Masergy: UCaaS A ‘Holistic’ IT Sale, Not A Point Product

“If partners aren’t selling [networking] requirements and only focusing on the UC sale, well, then somebody else is,” Masergy’s Maurie Munro, VP of UCaaS solutions, tells CRN.

Cloud-based collaboration and unified communications offerings became some of the most sought-after and necessary IT buys of the last two years. But UCaaS isn’t a point product anymore. It’s part of a complete IT solution, according to Masergy Communications.

The COVID-19 pandemic “legitimized” enterprise collaboration when employees all over the globe began working from home. That shift has since reverberated throughout the global workforce with many businesses making longer-term investments in hybrid work environments, said Maurie Munro, vice president of UCaaS solutions for Masergy.

Solution providers, by extension, have to look at UCaaS holistically with other IT solutions, such as SD-WAN and security, Munro said.

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“We need our partners to appreciate that [UCaaS] solution sets are not just single-threaded,” he said. “When you approach the conversation, you’re solving holistically a technology requirement.”

[Related: 5 Big Things To Know About Comcast's Masergy Acquisition]

Bundling UC with other IT solutions was the exception just a couple of years ago, but it’s now becoming the norm, Munro said. A UC sale can open the door for partners to make additional networking sales because many UC applications demand an updated network infrastructure.

“If partners aren’t selling [networking] requirements and only focusing on the UC sale, well, then somebody else is,” Munro said.

“We see UCaaS as a package deal -- an opportunity to position secure SD-WAN, SIP trunking, and support wrapped around all of that,” said Murphy Clarke, COO for UCRight, a San Diego, Calif.-based MSP and Masergy partner.

Treating UCaaS holistically gives the customer as seamless and stable environment, while helping the partner stay “sticky” with their clients, Clarke said. “That means, we become further embedded, if you will, with our clients from an operational perspective, a policy perspective, and from a technology rollout perspective,” he said. ”The more pieces of the IT ecosystem that we touch, the more that we can help lock it down, and the more natural of an inclination it is for that client to just work with us indefinitely.”

UCaaS had a “huge surge” of interest and adoption at the start of the pandemic. After more than a year and a half of remote working for many employees, combining UC and security is a critical solution set as the attack surface has grown, Clarke said. Networking solutions have also been a popular ”pull-through” sale to support new UCaaS and hybrid working tools, he added.

Evolving the UC conversation also helps partners layer in more services that not only complement and support UCaaS to help solve more of customer issues, Munro said. More often --especially over the last year and a half -- Plano, Texas-based Masergy is seeing the “initial UCaaS buy” being followed by more strategic services sales, he added.

“UCaaS isn’t just about making a phone call,” Munro said. “[Partners] can solve for the transport and solve for the secure protection of that packet. And if you can just have that conversation, you will start to evolve into further dialogue and requirements that were maybe never initially discussed.”

Masergy has the solution set to further UCaaS, including SLA-backed transport, SD-WAN, and analytics, Munro said. “We fold right into that next layer of dialog, ” he said. ”Masergy brings an additional level of performance.”