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RingCentral leads the influx of overseas companies entering the UK Hosted VoIP and SIP trunking market. October 29, 2013

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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Followers of illume’s market research will have heard of RingCentral as illume have been talking for a while about the potential impact that they will have on the UK Hosted VoIP and SIP trunking markets. Following their successful launch party last night, we predict that they will now become a growing force in the UK market after achieving rapid growth in the US market which has seen them become the second largest provider.

Their success in the US has seen them recently go public and raise $97.5 million with an initial share price of $13 that was slightly above what themselves and independent analysts predicted. Their growth has come from targeting the SME market and partnering with one of the largest US providers AT&T; they announced last night that they provide services to over 300,000 companies.

Market research conducted by YouGov on behalf of RingCentral highlighted some interesting facts about the UK market which fit in with illume’s own research. Fixed hours of work have changed with a 33% of workers working more then 10 hours a day and 62% of the workforce working from home over 5 hours a week. The growing demand for companies to be flexible and be able to offer workers the opportunity to work in different locations can only be a positive force for the Hosted VoIP and SIP trunking market as they can deliver the tools needed to achieve this.

illume see RingCentral as being the first of many overseas providers to try to break the UK market with other companies such as 8×8 (USA) and Nconnect (NFON in Germany) looking to set up offices in the UK. With an influx of overseas companies with large financial backings and success in other markets entering the UK, it would be naive to assume that this success will not continue and it will be interesting to see whether these companies can adapt to a strong and competitive UK market.

4G access set to enable businesses around the UK to access VoIP services October 9, 2013

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The panel discussion at the convergence summit on the opportunities that 4G will bring business in the UK was well received by the audience with Trefor Davies of Timico, Robert Hayward of MLL Telecom, Simon Fort of Nine Group and Alexis Argent of 4Gon Solutions bringing some interesting debate to the table.

One of the key facts that came out of it was that 4G is still prohibited by the lack of coverage in locations where it could bring serious business gains. Companies such as O2 face problems in inner cities and high-density building areas as the allocated 800mhz spectrum does not work as well as it could in these types of location.

As there are only about 450,000 4G subscribers, the potential of 4G is still to be realized. The panel pointed to the fact that 4G will give those in rural areas without fibre access to high speed broadband which will benefit those looking to install a Hosted solution. However the reality of national 4G will not be realized in the next year or two. A member of the audience raised an interesting question, asking whether 4G will reduce the opportunity to sell fixed access to companies, the panel answer was a resounding no although some people thought that it would reduce the opportunities in some applications of fixed access.  Cavell “illumes” parent company has been working a lot in emerging markets in Middle East and Africa where we are seeing 4G have a big effect on fixed access market, and we recently wrote a blog piece about this effect. http://cavellvoice.com/2013/09/19/capacity-africa-show-cooperation-is-crucial-to-the-growth-of-broadband-in-africa/

The panel also pointed to the benefits of having a 4G connection as a backup to a fixed access broadband. If a fixed line goes down, having the potential to move to a 4G connection to deliver voice and data is something that wouldn’t have been able to be done over a 3G connection. 

With 94% of the audience believing that 4G will become a sales opportunity for Hosted providers it is clear that many people are seeing the rollout of 4G as a chance to take advantage of the high speeds and mobility that 4G will give them.

Continuing debates over the success of MS Lync at Convergence South October 8, 2013

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Once again at the convergence summit there was a strong emphasis on Microsoft Lync, which possibly indicates the level of interest that exists. However if you walked around the show floor there were many more exhibitors offering competitive offerings.

Unlike at the Convergence North conference, there was a panel discussion “Lync Challenged” instead of a Microsoft employee. Unfortunately there was not much challenging, as the panel members were either providers who sold Lync or resellers whose main product was Lync. On the panel were Adam Cathcart of Outsourcery, John Whitty of GCI Channel Solutions, Graham Fry of Avsnet and Guy Miller of Tipicall.

According to the panel member Lync apparently has major take up in medium size businesses up to enterprise level who have between 50 and 1000 employees with 85% of those using Lync using the Voice capability not just for its basic UC application base.  This is contrary to what illume has seen in our last discussions with providers in which most said that Lync was used as a UC application with only key members of businesses using it for its full voice capabilities.

Lync still has considerable barriers to take up with many of the audience voting that it was too complex to deploy (35%) and that using it was a steep learning curve (31%). The panel mentioned that it was a difficult product to sell as it needs lots of resources and support and education on the product was key, as many traditional resellers do not see what its full potential is.

Interestingly, Ian Hunter Editor Comms Business Magazine mentioned that the only reason that Lync was its own separate topic for a seminar, was that he had asked all the providers for a case study where Lync had been successfully installed and was being used for Voice, and had not yet received any actual case studies from providers except where they had installed Lync into their own systems.

illume is tracking carefully the growth in Lync, but is still receiving extremely different messages from both providers and reseller, with the Hype yet to be lived up to but certainly some progress.