Beth Schultz
Beth Schultz is editor of No Jitter and program co-chair for Enterprise Connect. Beth has more than two decades of...
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Beth Schultz | November 25, 2015 |


Cloud Comms Providers Carve Out Their Niches

Cloud Comms Providers Carve Out Their Niches Corvisa strengthens global presence while ThinkingPhones buys its way into group collaboration and team workspaces.

Corvisa strengthens global presence while ThinkingPhones buys its way into group collaboration and team workspaces.

As cloud communications providers angle for an enterprise edge, they continue to seek points of differentiation. Two examples from last week are Corvisa, which is bulking up its international presence, and ThinkingPhones, which is expanding its video services.

As I mentioned in last week's post on Skype for Business predictions, providers such as these two (plus the many, many others out there) will likely be facing some pretty stiff competition from Microsoft as it pushes its cloud communications services into general availability. Every initiative will count in getting cloud communications providers some foothold, so let's take an expanded look at what Corvisa and ThinkingPhones have done.

Corvisa Eyes Global Connectivity

While Corvisa has already had international origination and termination services, it has expanded its coverage footprint with the addition of points of presence (POPs) in London and Amsterdam. In an email interview, Corvisa CEO Matt Lautz shared why this expansion is significant for the company and, of course, its customers. At a basic level, the POPs give Corvisa additional country coverage with international toll-free and local number services. But more importantly, Lautz wrote, the international POPs will help reduce latency and improve voice quality.

With its fortified international presence, Corvisa initially is targeting U.S.-based companies that have global needs. However, it does intend to begin pursuing European-based businesses within the next 12 to 18 months, Lautz added.

Perhaps APAC businesses will follow from there. As Corvisa continues its global build-up, next up for additional POP consideration is the Asia-Pacific region in a location such as Singapore, he said.

Fuzing Video into ThinkingPhones
As ThinkingPhones CEO Steve Kokinos has told No Jitter previously, the company wants to be the big brand that emerges among cloud communications providers. To date, it's catered to enterprises with its voice services, point-to-point video, integration with business applications like, and insight and intelligence from its big-data analytics. An expansion into group video collaboration made for a natural next step, Kokinos told me in an interview. For that, it grabbed Fuze, a cloud-based video conferencing services provider, which bought into the online team workspaces market itself with the May acquisition of LiveMinutes.

ThinkingPhones and Fuze are like-minded in that they view communications as the center of the enterprise cloud ecosystem, Kokinos said. But while ThinkingPhones has come at that focal point with an analytics and integration angle, Fuze has done so with team workspaces and productivity in mind. "Either way," he added, "it's all about how we make the applications around us work better."

A merging of specialty cloud communications and collaboration providers -- Fuze and LiveMinutes, Fuze and ThinkingPhones -- is all but inevitable, Charlie Newark-French, president of Fuze, told me in the joint interview. Enterprises are facing communications app fatigue, and are starting to want a single provider -- one they've already vetted as OK for enterprise use. "Getting behind the corporate firewall takes some heavy lifting, and if an enterprise does that for one app, it doesn't want to have to do it across a multitude of apps," he said.

Toward that end, ThinkingPhones intends to incorporate the Fuze tools into a unified product that provides "one seamless experience for everyone." Kokinos didn't provide many details, other than to say the app would incorporate "really cool machine learning and analytics" and be available in the second half of 2016.

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