Microsoft, Metaswitch and UCaaS

Microsoft Teams takes up a lot of space in the UC&C discussion. With over 250 million active monthly users and 80 million Phone users, any provider has to take notice. Many UC providers offer a Direct Routing option for MS Teams. Essentially that is dial-tone and SMS for MS Teams. That isn’t robust or valuable. It’s like the days of switched long distance.

UC Providers are so needy for revenue of any kind that they have started selling SIP trunking as a Microsoft add-on. They sell UCaaS on price, even as Zoom Phone has entered the fray, signed up 2 million subscribers and at $10 each, compressing the pricing.

By the way, if you think price is sticking point, you should take some sales training with me. It is never about price. There are FREE alternatives. There are low cost options. When a true TCO is done, taking into account downtime, management time, clumsiness and lost productivity, the winner is not the cheap solution. Most businesses want tech to work seamlessly in the background. That’s what the job of a service provider is.

You are selling Productivity and Customer Experience now. Not a phone system.

Most UCaaS provider don’t see growth like Zoom or Microsoft, because they are selling phone systems. Dialpad, Zoom, MS are selling software. They talk about it like it is software. AI, UX, analytics, visual voicemail, meetings, presence and other capabilities and oh, yeah, dial-tone too. UCaaS comes at it from phones first. That has always been a hurdle. Who wants to be a Poly or Yealink distributor? Who wants to spend cycles haggling over handsets – which one, own or rent, etc.?

Where is Microsoft going?

Since buying Metaswitch, Microsoft has slowly been moving ILECs – the smaller incumbent phone companies – to the cloud. Metaswitch tried to get these customers to move to NFV and SDN in 2016. Now with Azure for Operators, MS CPaaS, virtual SBC and more, these telcos ARE using NFV. Right now, MS offers Metaswitch’s MX as a softphone, but that is all going to morph to MS Teams being the default softphone – for about 900 telcos globally. Do you still want to be selling SIP trunking, I mean, Direct Routing then? Then you will really have a race to zero.

The key to winning sales is to ask great questions and do real discovery. In the four secret shopping projects I have done since 2019, the discovery by the UC providers has been pitiful. We are still at the early majority of the tech chasm on UC&C. This means that education is still a priority. That means that the salesperson’s job is to educate the prospect on the potential of the tech. Most people don’t know what they don’t know. It also isn’t their job to be the UCaaS SME — that is YOUR job as a UC salesperson. You need to discover needs and where the business is looking to go, then explain how the tech can take them there.

Every business would like Amazon like capabilities – that is the underpinnings of Digital Transformation. It is the UC provider’s job to explain to businesses how their platform can deliver on those functions. That is selling Value, that is selling Solution, not pushing product.

In 2022, UCaaS, CPaaS and CCaaS won’t matter. They are morphing into one big bucket of functionality that businesses want to obtain. Most buyers are not searching on any of those terms! They don’t care about the packages or the buckets, they want to buy functionality, customer service, outcome. Some companies are using CXaaS but it really is just Business Comms.

Does your team need some sales training? Hire the guy that wrote the book on selling cloud! Call RAD-INFO Inc at (813) 963-5884 to schedule that training.

Are you doing a sales kick off? I have a great deal on a 30 minute talk about the trends in the UCaaS market mixed with sales tips and competitive intelligence. Call RAD-INFO Inc at (813) 963-5884 to add some flavor and impact to your event! Download a one page speaker sheet HERE.

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