How can Skype for Business SIs capitalize on Avaya’s chapter 11?
Avaya’s chapter 11 news, drive customers to build contingency plans, hoping for the best and planning for the worst[i].
As Avaya have an impressively large legacy PBX install base, estimated at 100M endpoints (including Nortel)[ii], the situation presents a compelling opportunity for Avaya’s competitors.
Microsoft Skype for Business Voice offers an attractive solution for Avaya’s customers, for various reasons:
- Cost-effective upgrade from the popular Office 365 Suites to Office 365 E5 suite, to include Skype for Business Voice capabilities
- Seamless cloud experience, robust end user feature set, productivity boost and substantial cost savings.
- Power of choice, with on-premises, hybrid or Cloud PBX deployment
- End to end UCaaS experience with Voice, Conferencing and IM.
While Microsoft’s offering is compelling, it’s not the only offer in the market; In fact, other vendors such as Broadsoft and Mitel already launched programs targeting Avaya’s customers[iii].
Offering your Office 365 customers’ an E5 Voice upgrade, is the best approach to block your competitors.
Upselling your customers to Office 365 E5 Voice is easier than you think!
Conducting a workshop, focusing on how Skype for Business delivers customer needs, driving productivity and reducing costs is a good first step.
Getting customers’ buy-in to the end-to-end Microsoft UCaaS experience will position you a step ahead of any competitor; In addition, a proactive approach to handle sales blockers will also yield a competitive advantage.
Overcoming Sales Blocker: Incomplete Feature Set
When it comes to specific voice features, it’s true that Skype for Business is lagging behind some of its competitors; Obviously, these guys will play this ticket & present their richer feature set as a ‘must have’, as it’s their only way to overcome Microsoft’s compelling offer.
The easiest solution is to ‘play safe’, and limit your target audience to ‘Information Worker’ enterprises, who are likely to use basic voice features. Consequently, your potential target audience will become quite narrow, as you give away all other industries.
The second option is to use Univonix Compete™, a PBX assessment tool which maps features set used and analyzes parity between the legacy PBX and Skype for Business. The reports are delivered in a matter of hours, and include users, devices and system configuration.
While the features conversations with customers is not an easy one, once you start using Univonix Compete™, you will discover that regardless of the industry, most users are using basic voice features already exists or are planned in Microsoft’s short-term roadmap, & others that can be delivered by 3rd party solutions.
Users with features that are not available, will need to make a choice – value of their specific feature vs the productivity boost and cost savings of Skype for Business; The worst case scenario is that you don’t migrate these users, hence, these users will stay on the legacy PBX.
On top of helping you overcome this blocker, Univonix Compete™ also helps to:
- Maximize revenue opportunity – as a result of the feature parity mapping, you can approach all industries
- Reduce scoping risk – as your proposal is based on data, not assumptions
- Set the right expectation with your customer – feature parity & timelines
Overcoming Sales Blocker: New Service Impact
According to a recent article by NoJitter[iv], customers expect a fast, reliable and cost-effective implementation; While these expectations are more than reasonable, that’s easier said than done.
Successful implementations require comprehensive planning; One of the most painful elements is to collect users & system configurations which is essentially the basis of the Skype for Business configuration.
There are several ways to collect the data: (1) Ask the customer to fill an excel (2) Send someone to each site (3) Search on the legacy PBX management console; All these methods are manual; Hence they are Time Consuming, Costly and Subject to Human Errors.
Overcoming Sales Blocker: New Service Impact following a Greenfield Deployment
A common shortcut is a greenfield deployment which involves throwing away all data of the legacy PBX and starting from scratch; Thus, users are expected to re-configure features based on what’s available on Skype for Business.
For email migrations, it is unthinkable to delete all mailboxes of all users, without even checking what valuable info is there – even if some of it is outdated; Somehow, for telephony migration, some find this reasonable, ignoring the risks involved:
- Important users’ data is lost for good
- Adoption slows down
- Post migration support increases and strains IT department
- Skype for Business user experience is compromised
While a greenfield deployment appears to be a quick solution, as time progresses, it has the potential of driving the new service impact to become a nightmare.
Overcoming Sales Blocker: New Service Impact following an Automation Tool
Coming back to NoJitter’s article[v], the solution is automation and this is what Univonix Migrate™ is all about; An automated migration tool from Legacy PBX to Skype for Business, helping to achieve:
- Fast migration: Gain visibility for eature set used within hours; Hence, no need for weeks / months of costly manual data collection! Easily manage the migration using an intuitive UI; Automatically load the new Skype for Business configuration in a click of a button and in matter of hours!
- High data reliability: Automated reports and processes delivers high data accuracy; Hence no human errors
- Cost-effectiveness: No need for the expensive manual data collection; As a result of this, you can save approx. 50% of the migration cost per user as well as reduce new service impact
Sounds too good to be true?
For a product demo or sales deep dive, schedule a web meeting as per your preferred timelines.
[i] No Jitter, Jan 2017, Avaya Users: Time to Build Your Contingency Plans
[ii] UC3.CO, Jan 2017, Avaya Bankruptcy – A New Dawn or the Beginning of the End
[iii] Channel Partners, Feb 2017, BroadSoft, Mitel Go After Avaya Customers, Partners with Guns Blazing
[iv]No Jitter, Dec 2016: Conquering the Challenges of Cloud Migration