Telestax Launches A Communications App Marketplace; Partners Can Contribute, Sell And Earn Revenue On Comms-Focused Apps

Communications application developer Telestax has introduced a marketplace that gives solution providers access to real-time messaging, voice and video applications that can be sold to business customers.

The new RestcommOne Marketplace is powered by Telestax's Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) enablement platform, RestcommONE. The marketplace lets solution providers select and inject SMS-enabled business applications into existing products and services that their end customers are using today, Kevin Nethercott, vice president of business development at Telestax told CRN.

By becoming CPaaS-enabled, partners stand to gain "significant" revenue opportunities around real-time applications for business customers who are already demanding these services, Nethercott said.

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The ability to "jump into a cloud platform" and SMS-enable a business customer's desk phone number, or enable a business to escalate a text message conversation to a phone call quickly, presents a big opportunity for channel partners that many were not able to address for their customers before, said Ed Fox, vice president of network services for MetTel, a Telestax partner.

By using providing Telestax's CPaaS on its network, New York-based solution provider MetTel can quickly keep pace with the communications apps that their customers are looking for, Fox said.

"We are already going back to our customers with branch [office locations] and saying, 'Your main number is getting texted and you don’t know it.' There's opportunity there," Fox said.

The marketplace offers partners a low barrier to entry into the communications app space, and will help change the narrative between partners and their clients, Fox added. This comes at a time when service providers are being required by their enterprise customers to deliver more integrated communications solutions, not just connectivity.

"Selling these services helps [partners] penetrate different departments and stakeholders within the organization, hence making the partner more valuable to the client,’ he said.

Solution providers are already getting requests from their customers for real-time communications, but many are not in the position to support these apps. This can result in partners missing out on this new business, Nethercott said.

"Most service providers today are in some stage of trying to figure out how to become their own CPaaS provider," he said. "If you don’t have an SMS offering, you're just missing out."

Telestax, a five-year old company based in Palo Alto, Calif., aims to enhance the best parts of service providers – their network and customers – by letting these providers "CPaaS-enable" their networks with real-time communication applications, which can be privately-labeled to their end customers. Partners can also take advantage of Telestax's app development team.

Solution providers can then "upsell" real-time communications apps that are Restcomm-certified to their end customer base, Nethercott said. The marketplace will help partners "play offense" so they won't miss out on this new business anymore, and at the same time, earn recurring revenue in the process, he said.

Through the marketplace, application developers will earn 50 percent of the revenue on apps used. Solution providers will earn 30 percent, Nethercott said.

"Unless a service provider builds an application in-house, it's very rare they get to participate in the value proposition because they've always been just the transport," he said. "With our model, we are recognizing that they own the customer, and that has more value. It's a win-win for everyone."