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BT to move to an all IP network by 2025 May 1, 2015

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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After much discussion in the industry regarding the end of life of the ISDN and PSTN networks, BT have finally announced that “by 2025, all their customers will be using IP Voice.” This was revealed in BT Group’s Q3 2014/15 results.

Gavin Patterson, BT Group CEO, highlights the future of the BT network on the analyst call where BT envisages their network will be a single IP core network replacing all legacy networks and platforms. This will allow all BT customers to have a ubiquitous experience on all devices, either inside or outside, utilizing the BT mobile network (presumably acquired by from the upcoming EE deal) and the expansion of their fixed IP network.

For BT, this convergence onto the IP network will require them to migrate all of their customers off the ISDN network at some point in the next 10 years. Although this may seem like a long time, the process will take a lot longer then expected and Cavell expects that this will start relatively soon to end of life the service by 2025. BT will be moving fast to ensure that they keep all of their customers on their service but the forced move off ISDN may make some customers look elsewhere for their voice service.

As of August 2013, there were 3.2 million ISDN channels in the UK and although BT do not have all of these on their network a significant number of ISDN customers in the UK now have a date from which they will no longer be in service and customers who are using them will be looking to move.

For the many service providers selling SIP in the UK, there is now a huge opportunity to migrate ISDN customers over to their SIP service as the network will force them to move at some time in the future. There are a large number of potential channel partners not selling SIP who have continued to sell legacy voice products to their customer base who will now be looking for a SIP Provider to partner with. Cavell has assisted many UK service providers on the positioning, marketing and go-to-market strategy of SIP and Hosted VoIP products and will be tracking the developments of this closely.

To hear full details of BT announcement you can go to the BT announcement at the following link: the actual relevant section of the webcast is after approx. 17 mins https://event.webcasts.com/viewer/event.jsp?ei=1051301

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

Posted by Matthew Townend in Uncategorized.
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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

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

Posted by Matthew Townend in Uncategorized.
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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.