Unified communications services present potentially interesting opportunities for service providers. They will look to augment their traditional service offerings with new higher-value, higher-margin services. Initially, service providers can generate monthly subscription revenue and per-minute usage fees for unified communications services. However, as service providers increasingly provide access to Web content and the ability to conduct transactions, these services will create the potential for new revenue sources that originate from advertising, e-commerce, and other transactions.
To remain competitive, service providers are generally interested in being quick to market with enhanced services. As such, they will likely resell the solutions of wholesale providers to enable rapid deployment and to reduce the associated risk and initial capital investments associated with implementing the services themselves.
Responding to this trend, a number of unified communications wholesale providers offer scalable, telco-grade services that can be rebranded, packaged, marketed, and resold by carriers, enterprises and other service providers. Additionally, service providers that also operate as ASP’s will host managed unified communications solutions on their own networks. Wholesale providers are positioning the following competitive advantages of unified communications services as they market these services downstream to resellers:
- Increased call completions
- Increase minutes of use
- Increased customer loyalty and reduced churn
- Service differentiation
- New revenue from service subscriptions, usage fees, and transactions
For enterprise customers, the possibilities of providing enhanced services to employees can be seen as a profitable alternative to having separate, disparate systems not communication to each other and providing increased productivity between offices if used in a enterprise wide deployment.
Additionally, educating service providers about the end-user benefits and the revenue-generating potential of unified communications services will become critical to bolster awareness and fuel the development of this market.