The Channel Moves to Deliver a ‘Total Experience’ with Video


We reached out to Charterhouse Group, Avaya, Wildix UK & Taurus Clearer Communications

Channel News Insights
The Channel Moves to Deliver a ‘Total Experience’ with Video

Remote working, the hybrid office, and working from home trends are all driving the adoption of video services in businesses of all sizes across the globe. According to the Business Research Company the video conferencing market will dip this year (2021) from $7.87bn to $6.03bn after the extreme growth in 2020 driven by the COVID pandemic. Over the next 4 years the markt is expected to rebound to $8.67bn (by 2025) after businesses realise the long-term benefit of adopting a video first strategy. The video conferencing endpoint market alone will account for $1.8bn of the space, according to 360 Research Reports.   

The channel must embrace the new video demands their customers are putting on them and help businesses use video to digitally transform their operations for the future. Video is now less about transitioning the traditional phone call into a video conversation and more about integrating it into the wider strategy around hybrid and remote working. 

How has the channel had to adapt to selling video services in 2021?

James Banks, Technical Director, Charterhouse Group

The change in working practices forced upon business by the pandemic meant that very quickly, video became a core part of collaboration technologies – rather than a separate concept. We’ve seen a substantial shift toward Microsoft Teams for corporate usage and our typical SME customers rely heavily on us as a partner to be able to turn Teams into a complete offering – not just deployment and support, but there is a lot of value in design and adoption services and providing guidance around best practice in the marketplace.  

“As 2021 progresses we are seeing significant requirements for integration between the new breed of services (Teams et al) and existing legacy platforms – covering video, voice and other elements – under a single “collaboration” wrapper. End users want the choice to be able to collaborate and work in the manner of their choosing, the technology needs to support that 

Alison Hastings, Regional Channel Director UK&I, Avaya 

The channel needs to look at the bigger picture. Video is commoditised but new ways of work have evolved which require a richer solution than multiple apps to get the work done”

In addition, video collaboration is no longer restricted to the employee experience industry, it is now also part of the technology mix that businesses embed into how they compose experiences and journeys for their customers and employees alike. From this perspective, and to deliver what Gartner calls the “total experience”, channel partners have, and will have, tremendous opportunities to bring their own value proposition in the way they compose solutions to their customers. That’s the promise of the Avaya OneCloud to our channel partners as they evolve their models to meet the needs of their customers and a world driven by SaaS based applications.  

Ian Rowan, Senior Channel Manager at Wildix UK  

“Our channel does not need to adapt, it’s in a continual evolution towards the needs and requirements of their customers, Video in its 2 variations, informal as in desktop based solutions and formal as in room solutions, need the skills and services of channel more than most other solutions on the market, when you look at the requirements of bandwidth, quality of service, traffic shaping etc, these are not skills in the tool bag of most end users, therefore directly purchased solutions without that full support channel will fail. These skills have been painstakingly developed by channel partners over the years and come into their own when it comes to deploying business ready video solutions. You only have to look at early consumers experiences with Skype and the quality that was experienced, this made so many people sceptical about VoIP until the channel stepped up and helped deploy robust business grade solutions.” 

Where are the big opportunities for the Channel and video services right now?

Richard Whybra

Richard Whybra

Richard Whybra, Director at Taurus Clearer Communications 

“I think the opportunities have grown hugely over the last year, Video is the new norm for communications and meetings and this will almost certainly continue in my view. But companies are now starting to take a greater interest in how their employees are using video and starting to question the methods and systems used form a security and compliance point of view.

“When we look at UC there are many issues of data being distributed across systems that the corporate environment has no control over which could have deep implications for compliance and GDPR, not to mention internal company security”

As more people use video as their main communications medium it will be the users that drive the innovation for the products and services, the channel will need to move quickly to meet those requirements and deliver innovative solutions.” 

Ian Rowan

Ian Rowan

Ian Rowan, Senior Channel Manager at Wildix UK  

“There are many opportunities for channel with video services. Clearly, there are the room solutions now that people are returning to the office and they want that corporate video experience. Then there is the informal side, I think the opportunity here comes from having video seamlessly embedded into your collaboration offering, not a bolt on, not an additional license, but true core functionality for all users. This gives channel partners the ability to realise more value from the solution sales. Also, the network upsell for video, when you talk about 4K video, this needs a full 30mbps upload so exceeds the limits of FTTC, this will open the doors to partners to discuss bandwidth upscaling to users, even bring home connectivity into the business estate with services such as FTTP. 

What are the technology drivers the channel must consider as video services evolve?

Alison Hastings

Alison Hastings

Alison Hastings, Regional Channel Director UK&I, Avaya 

“Driving technology is a desire for agility and speed-to-market so that businesses can move at the pace set by their customers and employees. This means continuously composable components workstream collaboration solutions that are built with Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS). Businesses must adapt and scale faster than ever to meet the needs of the experience economy so they need agile, services-based applications with digital channels, including video, that can be rapidly added or removed as required as well as integrate AI and automation if needed. 

CPaaS is a force multiplier for accelerated innovation in the channel and for business customers wanting to build customer experience automation, innovation and differentiation through simplicity and speed.” 

James Banks, Technical Director, Charterhouse Group

“2021 hopefully will see the return from “lockdown” and enforced “remote-everything” toward something else – whether a hybrid way of working or indeed wholesale return toward the office environment. 

What is clear is that the way our clients work today has changed dramatically from where it likely was 12 months or so ago – and the offices workplaces of today are going to have to change quickly to ensure there are compelling reasons to return to the office. 

People have become used to working remotely using collaboration technologies – it has proven that in many scenarios, physical travel is “not essential” and actually a great deal can be achieved remotely – indeed many have created home-working environments that are extremely efficient with the tools of choice close to hand. 

When we return to offices – if we do so – those offices will need to be able to support those ways of working – including video, IM & screenshare – and particularly a lot of value can be derived from Meeting Rooms – if we are going to have people gather physically in one space, they need to be able get the “best of both” with solutions that allow a “room” of people to be able to collaborate effectively with external and internal participants.” 

 

 

 


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