matter.
As Martin concludes, “What we provide is an opportunity for the channel to fight back against the product companies in the marketplace. So it’s really critical.”