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Genband looking at new approaches – Outcome as a Service & Kandy June 12, 2014

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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Genband Perspectives 14 has seen a range of speakers discuss the role of Genband in the future as it looks to move away from what it calls a level 2 supplier to a level 3 or level 4 supplier. Ultimately rather than just selling products and services to its customer it starts to offer “Outcome as a Service” where it can jointly take the risk with the customer and share in their success.

The other theme has been how “Kandy” capability will allow customers to quickly build new services, and build on existing Genband Product capability alongside the new capabilities that have recently been made available with acquisitions such as FRING, UREACH and WebRTC can bring.

“Outcome as a service” is certainly an interesting principal, as many Service Providers have found the requirement to commit to large capex risks and being landed with inflexible licensing regimes stifles the development of their business.

Currently the Outcome as a Service principal seems to be supported by increase flexibility around the way you can use licenses, the ability to buy services from the cloud on a consumer basis (Genband Nuvea) and the ability to offset capital costs against future energy saving.

The focus on potential savings for service providers in reducing power consumption and cost were really interesting. David Walsh CEO of Genband highlighted that the thousands of central offices that power the PSTN in the US use more than 12 billion kilowatt hours of power every year, which compares to the power consumption of more than one million homes annually and the CO2 emissions of more than two million cars. He highlighted that moving to a modern infrastructure can offer energy savings in the region of 88%, space savigns of 85% and CO2 of 40+%.

We also heard from Murat Armbuster from COEffiect company that they will provide Service Provider with finance against these savings that will mean providers can fund the change to an IP Network without having to spend any capex 

With a lot of fan fair Paul Pluschkell (Genband new Silicon Valley veteran) pre announced (Kandy), although its not going to be launch to September we had a number of demonstrations and use case discussed. To cut through the hype what Kandy appears to be is a middleware that sits on top of all the core capabilities of existing Genband products and also links with WebRTC and newer services such as FRING. What it does is provides developers or Service Providers with tools that enable them to build services quickly and simply using simple APIs and tools.

As an example the FRING team demonstrated how you could build a simple concierge service onto a website in a couple of minutes, providing WebRTC based Video and Call Centre and Hunt Groups in a couple of minutes. I think Kandy demonstrates a change at Genband as they are clearly focusing more and more on enabling applications and developers on top of their platform rather than focusing on just selling core services. The question in my mind is whether Kandy will be a tool the service provider will use or will it be more for enabling developers to go over the top of carriers we will have to wait and see.

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BT Clive Selley discussed BT Inside Out wireless & future voice strategy at Genband Perspectives June 11, 2014

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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It’s strange that you might travel across the Atlantic and one of your highlights of a conference is to hear from Clive Selley explaining BT’s UK technology strategy. Clive was a keynote speaker at Genband Perspectives conference in Orlando.

Clive explained that BT believe the total market value for the key areas they focus are

Wireline

Mobile Telecoms

Pay TV

IT Services

Clive explained BT’s television and fiber strategy but I was particularly interested in his discussions about BT’s mobile and Future Voice strategy. He described that the momentum from TDM to IP was now moving at a pace and is the most advanced in the Enterprise segment, and how voice only networks were now morphing to session based core networks. What was also interesting is that BT valued the IT services at £37 billion in the UK alone.

He described how BT services were now all based on a IP SDIN (Session Distribution Interworking Network), which is based on Genband and he mentioned that the growth on this network was now running at over 100% percent a year and this had been the case for the last 2 years. This core is also being expanded globally into USA, Middle East, Asia and Europe. The growth of this is also demonstrated by the wholesale offering of IPX being one of the 3 fasted growth areas in the whole BT Group. So as there are discussions about who offers the applications within the BT network, whether that is Cisco HCS, Genband or Broadsoft etc., it appears Genband is well established in the very core infrastructure being used in the SDIN. With the current growth rates, that must be a good place to be.

Clive then went onto describe how BT have been considering a reentry into the mobile market.  He mentioned effectively they had 3 strategic choices

–       Buy a mobile operator

–       Build a national mobile network

–       Or try a Disruptive play

He mentioned the cost of purchasing one of the UK based mobile operators would probably be too expensive and to build a national network would be both costly and take a long time to deliver. He also mentioned that he thinks the current providers are going to struggle because as new LTE technology is enabled the growth on their core is network and cell infrastructure is going to increase cost dramatically. 

So when looking at a disruptive strategy BT looked at a number of key factors, probably the most important was that 70% of mobile data was happening either at a users home or in a single workspace, and often mobile delivery in building or at home was often poor.  With BTs role out of FON and other investments BT had already got over 5 million WIFI hot spots.

So BTs strategy will be to use low cost FEMO Cells using LTE spectrum in home and office to provide in building service in those locations, and then using its EE MVNO to provide service outside of the building.  BT will then be able to benefit from their core investment and infinity investment to provide a disruptive mobile play.  This was described as BTs “Inside Out” wireless strategy.

Its interesting that BT continues to leverage the edge provided by its customers to power its services, and it will be interesting to see how this will manifest self in real services in years to come but certainly should be disruptive to the mobile operators including its old friend O2!