For any business to be successful, there needs to be a focus on both the today and the tomorrow. For net2phone, the today is to provide a high-quality voice over IP (VoIP) experience to business customers that are migrating from traditional systems to the cloud; and the tomorrow includes embracing global expansion, and millennial-friendly communication paths such as messaging, chat and collaboration.
“net2phone understands that voice is the lifeline of business communications today and we’re excelling at providing excellent service every step of the way,” said net2phone president Jonah Fink. “At the same time, we are proud to say that we’re laser-focused on the tomorrow. We are committed to supporting our customers and channel partners as they look to support existing and future business objectives—and this positive experience is felt from our customers right from the start with successful onboarding, and follows the customer daily as they benefit from our service.”
A Move to the Cloud: Today’s Opportunity
As more and more businesses become interested in leveraging cloud technology to support core organizational initiatives, channel partners have a key talking point: Modernizing the core communications of bread-and-butter local businesses. At the same time, the company is working on global expansion of those core services, and providing solutions that scale to large enterprises.
“If a channel partner would take a moment to walk down the main street of any town in America and analyze just how many of the existing businesses are still using legacy phone systems and incumbent telecom services, the opportunity is clear,” Fink said. “Law firms, real estate offices, medical practices, really any type of professional service or retail business, all share the common goal of needing more features and functionality to improve their business’s communication and add savings to their bottom line.”
Fink said that partners have a big opportunity to provide leadership and market education to many of these organizations—fulfilling their roles as trusted advisors.
“The challenge is to wake up Main Street and make them aware of what’s out there,” he explained. “’Cloud’ is a vague term and can be scary to some businesses, so it is incumbent on net2phone and the channel partners to define the advantages of cloud telephony. Here at net2phone, we are prepared to make the investment and assist channel partners in this very important set of education.”
Another strategic initiative for the company is its global presence; it’s expanding its technology to international offices around the world. net2phone has already launched services in Brazil, and soon, the net2phone products and features sets will be available in other South American countries as well as Europe, where net2phone already has the local infrastructure, talent, licenses and know-how.
“There is no other provider today that can state they have this range of solutions in all of these markets, so it is absolutely going to be a compelling statement in the marketplace that net2phone is providing an international service around the world,” Fink said. “We want to be a one-stop shop for businesses of all sizes – whether you are a startup or a large enterprise, net2phone will have a solution.”
Advanced Applications: Tomorrow’s Promise
net2phone is taking strategic action to prepare for the next generation of communications as well. As young millennials begin to join the workforce, they’re driving the use of technology that slants dramatically towards non-traditional voice applications, such as chat and messaging.
To dovetail with this, net2phone has made a strategic acquisition of Live Ninja, based in Miami.
Live Ninja’s expertise and focus is on messaging, collaboration, video and presence—and net2phone plans to integrate and absorb these technologies into its hosted voice product set.
“Just as the young millennials are relying on chat and messaging, we believe that the business community will do the same and we very much look forward to bringing them the ability to use alternative methods of communicating, along with our hosted voice, all in a single offering,” said Fink. “This eliminates the ‘swivel-chair syndrome,’ as a net2phone business user can enjoy all methods of technology and communicating rather than toggling between alternative applications. It’s clear this will be a strong, value add to the channel as it will increase ARPUs, stickiness and longevity to the customer lifespan.”
A Focus on Channel Excellence
Against this state-of-the-market backdrop, net2phone is keenly aware that there are two sets of valuable customers: End users, and then the channel partners that contribute to the growth of the business and overall success. That said, channel partners have a different set of requirements from an end user, which the company seeks to fulfill with an advanced set of channel partner tools. It’s also enhancing its program to accommodate new types of partners.
On the tools front, net2phone’s partner portal is a key differentiator: It allows partners the autonomy to easily create executable quotes and sign the customer up for service quickly.
“What we’ve noticed with our competitors is that there’s this concept of a ‘quoting desk’ where the partner has to ask for a quote to be created, and there’s some time involved in between the partners’ sales meeting and when an actual quote goes out and then eventually turned into a live order,” said Fink. “However, the net2phone partner portal enables our partners to quote their customers at any time themselves via an easy to use web panel.”
The quote is automatically sent to the customer as an executable agreement where the user can click, sign, and the order is automatically sent for processing. The entire flow is completely automated at both the partner level and the customer level.
Fink also explained that sales partners that offer services such as cloud storage, data security or network quality already possess the skill sets that are some of the key ingredients in providing a successful cloud telephony installation—and due to this marriage between cloud and telecom, the partner ecosystem for net2phone is widening.
“Cloud telephony is no longer a technology just geared to the telephone installer,” Fink said. “The benefit of the cloud is that it’s bringing in more IT professionals and managed service providers (MSPs) to the VoIP space.”
He added, “The program is now suited for a wide array of IT professionals, managed service providers, and value added resellers. The net2phone partner program is designed to suit anyone who has a portfolio of businesses and makes it easy for them to sell the net2phone solution.”
As net2phone moves into 2017, the company has a commitment to help channel partners make the most of all of these opportunities: Transitioning legacy infrastructure, supporting the needs of millennial workers, growing globally and offering tools to support a wider set of partners.
“I think what makes net2phone truly unique is our passion and energy for the channel,” said Fink. “Complacency is a dirty word in the halls of net2phone. We are constantly evolving our product set and improving our channel partner tools to meet today’s needs and prepare for tomorrow’s demand. net2phone is not looking to follow, we are looking to innovate. There seems to be a lot of ‘me-toos’ in the market. However, net2phone has the resources and will to do things differently. We are determined to shake up the industry, both at the end-user and channel levels. Interesting things are coming. Stay tuned.”
This article was featured in ChannelVision Magazine March-April edition, written by Tara Seals.