by Greg Zweig, Director Solutions Marketing
Over the past 15 years Unified Communication (UC) services have become a normal part of enterprise communications, features like presence and IM along with voice and video are part of our work lives. The advent of cloud-based UC has made it even easier to roll-out sophisticated services to anyone with an internet connection.
Logically speaking, users’ willingness to adopt UC should be great news for service providers. For the most part it is…however we are starting to see some new challenges. Like any technology adoption cycle, maturity means that there are more competitive players in the market and more customers trying to decide which to buy.
I am routinely asked by our service provider customers or prospects - How are you going to help me differentiate my cloud Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offerings from others on the market? How can I solidify my installed base? How can I avoid a price battle that ends in a race to zero or actually improve my margins? Of course if it were simple I would be writing this from my ocean view balcony…but it’s not. The reality is that most UCaaS providers have roughly the same bundling of voice, video, messaging and soft clients for the same price. Many actually have the EXACT same offering with the same clients from the same platform… A quick search online will result in 25 options for “full-featured” UC bundles at $30 or $35 a month.
Given that reality, what happens when an organization starts comparing their UC options – especially a few with the exact same UC platform? The answer is obvious, one of these providers is going to cut their price to get the business. The race to zero is on…
At GENBAND we’re trying to address this new market reality by giving our customers the ability to embed the power of a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) into their UCaaS offering, leveraging technologies such as WebRTC, Omni client technology, Kandy Wrappers and more. The idea is to create something different, something better and some unique value customers can’t negotiate away on their first Google search. And we aim to make it rational to buy and deploy by consolidating these offerings in the same easy-to-use web portal, they use to buy UCaaS solutions.
We are taking UCaaS to another level by integrating CPaaS into the collaboration experience. Our customers can actually embed Real-Time Communications capabilities using our Kandy Wrappers (Visual Attendant, Truck Roll, Live Support, etc.). Wrappers can give businesses a modern way to connect to all the prospects browsing their website – without stopping to call an 800 number. Instead of charging less, Kandy Wrappers offer a compelling way to add more value.
We also changing the UC clients themselves, our Omni-client technology (combination of client containers, WebRTC and HTML5) gives service providers the ability to add web services inside of the UC client. No room of developers or a massive professional services engagement, just the URL of your CRM or patient app or learning management app. We don’t care if it’s the market leader or a home grown hack, either will work. In fact, the more unique the application, the more organizations will appreciate our solution’s ability to integrate. Once it’s deployed, they won’t be leaving you to save $1 a month.
Service providers and enterprise resellers can now create unique UC solutions that deliver higher-value capabilities that their competition just can’t match. It’s a simple way to add real-time communications capabilities to web-based business applications as well as converge UC and common business tools.
I hope you can skip the race to zero and join me and my colleague Carlos Aragon for an informative Webinar titled, UCaaS 2.0: Differentiate and Protect Margins with CPaaS taking place October 12 at 11 am Eastern/10 am Central. Click here to register for the Webinar.