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

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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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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.

How a Savvy Service Provider can Survive and Grow – Part I August 11, 2017

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Many businesses in the UK, small, medium and large are suffering. Pressures created by fears of what BREXIT may bring, austerity reducing the flow of money and challenging economic conditions, mean they are searching for efficiencies and cost saving opportunities to maintain and grow. These are requirements that the savvy Service Provider can meet to grow their own business. Services have become increasingly competitive and the number of Service Providers in the UK now exceeds 95, so business customers have choice, and this creates the need for Service Providers to increase the attractiveness of their offerings creating stickiness to maintain their current clients and to introduce new value-added services to increase their client base.

Value Added Services that Improve Customer Service

Good customer service is key to business success in every sector and the market research firm Cavell are reporting an increasing demand for call centre features for business telephone users beyond the contact centre. They surmise that this is a direct result of the drive to improve customer services.  The business goal is to collect data from communications that will provide information to help the business to make customer communications better and enable multiple communication channels to be utilised beyond voice, including social media and instant messaging. Call Recording and Analytics are the two key basic call centre offering in demand and large platform providers are increasingly developing these capabilities, or collaborating to be able to offer these services to SME and large enterprise businesses.

Call recording has been available for a while and is a mature product. The key applications have been MIFID II for financial Service tracking and PCI compliant call recording for where credit card details are collected over the phone. The recent change, is that there is an increasing use of Call Recording to provide the business with the data to target areas for improvement through staff training and to secure details of customer interactions for future reference and to improve customer service.

Analytics is the second growing offering. Businesses are increasingly using Analytics on every customer inbound channel to gather information to help them to sell better and to understand what media their customers are using to communicate with them. This data helps them to understand how their customer is interacting. Demand for these analytic products is very high. Service Providers such 8×8 have invested in building their own analytics solutions and others are collaborating with providers like Akixi, Dubber and Tollring to be able to offer analytics solutions. The data provided helps the business to understand how to manage calls effectively and to identify future possibilities for new products.

Stay tuned for our upcoming posts where we will be covering what else we have seen makes Service Providers successful in this ever-changing and highly-competitive market.

Also, if you wish to contribute to our market research (due to be released on August 31st), please follow the links below. All participants will receive one ticket at our upcoming European VoIP Summit and have the opportunity to join our webinar on September 7th where we will be communicating our top-level results and some of the main trends we have seen in the UK Hosted VoIP and SIP Trunking market in the last six months.

Hosted VoIP Survey

SIP Trunking Survey

#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!

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.

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.