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Recurring Services: The channel partner growth engine

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Recurring Services: The channel partner growth engine
    

By: -
5 Jan 2017
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In October 2016, WR conducted its annual survey of video conferencing channel partners.  This year we sent invitations to our own internal list of channel partners.  120 individuals completed the survey, slightly fewer than the year before.  As always, those completing the survey were entered into a random drawing for five $50 gift certificates.  This year's winners were Jan/IVCi, Thom/SKC, Kev/AuDeo, Marc/VisionsConnected, and Tracy/IDSolutions.

Key Findings

  • A higher percentage of channel partners are offering various audio and video collaboration solutions than ever before.  Only the category of "telephony" witnessed a decrease in the percentage of partners offering the solution.
  • Comparing Y2016 to Y2015 survey results, video bridging and VCaaS services together with video managed services all witnessed a sharp rise in the percentage of channel partners offering these services.  Today, ~75% of channel partners offer these services.
  • Channel partners report increased demand for a variety of conferencing and collaboration products.  The notable exception is demand for on-premises video infrastructure products.  Demand for recording and streaming solutions experienced the highest growth, although that segment remains a small business for most channel partners.
  • More than half of the survey respondents reported that margins on both products and services are "about the same" as they were in the previous year.  This suggests that anecdotal evidence of overall declining margins may be misplaced.   
  • Recurring services is believed to be the fastest growing segment of channel partners' business.  This is a consistent result from each of the surveys conducted in the past four years.  The overall ratio of product revenues to service revenues in Y2016 was 50:50; in earlier years products were rated higher 55:45.
  • Integrating with Microsoft Skype for Business is seen as the strongest overall customer interest and was rated much higher than it was one year ago.  Integrating video conferencing with persistent collaboration spaces, the newest conferencing and collaboration category in our survey, was rated the lowest of the available survey options.
  • Optimism about business prospects overall is at a four-year low while customer confusion is rated the highest external challenge for the fourth year in a row.
  • Channel partners believe the two top contributing factors to sales success are video conferencing expertise and company reputation, while vertical market knowledge and vendor certifications ranked 7th and 8th out of eight.

The full 18-page report is available here.

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