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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.

Collaboration, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work – UC Expo 2017 May 24, 2017

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UC Expo in London last week was the perfect opportunity to catch up on the latest industry news and trends, meet existing and new customers and experience new products and technologies. Kicking off with a keynote talk from Red Bull on how their Formula 1 racing team uses collaboration tools to maximise performance on the track, hot topics included the Future of Work (encompassing discussions on work/life balance and the role of Artificial Intelligence) and the increasing importance of collaboration technologies such as Cisco Spark.

Using contact centres as an example, Noam Fine of i.am+ discussed the applications of AI in improving efficiency, agent turnover and increasing customer satisfaction. Within 3 years 85% of interactions between customer and company will be without human contact; replacing auto-attendants with AI that can answer questions using contextual information from the current call or background knowledge (location, purchasing history etc.) provides both a smoother customer experience and more fulfilling working environment, as agents are assigned based on experience and subject matter knowledge. On a more disconcerting note Ben Hammersley, Applied Futurist, explored the ‘AI Apocalypse’ and how AI threatens to disrupt the current workspace by computerising aspects of high paying knowledge-jobs, such as contract proofing in the legal profession. Nonetheless, he did provoke some thought about the benefits a business orientated Amazon Alexa could bring to the office environment. This was particularly interesting as Andrew Maher (Avaya) had earlier mentioned his belief that contextually powered AI solutions would be key throughout 2017/18.

Collaboration technology was also discussed frequently over the two day event. Using figures from KMPG, Snorre Kjesbu (Cisco) argued that 82% of CEOs do not know whether their products would still be relevant in 3 years’ time. The speed and innovation required to stay abreast of the rapid changes faced today was demonstrated by Cisco Spark and its accompany Board, which allows for wireless presenting, white boarding and of course video/audio conferencing. A panel discussion featuring speakers from 8×8, GCI, AT&T and Mitel covered UC Cloud Communications, discussing for example how long customers should commit to cloud for (answers ranged from 36-60 months) and the bundling of desk phones. How this affects continuously falling UC pricing will be interesting as providers seek to offer better service between soft- and hardware and offer financing options for equipment.

We greatly enjoyed the expo and are looking forward to seeing what next year’s topics will cover. In the meantime, our biannual research period has just launched, meaning we will be meeting Service Providers across the UK and Europe gathering information for our upcoming European market reports. If you wish to purchase last year’s reports or find out more about the topics covered in this post, please contact dominic.black@cavellgroup.com or francisca.dinga@cavellgroup.com.

#CLeaders17: An unmissable day that will influence the strategy for your business going forward March 24, 2017

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We are currently undergoing some of the most fundamental changes to the ICT industry that anyone working within it has ever seen. That is why is it important for Channel Leaders to take a day out of their busy schedule to attend Channel Leaders 2017!

The conference combines practical knowledge with forward-thinking strategic advice and discussion. We believe that attendees will enjoy and benefit from an unmissable day that will influence their strategy for their business going forward. The content for the conference is a combination of expert analysis and thought-provoking views from respected analysts and commentators, delivered as keynote and panel sessions with input from some of the UK’s Channel leaders themselves.

We have over 20 speakers confirmed including: Russell Lux – CEO TelcoSwitch, Richard Bligh – COO Gamma, Steve Harris – CEO Siphon, Kristine Olson-Chapman – General Manager Talk Talk Business, John Whitty – CEO Solar Communications, Adam Zoldan Knight Corporate Finance. We also have a great lineup of sponsors.

View the agenda here.

Channel Leaders conference attendees will have a unique opportunity to network with their peers at this gathering of the senior management of the UK’s leading ICT Reseller businesses. Our agenda allows plenty of time for delegates to discuss business opportunities and build relationships.

To register, please click here.

#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!

The Fine Line of Trust in Customer Relationships #EVSLDN17 January 24, 2017

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Cavell are proud to announce the European VoIP Summit 2017 Guest Speaker: IBM’s Global Communications Industry Leader Rob van den Dam.

In a highly competitive market, telcos often struggle to differentiate their services and in their ongoing race to bring out new features and solutions they can find themselves at risk of losing focus on what remains constantly important: customer experience.

Join us for the European VoIP Summit 2017 on March 9th at the QEII Conference Centre, in London to discover the key to mastering:

The Fine Line of Trust in Customer Relationships

For customers, their ideal customer experience is prompt and effective response to queries, outstanding service and fair resolution to complaints, said van den Dam. But telcos are falling way short of that ideal. They generally rate average to good – but that’s not good enough. You really have to excel at customer experience if you’re going to be competitive.

Rob van den Dam’s Keynote Presentation touches on:

  • Findings from IBM’s global telecom consumer survey
  • Personal data to reshape customer experiences
  • Digital trust as the key factor in relationships between customers and providers
  • Telcos’ unique position in the personal data opportunity

Tickets are selling fast: register here today and be sure not to miss out on this unique opportunity!


About Rob van den Dam

SONY DSC Rob van den Dam leads strategic thought leadership in telecommunications and media & entertainment, developing future agendas, industry outlooks and business value realization studies.

He has over 25 years experience in the communications industry. Rob periodically presents at major industry conferences, such as ITU World, GSMA Mobile Asia, TMForum, CommunicAsia, Digiworld, Total Telecom and IBC.

He has published multiple articles in, amongst others, the Annual Review of Communications, Jnl of Telecommunications Management, European Communications, Total Telecom Magazine, Broadcast Engineering, Telecom Asia and Mobile Europe.

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

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SONY DSC

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!

Twitter_bird_logo_2012.svg.png #EVSAms16

Many thanks to our Gold Sponsors:

Lord Digby Jones and the problem with Unified Communications May 2, 2014

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I found myself watching the UK TV program ‘The Troubleshooter’ with Lord Digby Jones, where he was advising a Freezer and Cooler manufacturer on setting up a new production line, he was showing how a small improvement in the way they worked on the line could offer huge benefits in terms of productivity and cost to the company.  In my youth, I had spent 1 happy year working for Black & Decker and learning all about the Japanese principles of Kaizen (continuous improvement) and JIT (just in time) stock management. At Black & Decker we were looking all the time at how we could improve productivity, whilst encouraging all our employees to see how this could be achieved.

It strikes me that this is the same issue that communication providers are facing,  as they look to engage into conversations with enterprises todays. Traditionally they have sold fixed & mobile lines & minutes often based on price or specific product feature differentiation.

As we see the emergence of new Hosted VoIP/ Unified Communications & Collaboration services, our approach and conversation with the enterprise may have to fundamentally change. We effectively now become a partner in helping them address how they can use communications & collaboration services to continuously improve their businesses.  Often some of the more advance UC services can be more expensive if you just compare them say on the ability to make a call and not look at the broader UC benefit.

So the challenge for providers who want to address this UC market, is how do I change my business to enter into what are very different conversations and approaches. Also the people I will be competing against will be changing as I will start to bump into some of the traditional System Integrators like Accenture, Fujitsu, who have augmented their consulting capabilities with technology.

Well, what we are seeing so far is providers starting to offer their own Professional Services and Consulting service at the front of the sales process to help bridge that gap, also we see the emergence of centralized team resources that either provide technical and bid support or take over the whole sales process for these sales.  In my past, I was Senior Director at UUNET/Worldcom and we purchased the Digex business (a managed hosting business) I decided that it would be impossible to fully integrate that business as the sales process was complex and very different to what our sales teams were used to at that time, so we established it as an overlay on top of the Sales Team which was very successful. The last I heard, it still has an overlay capability over 10 years later.

This is obviously an important issue when talking to some of the very largest enterprises, but we are seeing more and more businesses looking at how they can improve their business. I am seeing providers offer consulting packages where they will come into medium size business for 2 days for less than £2000 and provide that business with a view of how Comms & Collaboration can improve their performance.

So our sales forces and organisations maybe forced to go through a fundamental change over the next few years if we are going to help our customers, take advantage of the new opportunities that UC and VoIP are bringing us.

The Cavell Group have been advising providers worldwide on how this issue needs to be addressed for the last 10 years and have experienced the changing needs of a huge number of providers in that time. If you want to find out more about what the Cavell Group has achieved please visit www.cavellgroup.com and get in touch.

matthew.townend@cavellgroup.com