Posts Tagged ‘Communications’

MSPs champion Telco sales

April 3, 2017

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are making major gains in the business and government telephony markets, as customers show a clear preference to buy their IT and telephony services from a single source.  This stands to reason, as phones have become computers and computers have become phones.  The two product lines have converged, making it nonsensical to continue treating them as separate service lines.

Most of the tier-1 Telecommunications providers around the world have now established Wholesale business units to cater for “indirect sales” as they are seeing an increasing proportion of their business and government market shifting away from their own direct sales, in favour of those who have a closer relationship to – and knowledge of the target end-customer.  A sensible and logical business strategy for the Telco’s is therefore to provide a wholesale offering and pro-actively build a channel of re-sellers.   Those re-sellers are in most cases, MSPs.

Examples of Telco’s with Wholesale business units are; Spark, Telstra, Optus, TELUS and Verizon, to name a few.

A major stumbling block for MSPs moving into selling Telco services, such as VoIP, data circuits, mobile, MVNO etc is the billing process.  Telco billing can be very complex, especially in the areas of mobile, tolls, toll-free and other usage-based services.  Billing complexity and the time & effort needed to produce Telco-style billng and reporting is often the barrier to sales and success in this space. This is the problem that my company Datagate solves for re-sellers of Telco services (as outlined in this brief YouTube video).

With a suitable billing solution in place, MSPs are adding significant extra recurring revenue to their businesses, by selling and providing the data connectivity, VoIP and mobile solutions that they source from their local Wholesale Telco provider.  This is also good news for the end-customer, who gets a full-service offering from their MSP, less bills to pay and access to better analytical reports and information via an on-line portal.

Read more from the perspective of Spark Wholesale and VoIP HQ.

The Convergence of IT, Telecommunications and Electricity

October 14, 2015


This is a time of great opportunity and also great risk of disruption, for businesses working in the fields of IT services, Telephony and Electricity.  Each of these three industries on their own are under increasing margin-pressure, because each industry can be seen to lack a great deal of differentiation.  All can now be classified as on-line infrastructure services. Phones are computers, computers can be phones – all require a network and electricity to operate.  Increasingly, all must work together to provide a working platform for the common customer.

The needs of the market, the customers, will ultimately drive the outcome of who wins and who loses.  The market favours those who are efficient, those that have the best understanding of the customer’s needs, those who adapt, those who offer the best service, those who are easiest and least costly to deal with.

Increasingly we are seeing the rise of businesses who offer combined IT and telephony services. These are now intertwined services, where phones and computers share the same networks, Internet connections and infrastructure,  They are now very much one and the same.  The technology of both has converged.  Furthermore, the sales process and the customer relationship are now the same. It no longer makes sense for the customer to source telephony and IT from different suppliers.

Now add the supply of electricity to the mix of IT and Telephony.  It’s a logical addition – another on-line service. It can leverage the same sales process and the same customer relationship as IT and Telephony. Companies that provide all three of these services to their customers, can offer a better, more complete offering, while at the same time getting maximum return on their sales and on-going relationship effort.

This convergence of on-line services, is the reason why I’m so convinced that my new company Datagate is on the right path.  Datagate is a white-label, Cloud-based billing engine and customer service portal for companies that sell services including Telephony, Electricity, Hosting, IT services and other utility services.  Datagate produces a single unified bill for the end customer that includes all subscribed services and lets them review and analyse their bills and consumption of services in their own private on-line portal.

Datagate is rapidly building a base of on-line service re-sellers, covering IT, Telephony, Electricity and other services, enabling these businesses to pick and choose the services they want to sell and allow them to create their own bundles and pricing plans.

Convergence is a great creator of business opportunities …and also a great disruptor.




Introducing Datasquirt

March 25, 2010

I have to be careful about what I say about Datasquirt because it’s a publicly listed company on the Australian stock exchange (ASX:DSQ) and being a non-executive director and chairman, there are strict rules about what I can and cannot say, without making an announcement to the ASX.

What I can say is as follows; 🙂

Firstly, I have to say that Datasquirt is a cool company, made up of people who are passionate about what they do. Datasquirt’s product is called CONTACT and it’s a SaaS, Web deployed Communications Console for Corporate Businesses to enable their Contact Centers (formerly Call Centers) to interact with their customers, suppliers or staff using SMS text, Instant Messaging, email, fax etc.

I was one of the founders of Datasquirt and so my involvement dates back to when the company started up in 2001. This was soon after I (and some of the other Datasquirt founders) sold our previous business, Exonet.

In the early days we did a lot of experimenting to see how SMS Texts could be used for business purposes. After several years of building custom SMS applications for various industry verticals, we started to see what common functionality everyone wanted and realized that all the big customers had Contact Centers – so we designed and built CONTACT as a product to satisfy this market need.

Being web deployed, CONTACT can be run from any browser on the Internet, so requires minimal effort by the customers’ IT departments to get it up and running. The product integrates with the customer’s internal databases such as CRM, ERP etc and has advanced logic algorithms to pre-process messages automatically and/or distribute them to applicable call center operators. Templates and automation facilitate a speedy response to incoming messages and advanced reporting functions enable all types of reports and analysis – including the types of reporting normally expected in corporate contact centers.

In today’s world of advanced and instant world-wide communications, it is more important than ever for businesses to engage with the new communication technologies and new social media types like Twitter, Linked-In, Facebook etc. Accordingly, these are exciting times for Datasquirt and its product CONTACT which empowers corporate business customers to communicate directly, instantly and intimately in the new communications age!

Watch this company this year!