Intermedia wants to help solution providers sell more cloud-based unified communications to small and midsized business customers. To that end, the cloud communications provider's latest UCaaS platform was designed with SMBs in mind.
The latest offering, Intermedia Unite, combines Intermedia's own cloud-based voice solutions with video technology it gained in September when the company acquired web conferencing provider AnyMeeting. Intermedia Unite includes voice, video, screen, and file-sharing, and secure backup on an integrated platform that's easy to install and manage for solution providers serving small business customers, Intermedia told CRN.
"Everything we are delivering was directly requested by partners to either give them a product they can sell more of or the features they needed to better sell or support [UCaaS]," said Mark Sher (pictured), vice president of UC product and marketing for Intermedia.
Michael Gold, CEO of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company, said that Intermedia has been in the market since 2011 with its cloud PBX product, but the company knew businesses were demanding collaboration tools, and partners needed an integrated solution that they'd be able to support and manage for their customers.
"UCaaS is an area where MSPs and VARs can truly differentiate and make good profits," he said.
At the same time, Intermedia makes it easy for partners who haven't sold voice an opportunity to dip into the market and provide more value to their clients, Gold said.
"To be the most successful partner, you need to be able to sell voice and collaboration solutions like this to lock down customers and provide them all the IT services they need from one provider," Sher said.
Northwest Cloud Consulting, a longtime Intermedia partner, has been selling Intermedia's voice products and Office 365 applications to its SMB customers. Clayton Oswald, president of Northwest Cloud Consulting, said he's always on the lookout for new solutions that will let his company evolve and grow with its end customers.
SMB customers are looking for collaboration tools, so Intermedia's Unite platform with integrated video conferencing and screen sharing will allow Northwest Cloud Consulting to "stay ahead" in terms of features and functionality, Oswald said.
"The platform, now with AnyMeeting [technology] gives those bigger business collaboration features, like video and presence, that most SMBs don't have and they wouldn't typically invest in technology like that," he said.
Today, about 80 percent of Intermedia's business comes through its channel of VAR, MSP. Telecom agent and distribution partners. Partners have the option to sell Intermedia services via a white-labeled offering.
Intermedia is also helping solution providers make more sales through three new tools. The partner quoting tool lets solution providers select Intermedia service quantities and prices, and then add their own services. The tool then generates a quote partners can bring to their end customers, with telecom taxes included. Partners can also order additional services or products via the new self-service ordering platform, or take advantage of Intermedia's new web portal to make system or endpoint changes in real-time.
The new tools for partners, Sher said, will help cut down the amount of time partners spend on support calls.
"I'm able to do a quote in 10 minutes," Northwest's Oswald said. "I can get a customer turned up in no amount of time."