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European VoIP Summit Amsterdam: Last chance to book your seat with only 12 tickets left! October 3, 2016

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The European VoIP Summit is only one week away and over 100 delegates from around 35 service providers have already registered to join us on the 11th of October at Hotel Arena in Amsterdam.

This is our 3rd summit and the first in Amsterdam, and it brings together traditional telcos and innovative cloud companies and suppliers for a day of insightful panel discussions and keynote presentations on how the market is developing.

Top-level industry experts and market leaders such as Liberty GlobalKPNBluefaceDestinyFuzeNFON and Voiceworks will share their views and unique experiences in the European VoIP space.

The event is empowered by our Gold Sponsors, top vendors AudioCodesBroadsoft and Genband, and our exhibitors Panasonic BusinessSiphonPolycom and Yealink.

Last but certainly not least, Cavell will be launching its new European VoIP market reports, covering Benelux, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Our geographical expansion will offer you a more accurate overall picture of the market, so if you are interested in finding out more, please stay tuned.

All in all, we are witnessing history in the making, so book now to avoid disappointment!

If you have any questions, please get in touch.
We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam!

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Many thanks to our Gold Sponsors:

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The European VoIP Summit 2016 was a great success! March 9, 2016

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1On Tuesday, the 1st of March, The Cavell Group hosted the second European VoIP Summit, where over 200 attendees from over 60 VoIP service providers gathered in central London to address the opportunities and challenges the industry is facing and explore what to expect from the future of voice communications.

As with the range of topics, we also had a range of opinions with speakers from all key VoIP providers in Europe joining us, such as BT, Blueface, 6 Degrees, Vonage, TalkTalk Business, NFON, Liberty Global, Gamma, Voxbone, Siphon, Destiny, 8×8 and many others, as well as Vendors such as Yealink, Broadsoft and Genband who were our Gold Sponsors

 
Although much of the day was focused around how the industry is currently operating, a lot of focus was put on what the future of VoIP and SIP Trunking will look like. The industry believes a ‘disruptor’ might appear, like what messaging has seen with WhatsApp, which will enter the market and take significant market share.

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A very interesting discussion around WebRTC and Applications with viewpoints from Vendors, Service Providers and developers showed that it might not be the Service Providers developing the applications themselves, but instead they will allow developers to work with them to provide vertical solutions for their customers. WebRTC looks like it is starting to become that enabler for services in the future as communications move onto the web and away from the traditional end-point. Whether Service Providers will be able to charge for minutes in the future was again a hot discussion point.

We had a very interesting talk from Matthew McDermott and Mark Swarbrick on the state of regulation across Europe, followed by Cavell’s newest partner Q Advisors who gave a background on the M&A work they have been doing around the world.

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With Matt Townend’s closing remarks and networking drinks we concluded this year’s event was a great success! Our aim was to bring together VoIP service providers and create an opportunity to discuss current and future market aspects in a friendly and open networking environment. We believe our diverse group of speakers and panellists provided different points of views, at times even conflicting, thus enabling you to understand the bigger picture of the European setting.

We are happy to say we have received many positive comments and your feedback truly reflects the atmosphere everyone experienced. We are very thankful for your participation and we hope to see you at our events again! Last, but certainly not least, a big thank you to our Gold Sponsors: Broadsoft, Genband, and Yealink, and to our silver sponsors: AudioCodes, MDS Amiba, Mitel, Polycom, ProVu, RingCentral, Siphon, and Vanilla IP for their amazing support!

Broadsoft the latest player to enhance capability through Acquisition February 13, 2016

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On the 8th of February Broadsoft announced the acquisition of Transera. Transera will help fill the widely acknowledged gap in Broadsoft contact centre portfolio. Transera is a omni channel (voice, email, chat and social) and analytics-driven cloud contact center software business focussed on small-medium business (SMB) and large enterprises. Broadsoft announced that the service will enable Broadsoft service provider customers of both BroadWorks® and BroadCloud® solutions to offer the service. Broadsoft commented:

“Today’s acquisition brings together the leading cloud unified communications provider with a pioneer redefining contact center performance through omni-channel and big data analytics,” said Michael Tessler, chief executive officer, BroadSoft.

Transera is the latest of many acquisitions made in this space over the last 12 months, as Platform and Service Providers race to augment their traditional Hosted Comms package with new capabilities.

We have seen activity particularly in the Cloud Contact Centre market with West Corp acquiring Magnetic North in November and also 8*8 purchasing DXI in May 9th. As well as Contact Centre assets we have also seen other activity with Thinkingphones acquiring video platform Fuze in November and now rebranding the whole company to Fuze. Also we RingCentral acquire messaging & collaboration player GLIP in November.

We expect this trend to continue as providers look to augment their core revenues by increasing their ARPU (average Revenue Per User) by extending their product set. Also providers are trying to move up the market and need more advanced capabilities to do this. We are looking forward to hearing from Michael Quinn from QAdvisors at our European VoIP Summit on March 1st, who has been involved in many of the acquisitions in this area including Magnetic North.

Broadsoft Connections 2015 Report – New Services, 600 Service Providers & Google November 1, 2015

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Broadsoft Connections 2015  

Broadsoft pulled off a great event last week with over 1300 people from 600 of the major Service Providers in the world congregating in Phoenix, Arizona. For the first time, they only invited seven selected Analysts from around the world and we were very pleased to be one of them and for them to give us an insight into their global developments, which was appreciated by us all.

The following were some of the key announcements and messages, which were highlighted during the event.

Announcements

Broadsoft’s Scale – Mike Tessler highlighted in his keynote that Broadsoft now had over 12 million Hosted VoIP seats, delivered by over 700 partners in 90 countries. Remarkably, the top Broadsoft players had four times the combined seats of the major OTT providers combined.

Their Partnership with Telco’s – At every opportunity Broadsoft reiterated that they were partnering with Service Providers exclusively and were not going to sell to their customers. This message was well received by the Service Providers and was a clear reflection of the concerns that SPs raised following the launch of BroadCloud.

Project Tempo – Broadsoft launched their new initiative “Project Tempo” which under this initiative Broadsoft plans to announce a series of new services that will help define the Future of Work. The first announcement was “UC One Hub” which looks to integrate real-time communications & collaboration, cloud applications, and contextual intelligence into a unified end-user experience. One of the points the team made was that it is good to integrate these capabilities when users are spending more of their time online.

The Hub will go into Beta in Q1 2016 and will initially look to integrate with the current UC One service and the following applications: Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive in addition to Concur, Redbooth, and Twitter. Future versions will also look to support: Outlook, Salesforce, Zendesk, Dropbox, and LinkedIn.

The hub was demonstrated with UC One and we saw the integration of the above applications into one simple interface, allowing users to see contextual information from the different applications when they were in communication with a specific user. For example, if a user was on a call to a colleague, they would then automatically see the latest mails, project information etc. for projects that we have been working on together to allow for them to effectively work together.

The Hub itself does not store any data but enables API calls to the relevant application, and does everything on the fly each time rendering the results initially into the UC One capability. Cavell believe this is a very interesting launch and although it is in Beta currently, more details will emerge more in the coming months. Questions such as how does it integrate with Premise Based Applications, and also whether users will want to ultimately use UC One as their window onto the world are key questions still to be answered.

Initially, it is clear that the Hub is focused on driving adoption of UC One, but may become more interesting if integrated into other cloud applications which become the point of integration.

New Products

There were a large number of announcements of new products and improvements highlighted below.

New Mobile Applications Launched: UC One Connect and UC One Meet

UC One Connect: Messaging looked a lot simpler and cleaner then its previous interface and addresses a key weakness in their previous service. It also only shows a small set of users when communication and increases battery life.

UC One Meet: Scraps calendar and enables easy access to My Room capabilities

UC One Communicator for Chrome was announced for launch in December integrating with Google apps and the standard UC one bundle

My Room – enhancements announced today: invite guest, includes conference room and effective team chat, also the number of audio participants was raised from 30 to 145 users.

UC One – BroadCloud

Broadsoft announced they would be expanding its global BroadCloud footprint, with focus on France and some other key locations. It will also support SIP as well as Hosted UC service. BroadCloud will also support vertical capabilities initially in the Hospitality vertical.

It was impressive to see so many new launches and improvements to existing services, which in general were very well received by the Service Providers present. Cavell believes that the one area Service Providers might have expected more was Call Centre functionality.

Broadsoft Design & the Very Small Business

One of the very interesting presentations was from DP Venkatesh & Alec Walker from Broadsoft Design (previously MPortal). They demonstrated how in the future, very small businesses are likely to undertake their whole purchase and fulfillment activity online. These users are likely to be looking for a mobile first proposition with a simple set of features including Auto Attendant so they appear larger, but DP demonstrated how Broadsoft Design will help Service Providers build these new portals and enable these services.

Google Key partner! “Microsoft Who ?”:

In all the demos of the new launches they incorporate Google’s services and even the Keynote at the end of the event was by a Google Product Director. The only time Microsoft was really mentioned was when Mike Tessler said:

“Microsoft want to be a global service provider, what do they know about being a Service Provider?“

This did not come as a great surprise, but it was clear to see that Broadsoft and Google may build a tighter relationship in the future.

Overall the event was well organized and received by its audience and Broadsoft managed to demonstrate a renewed focus on partnership with its Service Provider partners. We will obviously have to wait and see how Project Tempo develops as it goes into Beta early next year, and if this enables Broadsoft to move more strongly into UC services and ultimately up the market.

Genband Nuvia launch latest demonstration of a fundamental change in the industry from a “Supply” to Adoption paradigm April 16, 2015

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On March 17th we saw Genband launch their Nuvia Cloud service in the UK to be distributed by their long-term partner IHUB. The Nuvia service is based on an OPEX pay-as-you-go model, which is sold on a per user basis, rather than Service Providers having to invest in their own large platform. Cavell were able to have a sneak preview of the service and were impressed by the proposition, readers can see more at http://www.nuviacloud.com.

Genband have done a lot of work on the portals and the ‘look & feel’ of their services which used to be their major weakness a few years ago and the results of this are clear in this latest announcement. This release follows on from their launch in the US around a year ago and indicates Genband’s ambition to offer this as a Global service to help address multinational end customers who require a global homogenised service.

Genband’s Nuvia Cloud Service is the latest in a series of launches of pay-as-you-go platforms from the likes of Broadsoft, Mitel and other Softswitch providers and traditional IP-PBX manufacturers. These launches signify a major change in the supply chain of the industry from a “supply” to an Adoption paradigm. It also signifies a change in where the risk and reward is born within the supply chain and a change in focus onto end customer & end-user Adoption.

In the old Enterprise voice world, the supply chain was relatively simple. There was a traditional PBX Channel/Distribution model where the focus was on getting a large upfront fee for equipment from the customer and a smaller ongoing maintenance. The Channel and Manufacturers focused on efficient distribution of equipment, which saw large warehouses popping up and sales teams incentivized by acquiring new customers and making large one-off equipment sales. The manufacturers supported the equipment and there was a clear demarcation between them and the communications infrastructure.

In the initial wave of Hosted VoIP, providers either built their own platforms or purchased a platform from the likes of Broadsoft, Cisco or Genband often for a fee well over £500k. In simple terms, the providers took most of the risk as they purchased or built their own platforms, whilst also managing their own communications infrastructure and driving sales independently. The model from the manufacturers point of view was still based on supply, where the focus was on receiving a large upfront fee. The Service Provider and indirect channel models were starting to change, as they had to become very much focused on the adoption of their services as they were being paid on a per user basis. Service Providers also struggled to convince the channel to adopt this new risk sharing adoption method, as the channel was still being enticed by PBX providers offering large upfront payments.

The recent announcements are now seeing the whole supply channel becoming focused on the Adoption of services on a per-user basis. Manufacturers/Service Providers and indirect channels are now all reliant on users coming onto the platforms and staying on the platforms and consuming new services.

This is forcing players in the supply chain to make fundamental changes to the way they operate and consider carefully their role in the future. Throughout the supply chain, sales teams of all organizations have to undertake a fundamental transformation to an “Adoption” and solutions sales approach. This includes the manufacturers who sales teams now need to focus not just on selling the platform but driving ongoing adoption and usage by the end customer. It’s not ok to just be a “Hunter” you have to be a “Farmer” as well.

‘Who are going to be the Service Providers of the future?’ and ‘What is going to be their role?’ is also an open question. In some ways we have the likes of Broadsoft, Genband & Mitel becoming services providers but also some of the traditional providers are reconsidering their current model of operation and starting to sell their platforms on a Wholesale basis to compete, whilst others focus more on the go-to-market elements and may ditch owning a platform and purchase the platform on an OPEX model from a third party. Some people still appear to be struggling with this fundamental change, with some PBX providers are trying to build complex pricing and go-to-market models which were a kin to the old paradigm and overlay them on the new world, not appearing to understand their new role in the market.

Clearly there is going to continue to be a mix of approaches, some providers who have established platforms are going to continue with their existing model where they take the risk and reward, and in other circumstances we are going to see new and existing channels move to the new model. Already we have seen companies like BT utilize the consume model as a stepping-stone to delivering their own solution. We see players like RingCentral & NFON who developed their own platform now both sell direct but also enable large providers such as AT&T, O2 Germany and BT.

Cavell believes that the whole supply chain is now becoming more focused on the adoption of services, by not only the Enterprise but also the actual end user. It is no longer viable to supply the platform and move onto a new customer. From a Go-to-Market approach, there needs to be more of a focus on Sales Enablement helping partners, channels and direct sales teams bring users onto their platform and keep them there rather than just selling large platform. This will require manufacturers to undergo a Sale Transformation of their own sales teams put in place new programs to support partners.

The traditional PBX distributors have been scratching their heads for a while, although with Hosted VoIP there is still equipment (such as phones) that needs distributing. On the other hand we see a group of technology enablers who both distribute technology but also enable and manager service for their customers with the likes of Siphon Networks. The issue of adoption is not limited to UC we are seeing that as providers driver services to the cloud the requirement is covering multiple services.

Cavell is seeing the above translate both into real challenges but also opportunities; we are already helping services providers and manufacturers with sales enablement and transformation programs. We are working with players in all elements of the supply chain on what their role and strategy in the future.

If you want to discuss the above further, and find out how we could help your organization with the challenges drop us an email matthew.townend@cavellgroup.com

THE FIRST “EUROPEAN VOIP SUMMIT” IS A GREAT HIT WITH THE INDUSTRY March 2, 2015

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On Wednesday 25th of February The Cavell Group hosted the first European VoIP summit, where we  brought together 110 people from 7 countries and over 40 service providers to London to discuss the opportunities and issues the industry was facing. We had speakers from all the key VoIP providers in Europe including; NFON, Blueface, Gradwell, 8×8, RingCentral, Vonage, BT, Gamma, Talk Talk, Tipicall and many others, also we heard keynotes from Broadsoft and Genband. T

The presenters and panellists were able to share their experiences from different countries, from the discussions it was clear that there was strong optimism among service providers about the growth of the market, which was also backed up by our latest market figures which we announced to the audience and will be updated on the blog shortly. Matt Townend Cavells Director of research and consulting started the event, by presenting both Cavells latest market data and also demonstrated the projects that we had been undertaking both in our research, consulting and professional services businesses to assist service provides around the world

Peter Gradwell (Gradwell) Marcus OTTO (NFON) and Alan Foy (Blueface) kicked off the panel discussion with a fascinating insight into the market and its challenges from 3 of the leading pioneers. We then had a presentation from Todd Wilkens VP of Broadcloud at Broadsoft who discussed some of the key challenges they had overcome in launching their platform in Germany and the UK and he mentioned France was probably the next location in Europe.We then had a great panel of providers who had recently entered the UK market from both Germany and the US, including; Ringcentral, Vonage, Nconnect and Broadsoft. In this debate we discussed how do you get the correct team to do the new country startup, and what was the best channels to market initially and how do you deal with localisation and Regulation.

Just before lunch we  had some lively discussion particularly around the SIP market, where speculation about when the UK ISDN network might be end of life, caused some lively discussion about whether government and the regulator should play more of a role in this discussion rather than it being a decision at the mercy of BT Openreach. 

The afternoon was started with a fascinating presentation on the role of WebRTC with Genband giving a Keynote on their thoughts and then a panel with great inputs from IPCortex and VOxhub. It is clear that use cases are coming thick and fast but Webrtc is unlikely to replace the existing market, but rather augment it. One of the most amusing panels was the discussion about whether service providers should Build, Hire or Buy a new platform, we had Colin Duffy from VoIPfone who have been extremely successful building their own platform, explaining how he liked to own everything and have  control over the customer service he provided and did not understand the principal of buying licenses or seats!. This was contered by both Genband/Boadsoft and SIPHON who are focussed on the commercial delivery of platforms.  After a fascinating debate including a long discussion about the role now of OPEX based models, Colin pointed out that although he was passionate about building his own platform, it would be quite hard to replicate that model again now.  

The final session of the day was about what UC services you could charge a premium for!, with 8×8, Kcom, Inclarity and 6DG. I found it particularly interesting that the hole concept of UC, was probably now to blunt an instrument to describe the market. In fact where customers perceived value and therefore where potentially you could charge a premium differed greatly both by size of company and between companies of similar size. The bigger issue was helping your channels or direct sales force become more of a solutions sales force to understand where value lay for individual customers. The day was ended with a networking drinks session sponsored by Siphon Networks, where the lively debate and networking was continued with the assistance of a few drinks. 

We have had some great feedback already with all our attendees giving the event a 4 or 5 out of 5 in the exist interviews with comments including – “Terrific to get so many industry peers in the same room to share experiences”,”Really enjoyable day and some excellent content delivered by credible industry experts”

The date for next year is already set for 24th of February, in London and we will be expanding the venue so we can accommodate more attendees and potential sponsors/exhibitors. A big thank you again to all who attended or spoke and a particular thank you to our Gold sponsors; Broadsoft, Genband & Yealink for their great support. 

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Broadsofts purchase of HIPCOM justified with 5 year deal signed with BT March 6, 2014

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Last week BT Wholesale & Broadsoft announced a 5 year distribution agreement. This really justifies the  purchase of HIPCOM by Broadsoft earlier in the year, as it was widely rumoured in the channel that BTW may move away from HIPCOM & therefore Broadsoft. This potential move was  not because HIPCOM offered a poor service more because the multitiered financial relationship that BT had with Broadsoft via HIPCOm just would not work in a channel environment with to many mouths to feed.  This also clarifies BTW strategy which will give the channel confidence to enter into longterm contracts.

illume noted that in the  the announcement it was stated “As part of the agreement, BT Wholesale will become a preferred BroadSoft distributor in the UK to communications providers looking to provide Hosted IP Centrex Services to the indirect channel”, we will have to see what preferred distributor means as obviously Broadsoft have some very large existing distributors of their services in the UK already.

Marc Timmermans, Director Portfolio Development, BT Wholesale highlighted the importance BT are placing on Hosted UC.

“Hosted Communications Services is a key pillar in BT Wholesale’s strategy and is at the heart of our plans to rapidly expand our indirect channel business. By working with us, communications providers can offer their business customers a complete communications service, whether it be Hosted IP Centrex, SIP Trunking, Contact Centres or Inbound Services, all run, managed and owned by BT.”

On friday Broadsoft also announced their latest financial result and also gave some insight to their on going strategy. Performance continues to be strong with full year, total revenue was $178.5 million, an increase of 8% compared to $164.8 million in 2012. The results indicated strong performance in their core Business Hosted UC & Broadcloud businesses, with weaker performance in consumer and they indicated that outside of the US they had not seen the growth in the SIP trunking business they had seen in the US or though there were signs this was changing. They indicated that was because the markets were not as mature, obviously we are seeing strong growth in the UK for SIP Trunking, but often people choose to deliver this directly from SBCs rather than from their Application server infrastructure.

The other clear theme of the call was the opportunity and progress Broadsoft are making selling to mobile operators, with particular focus on the future opportunities of offering voice over LTE type services.  Although generally their are still some concerns about LTEs ability to carry voice, this is a clear direction for Broadsoft and are gaining traction selling to Mobile providers who maybe only offering 3G business services today. Mike Tessler CEO Broadsoft mentioned that Broadsoft are well position to service Enterprises as they move away from their premise based PBX architectures which were designed to work within the confines of the LAN & lack any real mobility capabilities, and where maintaining a hardware box & wiring closet were key to handling  enterprise comms requirements to a time when people are communicating with mobiles, tablet and from anywhere around the world.  illume think VLTE will take time to become a market reality in most market, in the meantime however extending Hosted UC capability over mobile and wifi environment is clearly key to Broadsofts growth opportunities.

illume is also interested to see how the recent purchase of Finnacom in Germany and Hipcom in the UK may help re invigorate Broadsofts previously announced federation strategy which has gone a bit quiet in the last year. By effectively having their own operator in Germany and UK can they now offer the ability to their customers to offer B end services in these countries, it will be interesting to see how this develops further.

 

 

Broadsoft’s purchase of Hipcom signifies major change for the UK Market. August 13, 2013

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Broadsoft have announced this morning the acquisition of HIPCOM in the UK. Hipcom has been a major channel provider of Hosted Voice and SIP Trunking services to many companies including BT. Hipcom’s strengths included their own innovative cloud integration capabilities, as well as having a significant market presence in terms of channel customers and end customer seats. The acquisition does however call into question Broadsoft’s position with some of its existing UK customers who it may now be seen as competing directly with. These include; Gamma, The Voice Factory, Vanilla IP and Daisy.

illume research analyst, Matt Townend commented:

“The acquisition will bring to Broadsoft much needed integration capabilities which will be an asset to a number of its global customers and also a platform and infrastructure in the UK which may enable it to offer an end-to-end service to some of its customers. However, it does bring into question how it will position itself against its own customers who currently serve the UK market notably providers such as Gamma & Daisy.”

As the story evolves we will look to get further comment from those affected.

Press release:

http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/-1820141.htm

Broadsoft Xtended Connect could indicate a major change in the wholesale market! October 30, 2012

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On October 22nd BroadSoft  www.Broadsoft.com announced Xtended Connect with its partner Intelepeer www.IntelePeer.com . Xtended connect is in practice a federation which its customers can join to share traffic both HD Voice and Video, without having to use a wholesale partner.

So for example if a Broadsoft Service Provider customer in the UK (Provider A) and a Broadsoft Service Provider customer in India (Provider B) joined the federation, any voice or video traffic which was going between an end customer on Provider A and an end customer on Provider Bs network could pass for free, and therefore avoid traditional whole providers networks. Also because both service providers are utilising the Broadsoft platform they could pass the traffic as HD Voice or Video as they utilise the same applications. In order to make this work they have chosen to partner with Intelepeer who will provide the points of presence and the registry capability which will identify if traffic is On-net between Broadsoft federation customers.

This is not the first federation we have seen but is significant that a major vendor should embark on such a strategy. Xconnect (www.xconnect.net) who are one of the other pioneers in this market, have been empowering federations between VoIP and other players for a number of years and recently announced a NGN exchange with DE-CIX in Germany. Indeed Xconnect have demonstrated very strong growth offering these services both on a national and international basis.

What’s interesting is in their announcement Broadsoft highlighted the service benefits that customers will receive, rather than any financial benefit.

“Today, service providers are primarily limited to supporting high-definition calls for customers within their own network, which means that the vision of a superior communication experience has yet to be realized,” said Michael Tessler, president and CEO, BroadSoft. “When every BroadSoft service provider customer leverages Xtended Connect, BroadSoft powered users in more than 70 countries will experience high-definition voice and video calling, creating a truly high-definition network.”

For a global or national federation to work there must be enough On-net traffic to demonstrate real value. Broadsoft do have a significant global market presence which could drive enough global and local traffic.  At launch however the pops are limited to the US and 1 in the UK, in the coming months Intelepeer will extend that reach and only then will we really see if this has a significant global impact. The commercial model for such services will develop other the coming months; however it appears that a provider will have to commit to take other services from Intelepeer, in order to benefit from the free On-net federation services.

We would also expect this to encourage global teaming between Broadsoft customer. For instance if a partner in the UK had a multinational customer with site requirements in India, he may work with a Broadsoft federation provider in India to provide that site. Then he will be able to offer his customer a HD Video and Voice experience.

Will Wholesale Providers Loose Sleep !!

I don’t think this announcement will make wholesale players, loose sleep yet. However it is a clear demonstration how the future requirements for delivery of Voice/Video and other UC services elements, maybe a key driver of what the future wholesale offering may need to be. Also we may start to see closer teaming between vendors and service providers in these market spaces and the delivery of applications becomes more and more important.

illume and Cavells customers are looking for both research and consulting assistance on this area of the market, so if you are interestd in where we could help please contact matthew.townend@cavellgroup.com