In philosophy ‘Occam's razor' decrees that the simplest explanation is usually the right one and it's a principle that Paul White has applied to his business life when things get too complicated. The approach has worked remarkably well for him and his NTA hosted services business is now giving resellers a fast and easy route to riches.
White is a straight talking Essex born entrepreneur who lives two minutes away from NTA's headquarters in Harold Wood just a few minutes' drive off junction 29 of the M25. "Why complicate things commuting," he declares as we sit down in the shiny new showroom he has had custom built in a bid to convert more partners to his hosted telephony model. The ‘keep it simple' theme continues to resonate as we discuss how his business has grown organically to a multi-million turnover concern just five years since he took a headlong plunge into building a VoIP telephony platform, adopting a 100 per cent channel only paradigm and developing a unique sales model.
"I believe NTA has many differentiators," he stated. "We have many models for our partners that are flexible, however the most profitable one for our resellers is that we sell on a channel/simultaneous call model so you do not have to buy a license per seat. This means partners are not restricted by a buy price per seat and so can be flexible on solution and price when selling to an end customer. Our resellers tell us their margin on our hosted platform is 80 per cent plus."
Support is also fundamental to White's simple channel philosophy. "You call us we answer, we don't just give you a ticket number and then call you back later in the day, tomorrow or never at all. I always say that if Carlsberg did support teams then probably we have the best. We have a great on-boarding process for all new partners. We offer sales and technical training courses that are run at our offices in Essex, but we can also offer these at our partners' premises depending on the number of staff that need training.
"We offer marketing collateral and programming guides for end customers which can all be white labelled in our resellers' logos. Our telephone account managers and tech support team offer fantastic support and our field sales team also offer hand holding at end-user customer meetings."
White is confident NTA will be the ‘go to brand' in the hosted environment within a year, once more resellers see the ‘White way' forward. "I really do think that when resellers see the difference between buying on a per seat basis and NTA's model it really is a no brainer," he commented. "Our resellers are now much bigger companies with bigger sales teams, and as we move forward I want NTA to become the company people think of when they are talking about VoIP, like the ‘Hoover' of vacuum cleaners.
"PBX resellers find our product easy to sell as they do not need to work out how many cards they need, whether the cabinet is big enough or if they need a ring generator or VM card. Also it's easy to deploy, support and maintain with the tools that NTA provide to our partners.
"We are in a world where everything is becoming hosted. IT support and managed services businesses are encroaching on the traditional comms space as they see this product as just another peripheral. Most of our hosted partners have moved their business from other hosted suppliers. I can only think they are doing that because they want better support and bigger margins. It would be great to speak to new partners at the beginning of their hosted journey so they don't need to move it again. The amount of new resellers and dealers we have on-boarded in the last 12 months proves that we have got our model right. And I can also honestly say not a single partner has moved away."
White intends to keep ploughing profits back into NTA's channel development programme and he has a simple message for the economic doom-mongers. "2017 will definitely be another boom year," he said. "The UK is unique and resilient and full of entrepreneurial people. Our industry constantly reinvents itself, and I believe NTA will have its best year ever."