Can Distributors Find Unique Value in Crowded Market?

By Greg Tavarez February 06, 2024

The telephony market worldwide is set to generate revenue of $486.7 billion in 2024, according to a Statista report. This affects the telephony distribution market by making competition prevalent. Still, amidst this fierce competition, a pervasive challenge emerges: the struggle to carve out a unique identity in an oversaturated market.

Providers often struggle to differentiate their offerings from the sea of competitors. Whether through innovative features, a high level of customer service or strategic partnerships, each contender seeks to establish a distinctive value proposition that resonates with consumers. However, even with all the choices out there, many distributors find themselves fighting with the elusive task of standing out from the crowd.

Helping distributors stand out among the rest of the pack is NTS Direct, a Gold sponsor of ITEXPO 2024, taking place February 13-15 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We had a chance to speak with Chris Turcotte, vice president, NTS (News - Alert) Direct. He speaks about what products and services NTS Direct bring to the channel marketplace, trends impacting business communications, challenges businesses face, how NTS Direct is helping them overcome those challenges. Turcotte also talks about what he and the NTS Direct team will bring to ITEXPO (News - Alert).

Here is what he had to say:

What news or innovations in your products or services would you like to share?

NTS Direct brings 20-plus years of experience in innovative distribution and fulfillment services. Our services have been tailored to meet the needs of today’s transformative and fast-paced channel marketplace. As a leader in VoIP, networking, video conferencing, physical security, unified communications, and collaboration, NTS Direct enhances the traditional distribution model. This is accomplished by implementing value-added services such as 3PL/reverse logistics, dedicated provisioning services, branding opportunities, DaaS, buyback programs, and more.

What are the 2-3 most significant trends impacting business communications today and what opportunities do they present to businesses?

The move toward cloud-based communication solutions, such as UCaaS, has gained momentum. This involves integrating various communication tools (voice, video, messaging) into a single platform. NTS Direct enhances the distribution model by partnering with UCaaS providers to offer integrated solutions to businesses looking to streamline their communication infrastructure.

The rise of remote work highlighted the importance of robust communication and collaboration tools that enable effective remote collaboration. NTS Direct has a core focus on providing solutions that support virtual collaboration, ensuring that businesses can maintain seamless communication regardless of their employees' physical locations.

The deployment of 5G networks promised faster and more reliable connectivity, impacting mobile communication and data transfer. NTS Direct provides 5G-enabled communication solutions, enabling businesses to leverage high-speed connectivity for their communication needs.

       Chris Turcotte
      VP, NTS Direct.

How are those trends impacting your business and/or product roadmap?

The trends have had great influence on our distribution strategy and product portfolio. This has forced us to be agile as we adapt to changing market demands and continue to align our product portfolio with the evolving needs of businesses.

Opportunities are often accompanied by challenges. What challenges are businesses facing in today’s tech climate?

The telephony distribution market is highly competitive, with numerous providers vying for market share. Many distributors struggle to differentiate themselves, and price wars affect profit margins.

How are you helping them overcome those challenges?

NTS Direct has developed unique value propositions with a key focus on building strong customer relationships. We offer various services such as 3PL/reverse logistics, dedicated provisioning services, branding opportunities, DaaS, buyback programs and more.

What strategies and technologies do you think are most effective for businesses looking to enhance their operational efficiency and customer experience simultaneously?

Facilitate efficient internal communication and collaboration among teams.

This is accomplished by leveraging collaboration platforms as well as unified communication tools. NTS Direct has various strategic partnerships that will help enhance your hardware purchase. Also, look at the distribution services offered by your distributor. NTS Direct offers a full suite of services such as provisioning and buyback programs. Both have helped our customers save thousands on payroll by reallocating their resources to revenue generating tasks. Our buyback program enables our channel to generate additional revenue on old gear. Or it can be used to overcome your competition.

Please share a success story or two about how your strategies/solutions have helped customers navigate challenges, turning them into opportunities.

NTS Direct was instrumental in helping one of the largest service providers in the U.S. to reallocate their resources by way of their ITSP Advantage program. The services included 3PL reverse logistics, exceeding 200% growth year over year for the past decade, floor planning and provisioning 2M-plus devices, all while displacing an aging brand of phones and securing attractive pricing agreements for with industry leading phone and cutting-edge technology. NTS Direct continues to fuel their growth as a trusted adviser and is excited to be a part of their road to $1 billion in annual revenue.

Whether you see MSFT as a competitor or an ally, there’s no denying MSFT has a massive presence in the business communications landscape. What does that presence mean to you, and how are you leveraging technology to either compete with or leverage Microsoft’s (News - Alert) presence in the tech landscape?

Microsoft Teams collaboration platform and its phones offer several benefits for businesses in the industry. Teams allows NTS to collaborate in real-time, share documents, and communicate effortlessly, fostering better teamwork and faster decision-making. It has helped to allow a positive meeting experience with our customers as it improves engagement during video conferences.

NTS Direct offers a robust selection of Teams phones within their product portfolio. We’ve experienced significant growth on the product line while providing a unified solution for our customers.

Businesses continue to invest in AI-driven solutions. What do you see as the value of AI to your business and/or your customers?

We see AI enabling our business to optimize marketing strategies by analyzing customer behavior, preferences, and market trends. This will lead to more targeted and effective marketing campaigns, resulting in higher conversion rates and improved return on investment. An additional benefit is AI-driven predictive analytics. This helps to forecast trends and anticipate future outcomes based on historical data. This is valuable in supply chain management, inventory optimization, and demand forecasting, allowing our businesses to make proactive decisions.

Is there a bigger challenge than cyber security facing businesses today?  How is the ongoing evolution and growth of cyber threats impacting your product(s) and your customers?

The ongoing growth of cyber threats necessitates a proactive and adaptive approach to cybersecurity. NTS continues to invest in technology, employee training, and collaborates with industry partners to collectively strengthen defenses against cyber threats. Our partners have a key focus on developing products that address security concerns such as device vulnerabilities, data encryption, and secure communication protocols.

What changes do you see in the business technology/communications landscape in the coming year?  What impact will those changes have?

The integration of AI and automation into business processes is expected to continue growing. Businesses will experience increased efficiency, improved decision-making, and the automation of repetitive tasks, leading to cost savings and enhanced productivity. Additionally, we predict increased adoption of AR and VR technologies for various applications, including remote collaboration, training, and customer interactions.

Impact: Businesses will leverage these immersive technologies to enhance employee training, create virtual experiences, and improve customer engagement in unique ways!

What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO 2024?

Personally, the opportunity to collaborate on joint ventures, partnerships, and strategic alliances. I enjoy In-person communication as it often leads to more meaningful and productive relationships. It’s always great to catch up with industry friends, especially when you’ve experienced mutual growth and success by joining forces.

Why are you participating at ITEXPO 2024 and what are you highlighting at your booth?

ITEXPO increases our visibility within our target market. This exposure helps build brand awareness, reinforcing the company's position in the industry and creating a memorable impression for customers and prospects. We’re excited to give the attendees a firsthand look at innovations and new solutions for 2024.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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