Avenir Telecom’s UK MD Andy Tow has a stark warning for mobile dealers. He says: ‘If you rely on mobile alone and are not involved in unified comms then the market will become very difficult for you. The [b2b] market for mobile alone will disappear, so the sooner you get involved in unified comms, the easier it will be on your business.’
Tow is a firm advocate of unified comms, believing 2013 will see growing demand for its products, driven by the launch of 4G services and Microsoft’s recent launch of its Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 platforms.
Tow insists airtime distribution is still Avenir’s core business but argues that unified comms is an important and growing market driven by increasing customer demand for a one-stop communications solution and operators’ ambitions to cross-sell fixed and broadband products to mobile customers.
Tow says dealers who ignore customers’ increasing interest in the area do so at their peril. ‘The important thing is that customers expect this service now. They increasingly want to talk about unified comms, and our stockists have to be able to have that conversation with them, otherwise their customers will go elsewhere,’ Tow warns.
In recognition of how the market is changing, Avenir recently created a dedicated team, led by national sales manager Edith Rose and overseen by UK sales director John Pett, which aims to help dealers target unified comms opportunities. Tow explains: ‘It’s about business development. The unified comms team is not incentivised to sell mobile products. Its entire focus is on unified comms and [the team has] a high level of unified comms knowledge to ensure our stockists properly engage with their customers.’
Tow says the strategy is already bearing fruit, with exponential growth in the sale of fixed-line products via O2’s Joined Up Communications service. Tow declines to give sales figures but says: ‘We have become quite a disruptive force. As the new kids on the block we are winning almost every fixed line deal we go for. Our hit rate is really high. We very, very rarely lose a deal.’
Editor: Shujaul Azam