CRN Exclusive: Intelisys Calls Contact-Center-As-A-Service A Multibillion Dollar Opportunity For Partners


Master agent Intelisys wants to help solution providers break into the largely untapped Contact-Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) market and is arming partners with a new certification, as well as welcoming cloud-based contact center company Talkdesk into its portfolio.

The revenue potential of the contact center market is in the tens of billions, research firm Markets and Markets found in its 2017-2018 report. The cloud-based contact center (CCaaS) market alone is estimated to be worth $15.67 Billion in the U.S. by 2021, the firm said.

Today, however, only about 12 percent of revenues in the contact center market is being generated from cloud-based solutions, according to Markets and Markets and Forrester Research. This presents a big area of opportunity for partners selling CCaaS, said Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president of cloud transformation for Petaluma, Calif.-based Intelisys.

[Related: Intelisys Channel Connect: Master Agent Rolls Out Ambitious Cloud Training Agenda, New Tools For Partners]

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Talkdesk's cloud-based contact center software platform doesn’t require any hardware or downloads, and via the new partnership, Intelisys partners can easily get customers up and running quickly with a global CCaaS solution, Jon Heaps, vice president of channels for San Francisco-based TalkDesk, told CRN.

The Talkdesk CCaaS product offers features such as enterprise-grade voice quality for global calling, call monitoring and whisper coaching, which allows managers to coach or talk to call center agents without end callers noticing, real-time call center metrics and intelligent routing, and voicemail transcription and notifications.

Perhaps most important for end customers and partners is the Talkdesk contact center solution can be integrated with more than 25 leading business intelligence and workforce optimization tools, including, Heaps said.

Talkdesk differentiates itself in the contact center market by dedicating 50 percent of its resources to research and development in an effort to keep its product evolving, he said. At the same time, selling contact center solutions won't be the right fit within every partner's portfolio, but Intelisys will help Talkdesk identify the right solution providers for the job.

CCaaS is a promising recurring revenue opportunity for partners, but selling CCaaS can be challenging for solution providers new to the product set, Intelisys' Pryfogle said. That's because the sale requires having outcome-based conversations with different business units than most partners are used to working with, he said. Contact center solution also require a blend of understanding across several different areas, including telecommunications, software and applications, and networking.

"Having a contact center conversation is quite a bit different than the traditional telco or UCaaS sales conversations. There are different stakeholders that have input into the purchase," Pryfogle said. "Partners really have to be good at infiltrating an organization and spreading out among stakeholders who might have procurement power over the solution, and really drill down into the customer's processes."

To that end, Cloud Services University, Intelisys' education program for solution providers that covers various cloud technologies, introduced a brand-new certification track on Tuesday that targets the growing CCaaS opportunity.

The CCaaS Solutions Professional certification track will give partners in-depth instruction into how to effectively sell CCaaS, including education on how to identify prospects, close deals, and implement successful contact center solutions. The web-based CCaaS certification is Cloud Services University's eighth education track for partners.

The track will help partners consider -- and help their clients consider -- the end customer's experience, as opposed to simply talking about technology, said Pryfogle, who created Cloud Services University.

"It's not necessarily about deep technical knowledge," he said. "The thing that's really driving the contact center opportunity is improving customer experience -- that's a business conversation."