Two New Cool SMB Solutions from CompTIA Channelcon
The CompTIA Channelcon annual conference was last week in Orlando. This annual four-day educational and networking event draws around 2,000 channel professionals with a large constituency of Managed Service Providers who serve the SMB end-user markets without their own IT personnel. In May of 2011 & 2012 CompTIA published an "Annual Unified Communications Market Trends" report available to members. For 2013 they are renaming the study in response to the evolving definition and blurred boundaries around UC. It will now be published at the end of the year.
The exhibit hall featured more than 100 vendors with many in the UC space. Here are two vendors that stood out due to their innovative UC solutions targeted at the broader SMB market that historically may not have had the financial or technical resources to deploy them. This builds on Jon Arnold's recent post New Research - SMB UC Opportunity Showing Promise.
Tely Labs is a videoconferencing solution launched in 2012 by the founders of Sonicwall. Its Android-based all-inclusive system starts at $649 with everything you need to run video conferencing from a display in a conference room - no computer required. Tely Labs estimates that 95 percent of conference rooms do not have a video conference solution installed. The solution works with SIP and Skype endpoints supporting up to six parties. The appliance also can double as a projector for the conference room, which will appeal to any financially sensitive customers such as schools. Tely Labs is looking for channel partners to drive its solution sales and will reward them with deal protection and good margins. The company also offers a cloud-based management solution that is included in the first year cost and can provide ongoing recurring revenue streams. Other vendors in this space are Logitech & AVer.
gUnify is UCaaS solution that integrates phone systems with cloud-based CRMs and Google Apps/Email. Specifically it addresses a growing market of organizations that have Google's Gmail and cloud-based CRMs such as Salesforce.com by integrating it with Broadsoft-based hosted Voice (this is unclear) (Broadsoft is used by Service Providers for real-time communications over IP networks ). You gain business process efficiencies with a click in Gmail to call through hosted VOIP and log the calls to your CRM.
For agents, cloud consultants and MSPs (or whatever you want to call yourself) interested in building services around cloud solutions this is a great story to take to your customers and increase your "stickiness" with them. The solution available today through Broadsoft solution providers will soon be in the Broadsoft App Marketplace. The company is recruiting and building a channel of cloud consultants and solution providers. There is a detailed whitepaper, "Building Revenue from Google Apps" authored by UCStrategies own Dave Michels, details how forward-thinking solution providers can build a business around UC and GoogleApps in the cloud.