James Arnold Roberts, director at Genius Networks
Strong demand for international connectivity presents resellers with a great opportunity for growth. But for many, expanding beyond the home territory into Europe and beyond is a step too far.
James Arnold Roberts looks at what the barriers are to doing business in Europe, and how they can be overcome.
"Few providers are able to take advantage of the opportunity to deliver international connectivity. Five clear obstacles stand in the way for resellers but the good news is there are solutions to bypassing these.
1. Network performance
The performance of the network underpins the reseller’s ability to deliver services. One of the biggest issues is network latency, a particular problem for networks digitised to run video, web and audio conferencing, collaboration and data sharing, and extending these services to mobile platforms and cloud applications.
Provisioning international connectivity is complex but by tapping into a network specifically configured for voice, a reseller can promise a smoother user experience and superior voice quality. Genius Networks has developed just that, and established strategically positioned hubs on all the main continents allowing delivery of global services from a location local to the end user, keeping latency levels low and network performance high.
2. Managing multiple carriers
When reaching into Europe and further afield, working with several carriers is unavoidable. For an individual reseller, trying to deal with big global carriers can be a less than satisfying experience, when you are not large enough to receive priority attention or to negotiate competitive pricing. Furthermore, no single network provider of all tier 1s and tier 2s has a truly global reach, so providing network services to Europe and globally is not an easy task.
Partnering with an integrator or aggregator that has a peer-to-peer relationship with carriers eliminates the difficulties of dealing with multiple carriers. As greater bandwidth is purchased, economies of scale means that cost savings can be passed on to the reseller. Genius Networks pulls together services to provide a best of breed and truly global solution. We build solutions the reseller requires, rather than trying to fit the reseller into a carrier shaped box.
3. Supply chain contracts, SLAs
Trying to provide contracts and SLAs to customers is also tricky when you’re pulling together solutions from numerous suppliers. Genius’ core routing infrastructure and services provisioning platform (CRISP) seamlessly joins with all the major network carriers to deliver affordable, uninterrupted global voice and data services and provides a fully managed SIP service with guaranteed QoS and end to end SLA.
Billing is arguably the most critical part of a channel business because it’s how the money is made. UC has complicated the process - no longer is it just about fixed line voice call billing applications - it’s integrating VOIP and cloud based services as well as mobile communications. Cloud services have introduced the need for pay as you go billing to respond to on demand services. Add to that the complexity of different currencies, starting with the pound, dollar and euro and encountering more as you travel further afield.
In hurdling this one, transparency is important, as is flexibility and speed of quoting and reporting. The Genius Portal provides resellers with a pricing tool allowing instant quoting on the latest prices from all the main carriers across the UK and the world, simply by inputting the postcode. It enables resellers to refine and apply tariffs uniquely for all customers, and upload reports easily into their billing systems.
Legislation has the power to completely scupper a business’s plans to expand across new territories. Cloud has introduced requirements around data retention that vary from region to region. Consolidating carriers, suppliers and services into one provider that can manage the legislative aspects of regions and different contracts will make life easier for a reseller.
With all of these potential issues, it is understandable that so many businesses are not leaping on the opportunity to work outside the UK. Genius aims to opens the door to vast business opportunities for our reseller partners who previously had lacked confidence in network reliability and the deployment of UC and cloud solutions in Europe and around the globe."