There’s little debate about the immense challenges faced by businesses over the past two years. At the same time, the revolutionary workplace changes that emerged were enabled by the technological advances we have seen over the past decades. Not least among them are the unified communications capabilities that connect business workers with colleagues, customers, and partners, regardless of where they may be physically located. What was previously largely touted as a mobility model, has evolved into redefined definition of work that focuses on activities rather than location.
The truth is, UC isn’t new. Business have been adoption various flavors of UC for years. Most simply never had a reason to maximize on its potential in a predominantly office-based world and were only gaining a fraction of the value of their investments. Almost overnight, though, the world changed and the full power of UCaaS took center stage, with features and capabilities going from nice-to-have tools to must-have business-critical solutions.
I had a chance to catch up with Yeastar VP Prince Cai recently to talk about not only how the past two years have impacted Yeastar (News - Alert), but how the company has built its solution set to meet the evolving needs of a digitally driven business environment as companies move into a new era of workforce dynamics.
Yeastar has been around for 16 years, delivering communications solutions to the SMB market. Today, it sees the acceleration of digital transformation, combined with new workforce strategies, as an opportunity to further grow its business and enable businesses to capitalize on the anywhere, anytime communications vision that Microsoft (News - Alert) popularized way back in 2007.
Since then, Yeastar has built its company, now with more than 250 employees and a customer base of more than 350,000. Here’s what Cai had to say about how business needs have changed, how Yeastar has evolved its portfolio to meet those needs, and how it is helping businesses success in their digital transformation journeys – including the meaning behind its new tagline, “Digital Value, Delivered.”
Please tell us a little bit about Yeastar.
Yeastar is the world’s leading provider of Unified Communication solution and a Digital Workplace innovator. Founded in 2006, Yeastar has earned numerous industry awards and recognitions, ranking as a Top 10 global SME IP-PBX (News - Alert) leader. Facing digital transformation and the new normal, Yeastar’s unified communications solution converges voice, video, applications, collaboration, and more, which can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises to connect the hybrid workforce – anywhere, anytime. On the other hand, to accommodate the emerging needs as employees return to the office, Yeastar also introduced an all-in-one workplace scheduling solution to ensure a collaborative in-office experience.
We have all lived through two very difficult years. What changes have you seen in the market during that period? How have customer needs changed?
Two years ago, the era of remote working abruptly set in. Business owners were looking for remote-friendly communications solutions to help remote workers stay connected, engaged and productive. Technologies like unified communications and video conferencing were massively adopted. Now, another era of hybrid workplace gets underway, which is likewise accelerating the pace of Digital Transformation. Digital workplace solutions, like cloud-based unified communications, video conferencing, workplace scheduling, and smart offices, are among the new growing demands. Businesses owners are looking to build fluid work experiences for employees navigating between the work-from-home and return-to-the-office modes.
Many UC providers claim their business has grown over the past two years? What was business like for Yeastar?
Yeastar reaped a significant revenue growth despite all the challenges of the past two years. We strategized the subscription model into our channel business with the aim of enabling partners to upsell Yeastar products during difficult times. Partners were able to increase their stickiness and generate recurring revenue streams. The payoff is noticeable. Yeastar has earned an impressive 70% free trial conversion rate of its P-Series subscription plans, and 40% growth rate of average revenue per partner. Better still, keeping up with the everything-as-a-service trend, Yeastar launched its new UCaaS solution, witnessing a 45% increase in cloud PBX hosting partners and a 100% increase in cloud PBX revenue.
How did the pandemic influence your product roadmap at all?
The biggest influence on the product roadmap is the rollout of brand-new digital workplace solutions. When we got the employees from home back to the office, we had to readjust habits from online meetings to physical meetings. As offices filled up, employees were competing for meeting rooms. Everyone quickly grew tired with inefficient meeting room operations, and Yeastar Workplace came to the rescue. Designed for modern offices and the Future of Work, Yeastar Workplace is a one-stop workplace scheduling solution for businesses to make better use of their meeting rooms and other workspace resources.
What’s significant about the new P-Series PBX system? Why are you excited about it and how will it benefit your customers?
Realizing that customer expectations have soared, we built the new P-Series PBX System on the philosophy of PBX Plus More values and possibilities to fulfill more sophisticated communication needs for SMEs. It is a converged system to wrap around a suite of services around, including voice, video, applications, collaboration, and more.
Yeastar P-Series PBX System delivers the optimum flexibility and ultimate user experience to ensure the highest connectivity and collaboration. Serving three deployment options – appliance, software, and cloud – P-Series enables customers to choose how the system is installed based on their own preferences. Yeastar P-Series PBX System also supports user-friendly features, like lightweight web-based calling, bulk auto provisioning, and an operator panel for call distribution efficiency, to name just a few.
How does the PBX fit into your overall product portfolio? Digital transformation is inevitable. Businesses require new technologies for hybrid work and hybrid meetings. With the future of work in mind, Yeastar develops digital workplace solutions to foster collaboration, efficiency, flexibility and innovation for the modern workplace. The business communications solutions and workplace scheduling solutions both serve our ultimate goal of building a connected, flexible, and collaborative digital world for our partners and customers. Yeastar P-Series PBX System provides a comprehensive unified communications solution to connect everyone. Workers are able to call, meet, and collaborate – regardless of the place.
You are in a very competitive market. What differentiates Yeastar from its competitors?
Being easily accessible, open and integrated, and future-proof is what differentiates Yeastar from its competitors. We believe the right technology for any company must share these characteristics. The increasingly agile workplace and the way people work determine that businesses need such solutions to build a simple and seamless working experience for their hybrid workers for maximum efficiency and productivity. Channel partners also look for such solutions for the minimum time and effort they have to put into learning, deployment, support and maintenance.
Are there particular markets where you’re seeing notable growth?
We see notable growth in digital workplace market. The new norm of hybrid workplace prompts new demand to align space and people effectively. With Yeastar workplace, businesses can make hybrid work easier with an integrated yet flexible scheduling solution, consisting of cloud-based platforms, interactive hardware facilities, and IoT-based smart devices. It creates a fluid flow among people, resources, and information to improve work efficiency, elevate employee experience, and accelerate decision-making.
What about security? It’s the most talked about subject in tech today, and for good reason. What are you doing to help your customers maintain secure communications environments?
Yeastar brings the newest technology to maintain secure communications environments for our customers. For the P-Series Appliance Edition, the Remote Access Service provides a custom PBX domain name, enabling the easy login into P-Series administrator/user portal anywhere, just like any website. All PBX remote web connections are HTTPS secured, via private and secure tunnel, and doubled-checked with user credentials and sophisticated system firewall rules.
For the P-Series Cloud Edition, reliable data centers and deployments, powered by Amazon Web Services (News - Alert), are located around the globe. With the built-in high availability architecture and load-balanced SBC Cluster, Yeastar’s UCaaS offering provides secure SIP registration and calling, PBX web access, and active-active redundancy, safeguarding the system against malicious attacks.
Why did you introduce a new tagline, and what’s the meaning behind that new tagline, “Digital Value, Delivered”?
The digital transformation journey can be complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. Yeastar’s new tagline campaign works as an extension of our updated mission to help our customers remove the barriers to a connected and collaborative workplace and embark on an easy and pleasant digital transformation journey. Through this campaign, we would like to deliver a message to our customers and partners that Yeastar is well poised to be the backbone of their digital transformation, delivering digital value through products and services for UC&C, workplace scheduling and hybrid workplace.
A company is only as strong as its channel. What are you doing to build your channel and make it easier for your partners to succeed selling Yeastar solutions?
Yeastar introduced with the Xcelerate Channel Program to help channels grow their businesses in the digital world. Whether you are an IT reseller, system integrator, MSP, or VAR, becoming a partner gives you access to an award-winning product portfolio, expert training and support, along with extensive assets and rewards you need to succeed and accelerate your business.
Among the benefits of the Yeastar Xcelerate Channel Program are:
- Access to the Yeastar Partner Portal for exclusive resources,
- One free remote connection to manage customer-premises PBXs,
- NFR, free demo, and trials for evaluation and demonstration,
- Partner-ready sales and marketing materials,
- Ongoing training on products and sales pitches for free,
- Focused incentives to support sales efforts,
- Highly competitive margins and a recurring revenue model,
- Direct free technical support from Yeastar,
- Online deal registration with quick approval and exclusive support.
Channel partners’ success is our success. With that belief in mind, we grow continuously with our channel partners, expanding our global footprint in more than 100 countries and serving more than more than 350,000 customers worldwide.
What are your partners saying about the Yeastar?
“Since we started our partnership with Yeastar we couldn’t be more satisfied. I think their products are good and valid, easy to use and with great functionalities... My clients are happy with it. As regards the installation, they are very simple to manage for the technicians. I highly recommend the brand Yeastar.”
–Carlo Vasta, Director, Alfadom s.r.l.
“We have been deploying telephony for over 20 years through major manufacturers and now Yeastar is our flagship product. Excellent collaboration, well established product with advanced features.”
–Patrick Beauchemin, Director, Interconnections LD
“The growth of the Yeastar solution has been consistent and a driving force in why we support Yeastar. This new series continues that excitement for our team. We are eager to see the next step and be a part of it.”
–Devin Bickel, Communications Director, Berry Solutions Group
What are your goals for the rest of 2022 and into 2023?
Looking to 2022 and beyond, Yeastar will lead partners to take another significant step into the digital transformation journey. Right within 2022, there will be three noticeable new feature announcements for Yeastar P-Series PBX System, which expand the UC&C ecosystem and enhance the mobile experience. Also, Yeastar Workplace for more use scenarios, such as additional third-party integration, visitor management, and more are also underway.
In October, Yeastar will launch its first ever global partner virtual event with multiple, live, informative sessions to take attendees for a deep dive into the latest innovation, share our insights on the evolution and opportunities of the digital workplace, and provide a sneak peek into the 2023 roadmap. This event will also offer peer-learning and networking opportunities for value-added resellers, telecom resellers, managed service providers and technology partners.
Edited by Erik Linask