Announcing the UCStrategies Unified Communications Channel Study

Application Management

It’s clear to most industry observers that one of the biggest challenges facing unified communications and collaboration vendors is how to best help their channel partners grow and succeed. Until vendors are able to understand and fully partner with the channel, the market will experience only sluggish growth.

Orrin Broberg and I recently completed a comprehensive global survey with key UC Solutions Integrators (SIs), including VARs, resellers, dealers, and system integrators, intended to help guide vendors in structuring their channel strategy and focus.

Some of the “aha” moments include insights into:

Which vendors’ channel partners are most likely to jump ship and/or align with new vendors (and why),
Which vendors are the best to work with and why,
Which vendors provide the best and worst lead generation,
Which vendors are perceived as being best positioned to succeed and why, and more.

We drilled down into specific areas of support that are most and least important to the SIs, and where the vendors need to concentrate and spend their resources (hint: it’s not basic sales training). We also asked participants, “What’s the one area that none of the vendors seems to get right?” and we got an earful. We heard about what particular vendors are doing right, what they’re doing wrong, where they’re strong, where they’re weak, and ways in which they can improve in terms of channel partner relationships and support. The respondents were all anonymous, so they were free to open up without worrying about vendor repurcusions – and boy, did some of them open up!

While I can’t share too much information from the survey (that’s reserved for the subscribers of the study), the following are a sample of some of the general findings.

We asked resellers how much UC growth they expect to see in the next year or two, and found that almost 30 percent expect 10-15 percent growth, while over 20 percent expect 15-20 percent, and 25 percent expect over 20 percent growth. The Microsoft resellers are the most optimistic, with 45 percent expecting growth to be over 20 percent.

How Much UC Growth Do You Expect in Next 12 Months?

We also asked which UC technologies offer the most promise, and cloud/hosted was clearly the largest #1 choice, followed by mobility and collaboration (collaboration was by far the largest #2 choice).

UC Technologies Offering the Most Promise

Respondents’ comments about specific vendors – the really good and the not-so-good – include platform, device, and infrastructure vendors, such as Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya, Plantronics, Polycom, and many others.

Source: UC Strategies