SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Zeus Kerravala | July 24, 2013 |

 
   

VOSS Waters Down the Complexity of UCaaS Onboarding

VOSS Waters Down the Complexity of UCaaS Onboarding Competitive advantage won't come from service features but rather from the quality of customer service, which starts with provisioning and migrating users.

Competitive advantage won't come from service features but rather from the quality of customer service, which starts with provisioning and migrating users.

The Unified Communications industry is currently filled with all kinds of exciting trends. Video, WebRTC, the cloud, BYOD, social media and other trends give folks like myself lots to blog about and discuss. One of the more important areas, though, that gets very little air time is improving the operational processes it takes to actually set up and manage UC, especially for companies offering UC as a Service (UCaaS). This is the tough stuff that can be the difference between a service provider being profitable or not, or having happy customers versus losing them to a competitor.

The onboarding process, in particular, can be overly cumbersome as users and devices need to be provisioned and matched to the variety of UC services. In addition, the provisioning process can include migrating massive amounts of data from legacy systems, which poses its own problems. If it's not done correctly, customers of UCaaS providers will have a generally poor experience--and let's be frank here: The quality of service from traditional telcos hasn't exactly been stellar in the past.

Improving this process and customer experience should be of the utmost importance to service providers. Historically, when the incumbent operators had a monopoly on network services, it didn't matter all that much. But the UCaaS market is filled with new entrants, including many of the traditional premises-based vendors. Make a mistake, burn a customer and you lose a customer.

VOSS Solutions, which makes UC fulfillment software, has established an "Operational Excellence" initiative to improve and streamline the on-boarding processes for Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS)-based systems. It's a good initiative for VOSS, as Cisco's HCS has been deployed widely by telcos all over the world, creating a big opportunity for VOSS.

VOSS has a number of software-based applications such as the on-boarding toolset (OBT) and site survey toolset (SST) that are used in the process of bringing devices and users up on Cisco HCS. Operational Excellence provides customers with a set of best practices built from the aggregated information drawn from the managed and cloud-based service providers using VOSS today.

The Operational Excellence best practices and VOSS applications are of particular value when service providers are doing a mass migration of a customer's phones, users and services. The VOSS software can take inputs from premise-based Cisco Call Managers and legacy PBXs and then initiate an automated mass migration.

In a discussion with VOSS, they referenced a European service provider that migrated over 80,0000 IP phones and 120,000 users in more than 2,000 locations for a major bank. Historically, this kind of migration could take years to complete, but was accomplished in under six months following the VOSS Operational Excellence framework.

The importance of some kind of best practices for service providers to follow, whether they are from VOSS or any other source, can't be overstated. Cloud-based UC is really in its infancy and over the next few years, we'll see an explosion in the number of UCaaS solution providers. Since many cloud providers will choose to use HCS as the underlying technology, competitive advantage won't come from service features but rather from the quality of customer service, which starts with provisioning and migrating users.

Because of the complexity in provisioning new users, some cloud providers may be hesitant to aggressively expand the range of UC services offered. I've interviewed some UCaaS providers that start with voice and then have a very conservative roadmap when it comes to service expansion. Much of the conservatism is due to the challenges of the back office tasks associated with managing UC. It may seem prudent to be conservative here, but I expect the cloud UC market to move very quickly--putting those service providers that figure out how to expand the range of services and offer quality service in the drivers seat.

When it comes to capturing UCaaS market share, I can only think of a quote from the famed poet, Ricky Bobby--"If you're not first, you're last"--and the VOSS Operational Excellence Initiative can help service providers be first.

Follow Zeus Kerravala on Twitter and Google+!
@zkerravala
Zeus Kerravala on Google+





COMMENTS



August 16, 2017

Contact centers have long been at the leading edge of innovation in communications technology, given their promise of measurable ROI and the continual need to optimize customer interactions and sta

July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.