Among the most promising business opportunities for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) integrators within recent years, has been the emergence of cloud, telephony and Unified Communications (UC) technologies, including VoIP, virtual data center compute / storage and the adoption of cloud operating systems. The cloud is enabling these services through the concomitant attractions of abundant bandwidth of the public / private infrastructure and reduced cost. Traditionally, integrators have driven revenue from the re-sale of products and the professional services required to deploy these solutions. However, complications ensue where it concerns communications services.
Given the typically long sales cycle and new client acquisition costs, the ability to sell incremental services to existing customers is critical for UCaaS integrators to remain competitive. While there are tremendous growth opportunities for integrators to bundle cloud, equipment and professional services, there is also an aspect of the business that leaves them exposed. This includes the tax liabilities of bundling communications services with equipment across multiple jurisdictions, and the complex regulations concerning compliance when providing a communications service. When interstate regulated communications services and compliance come into play — exposing integrators to a host of transaction taxes, excise, gross receipts, utility, 911, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and State Utility Commission taxes — the cumulative effect can stop even the most ambitious integrators in their tracks.
The barriers to entry become even more formidable when you realize that most UCaaS integrators do not own their own IP network or ISP operation, and leave the connectivity options up to clients or refer them to a carrier. In the case of providing a communications service, if the integrator is having the client outsource the infrastructure and services, the client will want to ensure that the network is secure and monitored. Typically, these customers don’t wish to be distracted with Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) issues or firewall configurations, either.
To solve these and other daunting challenges, TelAgility has joined AT&T Partner Exchange to assist integrators to bring the latest innovative solutions in Managed Internet and MPLS VPN services to market efficiently and effectively. TelAgility compliance and mitigation experts simplify solutions with a robust package of cutting-edge technologies, facilitating market entry for these companies by functioning as the “communications carrier of record” for the end customer. Instead of the integrator or channel partner acting as the service provider, TelAgility occupies this role by assuming all tax and regulatory compliance obligations as a 50-state interconnected communications provider.
Additionally, by partnering with TelAgility, UCaaS integrators’ customers can potentially enjoy the advantages of co-branding and are able to penetrate new markets while managing the customer relationship without the strenuous hassles and costs of being the communications services carrier of record. Furthermore, when the channel partner or integrator opts to take over more responsibility in order to derive the retail revenue from the face value of sales, TelAgility facilitates this transition and steps out of its role as the carrier of record. thereby relinquishing the rights, responsibilities, duties and benefits of full ownership to the TelAgility UCaaS integrator.
In summary, the launch of the partnership between TelAgility and AT&T, whereby UCaaS integrators are provided with expertise in back-office systems to manage compliance and regulatory issues, while functioning as the telecommunications carrier of record for the end customer, will simplify their market entry and ultimate success. By leveraging this kind of service, integrators can mitigate their risk in the cloud from a tax liability and compliance perspective, while also being able to provide their client base with a high value-added suite of services.