No matter how advanced the technologies, MSPs still rely on ingenuity and quality partnerships to develop and deliver the solutions that their clients really need to address specific issues. Every industry has its own unique requirements, processes, and compliance standards, and in many cases, an “out of the box” solution won’t fulfill every objective.
The latter situation describes the entertainment industry to a tee. Over more than a century of creating films, television programs, and other projects, the people in charge of studios and production companies have developed some very specific work habits, methods, and behaviors. Despite the introduction of new technologies and methods, those professionals continue to utilize long-standing practices in the workplace and expect IT to respect those time-tested traditions.
Meshing those customs into viable solutions can be a real challenge for MSPs. For example, while industries are embracing VoIP technologies for the rich feature set and cost advantages, Hollywood (and the entertainment community as a whole) is lagging behind that adoption trend. Their communications processes differ somewhat from other businesses and web-based phone solutions cannot accommodate their traditional meeting practices.
Conference meetings in the entertainment industry customarily require assistants to “roll the calls.” They open a phone sheet with a list of people to call and start dialing, and when they get those individuals on the line, they conference in their boss. Those assistants listen in on each call and, when asked, drop off the line and dial up others and ensure they get conferenced into the meeting.
That process may continue until there are 30 or more people on a call with one person making the connections. Studios don’t use call parking or conference lines. Time is money and this well-established industry standard continues to confound IT teams looking to modernize their phone systems. Until recently, VoIP solutions would not address a vital studio and production company requirement.
Finding the Right Partners
Nick Kershner understands Hollywood’s phone modernization dilemma. As Chief Technical Officer for Matchless IT, a Long Beach, CA-based managed service provider that supports several studios and production companies, his team has been researching VoIP-based solution options for 15 years.
“New directors and producers use these systems for years and do not want to change since it’s a very traditional business, “suggests Kershner. “When I was 19, I opened a telephony and cabling company and know phone systems like the back of my hand. The things we were trying to do for our entertainment clients just couldn’t be done using the existing VoIP systems. Believe me, we explored options with many vendors over the years.”
Kershner’s quest came to the attention of the ConnectMeVoice team at an ASCII event in early 2019 and together they set about developing a solution. “In the end, what they did was make a simple but critical change. ConnectMeVoice created a pin-less conference room. It’s not public, so you can’t call in directly, but if you’re on the local PBX, you can transfer in and out, and everything else is exactly what our entertainment clients need. We modified the process a little but the solution exists today because of our partnership with ConnectMeVoice.”
Tap Different Markets
Matchless IT is quickly capitalizing on the new solution. Immediately after its initial implementation and before commencing related marketing activities, the company signed three additional entertainment firms, not to mention all the upsell opportunities with their existing client base. “Maybe 2% of our customers are currently using our phone system, so we’ve got a long way to go with our inside sales before hitting new prospects.”
Of course, entertainment isn’t the only target market for their new voice solution. Kershner has his sights on opportunities in the real estate and finance industries. “Agents and brokers tend to do similar things, like having their assistants make calls and conferencing them in when everyone is on the line.” Few (if any) changes will be required to adapt this solution to multiple markets.
As a comprehensive MSP, Matchless IT offers a variety of solution options to meet the diverse needs of its clients, including industry and government compliance support. From HIPAA for its healthcare-related customers to addressing the entertainment industry’s MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) standards, the company leverages a full-range of options ‒ including VoIP ‒ in those efforts.
“We are able to tie in voice as a requirement because there must be an option to monitor and listen to phone calls to meet healthcare compliance standards, and a lot of old phones systems don’t have that ability,” adds Kershner. “Matchless IT bundles that together in a ‘compliance as a service’ package for a set fee every month.”
One of the biggest values that MSPs bring to the table is their ability to customize solutions to address specific client needs. That proposition remains the same as it’s been for the past 30 years, but with the advent of the cloud and mobility, it’s not easy to find vendors willing to help their partners adapt their solutions for special use cases.
Forge Valued Partnerships
At ConnectMeVoice, we place a high value on channel relationships. Whether that requires feature requests or program tweaks, let us know what we can do to better empower your MSP business with the latest hosted VoIP offerings.
Our team is listening and takes a special interest when it comes to helping our partners make the most of new business opportunities. Call or drop us an email and let us know about the voice-related challenges your customers are facing. Check out the ConnectMeVoice partner program today.
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