2024 promises to be yet another year of continuous change. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen a huge interest in AI, major leaps forward in technology and a shift in the way that MSPs are seen by end-users. Continuously advancing technology makes it very hard for many businesses to keep up — which is why they rely on experts such as MSPs to guide them through what our CFO Dimitri Osler calls “the never normal.”
So let’s have a look at what 2024 holds for MSPs, as heard straight from the UC Summit by Wildix!
Technology Advances But Where’s the Value?
The cloud is ingrained in everyday life, and it has huge implications for businesses. “It makes competition truly global,” says Steve Osler, CEO of Wildix, “so you’re no longer competing with the players just in your region. Instead, you’re competing with everyone, big and small.” While this means there are more competitors, it also means your potential playing area is also much bigger.
“You need to be thinking beyond your region and working to expand and grow,” notes Steve. “With Wildix, you can install solutions almost anywhere. You can deliver highly targeted solutions to a larger area but to a more tightly focused market.”
It’s this mindset that is crucial for MSPs in 2024. Focusing on value to a more tightly defined niche is the way to grow your business in the coming 12 months. After all, anyone can sell a PBX. Value is going to become the defining factor as to why a business chooses your solution over another. As Steve says, “You can’t simply throw a new PBX into the mix and just sell products — any company can buy products from anyone. Instead, you need to sell your overall services, experience and understanding of your customers’ needs.”
And the best value is either increasing sales or improving efficiency. For a sales-first company, for example, a product such as Wildix x-bees can be key to integrating all the technology they need to improve sales outcomes, make training more efficient and deliver core AI improvements throughout the business. 2024 is the year of the vertical, and MSPs who can leverage verticals should see a huge leap forward in their growth.
“Every company wants to increase their sales,” states Steve, “whether it’s through improving their understanding of customers or even using technology to improve training, feedback and suggestions during a call. That goes beyond communications and into specialism.”
It’s value that is driving sales, so value must drive your sales throughout 2024.
Branding Lets You Compete With Big Vendors
In addition, the MSP trends from 2023 are only going to intensify. Major vendors are increasing their direct sales approach, eliminating many MSPs from the market. The problem is simple: “Too many vendors have tried to corner the market by offloading support to outsourced teams,” observes Steve. “They try to cut you out of the equation, piece by piece. And they aim to take control of the market.”
This is because more vendors are aggressively marketing to your clients, with some going as far as to directly contact customers of active MSPs, ignoring conventional partner-client relationships. If those customers contract directly with those vendors, you lose them — they’re no longer paying you to manage the system.
These efforts will increase. For simple PBXes, there’s no longer a need for clients to contract MSPs to install them. It’s a product — and these vendors are starting to have brand recognition: RingCentral, 8×8 and 3CX — they’re all becoming brands that are recognized by businesses worldwide. And businesses want reliable brands as they cannot afford to lose communications.
“Telling a prospect that you guarantee a solution because you’re a local business does not resonate anymore,” warns Steve. “But, telling an end-user that your local expertise is backed by a powerful global vendor that’s reliable and acknowledged by major analysts has a much greater impact. So use it!”
Expect More Mergers
Many companies are merging in the space, seeking to consolidate their operations and remove competitors. Some are looking to replace their offerings, such as Mitel (through its acquisition of Unify) and others seek to add new offerings, such as Sangoma (through its purchase of NetFortris). 8×8 eliminated Fuze as a competitor by buying it in 2022, and RingCentral bought Hopin, which provides virtual venues, in 2023.
Ultimately, the market is going to consolidate, and that will create uncertainty over the next 12 months. After all, if a company is spending its money on buying, it’s often not spending that much money on developing new solutions — instead, that money is going towards unifying systems and getting them to work with each other. The ultimate result is a hodgepodge of systems that are layered on each other that throw up error after error after error when you try to integrate new tools into them.
For MSPs, this lack of reliability and consistency can really harm customer relationships and cause significant issues. Development times lengthen, and installations become more complex. At that point, you need to throw more staff at a problem. Compounding this, there may be a lack of support from the vendor, and what support is there may not be interested in solving your issue — because they don’t have time to deal with it.
Speaking in an article in MSP Success, Charles Swihart, the CEO of Preactive IT Solutions puts what this issue means for you very simply: “The biggest opportunity for MSPs in 2024 is beating out the guys with poor service.”
And if your vendor is heavily focused on merging numerous systems together, they can’t support you, which means it’s much harder for you to support your customers.
Trust Becomes Paramount
Trust is hugely important in any business relationship, and that’s why as an MSP, you need a vendor you can trust to deliver consistently and form good relationships. Ultimately, the people at the top can have a huge impact on trust, with that impact trickling down. Businesses that appear to seek to cut MSPs out of the equation cannot be trusted.
That’s why Wildix operates on a different model, one that’s 100% channel-only. Steve puts it like this: “Our purpose is clear: be the 100 percent channel-only vendor you can trust: Trust to deliver solutions; trust to stay updated; trust to remain secure.”
It’s too easy for vendors to think only about very broad ideas, mostly involving how they’re going to generate more money for their investors. Or pay back the amount of debt they’re building up. Instead, Wildix prefers a different approach:
“Wildix doesn’t do that,” asserts Steve. “We work with you, and by working together, we all grow.”
In 2024, that trust is more critical than ever before. The never-normal market is changing all the time, and you need a vendor who you can present to your clients as a trusted partner. And underpinning all of this is the idea of trust.
Not only is 2024 the year of the vertical; it’s also the year where you can choose whether you trust your vendor to deliver on the solutions that make you money.
Ultimately, you can expect a huge boost in demand for value in 2024 — and as an MSP,you need to continuously demonstrate that you can deliver a return on investment for your end users. This means you must have a brand that you can show off to them, and you need consistent delivery from your vendor, unhindered by external factors such as mergers and acquisitions. All of this boils down to trust: Do you trust your vendor to deliver what you need to keep your clients happy and ensure maximum value?
If you’d like to read more about UCaaS competitors and Sangoma in particular, why not check out our post on Wildix vs. Sangoma!
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