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How a Savvy Service Provider can Survive and Grow – Part III August 23, 2017

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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shutterstock_150110996Creating Bundles of Success

We have frequently heard that selling telephony services on features is simply emulating the old PBX sales approach and that hosted services benefits for a solution-based sale. Now we have figures to prove it. Cavell figures for 2016-17 confirm that where Service Providers in the channel are seeing success is in the SME where Service Providers are bundling a tight solution and with a very defined set of capabilities. The advantage of bundling is that it creates a solution-based proposition with a vertical or horizontal approach where the Channel understands their pricing, margin and the commercial and technical solution.

Vertical bundles are very strong, enabling the Service Provider to sell down a single vertical and targeting on features needed by that vertical. Cavell has seen a number of Service Providers target specific verticals by integrating into key business solutions that that vertical works with. It requires that the Service Provider understand the business processes of the customer and demonstrates this value to the customer.

Horizontal solutions can be equally strong with specialised CRM integration, or solutions with voicemail control options for road warrior use. Bundles can be commercial or technical, the secret is to tailor them to your target market and demonstrate an understanding of their requirements. A sound business approach for a Service Provider would be to start with commercial bundles and then develop into a technically integrated bundled solution as the customer requirements become clear. The approach for the Service Provider is to analyse your USPs, examine your customer base and products and then look at the rest of the market to determine your competition.

Bundling is more about how to do better with what you already have than about offering anything new.

Service Providers who embrace these opportunities and build solutions with specific value in mind are most likely to be the winners in the market.


If you wish to read more about how the market is changing, please get in touch for more information on Cavell’s market reports due to be released next week on Thursday, August 31st.

 

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The inaugural Channel Leaders Conference: a great success! April 27, 2017

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Monday was an exciting day; the London Channel Leaders Conference (#CLeaders17) successfully launched in collaboration with Comms Business Magazine. Delegates enjoyed a day of panel talks on highly relevant topics such as ‘How Can You Guide Your Customers Through the Digital Age?’ and ‘Building Compelling Solutions (Verticalisation & Integration),’ networking opportunities and keynote presentations by Matt Townend, Director of the Cavell Group, and Kristine Olson-Chapman, Managing Director of TalkTalk Business. Digital Disruption, the UK Telecoms Market (find out more in our reports here), the Internet of Things (IoT) and the changing role of the Channel were also among the key topics of discussion.

Of these several recurring themes, the most prominent were falling traditional market revenues and rapidly changing customer requirements. The first panel discussion of the day was ‘How Can You Guide Your Customers Through the Digital Age?’.

Chaired by David Dungay, Deputy Editor of Comms Business, Ralph Page (Director of Global Strategic Solutions at Genband), Mike Wilkinson (VP Marketing & Product Management at Lumeon), and Dan Cunliffe (Managing Director of Pangea) tackled points on identifying when a customer is struggling to adopt a digital strategy. This lead to an interesting anecdote on smart water drains on the Isle of Wight by Dan Cunliffe, prompting further discussion on the IoT. Another hotly discussed point on the panel was where Channels can find immediate success in a rapidly changing industry, be it focussing on CPaaS, M2M or elsewhere.

The liveliest panel discussion however, was represented by ‘Suppliers and Vendor Selection:  Which Horse Should I Back in the Future?’ between Steve Harris (MD of Siphon/EVP UC Nuvias), Richard Bligh (COO of Gamma), Mark Timmermans (Director of Portfolio Development at BT Wholesale), Gary Gould (MD EMEA at ShoreTel) and Russell Lux (CEO of TelcoSwitch).

The variety of vendor and service provider businesses present, passionate panellists and importance of the topic created some great discussion on the fragmentation of the traditional vendor and service provider markets, as well as what products/verticalisations/service areas the channel should embrace. This was particularly relevant with the recent news on companies like Avaya. Discussion also touched on competing with the services provided by the likes of Twilio, Microsoft and Amazon and how cloud services can transform industries like distribution and logistics.

We would like to thank our Gold (Knight Corporate Finance, Strategic Imperatives, and TelcoSwitch) and Silver Sponsors for their contributions to making Channel Leaders a success, and also, Blabbermouth, whose drinks sponsorship fuelled a great networking opportunity at the end of the day.


If you did not manage to attend Channel Leaders 17 but are interested in the topics discussed, want to meet industry leaders and gain valuable insight into the European Telecoms industry, click here for our upcoming event in Amsterdam (10th October 2017), or use the email addresses below for more information regarding our next event in London (8th March 2018).

You can also contact francisca.dinga@cavellgroup.com or dominic.black@cavellgroup.com for further questions and sponsorship opportunities for both events.

For research into the European VoIP markets, click here for our website, or contact adam.kowalski@cavellgroup.com or dominic.black@cavellgroup.com

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

Posted by Matthew Townend in Uncategorized.
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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.

The concept of selling UC is dying! Service Providers offer industry/sector specific propositions to meet customer demand September 13, 2016

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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shutterstock_150110996

 

For well over a decade, the industry has been talking about Unified Communications, with vendors trying to push the idea that end users want to unify all their communications through one interface (normally vendor specific), and that they need to utilise a number of new communications mediums through this interface (including: Video, Presence, Collaboration, etc.).

When we look at the players who have been successful in selling hosted communications both in the UK and Europe, we see that very few are selling a concept of UC at all. What they have done well is they have segmented their customer base and they have produced bundled solutions that understand the “Context” within which the customer is operating and have offered solutions accordingly. Yes, there are some customers who want an all-singing, all-dancing UC experience, like you see in most vendors videos, but this appears to be a minority.

Our recent research on the Hosted Comms market shows that most service providers have developed their segmentation further, and they are now offering solutions that are designed to suit their customers’ needs in relation to the Vertical industry segment they operate in.

Figures have shown that 41% of the service providers tracked by Cavell, offer a selection of vertical solutions, 66% of which offer a public sector proposition, some providers selling solutions specifically tailored for one of the following public sector segments: local government, central government, education, healthcare, housing, public administration, justice, and emergency services.

The main commercial segments have been Financial (41%), Retail (38%) and Hospitality (23%). Other prevalent business categories vertically targeted by service providers are construction, media, travel & transport, and organisations operating in the legal sector. Cavell has also witnessed signs of verticalisation in technology, automotive, recruitment, logistics, manufacturing, third sector and professional services.

Matthew Townend, Director of Research & Consulting at Cavell stated: “The increased verticalisation shows an increasing requirement for Service Providers to offer solutions that recognise the context that their customers work and communicate in, rather than attempting to offer a broad based UC solution that attempts to dictate how they should communicate”.


Cavell Group have launched their latest UK Hosted VoIP and SIP Trunking market reports on the 2nd of September. For more information, please read our previous blog post.

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.