Daisy Wholesale Sales Director Garry Growns explains to Technology Reseller why there has never been a more exciting time in IT and telecoms and how Daisy can help resellers from all backgrounds make the most of the opportunities presented by convergence
In February, Daisy Wholesale, a leading IT, communications and cloud solutions provider to the channel, introduced several new services and launched its One and Only Convergence Solution, a fully integrated product suite designed specifically for channel partners.
In addition to its core Hosted Voice and Mobile offerings, Daisy’s suite of best-of-breed solutions now includes broadband with quality of service (essential for VoIP), SIP lines, SD-WAN (for wide area networking), a new Unified Communications app, mobile device management and WiFi services, all optimised to work together, whether implemented as a complete solution or piece by piece in line with a customer’s changing needs.
For Daisy Wholesale Sales Director Garry Growns, this suite gives channel partners the tools needed to participate in one of the most exciting periods that he believes the comms and IT industries have ever experienced.
“I remember digital telephone systems, early email – BT Telecom Gold – and ISDN. All of those were exciting at the time. But I think that what is happening now is far bigger and more transformational than those changes,” he said.
“First, because it involves a fundamental shift in how technology is viewed. Businesses are thinking about how they can apply communications and IT technology to help their business – they are talking about how it can be used and not the technology itself. That’s a fundamental shift,” he said.
“Secondly, instead of having separate IT and telecoms solutions, everything is coming together – telecoms, mobile and IT applications. It doesn’t matter whether you call it convergence or unified communications (UC), what’s important is that the end user understands what it can do for them and can enjoy its benefits.” This opens up huge opportunities for IT and telecoms resellers to increase revenue through cross-selling.
At the same time, the size of the market is mushrooming through the democratisation of technology. Whereas even five years ago, only large corporates had the budget, resources and expertise to take advantage of the latest IT and communications solutions, today everything is scalable so that a small business has access to the same tools and technologies as the largest enterprise, without having to commit to massive expenditure or long-term contracts.
Growns believes that the people who are going to benefit most from this are resellers, because they have an existing relationship with these end user customers.
“Instead of going to a big IT company and a big telecoms company and an applications provider, and spending masses on training and integration, assuming they can afford it!, businesses can now go to their local reseller and get the total solution – connectivity, email, core applications, mobility, telephony, everything they need, all on a 30-day contract that will seamlessly deliver the mobility and flexibility needed in today’s dynamic workplace. It’s really transformational and a genuinely big opportunity,” he said.
The Daisy proposition
As easy as he makes it sound, Growns admits that this new world of opportunity does present challenges: an IT reseller may be unfamiliar with certain aspects of telecoms technology (and a telecoms reseller with aspects of IT); new technologies, such as SIP, are in their relative infancy with many service providers involved in their delivery, each with its own way of doing things; solutions might contain elements that require different processes; and so on.
This, Growns says, is where Daisy can help.
“What we aim to do is smooth everything out and make it as easy, as simple and as transparent as possible for our reseller partners – easy to buy and easy to sell. We help them recognise the opportunity and understand technology that they might not be familiar with; and we give them what we believe are the best products, at the best price, with the best support, including training.”
The result of this approach is something as simple and streamlined as the Daisy One and Only Convergence Solution.
“For resellers, it really is a matter of going onto our portal and saying ‘Right, I want connectivity option A, B or C. I need to have 12 users on my hosted voice system, five of whom will need mobile phones embedded into the cloud voice system so that they can access their applications anywhere and take telephone calls on whatever device is most convenient for them. It is almost a one-stop-shop where they can order the individual component parts of the suite that they need to meet their specific end user customer’s requirements.”
Another big benefit of Daisy’s proposition is that all elements are supplied on the same commercial terms, notably a rolling 30-day contract, and on a truly wholesale basis. This gives resellers the flexibility to brand and package the service in any way they like – as component parts; as the reseller’s own complete solution, bundled with third party solutions from specialist providers e.g. a hotel reservation system, and for any contract length and at a price of their choosing.
Growns says Daisy introduced this model for its mobile business several years ago, as a way of differentiating its offering whilst giving the Channel a mobile proposition truly ft for purpose, and it proved so successful that it now uses it across the board (the only exceptions are Ethernet circuits).
“When we launched mobile, everyone was doing the same thing. They were taking standard packages from the mobile network operators and selling contracts on their behalf, essentially acting as sales agents in return for a share of the revenue or commission. You didn’t own the customer, it was impossible to differentiate your offer, and, with the long contracts involved, you took on a degree of financial risk. If a customer went out of business, the reseller was left to pick up the balance of the term,” he explained.
“In order to differentiate ourselves, we came up with One and Only Mobile. This was a true wholesale proposition – Daisy contracts with the reseller and the reseller contracts with the end-user. We provided a SIM-only product on a 30-day contract and at a hugely competitive price. All the reseller had to do was add bolt-ons for data and roaming. It was a simple proposition on a 30-day term and resellers could do with it what they wanted. They could determine the length of the contract customer by customer; they could bundle mobile SIMs with other products; they could even give them away with a new telephone system as part of the overall solution. If the finances worked for them, we didn’t mind. It really was a true wholesale proposition.
“At the time, naysayers predicted that providing a rolling 30-day term would be followed by massive churn. They could not have been more wrong. In fact, our churn was and continues to be very low, and mobile became an incredible success for us. And it still is today – we very rarely drop below 5,000 new connections every month and often do over 10,000,” Growns said.
“This is the model we now use for everything. We don’t want resellers to stay with us because they have another 18 months left of a 3-year contract; we want our resellers to stay with us because we deliver a great product, at a great price, with great service. If we don’t give them that, they will vote with their feet and take their business elsewhere. Thankfully, that’s a very rare occurrence.”
Evidence of Daisy Wholesale’s success in developing close, supportive relationships with its resellers is demonstrated by a continually improving Net Promoter Score (NPS) which currently stands at 33.
Growns believes that the phenomenal success Daisy Wholesale has enjoyed in recent years is testament not just to its product offering and the clarity of its business model, but also to the commitment to customer service that runs right the way though the business.
“Daisy is an exciting place to be at the moment. There is a true passion to focus on our customers whilst growing the business. It doesn’t matter whether you are in sales, billing, support, provisioning or accounts, our mantra is that if it’s right for the customer then we should be doing it. That philosophy seems to be working,” he said.
To find out more about Daisy Wholesale’s product offering and reseller proposition, please call 0330 100 1233 or email email@example.com.
Daisy is continuing to invest in its partner relationship. Two initiatives that really stand out are, firstly, a new partner training programme, the ‘Daisy Partner Sales Academy’, due to be launched this summer, and secondly, an online web store that lets partners benefit from Daisy’s huge buying power.
The launch of the Daisy Partner Sales Academy is something that Growns is particularly excited by.
“There are a number of things I am passionate about, and one of those is sales,” he said. “Sales is the boiler room of any business. Yet, it is often overlooked. Selling is a skill and like all skills it needs to be developed and fine-tuned, but when I ask partners what training they give their sales people, a very large percentage say ‘not a lot’. The Daisy Partner Sales Academy aims to redress that.”
Offered as a free service to partners, the programme will provide online training in three main areas: the trends and drivers behind convergence; the technologies involved in delivering convergence; and sales skills. Students are assessed throughout the programme and those who meet the required standard receive an accreditation.
Growns says that to encourage participation and competition, the programme has a strong social media element.
“We are going to link it very heavily with social media so there will be lots of visibility and recognition within a business. If the owners want to expand it even more, there will be the ability through LinkedIn and Facebook to push it out to a wider community. We are very excited about that, and the concept has been very well received by partners,” he said.
Also due to go live this summer is an online web store where partners can buy a huge range of products – from telephone systems and routers to cables – all at competitive prices.
“Daisy is one of the biggest players in the industry and interfaces with a huge number of suppliers. To enable partners to benefit from our huge buying power, we are going to create an online webstore that they can access through the existing Daisy portal. It will offer an Amazon type experience, with a raft of different suppliers to choose from and quick and easy purchasing.”
Another big benefit, says Growns, is the built-in finance capability.
“Partners will be able to buy products outright or choose different finance options. A partner could say ‘I have £2,000 of equipment here which I want to put on a lease for my end user’. After approval, which takes minutes and hours, not days and weeks, the paperwork is sent to all parties to be signed electronically. After which, the end user receives the products and the reseller gets the money owed to them. We are effectively proving another source of financing whilst helping to facilitate that sale,” he said.