Guiding your customers through a subscription model for cloud services – Part 1

By Ian Purdell-Lewis, Managing Director CCaaS Canada, Avaya

Ian Purdell-Lewis, Managing Director CCaaS Canada, Avaya

The question of whether enterprises need to embrace the cloud is long over. They do, and they are. Consider cloud communications: the global cloud telephony market experienced 9% growth in 2020 and is slated for 17% growth in 2021. And that is just one facet of the cloud communications market. Channel partners need to help their on-premise customers adopt powerful cloud solutions that deliver the flexibility, digital dexterity, and global availability for the new, always-on future we’re heading into. 

A subscription purchasing model for cloud services is the answer (which we’ll get to in a bit). First, let’s look at why businesses need to advance their digital transformation in the way only cloud affords:

A new future of work: At-home work may be our only option during a global pandemic, but we can look forward to a reopened world where work is no longer in a dedicated workplace but rather wherever you can work – quite literally, anywhere. This creates all sorts of challenges related to a highly distributed and potentially inconsistent digital workforce that on-premises systems simply can’t handle (more on this in part 3). Organizations need to lean into the changes that are happening with the way teams communicate and collaborate. These are major changes that are here to stay, not just during the temporary “new normal” of COVID-19.

A new customer experience: What defines the customer experience? What are customers looking for? The answer is everything, and it’s constantly moving and changing. Today’s ‘Everything Customer’ wants to consume services the way they do things, and be able to define what ‘good’ looks like to them. There are more touchpoints and interaction types available today than ever before. Customers expect brands to deliver unified, effortless, and consistent service experiences regardless of what they choose to use for interaction, when, or over what device. The same goes for employees (more on this also in part 3). On-premise systems can fall short of the pervasive, always-on, always connected, fully integrated technology environment that organizations need to leverage new services quickly, drive customer and employee experience, and digitize the enterprise.

So, Why a Subscription Model for Cloud Services?

Subscription is a cost-efficient, risk-averse first step for businesses to gain the value of new cloud services they need without the headaches, hassles, or high costs. Aligning usage and value with billing makes the most sense; there’s no need for organizations to continue owning their own licenses, paying for expensive system maintenance (or risking an outdated system that doesn’t give customers and employees what they need). In a recent study conducted by Avaya, over 60% of enterprises said they are interested in moving to a subscription model for cloud software in 2021. 

Here’s what this means for channel partners looking to engage their customers on this opportunity: 

  • Get the best of both worlds: Customers can start getting the benefits of cloud immediately while still acknowledging that they have large, legacy, on-premises systems they have to plan and care for in the process of migrating to the cloud. 
  • Pay only for services consumed: Large upfront costs are replaced by smaller monthly or annual payments, with customers only paying for the services they use. For example, we have one customer – a public health department – using Avaya OneCloud CPaaS that is able to turn the system off ahead of planned as well as unforeseen events. This came in handy over the summer when severe weather in the department’s county required temporary evacuation orders. 
  • Move away from managing complex contracts: Subscription gives your customers the opportunity to move away from negotiating and managing complex perpetual contracts and to instead create an all-in-one software and support contract aligned with the true needs of their business. 

Organizations across all industries are flocking to a subscription model for cloud services because it’s a fit. They’re able to immediately gain the value of the cloud while not taking on the risk and churn of too much change happening too quickly. Our award-winning desktop and conferencing devices can also be included in your customer’s subscription at little to no extra cost. 

A subscription model for cloud services makes sense, and your customers should be looking at this if they are not already. But making the move to subscription is just the first step. In Part 2 of this series, I’ll be discussing the second and arguably more important step in the process: actually getting to the cloud. What’s the best version of cloud for your customers, and how can you best accommodate their specific needs? Stay tuned, and in the meantime check out how Avaya OneCloud Subscription can help you manage your communications from now to what’s next.