by Gary Audin
We read about cloud services from the enterprise perspective. Now NEC has developed their cloud service offering that also focuses on the reseller and their revenue production.
Jay Krauser, Director, UNIVERGE™ Cloud Services, presented NEC’s cloud Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution at the NEC Advantage conference last May. It is one of the friendliest and supportive models I have seen for resellers looking to sell cloud services.
Jay stressed that the cloud service must solve the customer’s pain points by making the service easy to install, extending the customer’s IT staff and bringing new technology to the customer with the click of a button. Jay said that the service must be easy to sell, continue the reseller’s business as it is today while adding a new revenue streams, and leveraging NEC’s capabilities.
The reseller service model offered by NEC:
- Is on NEC platforms at redundant NEC sites
- Incurs little or no up-front costs
- Delivers Tier 1 support
- Provides for on-premise equipment solutions
- Includes installation
- Supports application development
UNIVERGE Cloud Services UCaaS (http://necam.com/Services/Cloud/doc.cfm?t=CloudUCServices) are offered in three levels:
- Basic which includes Voice Plus and comes standard with over 200+ features including: E911, Call Waiting, Caller ID, Call Transfer, Call Forward, and technical support 24×7
- UC Standard which includes Basic plus all Voice Plus features: Desktop Application, IM/Chat, Presence, Call Control, User Profiles, Device Management, Device option of soft/hard phones, and Voicemail
- UC Premium which includes everything offered in the previous custom packages plus: Unified Messaging, Feature-rich UC voicemail, Web-based & Telephony User Interface (TUI) control, E-mail integration, UC Mobile Client, Video Conferencing, Supports soft & video phones, Call Recording and Additional Device You-Choose Endpoints
The NEC reseller revenue sharing model provides multiple ways to create revenue and covers 1 to 5 year agreements. The initial sales generate a commission plus recurring revenue for the reseller. A commission and recurring revenue is also awarded for customer renewals. Additional revenue can be obtained through rentals, add-ons and other fees.
A difference that competing services do not have is the financial support of NEC Financial Services. NEC Financial Services acts as single financial focal point for both the reseller and the customer. NEC will present a single customer bill for rentals, cloud services, and LD charges. NEC will process the single payment for the reseller. This financial arrangement offers:
- Utilizing processes that exist within NEC Finance
- Flexibility of revenue share based on offering for all eco-partners
- Upfront revenue
- Streamlining end-user billing
Another feature I liked was the portal that is available to resellers and developers. Future enhancements will also include a customer portal. The portal is centralized with login-based access rights & controls, 24×7 support, and ticketing System. The portal allows resellers to:
- Easily configure and generate quotes (Carrier/NEC/3rd party)
- Manage projects and customer contracts
- Control a customer’s UCaaS offerings
- View project statuses
- Open/view/close trouble tickets when technical support is needed
- Provision DID number ranges
The developers have their own tool kit with an API sandbox, product registration, 3rd party developer registration, and reporting and financial information.
What I found interesting about the NEC cloud services offering is its focus on satisfying the reseller as well as the customer.