Last week, the netsapiens team attended Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, alongside over 6500 agents, service providers, value added resellers (VARs), integrators, consultants and suppliers. For us, this is one of those events that we look forward to every year for the chance to listen to your vision and plans and demonstrate how our UCaaS SNAPsolution and other associated offerings can do create value for your business.
As usual, we dropped a couple of heavy pieces of news at the event: one announcing our new SNAPanalytics call center product and a second letting everyone know that our SNAPsolution UCaaS platform now supports the Avaya IX devices portfolio using the Open SIP standard.
You can probably guess from the title of our SNAPanalytics offering that we’re all about leveraging actionable analytics and persona driven customization to help call centers boost their performance. Since many of you in our channel have been asking for this type of product to make it easier to go after call center clients, it made sense for us to formally release SNAPanalytics at the Channel Partners event. Of course, the same can be said about the Avaya partnership – it really was the next logical step in making it easier for service providers to turn up their businesses. We got a lot of buzz from sharing our news at the event and definitely enjoyed the resulting conversations with folks coming by our booth.
More important, however, is the stellar information that we left Las Vegas with. We made a list of the five biggest highlights from Channel Partners 2019. They are shared with you below:
1. Telco Service Providers are one of the fastest growing market segments
Michelle Bailey, an analyst from IDC, presented data showing that, in terms of retaining business models, telcos are actually one of the most stable and fastest growing groups in the entire service provider sector. Although telcos currently make up only a part of the broader market, the data shows that, over the next two years, they are set to double in size. Based on her data, we’ve created the table below showing the relative growth rate of the providers that make up the Channel Partner market.
As you can see, despite its small size, telcos have an impressive projected growth rate compared to other sectors like Hardware IaaS providers and software providers/developers. By 2021, many service providers will see themselves evolving their business models away from pure infrastructure to managed services, Platform-as-a-Service (more on this later) and cloud solutions. All of this is great news for a provider of cloud-native UCaaS solutions and feature-sets like netsapiens!
2. Managed security remains front of mind
Managed security essentially involves paying a monthly fee for an MSP to manage your security for you on a per seat basis. Throughout the course of the event, we noticed multiple presentations proclaiming good news about how the monthly recurring revenue (MMR) for managed security is in the hundreds of dollars per seat. For us, though, the presenters never fully addressed the proverbial elephant in the room – the lack of qualified talent to provide this service effectively.
3. SD-WAN now playing second fiddle to Security
Oh, what a difference a year makes! Last year, at Channel Partners, everyone was talking about the revolutionary benefits of SD-WAN. In fact, we’re fine to go on record and say it was probably the hottest topic in every channel conversation. Now, however, the game has shifted. SD-WAN is back playing second fiddle to the interest in managed security.
One possible explanation is that, in all the rush to adopt SD-WAN technology, many organizations overlooked some of its security limitations, treating it as a standalone solution. As Network Computing warns, “the technology needs to be subject to the same rigorous security standards as other IT infrastructure elements.” Now, after the SD-WAN buzz of yesteryear, everyone wants to brush up on their security strategies.
4. The money is not in infrastructure
Coming back to Michelle Bailey from the IDC, we saw an interesting slide in her presentation that noted that 80% of service provider revenues are above the infrastructure level. This is a direct result of enterprises’ growing demands for cloud services coupled with their lack of expertise needed to follow a do-it-yourself approach. As a result, infrastructure and software services are often bundled with managed, security and other professional services.
Examining the percent of revenue by year breakdown above, you can see that roughly 20% of service provider revenues still come from infrastructure hosting services. If you look at the budgetary resources needed to manage that infrastructure however, you can see how the costs begin to chip away at overall profitability. We think it’s high time service providers should be able to enjoy greater flexibility and scalability like their own end-users. Let netsapiens take care of the infrastructure for you so you can better capitalize on the high demand for those above infrastructure services. Stay tuned for a new service offering in this regard from your netsapiens team!
5. Internally developed technology advantage is the most important strategy
Our final key takeaway was IDC’s assertion that the #1 business strategy for service providers is NOT competitive pricing or emerging technologies – it is in fact internally developed technology. In essence, the winning strategy is to bring value to the application layer with customizations that can meet customers’ needs. This makes choosing the right technology partner for your service provider business so much more important.
Service providers need to find partners who can enable them to extend their offerings and bring true value to their end-users. This is one of the reasons why we, at netsapiens, have invested heavily into our API-based offerings. Thanks to the simplicity, flexibility and scalability inherent in our solutions, netsapiens customers have added hundreds of customizations, extensions and integrations with top selling CRMs – all helping them win and retain customers.
Did you find these Channel Partners Conference & Expo takeaways helpful? Were you at the event and missed out on talking with us? Feel free to reach out to us with any questions!