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Wholesale Billing – the benefits of customer ownership

July 26th, 2017 by Mandy Fazelynia

By Rob Foster

Over the last 4 to 5 years, we’ve seen some significant shifts in the mobile arena. An increasing number of mobile dealers are moving to a wholesale model, and increasing numbers of fixed, data and IT partners are integrating mobile into their portfolio when previously they would have never considered it.

But, despite these positive changes, there are still large amounts of reseller partners who are concerned about taking that step into a complete wholesale offering. But they really shouldn’t be.

Most partners are happy to offer fixed, data, M2M and hosted telephony solutions on a wholesale model as there’s a perception that it costs them very little to supply these products to customers. There is some truth in that perception, but it’s really driven by the customers’ expectation of those products. For example, customers don’t think twice about entering into a lease agreement for fixed line equipment, or they set aside budgets to pay for PBX/hosted upgrades which covers the cost of equipment/installation charges. But in mobile, however, there’s still an expectation that mobile hardware comes free of charge as part of the contract which is perceived to come at a cost to the reseller.

But in reality, that’s simply not the case. We all know that hardware isn’t free of charge – it’s just a matter of learning how the cost can be built into the tariff. Or the customer could benefit from a lower bill if they take a SIM only plan with no new hardware.

With this in mind, wholesale partners are beginning to re-educate customers and look how they can structure deals differently so it doesn’t impact their cashflow. And the good news is it’s working! Whether they’re offering a quarterly/monthly rebate against a customer’s spend which can be used as a tech fund, or they’re selling the benefits of leasing to a customer to get a better overall deal, they’re winning business. And the margins are still the same – the magic is in the way the deal is constructed and explained to the customer.

But the biggest factor that a partner should consider when thinking about wholesale is Value. Billing your own customers increases your multiples by at least 3-fold, and the more products you bill on a wholesale basis, the more value you add to your business.

If you’re interested in wholesale billing but are still unsure about taking the leap, give the Zest4 team a call. We’ll be happy to share best practice and provide you with all the training, support and products you need to succeed. Call us on 0161 956 3355.

Zest4 to Showcase M2M & IoT Solutions for Resellers at Channel Live 2017

July 25th, 2017 by Mandy Fazelynia

Wholesale Unified Communications provider, Zest4, will be demonstrating their expanding range of M2M and IoT solutions for resellers at the brand-new Channel Live event which takes place at the Birmingham NEC in September.

Following the formation of a partnership with Arkessa back in 2015, Zest4 have gone on to develop a truly complete M2M & IoT support package that’s not available anywhere else on the market, as well as a range of end-to-end solutions that make selling M2M easy for resellers.

The Zest4 team will be on stand number 448 at Channel Live which is open on 12th and 13th September 2017. The team will be demonstrating the Smart Witness connected-camera solution and the Smart Tracker vehicle telematics solution – both of which enable fleet operating companies to closely track and monitor their vehicles and their drivers. The footage and data collected by these systems are proven to save businesses money by improving operating efficiencies, maximising vehicle maintenance cycles and reducing insurance premiums.

The Zest4 team will also be showcasing pre-ethernet and temporary office solutions. These applications provide businesses with instant connectivity in situations where fixed lines are not available. This applies to mobile businesses that operate from varying, and sometimes very remote, locations, and also to new business premises where fixed lines have not yet been installed.

Resellers looking to expand their telecoms portfolios and generate M2M & IoT revenue will be able to see Zest4’s solutions in action at Channel Live and understand how these applications can benefit end-customers’ businesses. The Zest4 team will also be on hand to explain how the Zest4 Partner Programme provides resellers with technical and commercial support to ensure the successful launch of these solutions into their product range.

In addition to M2M & IoT, Zest4 will be showcasing their wholesale mobile solutions for resellers. Zest4 have over 20 years’ experience in the mobile industry and offer connectivity solutions from the 3 main networks – Vodafone, O2 and EE. Resellers can benefit from flexible commercial models as well as bespoke packages, flexible contract terms and the very best tariffs for end-customers’ needs

Counting down to the end of ISDN2 services – how to help customers move to hosted telephony solutions

July 24th, 2017 by Mandy Fazelynia

By Richard Sheldon

Back in August 2015, BT announced that it would be withdrawing ISDN2 services in the UK by 2025, thus encouraging users to move to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony over the following 10 years. With 2 years of that 10-year deadline having already passed by, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to seriously start thinking about making the move to a hosted solution.

Ofcom estimate that there are still over 30m fixed landline and ISDN lines in the UK so communications resellers have a vast opportunity to help existing customers and potential new customers to make that all important move ahead of the game.

Here at Zest4, we understand that specifying hosted telephony solutions can sometimes be a challenge, particularly for resellers who are new to the technology. There are many different types of system and specification on the market but there is a suitable solution for most types of business, from one-man bands to supersize global enterprises, and the team at Zest4 are here to help resellers to navigate their way.

The first thing to understand when specifying a hosted telephony solution, is the customers’ needs and their existing infrastructure. The key things to consider are…

  • The number of concurrent calls the company needs to manage
  • Their available connectivity
  • Their internal LAN infrastructure

Establishing these initial facts helps us to understand what features a customer requires and therefore the type of system that is most appropriate for them.

The other thing to understand when specifying a hosted solution is whether there is any industry legislation or regulations that impact their business.

An example of this, for the financial services sector, is the MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) which comes into force in January 2018. The current legislation requires financial services companies to record and retain conversations with individuals directly involved with a sale. However, MiFID II will require conversations with individuals in the entire supply chain to be recorded and retained for a period of 5 years.

This change in legislation is expected to generate a 400% increase in the numbers of calls to be recorded and stored which will have a huge impact on telephony solutions. So by specifying a hosted telephony solution with an integrated call recording system, resellers can accommodate their customers’ current and forthcoming needs.

Whilst this may sound a bit of challenge for some, resellers can be assured of support from our team here at Zest4. We have vast experience in hosted telephony solutions and are here to help every step of the way: our team will help find hosted telephony opportunities in your customer base; we’ll give you the training you need to get your team up to speed; we can accompany you to customer meetings to help identify and specify correct solutions; we’ll help with installation as well as ongoing servicing and support.

The opportunity for hosted telephony solutions is growing day by day, so resellers shouldn’t hesitate in adding hosted solutions to their portfolios today.

For more information on hosted telephony solutions from Zest4, visit http://www.zest4.com/hosted-telephony.php or call our team on 0161 956 3355.

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