By Melissa Van Dover, Master Agent Marketing Lead
When taking on the important task of selecting of a cloud communications provider, be sure to ask these five questions. This will help you to reveal the best provider for your customer’s needs.
- Unified Communications and Collaboration Solution – Is your customer struggling with multiple providers?
For many companies, employees are becoming increasingly distributed across multiple locations, working while on the go or from home. The ability for teams to communicate whenever, wherever and however they want is essential for performing their jobs well, while at the same time optimizing agility and productivity.As a company grows, it’s wise to consolidate all cloud communications solutions with a single provider to ensure a more complete and seamless user experience that meets the needs of a team or workforce. What does this mean for your customers? Simplification and cost savings. Utilizing a unified communications and collaboration solution can lead to an improved user experience and save money due to scalability, support for seamless communications across all solutions on one platform (voice, HD video and meetings, team chat and collaboration, messaging, contact center), and simplified billing and management.
- Integrations – Does the provider’s app library cover all of your customers’ bases?
The need to be agile and highly responsive is key to staying competitive. Therefore, it’s important for your client to understand a cloud communications provider’s ability to integrate using open APIs on a single platform.When searching for a communications provider, it is important for your customers to consider the interoperability of the software they rely on each and every day. Finding a provider with a robust app and integration library is crucial, because custom-built integrations tend to be difficult to implement and deploy, especially at scale. Furthermore, the options for integration support are close to nonexistent for custom integrations.
- Cloud Infrastructure – Private vs. public?
Perhaps the most essential question to ask your customer when they are selecting a cloud communications provider is: private or public cloud infrastructure?
- Private: With particularly stringent security or privacy requirements, your customer might require a solution that allows them to build out cloud infrastructure within their data centers for their exclusive use.
- Public: This can be an option If they are using services hosted in cloud infrastructure that their provider doesn’t own, manage, or control.
- Connectivity Options – Is it mission-critical?
Most companies typically access cloud communications services via public internet connections. These “over the top” connections are sufficient for many businesses, however if your customer is in search of a higher level of connectivity and quality of service for mission-critical capabilities, direct connectivity to the cloud is essential. That’s when it is time to ask the communications provider whether it offers direct connectivity. If the answer is yes, find out where such interconnections are available and in what sort of configurations.
- Global Presence – Is your provider where your customers are or need to be?
Well-established cloud communications providers should have fully geo-redundant distributed networks that offer full functionality in any region. If your customer needs full global integration, consider the following when reviewing cloud communications providers:
- Are the provider’s networks highly scalable and resilient where your customer needs them to be, whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, or North America?
- Does the provider interconnect directly with service providers in those regions? This allows for the provision of carrier-grade reliability and quality of service. By having peer relationships in these regions, cloud communications providers can provide seamless, localized, enterprise-class business communications for regional customers. Plus, using local data centers will allow your customer’s company to meet data residency and data sovereignty requirements.
There’s no doubt that moving to the cloud is the right step for modern, agile, mobile business communications. As a trusted IT advisor, make sure to uncover your customer’s needs around these five criteria to make sure they find the cloud communications provider and solution that works best for their company and their teams’ needs.
Interested in finding your customer a cloud communications solution that works for their business? Talk to your RingCentral Channel Manager today.
Melissa Van Dover, Master Agent Marketing Lead for RingCentral, manages strategic Master Agent and National Partner marketing relationships. Working closely with her team, Melissa is responsible for executing annual marketing sponsorships, while focusing on partner enablement and fostering Channel Harmony™. Melissa is a best-selling author and holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration from Bentley University.