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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.

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CPaaS market maturing but rocky times ahead for Twilio May 3, 2017

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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Two interesting news stories have emerged in the last week showing how the CPaaS market is maturing, and how providers need to move beyond transactional services in the future.

The first story relates to the acquisition of TeleSign by BICS, driven by the desire for BICS to transform from a traditional Wholesale model to a CPaaS one, through the acquisition of TeleSign’s authentication and mobile identity services. Worth $230m, the transaction is equal to what Vonage paid for Nexmo in 2016. This highlights the value that Service Providers and Wholesale providers see in CPaaS, evidenced by such investments.

Cavell Perspective:

  • The first iteration of CPaaS has mainly followed a Wholesale model, with tight margins based on services like authentication, messaging and minutes. This means that significant scale is required to drive large revenues.
  • During this first iteration of the market, global wholesale traffic has declined, and as end users look for different ways to communicate, CPaaS platforms began to gain traction as a way to integrate communications within applications. However, CPaaS providers were only able to generate marginal revenues per transaction.

The second story concerns Twilio, generally considered the “poster boy” of CPaaS. Having made a lot of noise in the last few years and grown an impressive client list, the company is experiencing problems as its reliance on transactional services starts to bite. On the latest earnings call, Twilio’s CEO announced that Uber, representing 12% of revenue, will be reducing its use of Twilio’s services over the next year. In after-hours trading, its share price fell by around 30%, wiping close to $1b off their market cap. Twilio is constantly acquiring new accounts (4,000 added in the last quarter), but this has only accounted for quarterly revenue growth of $2m. It will be difficult for the company to find new customers with the user base of Uber.

Cavell Perspective:

  • This will become a growing concern for CPaaS providers, and highlights the need for them to move beyond basic authentication, minute or message services, to stickier solutions that drive customer retention.
  • The BICS acquisition solves the first part of this by enabling them to offer new services, but will this be enough to secure long-term customer relationships and repeat revenues?
  • Companies like Genband, RingCentral, Cisco and Vonage have started to move beyond simple transactional services, and begin to integrate CPaaS services into their cloud voice or contact centre solutions.
  • Service Providers need to understand what is happening in this market: the role of the Service Provider is coming into question, and key vendors are making significant investments in building or buying their own CPaaS platforms.
  • The ability to offer integrated services into applications is likely to be the best way to differentiate in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Cavell’s report “CPaaS: Market Opportunities for Service Providers” studies the dynamics of the industry, profiles key players and offers insights into the threats, and the opportunities, facing Service Providers. If you would like to purchase the report, or speak with one of analysts about the impact of CPaaS on your business, please get in touch with Dominic Black at dominic.black@cavellgroup.com

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