MSP The Winning Model For CCaaS, UCaaS Sales, Says Intermedia

85 percent of Intermedia's new revenue is coming in through MSPs and partners selling bundled communications in a reseller model are winning the most deals, according to Intermedia.

While many unified communications as a service providers are going to market with partners via an agent model, business communications specialist Intermedia lets partners own the customer relationship.

The 19-year-old company is no stranger to the MSP model. Intermedia has been selling cloud IT services through partners for 14 years. Today, 85 percent of the company's new revenue is coming in through MSPs in a reseller model, Intermedia executives told attendees of NexGen Cloud 2019 conference in Anaheim, Calif. on Wednesday.

Tech Therapy, a Houston-based solution provider, is offering voice services to its client base today and it has historically looked for the lowest-cost services. But the firm has been searching for a full unified communications solution for its small business customers -- without getting tied into contracts, said Robert Lindsey, executive director for Tech Therapy.

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"All I used to want was dial tone, but now I think Intermedia is really speaking to us -- the MSP -- with the monthly billing and a lot more services to offer," Lindsey said. "A lot of voice providers have no idea who [partners] are and how we bill and sell."

[Related: Intermedia Launches 'Holy Grail' Combined UCaaS, CCaaS: Exclusive]

The MSP reseller model creates more value for when compared to the agent model because it allows partners to own the customer relationship rather than hand the lead over to the UCaaS provider. It also lets partners bundle services around UCaaS, said Jonathan McCormick, Intermedia's Chief Operating Officer.

"When you own the customer relationship, you can price how you want and bundle whatever services you want, and it all plays to your strengths as a managed services provider," McCormick said. "A lot of our most successful partners bundle services together in a nice package for their customers."

The MSP model will pay off in the long-run for solution provider executives looking to sell their businesses in the future, he said.

"You'll have greater top-line revenue when you bill in monthly recurring revenue and more profit in your business," McCormick added.

In addition to its robust UCaaS portfolio, the business communications specialist took to NexGen to reveal its portfolio of cloud-based contact center solutions fresh off of its August acquisition of Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) provider Telax. Partners can add more value and earn more recurring revenue by bundling Intermedia's UCaaS platform with its new CCaaS solutions, said Mark Sher, vice president of unified communications for Intermedia.

The three new offerings include Intermedia Contact Center Express, a call handling and routing-only service designed for small businesses. Contact Center Express comes bundled with Intermedia Unite, the provider's UCaaS platform. The second offering is Intermedia Contact Center Pro, which includes call handing and routing, as well as the ability to add omni-channel capabilities along to skills-based routing, historical reporting, and real-time insights. Lastly, Intermedia Contact Center Elite for large, multi-site enterprises with complex contact center requirements, can be custom-tailored to match a businesses' needs and includes omni-channel communications with custom CRM integrations, self-service IVRs, outbound notification campaigns, and advanced QA features. Pro and Elite can be layered on a third-party vendor's voice services, Sher said.

"What's really exciting about CCaaS in particular is you can take and give it to small business," McCormick said. "Calling it contact center is kind of a wrong way of think of it -- you should think about it as selling customer experience."

CCaaS lets partners go after larger opportunities and become more valuable to their end customers, Sher said. CCaaS will be a profitable path for MSPs that aren't offering contact center today.

"We're going to make sure you earn 50 percent margins," Sher added.

Intermedia partners can sell Contact Center Pro and Contact Center Elite as a standalone solution, or bundled with Intermedia Unite, the company's UCaaS and collaboration platform. Contact Center Express comes packaged with Intermedia Unite.