By: C. Enrique Ortiz, Shango Head of Products
The cloud-based Shango platform provides a number of pre-integrated API connectors to various Telephone Number (TN) sourcing providers including Onvoy (previously, 360 Networks), Bandwidth, L3, VoIP Innovations, and others. This means that our platform users don't have to worry about designing and writing code to the various or disparate sourcing providers and instead by using our Web Portal and our common sourcing API, customers can instead use that time and resources for more important daily business operations.
At the center of telephone number sourcing is our common sourcing API. This common API takes care of all the integration and aggregation details across the various sourcing partners within the platform. When combined with the Shango web portal, customers can define and map their various sourcing providers to one or more pricing groups or tiers, allowing customers to source phone numbers using Shango's Least Cost Sourcing (LCS) algorithms for both on-and off-network TN sourcing.
View our Sourcing and Inventory info sheet, which illustrates the Shango Platform features and capabilities, specifically the sourcing and inventory tracking workflows and related functionality.
In the case that a particular Shango customer needs a sourcing provider that we do not currently support, we can work with such sourcing provider or vendor to build the new corresponding API connector, similarly to how we have done up to this point with our existing pre-integrated sourcing partners.
Regardless of connector availability, or while a new API connector is being built, Shango customers can use our "Inventory Import" capability to import their inventory, and immediately start managing such inventory.
As a side note, our approach to Sourcing Providers is similar to how we integrate to the various SIP Trunking and hosted PBX service providers for activation; we have a number of pre-integrated connectors including Broadsoft, NetSapiens, OpenSips, FreeSwitch, and Sonus, with support for others coming out soon. Once again we hide all related integration complexities and reduce related costs via our web portal and our exposed phone number sourcing, activation and management APIs.
So in summary, the Shango platform provides a number of pre-integrated connectors that we expose via our common sourcing and inventory management APIs, and related sourcing workflows, effectively hiding all the technical complexities and minimizing the costs of TN sourcing -- we take care of integrating and managing to the various sourcing providers for you.
To learn more about Shango’s sourcing and inventory tracking capabilities, click here to request a demo, or subscribe to our newsletter to be kept up-to-date on upcoming webinars and events.
Join us and register for our 30 minute LIVE webinar to learn about “Least-cost sourcing DIDs from your own origination providers instantly via Shango,” on Thursday, May 23rd at 2:00-2:30 CST / 3:00-3:30 EST.
Back in the day, one could argue things were simpler. Your landline phone was used to make a call; the postal service was used to send a letter; your work computer stayed at work; and brick-and-mortar call centers served their purpose—bringing employees together at one central physical location.
Fast forward several decades and we are currently immersed in a world of unified communications (UC) solutions. Why? Because in this world, we are witnessing the convergence of real-time communication services—like instant messaging, telephony, and wholesale voice services—with non-real time communication—such as unified messaging including e-mail, SMS, and fax. So what’s contributing to the great move out west to UC? The advent of IP Telephony and its promising features.
“One of the most powerful drivers for the migration to IP telephony is the potential cost savings, including reduced on-net calling costs; more efficient moves, adds, and changes; lower overall network monitoring, management, and configuration costs; reduced access and long-distance calling costs through VoIP/SIP trunking; and lower overhead through the merger of IT and telecom staff within the organization,” says Elka Popova, Frost & Sullivan’s Program Director for the North America Unified Communications & Collaboration research group.
In fact, IT decision makers at large organizations are expected to spend $53 million on services to support unified communications and collaboration (UCC) over the next two years, according to new research released by global ICT solutions and services provider Dimension Data. Some other key findings include the fact that:
- 78% of survey participants have a current strategic plan and budget in place to implement "select components" of UCC
- 43% have a budget for “most components” of UCC
- 42% of decision-makers indicated they have a budget to proceed with investment in "all or most aspects" of UCC
“Typically, UCC has not been the subject of strategic ICT planning. In fact, until recently, UCC was largely synonymous with the corporate PBX, and the idea of formulating and rolling out a UCC strategy – even among large organizations – was alien,” explains Craig Levieux, Dimension Data's Group General Manager for Converged Communications.
Shango, an enabler of a ubiquitous manner for buying and selling IP services for communications services providers, is poised to help facilitate the exponential growth of UCC by enabling CSPs, including UC resellers and wholesale customers, to more easily source and fulfill UC services from their UC-related suppliers, while making it simpilier for suppliers to onboard those customers. Shango’s SaaS platform is designed to address the need for integrated and automated IP-based services sourcing and fulfillment through its solution for unified communications supply chain orchestration.
Shango currently offers two services, driven by automated workflows: a sourcing and inventory tracking service (for sourcing IP-based and UC-related services upstream from vendors, including phone number origination providers—as well as managing native and third-party inventory), and a distribution channel fulfillment service (for onboarding IP telephony resellers and wholesale customers, and managing their orders—including activation, features, and porting, in order to extend and fulfill services downstream).
Start exploring Shango today. If you’d like to request a Shango demo, fill out our quick demo request form and a representative will contact you shortly.
May 6, 2013, Austin TX – To meet the growing demand for a more seamless way to source and fulfill IP-based services and products, Shango has enabled a ubiquitous manner of orchestrating voice and data applications via its open, common platform; doing away with the complexity of sorting, matching, and joining together disparate pieces of the product puzzle.
Via Shango’s web portal and common API, customers have increased productivity and data accuracy by being able to easily find, connect, and acquire services, including DIDs, features like e911, and other voice and data applications from their providers to enable new product sets.
In fact, origination providers have been able to quickly onboard subscribers, eliminate manual fulfillment processes, better manage overhead, and even reduce common provisioning errors. “Both origination providers and OTT service providers alike could significantly reduce operating costs by utilizing Shango’s common API to integrate their order management systems and B/OSS tools to automate back-office processes, creating greater synergy across disparate systems,” shares Shango EVP of business development, John Abraham.
Shango will be in Chicago, Illinois next week, where the wholesale telecommunications community will convene for the annual International Telecoms Week (ITW). ITW offers multiple networking opportunities, an extensive exhibit area, and numerous conference sessions with a range of speakers from carriers to service providers.
“We’re looking forward to joining our industry peers at ITW to share in the trends and advances within our industry, as well to gather with global colleagues that share our desire to simplify the way the industry sources and fulfills IP-based services,” explains Jason Bollman, vice president at Shango. “Our SaaS-based solution is helping service providers more easily place and fulfill orders for voice and data services, as well as manage relationships up- and down-channel via the platform,” he continues.
Just over a year old, Shango has already facilitated more than six million transactions across a plurality of voice applications for more than 1,400 trading partners. Among its chief differentiators is its ability to address a critical pain point in the market by providing a link and level of transparency between both traditional and non-traditional wholesale communications buyers and sellers.
During the trade show, which runs from May 13-15, Shango encourages ITW attendees to schedule a meeting with our team to learn more about the only community-based marketplace for the fulfillment of global IP-enabled services for communication service providers.
Every year we inevitably see the rise of a new technology trend and this year, one of the acronyms joining the ever-growing technology dictionary is OTT, or over-the-top providers.
Last week, we introduced the fact that 44 percent of traditional communication service providers are actively engaging in OTT partnerships and that 31 percent of telco marketers are identifying potential revenue streams from new products or services that can be offered to OTT players. Today, we continue to explore that impact.
With an increased demand for voice services, applications, and content delivery, there is a heightened demand for new partnerships, especially with OTT providers. Fortunately, Shango, an open- common platform, exists—a place where OTT application providers and ITSPs can source (meaning search, find, and activate) IP enabled services like phone numbers, allowing them to self-fulfill a variety of offerings from their vendors such as origination providers, as well as form new relationships with other providers. Likewise, their vendors, wholesale carriers or service providers, can more easily deliver IP-enabled services down channel to their resellers or customers, like an ITSP, application service provider, or other OTT provider.
“The telecom business has to fundamentally change,” said David Walsh, Shango CEO. “Carriers and other providers need to be able to pull through best-of-breed, third-party applications; have the ability to manage and fulfill third-party trading partners; and present it out to their customer bases and channels in a seamless way.”
Shango’s open, common platform operates much like an Amazon.com, allowing OTT application providers and ITSPs to use the platform’s web portal or its common APIs to connect to their carrier vendors to source and acquire IP-enabled services, while easily managing their orders and inventory requests across multiple on- and off-net providers to acquire upstream inventory. Members of Shango’s marketplace can also activate, assign port and release IP-enabled services to their SIP trunk and hPBX providers, and port directly CLECs or top service bureaus. Likewise, carriers that are plagued with legacy infrastructure constraints can put their inventory into the platform via a branded web portal, and provision service to downstream resell channels, who can search, find and activate their service through one point of integration.
Just over a year old, Shango has already facilitated more than five million transactions across a plurality of voice applications for more than 1,400 trading partners. Among its chief differentiators is its ability to address a critical pain point in the market by providing a link and level of transparency between both traditional and non-traditional wholesale communications buyers and sellers.
To start exploring Shango today, visit our website or contact us directly to request a demo.
In some way or another, each child is a bit of a follower. Just think of your 10-year-old niece who did not think that Justin Bieber doll you gave her was cool until her peer starting playing with one. Similarly, oftentimes telecom companies do not endorse the next great tech thing until their competitors jump aboard. Such has been the case with over-the-top (OTT) providers.
OTT providers, or providers that deliver your content and/or services, which are not directly provided by your Internet Service Provider, or, for voice and data services, a telecom carrier like an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP) are quickly gaining popularity—after at one time being rebuffed by telecom marketing officials. Specifically, as recent as mid-2011, when the Chief Marketing Officer Council surveyed telecom marketing executives, and 88 percent felt that OTT providers were the competition. In fact, only six percent felt comfortable forming partnerships with them.
Fast forward just one year and now 44 percent of those traditional communication services providers are actively engaging in OTT partnerships and 31 percent of telco marketers are identifying potential revenue streams from new products or services that can be offered to OTT players .
Yet for those that understand the full portfolio of services afforded by OTT providers, perhaps this news is not that surprising. OTT providers today offer more than just the audio and video content; they deliver any service or content available on the Internet, such as over internet protocol (IP). That fact is incredibly important, especially with consumers wanting much more than just voice. Today’s consumer wants a myriad of voice services and IP-enabled features and applications—all in one end-user offering.
OTT providers are touted for their ability to quickly and seamlessly push out and pull down IP-enabled services and applications to and from one another. To learn more about OTT providers, check out part two of this article.
It’s hard to keep up with all the tech acronyms out there—especially with every acronym being defined by at least three more! There is one acronym in particular that is quickly becoming an important part of the tech jargon: OTT, or over-the-top services.
OTT refers to the delivery, across the Internet, of content and/or services that are not directly provided by your Internet Service Provider or, for voice and data services, a telecom carrier like an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP). Think Skype, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Netflix—all instant content delivery services. While OTT traditionally referred to the delivery of strictly audio and video content, most recently the scope has expanded to include the delivery of any service or content available on the Internet.
With the uptick of new players—such as application providers—in the tech space, the demand for OTT services has burgeoned exponentially. Moreover, subscribers want their content fast and seamlessly. Accordingly, both wholesale providers and their customers are searching for more expedient ways to push out and pull down IP-enabled services and applications to and from one another. The most successful OTT providers are those that are location and technology agnostic, meaning a subscriber can have a direct relationship with the OTT provider and can access his or her subscription from any location and at any given time.
Feeling better about the latest technology buzzword?
Engaged Shango for: Sourcing and Inventory from phone number origination providers, Distribution Channel Fulfillment
A leading unified communications provider needed a simpler way to order and manage its third-party telephone number inventory from its wholesale origination providers, as well as the ability to multi-tenant their existing infrastructure in order to activate services on its hosted PBX platform while extending self-fulfillment to its own resellers and customers in order to process large quantity and high volume orders from them.
The company also had multiple third-party providers, as well as multiple portals and manual swivel chair processes by which they had to source their inventory. For their own resellers and customers, their infrastructure’s lack of multi-tenancy limited their ability to drive more volume through their resellers, inhibiting them from conducting their own maintenance—including standard moves, adds, changes, and disconnects—on the phone numbers they would order.
By engaging Shango’s open, common platform, the company is able to better manage its wholesale providers, and fulfill orders to its distribution channel. It can bring in its existing wholesale provider relationships, load in its providers’ rates, and even leverage multi-provider mixed pricing tier groups. The company can also seamlessly order inventory, including international and domestic DIDs, toll-free phone numbers, featuring including E911, as well as activate phone numbers on its hosted PBX platform and fulfill orders for its customers through its own branded portal in Shango.
Through a single point of integration and Shango’s common APIs, the company has eliminated its manual back office swivel chair processes. Through Shango, it can source numbers from its origination providers quicker and at a lower cost through the platform’s least-cost-sourcing capability. The UC provider can also activate those phone numbers over its own infrastructure, and extend activation to its resellers and customers for self-fulfillment.
To learn more about Shango, visit www.shango.com or request a demo.
Engaged Shango for: Sourcing and Inventory from phone number origination providers, Distribution Channel Fulfillment
An established CLEC outgrew its inventorying and order management systems, needing to better manage its native inventory, as well as establish a customer-facing portal that could allow it to multi-tenant its wholesale resellers and customers. The CLEC had existing inventory and order management processes, but they lacked automation and the company’s systems had reached their limitations of scale.
The company engaged Shango’s open, common platform to enable it to track, manage, and provision large, bulk, and volume-based phone number requests, including port in/out processes and migrations. Through Shango’s web portal and common APIs, the CLEC was able to quickly integrate its order management system, load in rates, as well as its bring in its native inventory and pricing groups for its domestic DIDs, and features including SMS activation and CNAM updates, and sync its routing activation platform, and LNP/SOA.
As a result, the CLEC is able to centralize its processes for order fulfillment and manage a larger volume of orders with their existing staff. Use of Shango also enabled them to eliminate their manual back-office swivel chair processes, and their resellers and customers gained the ability to order numbers from them directly through their branded web portal in Shango, without having to contact the CLEC directly to process the order. In less than a year, the company has grown its native inventory from one million phone numbers to over 4.5 million.
To learn more about Shango, visit www.shango.com or request a demo.
Engaged Shango for: Sourcing and Inventory from phone number Origination providers, Distribution Channel Fulfillment
An emerging CLEC who needed to source its over-the-top (OTT) wholesale telephone numbers and other applications from its wholesale carriers sought out Shango’s open, common platform to do it more efficiently. The CLEC was lacking a telephone number management system for its native inventory and also needed a customer-facing web portal to better fulfill telephone number orders for its reseller customers. The lack of processes and infrastructure constraints inhibited its ability to scale its business, turn up new customers, as well as capture and meet growing demand for its products.
The CLEC engaged Shango’s open, common platform to enable inventory management of its native domestic DIDs, activation of telephone number features including SMS and CNAM updates, as well as routing activation, and a connection to its back office storage/CDR system all through Shango’s web portal and its set of common APIs.
Shango’s automated workflows enabled the CLEC with centralized processes for inventory activation and order fulfillment for its wholesale customers through a branded web portal featuring common APIs, which eliminated manual back-office swivel chair processes. As a result, the company was also able to manage larger volume orders with their existing staff. In just 9 months after managing its native inventory in Shango and connecting to its wholesale origination providers, the CLEC grew its inventory by 5X from 200,000 numbers to 1.2 million. The CLEC was also able to extend its branded web portal to its wholesale customers for self-fulfillment.
To learn more about Shango, visit www.shango.com or request a demo.
CLECs, like other telecom carriers and service providers, constantly seek more efficient ways to source off-net wholesale services rapidly and just-in-time. However, traditional methods for inventorying network services used by their underlying carriers or phone number origination providers can often hinder revenue models for them, much like it has for emerging ITSPs, new application providers, Cloud Services Brokers (CSBs), UCaaS providers, and other OTT service providers that are acquiring wholesale services and phone numbers to simply tie together new applications and individual product offerings.
It can be common across all of these OTT providers to experience drops or periods of stalled growth in native and third-party phone number inventory levels and even in overall operational productivity in-house due to the prevalence of manual swivel-chair processes, gross operational overhead, and even human-led provisioning errors. The ability to scale inventory, inbound and outbound order volume, and sources of revenue becomes difficult due to in-house budget and infrastructure limitations, which can easily affect the ability for OTT providers to balance service delivery with demand from their end-users down channel.
On the other hand, phone number origination providers, which can include facilities-based or wholesale service providers, unified communications providers, and other telecom operators and carriers, can’t effectively fulfill underlying wholesale services for OTT provider customers and resellers due to being strapped to their own legacy infrastructure constraints. In fact, the process of automating telephone number origination for wholesale resellers and customers can involve a series of manual processes would require the overlay of customer-specific multi-tenancy and differing workflows and even integration of B/OSS systems, unless the provider has an extraordinary budget to bring in a system integrator that can address process unification for each individual customer scenario.
Often times, these existing facilities-based infrastructure limitations can even cause reluctance for origination providers to render new types of customer agreements due to reservations in the ability to effectively serve new and emerging markets. After all, with each new customer come new agreements, new processes that must be established, new features and services, and even possibly new APIs that must be developed. Obstacles for origination providers trying to effectively serve and grow their wholesale channels are deeply rooted in these traditional distribution channel fulfillment constraints. This can even be true for OTT providers that have their own resellers and wholesale customers.
Now however, through Shango’s unique open, common platform and use of common provider APIs, any communication services provider (CSP) can automate wholesale phone number sourcing and distribution channel fulfillment. In fact, Shango automates wholesale telephone number sourcing, including pricing, switch activation and port in/out process for both OTT providers, as well as wholesale origination providers and their resellers and customers through a single point of integration. As a result, telecom carriers, operators, and wholesale service providers alike can eliminate the need to jump between provider portals, swivel a chair, or build new connectors when sourcing phone numbers and managing inventory. Shango users can even augment B/OSS infrastructure limitations, scale their wholesale service offerings, as well as centralize fulfillment processes to better serve their wholesale voice resellers and customers.
Shango members have increased productivity and data accuracy by being able to easily find, connect, and acquire services from their providers and enable new product sets via Shango’s web portal and common API. Likewise, origination providers have been able to quickly onboard subscribers, eliminate manual fulfillment processes, better manage overhead, and even reduce common provisioning errors. Both origination providers and OTT service providers alike have also reduced operating costs by easily integrating their order management systems and B/OSS tools with Shango APIs to automate back-office processes, creating greater synergy across disparate systems.
Below are links to three examples of success stories from Shango customers who have dramatically increased their inventory levels, wholesale phone number sourcing and fulfillment using Shango’s open, common platform. Shango has enabled these customers to more easily source and fulfill new telco services and applications, including telephone numbers, to support wholesale service revenue growth, and even enable new routes-to-market.
Success Story #1: An emerging CLEC increases inventory by 5X using Shango
Success Story #2: An existing CLEC increases inventory by 4X using Shango
Success Story #3: A Unified Communications provider gains seamless sourcing strategies using Shango