VoIP Training Grows for VARs As Small Businesses Get Interested
Vendors are devoting more resources to training VARs in VoIP technology as the market matures and small and medium businsses become more interested. One vendor, FreedomVoice, just offered a "boot camp" for channel partners involved in VoIP sales.
As the VoIP market matures, more vendors are earmarking resources to train channel partners to sell VoIP and SIP services and equipment to the undersold small- to medium-sized business segment.
With the VoIP market projected to balloon to nearly $4 billion by 2010, market watchers such as VoIP specialist Garrett Smith, have noted that the industrys internal growth rate may be slowing, owing in part to changing customer profiles, lack of technical innovation and confusion about the technology among late adopters such as SMBs.
Communications VARs have shied away from selling to SMBs partly because the effort required to educate and train customers did not yield suitable returns. However, some vendors such as FreedomVoice Systems, a privately-held, Encinitas, CA-based provider of virtual office solutions, have begun educating the channel on VoIP and SIP technology and sales techniques, prepping them sell to SMBs as the next wave of customers emerges.
FreedomVoice recently offered a boot-camp style training session to help VARs better grasp technology and sales issues associated with selling VoIP and SIP to SMBs. The training sessions, which included segments on VoIP and SIP technology, sales techniques and case studies, were held at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Boston, a three-day event aimed at channel partners that sell communication products and services.
Eric Thomas, FreedomVoice chief executive, said that the VoIP training sessions help channel partners to better understand the technology and market potential. The VoIP boot camp is part of our effort to educate the channel-partner community about the potential of these markets, he said. Resellers have been instrumental to the success of FreedomIQ, our own VoIP-based, hosted PBX solution.
FreedomVoice maintains a channel partner program of about 500 resellers who sell and install FreedomIQ and benefit from a recurring revenue stream provided by the vendor. Two of the five training sessions offered at the conference were presented by FreedomIQ channel partners.
Conference organizers said that about 100 channel partners signed on to the VoIP boot camp, exceeding their expectations. It is the first time the event has offered targeting VoIP training to channel partners.