Supporting the Telecoms Channel During Unprecedented Change
Support to Win: Converting opportunities in collaboration and communication needs new approaches to support
The world is changing at an incredible speed, forced to adapt to the demands of a landscape that can no longer abide face-to-face meetings and global travel. With a pandemic rocking the world, companies everywhere are evolving faster than ever before, taking advantage of the collaboration and communication tools that they may not have considered in the past.
Although this global health scare is a terrible thing, it also presents opportunities to service providers and resellers who want to support their customers in making the right kind of change. According to Support to Win, the key to success in this new landscape isn’t just providing the right technology, but the right kind of support too.
I spoke to the CEO of Support to Win, Julie Mills, to find out more.
How Has the Industry Evolved Recently?
According to Mills, the entire world has a more compelling reason to start working from home now. Although many industries have been experimenting with remote working for some time, they all now face the unavoidable reality of needed to depend upon the technologies that underpin it.
“There’s a good chance that when all of this is over, these remote working strategies will remain in place. However, people taken outside of their normal office environment are going to need a different level of support”
“We have experiences supporting service providers with their UC technology and supporting businesses that enable working from home.”
According to Julie, one of the biggest things that is changing right now is the way that onboarding is delivered by service providers for new UC solutions. In general, onboarding and provisioning often include a lot of human contact, with engineers travelling to sites to get equipment set up or provide training. However, now, company policies are preventing access to visitors from outside of the business. People want to avoid face-to-face contact as much as possible, even for important tech installs.
“At Support to Win, we’ve had a virtualised version of the onboarding process for a while now. In normal circumstances, this solution is cost-effective and efficient for most businesses, but has become absolutely crucial at a time when people are banning visitors coming to site.”
What Have You Noticed in the Last Few Weeks?
Julie told me that there’s a growing demand in the industry for a different kind of support that is more alive to the realities of the ‘coronavirus curfew’. To help their new and existing customers get the most out of their UC services, and safeguard their revenues, all kinds of providers must embrace support and pro services provision that is far more flexible and virtual.
“We’re starting to see big decisions being made as a nation right now. Most companies are progressing toward greater adoption of UC and homeworking for at least the short term, and that extra demand must be met without compromising service levels or delaying activations. At the same time, on the other side of our business, Train to Win, we’re seeing people shying away from attending training sessions in person because they’re simply not allowed to travel anymore – the shift from physical to virtual is everywhere you look.”
Mills noted that people in the communication landscape are still selling, but they’re looking for new ways to interact with their customers. Everyone is looking for ways to avoid human contact, and the questions about virtual options are growing. Many businesses that previously relied on on-site solutions are starting to reconsider the benefits of the cloud.
“In our business, we haven’t seen a massive spike yet, but it’s still growing even though we’re still in the early days of this crisis. People are looking for flexibility, and that’s something that we can offer.”
How Have Things Evolved in the General Market?
Outside of the growth happening as a result of COVID-19, there are also other changes taking place in the market. There’s been a lot of mergers and acquisitions between communication service providers, and the rise of new partnerships. According to Mills, migration services have really taken off since the start of 2020 with the Support to Win business.
“Many of the companies that we work with don’t have the resources internally to support companies in a wide range of different migration experiences. That’s why they come to us.”
“We can offer support in everything from migration from platform to platform, to migrations in connectivity and SIP”
Ultimately, Support to Win is offering a solution that accommodates the fluctuations happening in the marketplace, no matter how businesses might be evolving and moving. “If service providers and resellers want to be effective at helping customers during times like these, they need a company like Support to Win. We’re here to fill the gaps when it comes to training and support, so you can get on with what you’re best at.”
How Are You Helping Service Providers to Evolve?
Support to Win is unique in its ability to deliver custom solutions to service providers and telecom channel partners. Mills told me that the company doesn’t force people to adapt to their way of doing things. “We haven’t done two migrations so far that have been the same. We believe that our flexibility and ability to adapt to what our customers need is crucial.”
Many service providers are now coming to Support to Win with no voice experience of their own, so that they can start to provide new services. The company is seeing an influx in people coming into the industry that don’t have a background in voice at all. “We’re just about to sign contracts with an unusual partner who have never had a place in the voice market before. We’re offering them a year of training and mentoring, managing their onboarding and other solutions for the next 12 months, or until they’re ready to offer that support themselves. That kind of service hasn’t been offered in the market before.”
When I asked Julie if she had any predictions on where the market might be headed yet, she told me that she’s given up on making predictions. According to Mills, and Support to Win, the market is just too changeable to look into the future.
“All you need is one thing, like the coronavirus, and the entire landscape can change overnight”