Channel Corner is a new sponsored column featuring in Comms Dealer Magazine. This will be a quarterly run column where our Managing Director James Drake will be tackling all your channel queries and industry issues. 
The telecoms industry is forever changing and that is why we have our agony uncle and channel expert James Drake here to answer all your channel queries and industry issues. James is the Managing Director of Eclipse Wholesale, a channel-first connectivity and comms distributor that offers market-leading services throughout the UK. With over 30 years in the business who else is best placed to answer all your burning questions? 
Take a look below for this month’s most sought-after queries… 
Q1 Why is managed billing so important to a business? 
First and foremost, without billing none of us get paid it's as simple as that. Billing plays a vital role in the delivery of telecom services; it is usually the last stop in the sales journey and the first in creating a productive working relationship with our customers and vendors alike. I believe Managed Billing is crucial in creating credibility and using an award-winning Managed Billing team and software (wink) helps develop a seamless process to ensure all data and invoices are as desired. 
Q2 What impact do you think AI will have on the channel? 
AI has the potential to impact various aspects of the channel, transforming how businesses operate and deliver value to customers. It has the ability to revolutionise operations, drive personalisation and create new avenues for growth and value creation. Channel Partners should be asking their vendors how they will utilise AI in their Channel offerings in the future. 
Q3 Should I add SIP Trunks to my portfolio? 
There are several benefits to adding SIP Trunks to your product stack. SIP Trunking is a less costly service per channel and is more flexible in how and where telephone numbers can be used. It is also quicker to install and provision as well as supports a wide range of connections catering for any size business. 
Q4 Is IoT a better solution for my customers? 
I’m not sure “better” is the correct way to think of IoT and maybe Internet of Things doesn’t do the product justice. My feelings on IoT are that the product has a lot of room to grow in most Channel Partners estates and it definitely has a role to play. 
Q5 What are your predictions for the Channel in 2024? 
Is it that time of year already? Well, I predict more of the same. With consolidation continuing in the supply chain, however, I think there will be some additional pressures in 2024. The WLR switch-off still has a sting in the tail, One Touch Switching has the potential to catch a lot of Channel Partners out and inflation hasn’t gone away so costs may still increase next year. 
Got a question or would like to find out more about Eclipse Wholesale? 
Have a burning question you can’t seem to get the right solution to? 
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Submit your question below and feature in our next edition of Channel Corner with James Drake 

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