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How a Savvy Service Provider can Survive and Grow – Part II August 17, 2017

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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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.

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

Update your Diary for the 9th of March! January 16, 2017

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European VoIP Summit 2017 – QEII Centre, London

The Service Providers event of the year is coming soon and tickets are selling fast! Here are 5 reasons you should book today and avoid disappointment:

1. Insightful Panel Discussions

Key Topics to be Explored:

  • Who will be the winners and losers following the ISDN/PSTN Switch Off?
  • Who will run the Communications Platform of the future?
  • What role do developers play in the future of communication?
  • Regulation: What is changing and how does this impact you?

 

2. Unmissable Presentations

Meet the Industry Leaders:

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3. Industry Keynotes on the State of the Market

Cavell’s respectable analysts will share their thoughts on the state of the market:
  • How to compete in the new communications landscape
  • Trends in the European VoIP Markets
  • What does the future of communications hold?

 

4. Excellent Networking & Opportunity to Share Experiences and Practices

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5. Special Offer

Bring your colleagues along! The Service Provider Pass includes 3 tickets for £300+VAT offering you 20% off each ticket when bought together.

Buy your ticket here

If you have any questions, please get in touch.
We look forward to seeing you on the 9th of March!

Many thanks to our Sponsors!

Gold Sponsors:

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Exhibition Sponsors:

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Join us for the 4th edition of the European VoIP Summit November 18, 2016

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We are pleased to announce that the 4th edition of the European VoIP Summit will be held on the 9th of March 2017 at the QEII Centre in London.

The European VoIP Summit has become the leading industry event where Service Providers meet to discuss the key issues in the market, so this time we have expanded to accommodate 300 delegates for a series of insightful panel discussions and presentations as well as Industry Keynotes from Cavell’s analysts Matt Townend & Dominic Black.

Knowledgeable, experienced thought-leaders will share their experiences and practices, and enlighten us with their controversial views. Key industry players such as Gamma, Kcom, Broadsoft, AudioCodes, Voxygen, NFON, Voztelecom, Telecoms Cloud, and QAdvisors, as well as the experienced CMO Lisa Hutt, and Mike Wilkinson, one of the most respected senior marketing figures in the Technology market, have already been confirmed as speakers. Click here to see the complete Agenda.

The day also includes ample time for you to connect with your peers, and lunch and networking drinks are all included in the ticket price.

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Also, we are proud to announce that Audiocodes, Broadsoft and Yealink have committed as our Gold Sponsors for the event, with Edgewater Networks and SIPHON joining as exhibition sponsors.

We have sold out all of our previous events, with over 220 attendees registered from 60 different Service Providers in London in March 2016 and we expect to do the same next year, so sign up now to secure your seat and avoid disappointment.

Also, this year we have introduced the Service Provider Pass, offering 3 tickets for £300+VAT which provides 20% off each ticket when bought together, so don’t miss out on this opportunity and bring your colleagues along.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.
We look forward to seeing you on the 9th of March!

UC Expo: Millennials, Collisions & Video April 28, 2016

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Last week at Olympia London we saw many vendors repeat the same messages as they addressed the impact of millennials on the workforce, digitisation and video. Cisco highlighted the importance of using collaboration tools to create ‘collisions’ in the workforce – we understand the point they were trying to make but the term is often perceived with negative connotations, particularly in the insurance industry!

Microsoft’s put significant effort into the event with a big presence on various stages and in the exhibition space. They are now strongly positioning themselves in the UC space and Cavell believes that their success will continue in the coming years, especially in Large Enterprises. Microsoft also demonstrated their Cloud PBX for the first time in the UK which allows users to run Skype for Business services in Office 365. Handset manufacturer Yealink were also showcasing their Skype for Business integrations with their new range of handsets.

What Cavell are seeing more and more of is vendors driving innovation by encouraging developers to develop on their platform. We are interested to see how this plays out in the future as all major vendors, including Broadsoft, Genband, Cisco, Microsoft, are undertaking various Hackathons. Cisco’s announcement in March shows their commitment to having external developers use their platform as they hope their Spark Innovation Fund of $150m dollars will drive development.

“Disrupt or be disrupted.” – Marianne Calder, Cisco opening keynote, UC Expo 2016

Cavell will looking in-depth in the next few months of what how the relationship between Service Providers, Vendors and Developers will change in the future as this is an area where there is some really interesting changes that we think will impact the Voice market in the future.

Cavell are off to Orlando next week for GENBAND Perceptives 2016 where Matt Townend is speaking. We look forward to seeing all those who are attending there!