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As of early 2016, small businesses (those with under 250 employees) employ more people in the United States than larger enterprises (56.1 million vs. 51.6 million). In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of all workers in the USA will be self-employed by 2020 (Scutari, 2015)! As the business world continues to evolve to include smaller, self-contained segments, communications will become increasingly virtual. Cloud communications will continue to become more pervasive, and third-party channels—systems integrators, expert consultants, and value-added resellers (VARs)—will become increasingly important.
The Phone.com Channel Partner Program (CPP) was established in 2011 to work with these third-party channels to provide them with the resources needed to address the requirements of their clients and customers. Although we live in a world where the Internet is a way of life, most entrepreneurs and business start-ups are focused on their business models and beating the odds to survive. Worrying about cloud communications, collaboration platforms and other forms of interaction are important but not their primary focus. Phone.com CPP members work with companies of all sizes to act as their de facto communications experts. This saves the businessperson time and often money that would be spent on more traditional phone services because they simply did not know better nor did they have the time or desire to research alternatives.
In the past, when businesses needed phone service, they simply contacted their local phone company and a circuit was created between the phone company service facility and the company location. The entire connection was managed and maintained by one service provider. The ability to connect calls to other locations domestically or internationally was handled by that provider seamlessly. For larger businesses requiring multiple lines, there were PBX (private branch exchange) systems that used trunks and then extensions for internal communications. Trunks were still the same old phone lines—just used in a different way.
Times have changed. VoIP services are quite a bit more complex, and instead of one service provider, now there is the VoIP service provider, the Internet Service Provider (ISP), the local area network environment, and many other service providers in the middle. Most business people would prefer not to become experts in the intricacies of communications but rather in the nuances of medicine, accounting, legal, manufacturing, exporting, or the myriad other businesses that are their mission. That’s where experts familiar with network design enter the picture. As Phone.com CPP members, these independent organizations know the technology but also specialize in understanding and addressing the needs of business professionals.
Using these professionals can help businesses substantially reduce operating expenses and also become more effective and competitive.