Thursday, March 23, 2017

What You Need to Know About Channel Partners

A good definition of a channel partnership might be that it’s the ultimate win-win business relationship. When you partner with another company to market its services and technology, you receive benefits even if you don’t proactively “sell” the product, service, and/or technology to others. But you receive more benefits if you do.

Types of Partnership Programs

Partnering is a dynamic way to increase a network’s users. “Similar to a company’s advisors or collaborators, partners can be crucial to the overall success of a business. Their impact on sales, market share, innovation, and even brand recognition can be enormous,” says Software Magazine. There are several types of partnerships, but the relationships specific to the technology industry are:

  • Integration – partners that integrate a company’s product/solution into existing software and vice versa
  • Reseller – (Channel) partners that purchase vendor software and offer it as an add-on to their customers and users
  • Referral – partners that act as consultants and sell your product, often in addition to other IT solutions. Referral partners can independently and without commitment spend exactly as much time and effort consulting with and soliciting new clients.

The partnership style we offer at ActivePBX is the residual partnership; you receive a regular payout (evergreen) for the life of your client account.


When both sides benefit from a business relationship, it’s a win-win. And with a channel partnership program, both sides realize increased income. You will generate revenue for the company while also making its services a part of your company’s technology solutions. As a partner, you will grow your “sales footprint” at the same time; you’ll generate more business with this competitive edge.

Together Everyone Achieves More

Sometimes, more is . . . more. When you’re a value-added reseller (VAR), you can attract new customers to your primary business portfolio because you increase the types and quantity of solutions you can provide them. Call 866-330-4678 or contact your professional representative at ActivePBX for more information about our partner program.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

6 Steps to Recognize MSP Opportunities

A Gartner report released earlier this year predicts that the worldwide cloud services market will reach $204 billion in 2016, and $1.1 trillion by 2018. With a number of MSP solutions expected to experience significant growth, managed service providers are in an ideal position to expand their business by offering a range of services. Let’s take a quick look at how you, as an MSP, can recognize and leverage the opportunities created by these business growth expectations.

Recognizing Opportunities for MSP Solutions

Finding, recognizing, and leveraging high-potential opportunities first requires understanding what your clients need, even if they don’t quite know it for themselves. Through careful observation and analysis, the first steps you take will help you recognize whether your customers represent an opportunity for expansion:

Step 1: Offer you customers periodic technology assessments.

Step 2: Identify problems that could easily be solved with recurring services, like monitoring, proactive security, cloud data backup, and other value added services.

Step 3: Demonstrate you have the solutions and expertise to solve their problems.

It’s challenging to sell something to someone who doesn’t believe they have a problem in the first place. As MSP solutions continue to evolve, the core benefit remains the same: to outsource IT business functions to an expert so that a company can focus its resources on the running of its business. For the MSP who wants to provide greater value to its customers, there are three specific opportunities that have emerged as being worth pursuing in today’s market.

Step 4: Keep an eye on the services offered by your competition. Do your own research on similar services. Then offer your customers something that is better or priced more effectively.

Step 5: Look for ways to add on-boarding and or training to your recurring services. Even though your help desk team maybe doing a great job, training your customers may reduce help desk calls. That could be a good thing or a bad thing if you charge for help desk hours

Step 6: Not all your services need help desk support, but help desk support could be added as an addon to any of your recurring services.

With IT outsourcing set for real growth in the coming year, now is the perfect time to leap-frog into the next generation of managed service provider solutions.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Quick Guide to Zoho CRM and PhoneBridge

When you’re faced with a financial challenge, your solutions have always been limited to raising the price, selling more, or lowering costs. If you take the time to integrate a better CRM (customer relationship management) process and phone system, you can sell more and lower the cost of operations.

“The goal is to give your customers an easy way to get in touch with you and provide the best services,” says the Zoho User Guide. “Not to mention, a good PBX system is of great help to the sales reps as well.”

The Zoho PhoneBridge feature connects the PBX system and the CRM system to give you a feature that not only holds all the important information – leads and customer data – but also manages incoming and outgoing calls. The system identifies the caller and connects to the customer’s record, and you’ll get a view of their purchasing history, emails, and notes. It also reminds you of calls that are scheduled.

Benefits of Zoho CRM and PhoneBridge

  • Your caller is identified – you have important information available before the call.
  • Never miss a call opportunity! Reminders can be set to keep you on track.
  • You can make notes during or after the call; the details will be preserved for later.
  • With the “business card view,” you’ll get a quick glimpse of your caller’s basic business essentials. Rather than “Hello,” you can say, “Hi! Is this Robert? Good to hear from you!”

Go Global

In today’s business environment, small-town stores have a global presence, and they have support pieces in place to maximize efficiency and profits. Why should your company and your clients have less?

With a cloud-based, ActivePBX phone system, you can easily connect your office and remote/mobile employees under one phone system. This affordable system is completely online; we manage it, and you use it. The functionality is available to your team without complicated hardware, frustrating down time during installation, or the need for re-training end users to a technologically challenging system.

Call (866) 330-4678 or contact us to learn more.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

How to Go from Break-Fix to an MSP Model

If you’re ready to make the transition from a break-fix model to a managed services one, you’ll need a well-thought-out strategy to help your customers transition with you. From understanding your target audience to implementing essential automation, there are specific steps you can take. The payoff for implementing an MSP model? A higher level of service and increased sales opportunities, as well as the opportunity to provide your customers with 24-hour monitoring, management, and problem resolution support. Not to mention a more predictable revenue stream.

Best Strategy: Have a Strategy

Today’s businesses can’t afford the risk and uncertainty of relying on the break-fix model. Unfortunately, many customers are still quite comfortable with it, taking care of problems as they crop up. It’s your job to demonstrate to your customers that an MSP model lets them avoid IT disruption, saving them time and money. Here are four steps to help you make the change from a break-fix to an MSP model.

  1. Goal Establishment. Identify, document, and develop a strategy that sets out clear and measurable goals. This ensures that what you bring to your customers is a service plan that embraces best practices and delivers consistent IT maintenance support.
  2. Choose the Right Tools. Determine the specific services you want to provide. If you’ve already developed a niche that you work within, that may help in your decision-making process. This way, you offer your customers the right tools up front that allow them to empower their own end users.
  3. Educate Your Customers. Make sure your customers fully understand the managed service concept and how it will benefit them. Point out notable issues that would be routinely maintained as part of a proactive MSP plan.
  4. Ensure You Can Deliver. You need to know that you’ll have adequate vendor tech support. While good technology is essential, it’s not enough. You need to know the support is there.

Done right, your transition from the break-fix to MSP model will both build a constant cost basis for your customers, and offer you a consistent revenue stream, improved time management, and an opportunity for sustained growth.

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