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Bandwidth and Alianza Partnership Targets CSPs

Today, Bandwidth and Alianza announced a new partnership. A few months back, I wrote about Lumen turning to Alianza to power a new generation of its cloud-delivered services. At first glance, I thought this was a similar arrangement, but it’s not. What Bandwidth and Alianza are announcing is a “sell-with” partnership — and the two providers have fifty reasons why they think going to market together makes sense.
 
This partnership is aimed at the communication service providers (CSPs) market. CSPs started the whole comms cloud revolution with the recipe of obtaining IP call management software. Earlier Gartner Magic Quadrants reports on hosted-IP telephony were dominated by independent service providers, and they were largely responsible for inventing what we now call UCaaS.
 
However, over the years, the market has shifted toward global offerings such as Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, RingCentral Office, and Zoom Phone. The CSPs were early to sell communications as a service but were slow to turn to cloud infrastructure themselves. Many of their IP communications services remain hosted in private data centers on legacy solutions.
 
The UCaaS vendor landscape is also changing. Two sectors are growing at the expense of the smaller UCaaS providers (such as Fuze and Star2Star). The big brands, such as Microsoft Teams, are growing very quickly. In her Enterprise Connect keynote, VP of MS Teams Nicole Herskowitz said that Teams is already in use in 50% of organizations — and she predicted ongoing growth.
 
The other growing sector is solutions that providers can use to power their brands. A private-label solution combined with feet on the street and established relationships is enabling a new generation of CSP growth. The problem is building out a competitive, private solution can be cost-prohibitive.
 
However, providers don’t have to build from scratch. They can leverage cloud economics the same as their customers do. Several vendors, including Alianza, 2600Hz, and Intermedia, are reporting growth by targeting VARs, providers, and even enterprises with cloud-native solutions that can be customized and re-branded.
 
The dual pressures of expensive overhead and customer loss to global providers are creating a new opportunity with CSPs. Bandwidth and Alianza discovered that they share 50 customers in common, and now, they are going to market together to better appeal to an estimated 2,000 CSPs.
 
For Bandwidth, CSPs present a new opportunity. In a recent investor presentation, Bandwidth presented four key customer categories: work communications (UCaaS providers such as Microsoft, RingCentral, and Zoom), CCaaS providers (such as NICE and Five9), brand CX (such as Luma Health and Rently), and global enterprises (such as Uber and DocuSign). “The CSP space is an important new growth category in our strategy to power the communications move to the cloud,” Sandy Preizler, Bandwidth’s chief revenue officer, said regarding this announcement.
 
Alianza offers a carrier-grade communications platform built for service providers. Its customers currently include 200 service providers worldwide that typically repackage the business and residential services as a house brand. The partnership with Bandwidth combines the platform and network into a turnkey offering.
 
The CSP can benefit from a pre-integrated, proven offering that requires little upfront capital. They can move away from legacy solutions, which may include software, hardware, and copper infrastructure. Bandwidth and Alianza provide a wide range of communications services — as a service — including UCaaS, meetings, residential services, PSTN, TNs, billing, and 911. Effectively, everything that’s needed to compete with global UCaaS brands.
 
Dave Michels is a contributing editor and analyst at TalkingPointz.

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