A regional survey of UK telecoms resellers found that those in the North have a more optimistic attitude towards their business and the industry as whole versus their colleagues in the South.
Cloud and Data were noted as the important themes over the coming year, and SIP trunking and UC were the services UK resellers felt would be key to their growth.
The views were collected from over a hundred Value-Added Resellers who attended twin launch events for NGware, a suite of cloud-based voice services, by Content Guru and Cable & Wireless Worldwide. The events were held on consecutive days at London's exclusive Century Club in Piccadilly and Manchester's Etihad Stadium, home of reigning Barclays Premier League Champions Manchester City.
- "SIP trunking" was considered to be one of the key services for commercial success by 66% of all resellers surveyed. 60% thought "hosting" would be critical to their business and 58% said the same for "data".
- "Cloud" was considered to be the most important theme by 76% of resellers, followed by "UC" (54%) and "Hosted" (52%).
- One third of all respondents felt "negative" about the wider UK economy.
- Roughly a third of resellers based in both London and Manchester felt "very positive" about their own business.
- 4% of northern resellers feel "neutral" about their business versus 12% in the south.
- 50% of Northern resellers feel "positive" about the telecoms industry vs 38% of those in the South.
Taken as a whole, the survey results showed caution about the health of the wider economy. 32% of attendees at both events reported feeling "very positive" about their business, but only 16% felt the same about the telecoms industry and just 4% shared this sentiment about the economy as a whole.
There was little divide between North and South in terms of their feelings towards the overall economic climate with a third of all Manchester attendees feeling positive versus 31% in London. However, half of the telco professionals in the North felt positive about their industry while only 38% of attendees at the London event shared the sentiment.
There were further signs of pessimism in the South with only 4% of Manchester respondents feeling "neutral" about their business, versus 12% in the London sample.
While no North or South attendees reported feeling "negative" about their own business, 8% of London respondents expressed this feeling with regards to the telecoms industry vs 0% of Manchester respondents.
The survey also asked what three themes they felt would be most important for their business over the next 12 months. "Cloud" topped the list with an average of 76% of all respondents stating it would be significant for their business, followed by "Unified Communications" at 54% and 52% for "Hosted".
A third of respondents noted that "resilience" would be an important issue going forward, while "platform" and "self-management" of services was also critical for one in five.
"Hosted" was the topic that provoked the biggest geographic divide between North and South, with 67% of Manchester attendees including it among their top three picks vs just 38% of London respondents.
Asked what kinds of services resellers expected to help grow their business over the coming year, "SIP trunking" topped the list, noted by 66% of all respondents, with the North predominating over the South at 79% vs 54% respectively.
60% of all respondents noted the importance of "Hosted" (54% vs 65%), while 58% maintained the importance of "data" (67% vs 50%), followed by 36% for "telephony" (46% vs 27%).