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How a Savvy Service Provider can Survive and Grow – Part II August 17, 2017

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Delivering Tools to Increase Efficiency

Last week we touched on the value of Call Recording and Analytics – Another way to improve businesses competitiveness is to increase staff efficiency. Team Collaboration is a hot topic in the Service Provider space at the moment and directly addresses this need. Team software can build efficiencies into the way the business is communicating. Cavell report that the investments they are seeing in tools to help people to communicate better are huge. The starting point for team Collaboration was Internal messaging using IM services on a VoIP server. Early products were not very clever, or able to do much. The next step was to make it work better and allow teams to work more closely included SMS services with drag and drop capabilities and the ability to create workgroups providing the opportunity for integration of team solutions into the services offered by providers. Products such as Hipchat were free to download and initially were primarily used by developers, and they were provided as a standalone service. Slack today is still free to download but it has created the first company valued at over a billion dollars in under a year, and they have 1.5 million paid users as well as a free service with over 5m users.

Today, team Collaboration is becoming a ‘must have’ service offering and it is no longer just chatting on your own network, it is about integration into key business tools such as Salesforce and Google drive. Users of team software are able to automatically call files up or pull up salesforce details when talking. It is about linking products and making communications better, and as a result the number of integrated products has become a key differentiator between service offerings.

Team Collaboration is a product that sounds like it is a good fit for the large enterprise, but Cavell report that it is increasingly being used by small and medium businesses with remote workers. Launches from RingCentral, Broadsoft and Microsoft in the last few years as well as the standalone offers has invigorated the market and given Service Providers lots of choice of who to partner with to deliver these services to their customers. When launching new products, they are integrating messaging and Team Collaboration into their voice services with value adds such as click to dial. The approach is to create free, easy to use, communications solutions and offer links to call on the phone.

Many Collaboration software users are still not paying for their software, and Cavell speculate that Team Collaboration may become a competitive requirement for Service Providers in the future as companies look to enable their employees to communicate better. The issue that it may provide for Service Providers is can be consumed free but Service Providers will need to work on the sales challenge to learn to present and expand from selling lines and minutes to selling Collaboration – different sales techniques and a more consultative approach are needed as well as an understanding of how their customers work. But it’s not all bad news – integrated into services may not make any money per-se but it creates a stickiness that has a huge value to the Service Provider, since the more integrated the solution the less likely the customer is to change provider.

Stay tuned for our third post in the series where we will be touching on how smart bundles can be a game-changing differentiator.

If you wish to learn more about the industry, join us at the upcoming European VoIP Summit in Amsterdam on the 10th of October for an unmissable networking opportunity.


Cavell’s market reports offer in-depth analysis of the key market trends and are due to be released on August 31st. Please get in touch for more details.

Preparing for GDPR? Everything you need to know at the upcoming European VoIP Summit. August 16, 2017

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As the General Data Protection Regulation is due to be implemented on May 25th 2018, businesses in the communications space need to plan and prepare accordingly.
In order to get you up to speed, we have organised a special session on Regulation Changes: GDPR at our upcoming European VoIP Summit on the 10th of October at the Hotel Arena in Amsterdam, presented by:

ICTRecht

If you are a Service Provider and find yourself asking what you should do next to ensure your business complies with the new regulations, this session is for you.

Visit our website for the complete Agenda.

Register here today

Have you seen our short European VoIP Summit highlights video?

We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam on the 10th of October!Gold_Sponsors_EVSAms17

#EVSLDN17: Who will run the Communications Platform of the future? January 31, 2017

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SONY DSCThe future is about providing a VoIP platform that people can integrate and develop on, to solve both specific and generic customer problems.

With an ever increasing number of Service Providers considering whether to buy or build their own platforms, there is a huge question of who will be running the Communications platform in the future. Service Providers, Vendors, System Integrators and Developers are all trying to work out what their role is going to be in this new world of communications and they may as well have to fight for their very future and relevance.

Find out more from the experts at the European VoIP Summit 2017
at the QEII Centre in London on 9th March:

  • Dean Elwood – CEO, Voxygen
  • Rob Pickering – MD, IPCortex
  • James Slaney – Co-founder, Dubber
  • Rob Cox – Commercial Director, Mondago
  • Prof. Matthew Wilson – CEO, Telecoms Cloud
  • Mike Wilkinson – VP Marketing & Product Management, Lumeon

These are just some of the experts who will be discussing the dynamics, providing input from all parts of the ecosystem and sharing their views on market opportunities for Service Providers.


With the Service Provider Pass you can bring your colleagues along to discover ideas on how to prepare for your future. It includes 3 tickets for £300+VAT offering you 20% off each ticket when bought together.

Book your ticket here

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We look forward to seeing you on the 9th of March!

Update your Diary for the 9th of March! January 16, 2017

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European VoIP Summit 2017 – QEII Centre, London

The Service Providers event of the year is coming soon and tickets are selling fast! Here are 5 reasons you should book today and avoid disappointment:

1. Insightful Panel Discussions

Key Topics to be Explored:

  • Who will be the winners and losers following the ISDN/PSTN Switch Off?
  • Who will run the Communications Platform of the future?
  • What role do developers play in the future of communication?
  • Regulation: What is changing and how does this impact you?

 

2. Unmissable Presentations

Meet the Industry Leaders:

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3. Industry Keynotes on the State of the Market

Cavell’s respectable analysts will share their thoughts on the state of the market:
  • How to compete in the new communications landscape
  • Trends in the European VoIP Markets
  • What does the future of communications hold?

 

4. Excellent Networking & Opportunity to Share Experiences and Practices

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5. Special Offer

Bring your colleagues along! The Service Provider Pass includes 3 tickets for £300+VAT offering you 20% off each ticket when bought together.

Buy your ticket here

If you have any questions, please get in touch.
We look forward to seeing you on the 9th of March!

Many thanks to our Sponsors!

Gold Sponsors:

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Exhibition Sponsors:

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Save the date! 25th of April, 2017: Channel Leaders Conference, organised in association with Comms Business December 6, 2016

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Cavell Group is excited to invite you to a new one-day conference: Channel Leaders, organised in association with Comms Business.

In a ceaselessly changing world where customers can communicate by using WhatsApp, Slack, and can buy their IT solutions from the cloud, the event will explore what channels will need to do to remain relevant to customers both in the short term and in the future.

The conference will be held at the America Square in London on the 25th April 2017 and it is targeted at C-level executives within reseller businesses, SIs, and consultants that sell directly to end users.

The day will include several high-level key note presentations and panel discussions, a combination of expert analysis and thought provoking views from respected analysts and commentators delivered as key note and panel sessions with input from some of the UK’s Channel leaders themselves.

We will be exploring end customer trends, supplier and vendor relationships, Customer knowledge and intimacy, the future Role for a Channel business, and how to create value for the Channel business in the future. There will also be a chance to network with top level executives and discuss topics and themes around the event

Talking about the new event, Cavell Group Director Matt Townend said: “As the pace of change accelerates it has never been more important to be looking at the horizon in a number of different ways. Customer requirements can change very rapidly in today’s market and for Channel partners it is vital they remain relevant.”

Miles Bossom, CEO of Miles Publishing, commented: “We have seen several industries ‘shaken-up’ over the last few years by what many refer to as Digital Disruption. Business communications and IT is evolving quickly and new entrants are coming to market with disruptive products and services all the time. Channel Leaders will address these issues for the top-level Channel executives and will act as a platform to educate and inform attendees of challenges they will face in the market. For anyone with high ambitions in the Channel this will be a must attend event.”

Spaces are limited, so if you would like to book a place, please email us. Tickets cost £250.

Also, sponsorship opportunities are available! If you are interested in finding out more about the event, please get in touch with us.

Join us for the 4th edition of the European VoIP Summit November 18, 2016

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We are pleased to announce that the 4th edition of the European VoIP Summit will be held on the 9th of March 2017 at the QEII Centre in London.

The European VoIP Summit has become the leading industry event where Service Providers meet to discuss the key issues in the market, so this time we have expanded to accommodate 300 delegates for a series of insightful panel discussions and presentations as well as Industry Keynotes from Cavell’s analysts Matt Townend & Dominic Black.

Knowledgeable, experienced thought-leaders will share their experiences and practices, and enlighten us with their controversial views. Key industry players such as Gamma, Kcom, Broadsoft, AudioCodes, Voxygen, NFON, Voztelecom, Telecoms Cloud, and QAdvisors, as well as the experienced CMO Lisa Hutt, and Mike Wilkinson, one of the most respected senior marketing figures in the Technology market, have already been confirmed as speakers. Click here to see the complete Agenda.

The day also includes ample time for you to connect with your peers, and lunch and networking drinks are all included in the ticket price.

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Also, we are proud to announce that Audiocodes, Broadsoft and Yealink have committed as our Gold Sponsors for the event, with Edgewater Networks and SIPHON joining as exhibition sponsors.

We have sold out all of our previous events, with over 220 attendees registered from 60 different Service Providers in London in March 2016 and we expect to do the same next year, so sign up now to secure your seat and avoid disappointment.

Also, this year we have introduced the Service Provider Pass, offering 3 tickets for £300+VAT which provides 20% off each ticket when bought together, so don’t miss out on this opportunity and bring your colleagues along.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.
We look forward to seeing you on the 9th of March!

Telcos missing out on Digital Disruption opportunity whilst CPaaS providers act October 27, 2016

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You cannot help but read about how digital disruption is helping revolutionise existing businesses and enable new businesses to establish and disrupt complex industries. I think most people would also agree that at the heart of most business models are communications of different types.

So why is it that we find that Traditional model and fixed Telecoms companies are in general leaving this market opportunity to the CPaaS and development market to address?

Today, Cavell launches a report co-authored by Matthew Townend, Research and Consulting Director at Cavell, and Mike Wilkinson, one of the most respected senior marketing figures in the Technology market, former VP Product Marketing at Broadsoft and a pioneer in the whole UC and VoIP marketplaces.

In the report “The Communications Platform as a Service Market – Market Opportunities for Service Providers”, Cavell are exploring why companies like UBER, AIRBNB & WhatsApp all have chosen CPaaS providers like Twilio to power the transformation we are witnessing.

The paper addresses why the longstanding traditional Service Providers have not been able to embrace this opportunity, and what they might have to do in the future to be relevant both to these large scale global players, but also to their traditional national Enterprise customers who seek to establish new business processes and value propositions.

Matthew Townend, commented:

“As we move into a period of Digital transformation, we want to have real-time communications embedded into all sorts of business and consumer applications, and users want communication delivered in the context of their business and personal lives, however, not in the way vendors and communications providers prescribe it. Communications providers are going to have to deliver CPaaS platforms and capabilities that enable this change. “

“We are already seeing Business customers who demand their communications be imbedded in their vertical applications, as in their business they spend their life in say a hospitality business process tool. They do not want to receive it in the PBX or Cloud vendors UC all singing all dancing portal.”

For more details on the report please click here.

Cavell are Co-Hosting an industry dinner with the Internet Telephony Service Provider Association (ITSPA) in London, where we will be exploring these issues with a group of different service providers whilst also enjoying a great dinner and networking opportunity. Matt and Mike will both be at the dinner. For more details and how to book tickets please visit our website.

Genband Perspectives 2016: Contextual Communications, Disruptors, the Future of Service Providers, CPaaS and Kandy May 13, 2016

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David Walsh saw the rise of Contextual Communications being one of the drivers of increased communication. His belief that by enabling people to communicate with whatever device and through any application that they want will increase the level of communications between parties which will in turn facilitate collaboration and increased productivity.

XO, the largest SIP Trunking provider in the USA, gave a good example of this with their Contact Center solution which use the Kandy platform with WebRTC integrations to allow customers to contact them using any medium that they want, be it voice, email, IM or video. By giving customers the choice of communication, they are able to improve the customer experience and address the customers’ needs – a key priority for contact centres.

Disruptors are driving innovation as companies look for ways to stay relevant in their industry

Katrina Troughton says that IBM are seeing that business leaders are facing more challenges then ever before. With the lifespan of Fortune 500 companies dropping under 15 years due to disruption, CEOs are looking at ways that they can keep their employees engaged and stay relevant in today’s market. There is a big push for companies to innovate to survive but many find it difficult to do so as they don’t have the skills.

This is relevant to VoIP providers as an increasing homogenisation of products, where differentiation is around pricing and features, is becoming ubiquitous across the board. As the Service Providers have a great understanding of their customers, as they work with them on a daily basis and understand their challenges, they are in an unique position to be able to give them the tools to communicate and enable greater collaboration.

What will a Service Provider look like in the future?

The issue for Service Providers is that they have generally been poor at creating their own applications as they do not have the development skills to create solutions for their customers, as their focus is around providing a voice service, not enabling collaboration. Roy Timor-Russo of Genband thinks that Genband will be able to fill that role of adding value with their apps and knowledge of what has worked for other Service Providers in other markets and alongside the Service Providers core voice competency.

Genband see their position in the market is providing the platform for application developers to integrate their features into. As one of the first movers into the CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service), the Kandy platform was built to allow developers to build applications for Service Providers, Enterprises and Vendors to quicken the time to market. David Walsh highlighted in the press conference at the end of the first day the need for all members of the telecoms ecosystem to be able to ‘Fail Quick’ with new features and that long development times do not always translate into successful stories. 90% of applications built will not be a success but there needs to be an acceptance and understanding that failure will yield results.

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It is still unclear what role Service Providers will play in the future, whether they will simply be running dumb ‘pipes’ or their customer will be facing background, meaning that they are well positioned to understand their customers needs and build the solutions to fit certain business verticals. What will be interesting is whether there will be a demand for a basic VoIP/UC solution in the future and how Service Providers will be able to cope with an increasingly development driven approach.

Is Kandy going to be future?

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We have seen a number of CPaaS providers appear over the last few years and it is still not clear who will emerge as a success. What is interesting and will be a challenge for Genband going down the route of Kandy and CPaaS is how they will maintain revenues in the future as customers adopt a ‘Click to Consume’ model, choosing only the applications that are relevant to themselves. From a company that is used to selling large CAPEX solutions, making a move to tight margins on applications over a base price of $2/user/month may prove difficult in the short term. Genband have created a good story with the Kandy platform and it will be interesting to see how the CPaaS ecosystem progresses in the future.

“I want to be the platform”,  “No, I want to be the platform”… “Who is going to be the Communications Platform of the future?” May 11, 2016

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In a week, when Vonage USA spends $230m on Nexmo, a Communication Platform business that most of you will not have heard of, and when a traditional communication hardware provider like Genband spends a large proportion of its annual conference talking about its own “Kandy” Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) platform, many Service Providers will be wondering what is all the fuss about.

Well, it’s simple: Service Providers, Vendors, System Integrators and Developers are all trying to work out what their role is going to be in this new world of communications and they may as well have to fight for their very future and relevance.

Where the battle is going to be won and lost is by making communications relevant and in context of customers and consumers’ current and future working patterns, and help revolutionize business process or disrupt markets with new models of working. This is going to require many to have the capability and ability to move quickly and agilely whilst maintaining low costs in serving these requirements.

Gone are the days when it was about UC and Providers being proud that they have packed a whole load of irrelevant features into their UC client or equipment, often provided by slow moving vendors.

The future is about providing a platform that people can integrate and develop on, to jointly solve both specific and generic customer problems. This development may be done by the Platform provider or by enabling developers externally to access the platform and develop their own solutions on top.

Not surprisingly traditional ecosystems are also being reinvented with people realizing the majority of the value will be in providing the platform. Traditional Vendors are pitching themselves against their Service Provider customers, and System Integrators are realizing that they might own the key to accessing the development resources. Within this melee, new providers such as Twillio and Nexmo have filled this void, offering developers with a global platform on which they can develop.

At the recent Genband Conference we started to hear the Service Provider angle with CenturyLink describing how they are looking to build such a platform, which will bring them the benefit of quick and agile product development for their own customers. They will be able to go to a 2 or 3 developers with a brief of their requirements and potentially get custom differentiated apps developed cheaper and quicker than previous models.

It’s not all over for the Service providers as a couple of key questions are still to be answered in many cases:

  • Who has the ability to: sell, assure, bill and deliver these applications?
  • Who either has their own development resources or controls access to these resources?
  • Who can provide a truly global or regional capability for customer?
  • Who can translate customer business requirements into real life solutions?
  • Who has the ability to potentially integrate to multiple platforms for a customer?

In up coming posts and research we are exploring these questions further, and we are already running strategy sessions with Service Providers to answer these questions.

For more details please contact: Matthew.Townend@cavellgroup.com or Dominic.Black@cavellgroup.com.

Will Closed Telecoms environments survive the growth of application led communications? November 27, 2015

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Cavell attended the TADSummit in Lisbon this week which is one of the largest events in Europe for Telecoms Application Developers to come together and show off their new products, applications and integrations.

A large number of exhibitors and speakers were showing the next generation of applications for IOT devices and how they would be enabled in the future. The rise of M2M (Machine-to-Machine) and P2M (Person-to-Machine) communication is having a huge effect on how networks and communications is evolving and there is a lot of innovation in this space to make sure that platforms are open and have a flexible API layer to allow for applications to integrate to allow for M2M communication.

Many attendees at the summit were dismissive of the future of Voice services, especially in their current form as they are delivered from closed platforms. As Adam Kalsey from Tropo (Tropo is an application layer allowing developers to develop and integrate into Cisco services such as Jabber) made the point that the phone call hasn’t changed in 120 years since the first phone calls. Although this could be disputed with the rise in video calling, especially on the consumer side from services such as Skype, Fuze, Fring etc., in general he makes a valid point.

In the old days you would go to a traditional Telco provider for all you business communciation needs, as they would offer a full set of voice, messaging and sometimes email services. Now with the rise of focussed communcation application providers such as Whatsapp for messaging, Slack for collaboration and other application providers delivering a single service, Telco’s are no longer providing all a customer’s communications solutions.

The rise of communication providers who are not traditional Telcos and are running their services via applications has seen huge growth particularly in messaging. WhatsApp and other messaging services are used by a large portion of the population but are not typically integrated into Service Providers platforms. Many providers, if creating their own IM service cannot federate with other IM services delivered by other providers. This means that users looking to communicate outside their company cannot usually use messaging services and have to resort to traditional voice communications, or use a different service. IT and communications development is being driven more and more by consumers, not by Telco’s or by the decision makers in companies.

Service Providers need to make sure that they can give the tools to customers to communicate how they want, which may involve opening their platform and building API’s to integrate 3rd party applications into their service. Telco’s will be unable to deliver all forms of communication services to their users and need to understand what they are best at and focus on those services.

Contextual Communications was discussed at length at TADSummit as developers see applications being able to enable users to access and view all relevant information when interacting with another user. This form of communication will only be possible if platform allow themselves to interact with one another and not operate as separate islands of communications where voice traffic is the only way to bridge communications.

One example of this was Fone.do, an American and Israeli communications firm who have built a VoIP service built on a WebRTC platform. They are able to deliver a suite of Hosted VoIP features through a browser or smartphone application and then use their sister company to deliver breakout to the PSTN. They have enabled integrations with applications such as Linkedin and Google apps to bring up information on the person you are calling, for example if you were calling a customer based in Manchester, your desktop may show local news from the city as well as any contact information and data from your apps that you have integrated like Linkedin profile.

Application led communications will open up the traditional closed telecoms environments, enabling more way to communicate and more contextual conversations, over whatever device and service the user wants to use. Service Providers need to be aware of the potential threat from application developers as many have not come from a traditional telecoms background and are not bogged down by the same issues that established providers have, and can be quick to adapt their business models and force change. This is a space Cavell will be looking at with more interest in the next few years to see how applications start to influence service provider’s strategies.