eXemplify’s Robert Hayes sat down with Birch Communications’ Susan Graham to talk about what’s new in voice technology services and how partners can benefit.
Robert: We know you’ve got some product developments in the works. Tell us a bit about what’s coming in terms of voice technology.
Susan: As a leader in technology, Birch is always forward-thinking about the future of their partners and customers. We are dedicated to making sure our customers can continue services with us with the ever-changing technology. So, what’s coming is Voice Essentials™, an IP-based line that is easy to install over the customer’s current network and gives them substantial savings over a typical POTS line.
Robert: Why did you develop Voice Essentials? Does the market really need another VoIP product?
Susan: Birch is known in the channel as one of, if not, the premier POTS provider. We’ve learned from our extensive experience in that space that many large multi-location enterprises are using POTS lines as the primary communications service at remote locations. We see it a lot in specific verticals, especially retail, real estate, healthcare, etc. They have an analog solution in place because they typically don’t have a need for the advanced features of a VoIP or UCaaS solution. These customers typically don’t need anything more complex than a basic auto attendant, call forward, and other basic features; so why should they have to pay for a full seat and disrupt the way people at those locations are doing business?
The Voice Essentials product fits that niche perfectly. It’s almost like a VoIP throwback to the old Centrex product, if anyone remembers that, lol. It has the basic functionality these small remote locations need and supports any equipment that they already have on-prem. And, it’s going to be about 30% less than a typical UCaaS seat or standard POTS line. That adds up if you’re talking about hundreds or even thousands of locations.
We also know that many partners and customers are wondering about the future of POTS, so Voice Essentials combats that concern by providing customers with an easy migration path to VoIP.
Robert: What do you mean by “an easy migration path to VoIP”? How will Voice Essentials help customers who are still on the tail end of the adoption curve?
Susan: The landscape of voice services right now is fairly compartmentalized. At one end of the spectrum you have analog service, and then there’s a leap to VoIP — and all that comes with it. We get so caught up selling these next generation technologies that it’s easy to forget that there’s still a huge segment of the market, somewhere in the order of 30-40%, that hasn’t adopted that technology yet.
We think of voice services as a continuum, and Voice Essentials is a subtle gradient between analog and going full-VoIP that fits a specific niche. By moving from POTS lines to Voice Essentials, companies can save on their current spend, and pay less than migrating to other VoIP and UCaaS solutions while maintaining their existing on-prem equipment. There’s far less disruption to the users, and it’s a much easier transition.
When their budget allows or requirements demand, it’s a simple change on the back end for us to deploy a hosted PBX or our TotalCloud® PBX UCCaaS solution, so at that point we can focus having a smooth deployment of the equipment and on user training.
Robert: What does Birch’s new position as a Managed Voice Provider mean for its partners?
Susan: It’s pretty simple. No matter what kind of voice solution your customers require, Birch offers a hands-on, fully managed experience that grows with the customer’s needs. We manage the entire lifecycle of each solution for the customer and partner, and support them as they move through the adoption of new technology by offering a clear path to help them achieve their business goals through technology. From roadmapping and planning, through the procurement process, deployment, and ongoing account support, Birch manages every aspect of a customer’s voice network. It’s what we’re known for, it’s what we do best, and we’re doubling down.
Voice Essentials is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2017. If you’d like to talk to Birch about Voice Essentials or any of their other services, you can contact them here.
To learn more about how you can partner with us to bring Birch solutions to your clients, contact eXemplify today.