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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 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

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.

Cavell is pleased to announce two new European VoIP Summit dates. June 15, 2016

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After the success of the past two European VoIP Summit’s in London, Cavell is please to announce that we are taking the event to Amsterdam on the 11th of October 2016 and returning to London on the the 9th March 2017.

The European VoIP Summit is the largest event focused on Service Providers with the leaders of the VoIP industry coming together for a day of panel discussions, keynotes and presentation from experts and market leaders in the market from across Europe. Our previous event earlier this year in London had over 220 delegates from 58 European Service Providers, see more information here from that event

Amsterdam – 11th October 2016

As Cavell expanded our research team into the Dutch market with Rob Kurver joining the team in December, it was an easy decision to try to replicate the event in the most advanced VoIP market in Europe. We are happy to announce that Broadsoft and Genband will be returning as Gold Sponsors although there are plenty of opportunities still available.

You can find out more about the event and buy tickets here, we have finalized the Agenda and are currently signing up speakers for the event.

London – 9th March 2017

The European VoIP Summit 2016 in London earlier this year saw over 220 delegates from 58 Service Providers from around Europe come together for a discussion on the trends and dynamics of the European VoIP industry.

We have booked the QEII conference center in the heart of Westminster, London for the event, with views looking over the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. As we sold out last year, we have expanded the space to accommodate many more attendees and expect around 250 this year. Yealink have continued their association with our event and will be Gold Sponsors for the 2017 event.

We have our agenda here for the London event and will be propagating the list with speakers when they confirm. Tickets can be purchased here

Speaking and Sponsorship

Speaking slots and Sponsorship is still available for both events, please contact Dominic Black at dominic.black@cavellgroup.com if you are interested in sponsoring or speaking

The European VoIP Summit 2016 was a great success! March 9, 2016

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1On Tuesday, the 1st of March, The Cavell Group hosted the second European VoIP Summit, where over 200 attendees from over 60 VoIP service providers gathered in central London to address the opportunities and challenges the industry is facing and explore what to expect from the future of voice communications.

As with the range of topics, we also had a range of opinions with speakers from all key VoIP providers in Europe joining us, such as BT, Blueface, 6 Degrees, Vonage, TalkTalk Business, NFON, Liberty Global, Gamma, Voxbone, Siphon, Destiny, 8×8 and many others, as well as Vendors such as Yealink, Broadsoft and Genband who were our Gold Sponsors

 
Although much of the day was focused around how the industry is currently operating, a lot of focus was put on what the future of VoIP and SIP Trunking will look like. The industry believes a ‘disruptor’ might appear, like what messaging has seen with WhatsApp, which will enter the market and take significant market share.

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A very interesting discussion around WebRTC and Applications with viewpoints from Vendors, Service Providers and developers showed that it might not be the Service Providers developing the applications themselves, but instead they will allow developers to work with them to provide vertical solutions for their customers. WebRTC looks like it is starting to become that enabler for services in the future as communications move onto the web and away from the traditional end-point. Whether Service Providers will be able to charge for minutes in the future was again a hot discussion point.

We had a very interesting talk from Matthew McDermott and Mark Swarbrick on the state of regulation across Europe, followed by Cavell’s newest partner Q Advisors who gave a background on the M&A work they have been doing around the world.

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With Matt Townend’s closing remarks and networking drinks we concluded this year’s event was a great success! Our aim was to bring together VoIP service providers and create an opportunity to discuss current and future market aspects in a friendly and open networking environment. We believe our diverse group of speakers and panellists provided different points of views, at times even conflicting, thus enabling you to understand the bigger picture of the European setting.

We are happy to say we have received many positive comments and your feedback truly reflects the atmosphere everyone experienced. We are very thankful for your participation and we hope to see you at our events again! Last, but certainly not least, a big thank you to our Gold Sponsors: Broadsoft, Genband, and Yealink, and to our silver sponsors: AudioCodes, MDS Amiba, Mitel, Polycom, ProVu, RingCentral, Siphon, and Vanilla IP for their amazing support!

UK Business Hosted VoIP market breaks 2 million seats at the end of 2015. February 22, 2016

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Cavell has finished their latest research on the UK Hosted VoIP market which, as of 31st December 2015, had grown by 266,392 seats (13.95%) since June to reach a total number of 2,175,065 seats. This represents the largest growth in terms of actual seats over a six monthly period since Cavell started tracking the market 10 years ago, beating the next largest growth period which was incidentally recorded in the first six months of 2015. This meant that 2015 was by far the strongest year for Hosted VoIP as the market added 525,846 Seats (31.88%) over the whole year, far exceed 2014’s total growth of 355,153 seats.

This growth came mainly from the SME end of the market although there were encouraging signs of growth in the midmarket where there are starting to see some Service Providers have success in packaging solutions that can compete with PBXs as well as a stream of PBX vendors entering that area of the market with their own solutions including: Mitel, Avaya, Shoretel, MDS, IP Cortex etc.

The Large Enterprise did not grow at all as forecast with Service Providers reporting that in a lot of cases customers are starting to choose Skype for Business, where previously they may have sold a solution such as Cisco HUCs. The majority still do not use it voice but this is changing as an increasing number of Skype for Business customers are now using it for voice alongside presence and messaging.

Although growth had come from different customer size segments, the market was only 1,341 seats less than Cavell’s previous report, representing a 0.5% difference between Cavell’s forecast and the actual figure.

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

  • Five year forecast for the market size by customer size
  • Market revenues and forecast for seats, minutes and handsets
  • Pricing and bundling analysis
  • Future drivers and roadblock to market expansion
  • M&A analysis
  • Technology changes
  • List of Service Providers selling Hosted VoIP services in the UK
  • Other important developments and analysis on the Hosted VoIP market

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

Cavell’s European VoIP Summit 2016 is gathering momentum and tickets are selling fast! January 11, 2016

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Tickets for Cavell’s European VoIP Summit 2016 are selling quickly with over 100 attendees confirmed from around Europe. We have a great speaker line up and agenda confirmed and both Cavell and our sponsors are looking forward to seeing you there!

The event will be held on the 1st of March 2016 in London and is one of the best places to hear from industry experts, meet & network with likeminded Service Providers from around Europe and learn about your industry and market from the experts!

We only have limited space and tickets sold out last year so please book now to avoid disappointment.

Discounts available to Service Providers

Cavell are also offering a 15% discount on tickets to UK Service Providers who fill in their online survey on the Hosted VoIP and SIP Trunking market. All the data is confidential and is used to build a view of the total market. If you want to contribute please fill out the following surveys

Hosted VoIP: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/voipsurveyjan16

SIP Trunking: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SIPsurveyjan2016

If you have any questions please contact Dominic Black at dominic.black@cavellgroup.com who can provider further details.

 

The UK Hosted VoIP market adds over 259,000 seats in the first six months of 2015 July 30, 2015

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The Hosted VoIP market has seen exceptional growth in the first six months of 2015 with the total number of Hosted VoIP seats growing from 1,649,219 to 1,908,673 – a growth of 15.73%. This represents the largest growth that Cavell has seen in a six monthly period since we started tracking the market.

Providers who focus on the Large Enterprise segment (over 1000 seats) and providers who focus on the Micro segment (1-9 seats) have all added significant seats in the last six months and Cavell has again not seen much growth in the midmarket (50-500 seats). The growth from the large enterprise segment was encouraging as Cavell has seen providers in this space struggle to add seats in the past due to the length of time to migrate large legacy bases.

Cavell has also seen an increase in M&A activity in the last six months, both strategic and “fire” sales. Currently Cavell is tracking 86 Hosted VoIP providers in the UK of which a large number have revenues below £10m. With platform providers entering the market as well with their own cloud platforms (Avaya, Genband, Broadsoft, Mitel), the face of the UK market could change rapidly as competition may drive the market to consolidate further.

The full report will be available to purchase through our new website: www.cavellgroup.com and can be preordered by contacting dominic.black@cavellgroup.com.

Broadsofts purchase of HIPCOM justified with 5 year deal signed with BT March 6, 2014

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Last week BT Wholesale & Broadsoft announced a 5 year distribution agreement. This really justifies the  purchase of HIPCOM by Broadsoft earlier in the year, as it was widely rumoured in the channel that BTW may move away from HIPCOM & therefore Broadsoft. This potential move was  not because HIPCOM offered a poor service more because the multitiered financial relationship that BT had with Broadsoft via HIPCOm just would not work in a channel environment with to many mouths to feed.  This also clarifies BTW strategy which will give the channel confidence to enter into longterm contracts.

illume noted that in the  the announcement it was stated “As part of the agreement, BT Wholesale will become a preferred BroadSoft distributor in the UK to communications providers looking to provide Hosted IP Centrex Services to the indirect channel”, we will have to see what preferred distributor means as obviously Broadsoft have some very large existing distributors of their services in the UK already.

Marc Timmermans, Director Portfolio Development, BT Wholesale highlighted the importance BT are placing on Hosted UC.

“Hosted Communications Services is a key pillar in BT Wholesale’s strategy and is at the heart of our plans to rapidly expand our indirect channel business. By working with us, communications providers can offer their business customers a complete communications service, whether it be Hosted IP Centrex, SIP Trunking, Contact Centres or Inbound Services, all run, managed and owned by BT.”

On friday Broadsoft also announced their latest financial result and also gave some insight to their on going strategy. Performance continues to be strong with full year, total revenue was $178.5 million, an increase of 8% compared to $164.8 million in 2012. The results indicated strong performance in their core Business Hosted UC & Broadcloud businesses, with weaker performance in consumer and they indicated that outside of the US they had not seen the growth in the SIP trunking business they had seen in the US or though there were signs this was changing. They indicated that was because the markets were not as mature, obviously we are seeing strong growth in the UK for SIP Trunking, but often people choose to deliver this directly from SBCs rather than from their Application server infrastructure.

The other clear theme of the call was the opportunity and progress Broadsoft are making selling to mobile operators, with particular focus on the future opportunities of offering voice over LTE type services.  Although generally their are still some concerns about LTEs ability to carry voice, this is a clear direction for Broadsoft and are gaining traction selling to Mobile providers who maybe only offering 3G business services today. Mike Tessler CEO Broadsoft mentioned that Broadsoft are well position to service Enterprises as they move away from their premise based PBX architectures which were designed to work within the confines of the LAN & lack any real mobility capabilities, and where maintaining a hardware box & wiring closet were key to handling  enterprise comms requirements to a time when people are communicating with mobiles, tablet and from anywhere around the world.  illume think VLTE will take time to become a market reality in most market, in the meantime however extending Hosted UC capability over mobile and wifi environment is clearly key to Broadsofts growth opportunities.

illume is also interested to see how the recent purchase of Finnacom in Germany and Hipcom in the UK may help re invigorate Broadsofts previously announced federation strategy which has gone a bit quiet in the last year. By effectively having their own operator in Germany and UK can they now offer the ability to their customers to offer B end services in these countries, it will be interesting to see how this develops further.