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

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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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

BT Openreach separation agreed but still part of BT Group March 10, 2017

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This morning it was announced that BT and Ofcom have reached agreement on a long-term regulatory settlement that will see Openreach become a distinct, legally separate company with its own Board. However, the new entity will still report to the BT Group and ultimately the BT CEO Gavin Patterson.

The new company, Openreach Ltd, will have its own separate logo without BT and report to an independent board. It will also transfer over 32,000 employees to the new company however their pension rights etc. will be upheld.

The BT Announcement stated:

“This Board will set Openreach’s medium term and annual operating plans and determine which technologies are deployed, within a strategic and financial framework defined by BT. Openreach will be free to explore alternative co-investment models in private with third parties.

The Openreach CEO will report into the Openreach Chairman, with accountability to the BT Group Chief Executive with regards to certain legal and fiduciary duties that are consistent with BT’s responsibilities as a listed company.”

The question will be exactly what does this mean in terms of independence, and what benefits it will bring. TalkTalk responded favourably in a statement this morning but did reinforce that Ofcom’s job is not over yet.

Dido Harding, Chief Executive Officer, TalkTalk commented:

“We welcome the agreement to create a legally separate Openreach. The new company will be better placed to deliver the improved investment and service that consumers and businesses deserve. This deal will require robust Ofcom monitoring and enforcement to ensure it delivers the improvements the regulator expects. We hope this is the start of a new deal for Britain’s broadband customers, who will be keen to see a clear timetable from Openreach setting out when their services will improve.” 

In essence, this seem a very positive move and we hope it brings what BT Gavin Patterson stated:

“I believe this agreement will serve the long-term interests of millions of UK households, businesses and service providers that rely on our infrastructure. It will also end a period of uncertainty for our people and support further investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure. 

 

 

 

 

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

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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.

UK SIP Trunking market shows strong growth but mainly from a few specialist Service Providers February 22, 2016

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized, VoIP Numbers.
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The SIP Trunking market has seen strong growth, especially in the Large Enterprise segment with the midmarket also growing faster then expected. By the end of December, the UK SIP Trunking market had grown by 232,070 Trunks (13.73%) since June 2015. This was one of the largest growth periods that Cavell has tracked only surpassed by the same period in 2014.

This has however led to 2015 showing the largest growth the whole year as the market added a total of 453,131 Trunks (31%). Cavell expects that the SIP market will continue to show strong growth as Service Providers take advantage of the end-of-life of the ISDN and PSTN networks. Cavell is already starting to see signs of how Service Providers are using this announcement as valuable marketing material, sowing the seeds of uncertainty to potential customers who are still utilizing those networks.

We are seeing growth in SIP driven by a focused set of Service Providers, both specialist SIP players and some traditional Tier 1 & 2 operators. As competition hot’s up Cavell believes that there will be continued pressure on pricing and possibly even further pressure for market consolidation. We are already seeing certain Service Providers look at how they can differentiate from SIP Capacity type services by looking to integrate more advance applications as completion and customer requirement changes.

Cavell will be releasing the full report on the UK SIP Trunking market in the next few weeks which includes:

  • Five year forecast for the market size by customer size
  • Market revenues and Forecast for Channel and Voice revenue streams
  • Pricing analysis
  • Future drivers and roadblock to future market expansion
  • Technology changes
  • List of Service Providers selling SIP Trunking services in the UK
  • Other important developments and analysis on the SIP Trunking market

The report is available to pre-order from our website here: http://www.cavellgroup.com/index.php/research/reports

 

SME drives strong growth in the Hosted VoIP market March 24, 2015

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Cavell have released our latest Hosted VoIP report that focuses on the trends and developments in the last six months of 2014 and also includes our 5-year forecast for seat numbers and revenues.

Cavell have seen the market fulfill the strong growth that was forecast in our midyear report with the SME segment, where average employee size is between 10-50 seats, driving growth. As of 31st December 2014, there were 1,649,219 Hosted VoIP seats in the UK, growing by 245,489 seats (17.49%) in the last six months. The large enterprise segment (1000+ seats) has also seen stronger growth than in previous years as some large bids that had been won earlier in the year were finally in deployment phase.

The market is still very fragmented with over 80 providers serving the UK market although what is interesting now is that many are speaking to Cavell about looking to expand overseas. We have also seen US giants Thinkingphones and Vonage setting up operations in the UK, who join other large international providers such as 8×8, RingCentral and Nfon who have entered in the last few years.

What has been interesting in this report is the impact of fibre, which has not had the predicted effect on driving growth in the midmarket. Although BT is on target to reach their fibre rollout figure, the fibre is still not in the right areas, which is making it difficult for providers and channel partners alike to offer it as a service, especially as the availability and price ranges differ so significantly depending on location.

If you would like more details on the full report please contact Dominic Black at dominic.black@cavellgroup.com for all enquiries or purchase at http://www.illumeresearch.com/shop-research.html

Redcentric acquire InTechnology’s Managed Services business. November 20, 2013

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Considering we saw little M&A activity in the Hosted VoIP market at the start of 2013, the last few months have seen significant changes in the makeup of the market. We have already seen Broadsoft acquire HIPCOM in August and 8X8 purchase Voicenet Solutions last week and now Redcentric has announced that they have bought InTechnology in a £65 million cash acquisition.

Redcentric, a spin off of Redstone, purchase signifies a move which Tony Weaver, CEO of Redstone, claims will create “the leading independent managed services business in the UK”.

This move has formed so far the third biggest B2B networking and data player in the UK market with only Daisy and Easynet who are significantly larger then Redcentric now are. With an increasingly fragmented market, moves such as these are giving companies a way to push through the barrier of being ‘midmarket’ and with further M&A activity the makeup of the market could be set for a significant change.