Channel Round Table: Harnessing the Power of ‘Best of Breed’

Marian McHugh

We gathered four industry experts to discuss the opportunities, challenges, and revenue implications of best of breed technologies

Channel News Insights
Channel Round Table: Harnessing the Power of ‘Best of Breed’

If the pandemic has highlighted any channel trend it is that many customers require a multi-vendor approach to cater to all of their IT needs, a trend that became glaringly obvious with the mass shift to remote working for most organisations last year.  

Customers are also becoming increasingly savvy as to what technologies they require for their businesses and are demanding best of breed technology and solutions from their IT service providers.  

We spoke with industry specialists from Nuvias UC, Akixi, Vyopta, and Digital Space to discuss the opportunities for channel players in harnessing best of breed technologies, the challenges when it comes to deploying these technologies, and the revenue implications from adopting a multi-vendor approach over a single vendor one.  

What are the opportunities around harnessing best of breed technologies?

Nathan Steadman

Nathan Steadman

Nathan Steadman, Head of UC&C at Digital Space: 

“A broad ‘best of breed’ portfolio allows account and consultancy teams to focus on their customer’s business outcomes rather than a particular product or vendor. Relying on one or two vendors and products can limit the technology available to customers and result in service providers trying to make the solutions fit rather than focusing on the customer’s needs. 

“By delivering differing market-leading solutions from several vendors, customers have the assurance that they have the best fit for purpose solution on the market, designed to help them transform and grow” 

Paul Holden, Head of Global Sales at Akixi: 

“Always being current, especially at the pace technology changes, helps to create a modern brand persona, which can have a positive effect when hiring the younger upcoming generations. 

“In many studies, generations X,Y, and Z now judge company culture and technology tools as important – if not more so – than pay. It allows and empowers employees to perform at their optimum and demonstrates an investment in giving them the best tools to perform which increases loyalty and sets a high benchmark. Happy staff will make a positive impact on CX.” 

John-James Worrall – Senior UC/AV Specialist at Nuvias UC 

John-James Worrall

John-James Worrall

“Today’s best-of-breed solutions are much more focused on working with platforms and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) solutions than in trying to create their own proprietary ecosystems” 

“The smart vendors have realised that the days of hardware being the primary component are over. But still each vendor has its own niche specialities that differentiate it from the competition. Utilising the best-of-breed approach, you can take advantage of these where you need to.  

“It is now possible to meet with an end-user company, take the time to learn how they work, discover their vision for how they want to work and then actually put together a tailor-made solution, rather than a compromise based on the vendor that has the best fit for 75 percent of the customer requirements.”  

What are the challenges in deploying best of breed technologies?

Marc Haimsohn

Marc Haimsohn

Marc Haimsohn, Senior Director of Channel at Vyopta: 

“As enterprise customers and managed service providers (MSPs) pursue best-in-class technologies to enable communication and collaborations, they increasingly are relying on multi-vendor solutions for collaboration. However, they don’t often have the visibility necessary to provide proactive reporting and support”

“In addition, with increasing meeting volumes across multiple platforms, IT organisations are having to work harder than ever to ensure technology (UC, network, devices) performs optimally and to proactively fix issues in a hybrid workplace – especially since most issues go unreported. As a result, organisations are increasingly turning towards tools that simplify or automate troubleshooting and reporting.” 

Nathan Steadman, Head of UC&C at Digital Space: 

The biggest challenge service providers need to be mindful of when delivering a best of breed strategy, is ensuring continued excellence in delivery, support and customer experience. Great relationships and a robust project management framework are critical when operating within a multi-vendor, best of breed model. 

“If the service provider gets this right, their customers will be able to leverage all the unique aspects of the market’s best technology. A great example of this is combining MS teams with CCaaS and SIP direct routing: three best-of-breed services delivered as a single solution, underpinned by a single managed service.  

“Within these hybrid vendor environments, providers must always manage the challenge of keeping the ‘complex simple’ through a straightforward value proposition and supporting Service Level Agreements”  

What are the revenue implications for taking on multiple best of breed products rather than single vendor solutions?

Paul Holden

Paul Holden

Paul Holden, Head of Global Sales at Akixi: 

“The revenue opportunities differ depending which side of the fence you are on, whether you’re a vendor or are consuming the best of breed technologies.    

“If you’re consuming the different best of breed technologies, then these do have a higher cost as you would be paying more than one vendor, which can come at a premium. Plus, this can have an impact on your own resources, requiring several vendor relationships to be managed. 

“Having a single vendor can help as it has so many advantages, the main one being that the technology should already be seamless and integrated, easy to consume and only one account to manage.” 

Marc Haimsohn, Senior Director of Channel at Vyopta: 

“Deploying multiple best of breed products, rather than a single vendor solution helps organisations maximise reliability and quality of service while optimising the cost of ownership.   

“Meanwhile vendors and service providers offering and supporting multiple best of breed products/platforms can win more business because they can better serve their clients with the flexibility to meet the unique needs of their customers, while building increased trust because they are not wed to a single ecosystem.”  

John-James Worrall – Senior UC/AV Specialist at Nuvias UC 

“There are higher overhead costs involved when working with multiple vendors, for example, having to account for a large stock holding. 

“Plus, when it comes to technical support, businesses prefer to work with a certified, trusted, solutions expert. Therefore, engineers are expected to be accredited on all vendor solutions, which is costly. 

“For the end-user, there is actually an opportunity to save money when purchasing best-of-breed solutions because they are able to shop about for products, rather than take on one device at a fixed price.” 

 

 


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