With so many positive figures to report surrounding unified communications as a service (UCaaS)—including the fact that the UCaaS market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 25.46 percent from 2012-16—it is sometimes difficult for us to imagine that there are still obstacles standing in the way of widespread UCaaS deployment.
The fact remains that there are a few reasons that UCaaS hasn’t exploded for public cloud vendors yet. One of the chief barriers getting in the way of this adoption is the lack of a robust, multi-tenant UCaaS environment for service providers to sell. As detailed in a recent article by UC Strategies, service provider solutions come in two forms: a stripped down version of the enterprise model, or multi-instance, instead of multi-tenant. As a result, it ends up being more appealing for public cloud vendors to deploy premise-based UC solutions as it often seems like a cheaper, more compelling option to UCaaS.
Moreover, service providers are contending with a lack of “credible demand generation” from their vendors for their UCaaS solutions.
“Although all vendors do what they can do to drive demand for their products, rarely are they leading their own enterprise customers to partner service provider solutions,” author Joseph Williams writes. “Channel incentives from vendors typically flow more readily to on-premise sales or to sales that lead to the vendors’ own cloud solutions.”
While service providers have a couple of chief impediments getting in the way of public cloud vendor UCaaS ubiquity, the UCaaS market is continuing to take great strides forward, especially as companies search for seamless, unified business processes that allow them to move their chief administrative responsibilities to a service provider who can centralize all of the tasks.
Shango is poised to quickly help UCaaS providers more seamlessly source IP-enabled services from a single medium thanks to its community-based marketplace. The Shango platform serves as an open, common SaaS solution for buying and selling IP services, helping wholesale VoIP providers and CSPs achieve 100 percent service fulfillment.
For more on UCaaS, be sure to check out Shango EVP John Abraham’s article, “UCaaS: Recognizing Favorable Shifts and Their Implications for Service Providers” from Cloud Computing Magazine. If you’d like to speak further with a Shango representative, feel free to contact us.
There is no disputing the fact that the year of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is on its way; in fact, some industry pundits even contend that 2013 is already the year of UCaaS.
According to the Global Unified Communication as-a-service (UCaaS) Market 2012-2016 report, produced by Research and Markets, the UCaaS market is forecast to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.46 percent over the period 2012-2016. So what’s one of the main drivers of this surge? The need for centralized management.
As businesses’ communication, collaboration and administrative functions become increasingly complex, companies are forced to search for a more seamless, unified process—and one that is oftentimes hosted off-premise. That is because one of the most pressing challenges associated with managing on-site applications is scaling the administrative functions.
By employing a UCaaS model, businesses can move their chief administrative responsibilities to a service provider who can centralize all the tasks. The data can be accessed and information can be communicated without time and location constraints, both of which improve the reliability of the system and save time, the report states. The recently distributed market research also found that the global UCaaS market has been witnessing the adoption of cloud-based enterprise services.
Commenting on the report, an analyst from the telecom team said: “The cost of implementing a new infrastructure is high. Hence, organizations are reluctant to dispose of their existing legacy systems and install new systems. Cloud-based services are developed to help organizations minimize their infrastructure cost. They provide them with a better-quality service and reduce the cost incurred during maintenance, thus increasing the adoption of UCaaS by organizations.”
Shango is quickly helping UCaaS providers more seamlessly source IP-enabled services from a single medium thanks to its community-based marketplace. The platform serves as an open, common platform for buying and selling IP services, helping wholesale VoIP and CSP providers achieve 100 percent service fulfillment. For more on UCaaS and Shango’s stance on where UCaaS is headed, check out our previous blog post titled “The Year of UCaaS.”
Take a look around the Shango marketplace and contact us directly if you’d like to speak with a representative.
In a recent post, we started the discussion on the robust reporting features offered in the Shango platform and how they provide CSPs with a comprehensive view of their telecom environment, supporting FCC compliance, and allowing them to view historical data and activity related to customers and resellers. Today we explore a few more of those reporting features and further dig in to the platform’s ability to provide up-to-date, real-time intelligence data to communications service providers in order to improve business operations.
CSPs today are tasked with having to quickly acquire and sell new IP-based services in order to stay competitive, but their service fulfillment processes are often burdened by several manual “swivel chair” processes. Service providers are constantly deploying and bundling multi-service or unified communications offerings to remain competitive, and it is becoming crucial for them to continually adjust their offerings and roll out creative product bundles.
By integrating and automating their supply chain electronically with Shango, CSPs can achieve automated service fulfillment and focus on growing their wholesale revenue streams. To accomplish this, it’s imperative for service providers to be able to access a comprehensive historical report of the creation and acquisition of various objects within their telecom environment. Reporting within the Shango platform allows them to quickly access that information and sort by the dates on which items were created or acquired to allow for a high-level look at operational processes.
In addition to number utilization, which we discussed last week, the reports within Shango can also provide the following information to users:
- Reseller activity. Being able to track reseller activity allows service providers to enhance their offerings to meet the needs of their customers and assists in improving their resale or wholesale channel strategy. Shango offers reporting that allows users to view the tiers assigned to each reseller in their environment along with a count of all the telephone numbers currently assigned to a specific reseller.
- Porting activity. It’s important for providers who are onboarding IP telephony resellers and wholesale customers to be able to effectively manage customer orders, including activation, features, and porting – in order to efficiently fulfill services downstream. To ensure that users have the information they need, Shango offers several reports related to porting. Some of the important items that can be found in these reports are the port type (in or out) of all telephone numbers in the provider’s environment, along with FOC dates, losing carriers, gaining carriers, as well as various other basic details.
One of the benefits of Shango’s platform is the elimination of manual swivel chair processes and other common inefficiencies found upstream or downstream when putting together and delivering an IP-based offering. By offering numerous reports that can be customized to fit the needs of the customer, the platform simplifies previously tedious processes and enables users to focus their efforts on enhancing their products and growing revenue.
Interested in a demo that highlights some of the Shango platform’s reporting features? Contact our sales team.
Earlier this year, we touched on the imminent boom of over-the-top services (OTT) – 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). Recent statistics released by Infonetics Research indicate that the boom may already be here.
According to Infonetics, the number of global OTT mobile VoIP subscribers increased more than 550 percent during 2012 to reach 640 million and that number is nearing the 1 billion mark for 2013.
Other chief findings of the report include:
- In 2012, Microsoft/Skype represented about 40 percent of all active users of OTT mobile VoIP services
- Infonetics expects that the number of VoLTE subscribers will grow at a 145 percent CAGR from 2012-17
- Combined, OTT mobile VoIP and VoLTE services are expected to become a $16 billion business by 2017
The benefits afforded by OTT providers are obvious as they offer more than just the audio and video content; they deliver any service or content available on the Internet, through the use of IP telephony. 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.
OTT application providers who are looking for a place to source—search, find and activate—IP-enabled services like phone numbers, should look no further than Shango. Just over a year old, the Shango platform serves as a place where OTT providers and ITSPs can self-fulfill a variety of offerings from their vendors, such as origination providers, as well as form new relationships with other providers. For more information on how Shango’s platform can assist in the heightened demand for new partnerships with OTT providers, click here to read a related blog post: “Over-the-Top Providers Finding a Home in the Telecom Space.”
When it comes to tracking resale channel effectiveness and managing wholesale customer activity, we recently discussed four key analytics central to improving processes, all of which can be tracked using the Shango platform’s Business Dashboard. Knowing how important it is for communications service providers to have up-to-date, real-time intelligence data in order to improve business operations, Shango is consistently updating features available within the platform and enhancing the overall user experience. With the SaaS platform’s cohesive interface, users are able to easily manage the often disconnected resources, systems, and processes involved in overseeing a typical telecom environment.
In addition to tracking analytics through the business dashboard and various widgets in the platform, Shango also offers robust reporting features that enable users to view historical data and activity related to customers and resellers, and gives them the ability to easily export that information for further manipulation and enhanced business reporting. With ten reports currently offered within the Shango platform and most offering the ability to filter by various fields for more advanced reporting, users are provided with a comprehensive view of their telecom environment.
Some of the items that Shango’s reporting features help highlight for carriers and communications service providers include the following:
- Number utilization. In order to comply with FCC mandates and complete accurate TN forecasting, it’s particularly important for carriers and CSPs to have visibility into their number utilization. Whether across selected resellers, states, or rate centers, platform users can use Shango reports to view utilization, with the ability to expand to the NPA-NXX level, at any given time. For efficient tracking and management within their telecom environment, users can also utilize reports to view telephone numbers that have been assigned to a specific product or endpoint, along with simply viewing each DID or toll-free number in their environment.
Stay plugged in to the Shango blog as we continue to explore the additional ways that the Shango platform's features help CSPs achieve automated service fulfillment.
We’ve all been there. Constrained by the limits of legacy technology—from data conversion to contrived operational reporting to marred business intelligence—and searching for other ways to bring our services into the IP world.
That’s where Shango comes in. Shango’s open, common, SaaS platform for the exchange of IP-enabled services bridges the gap between the legacy and IP world through its marketplace. The Shango sweet spot is helping communication service providers (CSPs) source telephone numbers and achieve instant service fulfillment.
“By tying into multiple providers—be it legacy providers that are interconnected, CLECs, or other telephone number aggregators—the ultimate goal of what Shango is doing is to help IP enable the telephone number so that the services can essentially be unbundled from the telephone number,” Shango CTO Evin Hunt explains in a video demo.
Two worlds exist: the one that houses the traditional telephone number and the one that includes IP services and the cloud for all your hosted PBX services including voice applications and APIs. To maximize both worlds, you have to construct a bridge connecting the two—something that allows CSPs to free themselves from being married to a single provider and to transition a telephone number from just an address to an identity.
The Shango platform serves as that bridge, helping to “move the ball forward” on that conversion, according to Hunt. By bridging that gap, CSPs can more seamlessly add services on to telephone numbers from various providers.
“As you move forward and you start using Shango to source your services via API—to tie into your disparate carries on the backend—that number becomes yours and you can start bulking on services and offering that down to your customers,” Hunt explains.
Interested in learning more about how Shango bridges the gap for legacy telecom carriers and emerging wholesale service providers? Visit our website to watch a 3 minute video where CTO Evin Hunt explains how carriers and service providers can use Shango to can unbundle phone numbers and mash up new communication applications to bridge legacy telco. If you’d like to request a full demo of Shango’s capabilities, please contact our sales team.
If you’re buying telephone numbers from wholesale VoIP providers, chances are you’re encountering some issues standing in your way. Do any of these ring a bell?
- Exorbitant costs incurred because of a manual "swivel chair" process
- Extra costs absorbed on the backend for having to manage the sourcing and inventory
- Inventory exhaustion
- Disparate information for the telephone numbers
Feeling frustrated? You are not alone. Many companies marry themselves to one provider when they start their business and rely on that single provider for inbound and outbound services. As a result, the company is left with a separate CRM database, OSS Platform, and soft-switching technology… and the dreaded manual swivel chair process, in which businesses must manually enter data into one system and then enter the same data into another system.
“Finally, after hours of work, you have provisioned a new customer in your platform,” Shango CTO Evin Hunt explains in a video. “You can imagine this complexity when you start adding more providers.”
Shango helps businesses avoid all the above mentioned pain points through its cloud-based platform for sourcing and fulfilling IP-enabled services, including communications apps like phone numbers, features, seats, and cloud applications. Shango not only solves sourcing problems, but also assists in the managing of inventory and the acquisition of services.
“We make your sourcing life easier,” Hunt says. “A lot of teams in the ITSP world and the over-the-top application providers generally get married to a single provider or very few providers simply due to the inability to effectively and efficiently manage the services they are acquiring from those providers. We want to make the services from all these numerous carriers available to you so you can be more competitive with your pricing and have a simpler time managing and acquiring those services.”
Interested in learning more about how the Shango platform can automate your sourcing and inventory processes? Watch Shango CTO Evin Hunt explain how you can bring in current DID provider relationships and manage orders and inventory within Shango without ever building a new API, swiveling a chair, or going between provider portals to source wholesale numbers. If you would like an in-depth demo of the Shango platform, please contact our sales team.
Using analytics to measure and ensure the effectiveness of the resell channel is imperative in the telecom space. Last week, we discussed the value that countless telecom carriers and service providers have found using the business-critical operations metrics within Shango’s open, common unified communications fulfillment platform to measure wholesale customer activity.
Continuing our list from last week, below you’ll find two additional analytics features available to platform users that have proven to be of great value to communications service providers in tracking operational efficiency and resell channel effectiveness:
- The breadth of service products available for resale. Having insight into the distribution of products across product types for resale can be essential for helping to scale sources of revenue. Shango users have access to a variety of product inventory counts related to their platform environment, including the number of products available.
- Inventory growth trends. The ability to track inventory, whether the quantity of telephone numbers, features, or seats, over time is important for determining operational KPIs. If a Shango user is interested in tracking overall customer growth by reseller, they have the option to see all or just a selection of resellers or wholesale customers via a variety of widgets. Platform users also have the option to update the title of their widgets, choose the time frame to be displayed, and have the ability to display information as a list or as an easy-to-read pie-chart.
By giving Shango platform users’ insight into usage and activity patterns across their service resellers and wholesale customers, the platform’s business dashboard can provide telecom carriers and their management teams with an analysis of how their wholesale channel business is doing. Currently, there are fifteen widgets available in the platform’s business dashboard, which can all be arranged according to a user’s needs and preferences.
Interested in a demo that highlights some of the Shango platform’s dashboard features? Contact our sales team to schedule a time to chat with our sales team. Wish to learn more about the Shango platform’s distribution channel fulfillment capabilities? View our on-demand webinar now.
Shango is continually adding new features and capabilities to our SaaS-based unified communications service orchestration platform in an effort to provide carrier and service providers with the daily business intelligence data they need, as well as to ensure that platform users have all the necessary tools to help them succeed.
Countless telecom carriers and service providers—including ITSPs, unified communications providers, application service providers, network operators, and others—have found great value in the ability to view business-critical operations metrics within Shango’s open, common platform. In addition to its inherent automated workflows and common APIs for sourcing and fulfilling IP-enabled services, the platform allows users to track their usage, along with countless channel customers or resellers of their communications apps and services within a single interface and web portal. To learn more about the platform’s capabilities, read our other blog post Simplifying Service Fulfillment within the Shango Platform.
There are certain key business analytics that are central to ensuring efficiency and effectiveness of resell channel and wholesale customer activity in the telecom space. Today, trying to pull together a unified offering for sale or resale is difficult enough given the day-to-day struggles of managing order fulfillment processes across distribution channels, but access to time-and-money saving analytics found in the Shango platform’s dashboard and through its user-friendly widgets are enabling communication service providers (CSPs) with a little more visibility and insight into their daily wholesale operations.
Below are two of the tools found within the Shango platform that are essential to every communication service provider in order to track operational efficiency and resell channel effectiveness:
- The amount of inventory available to sell down channel. Viewing inventory levels enables CSPs to optimize their offerings for greater demand. Shango users are able to easily view the total number of applications—whether telephone numbers, features, or other apps—currently available for their resellers and wholesale customers to source at any given time.
- Visibility into reseller/wholesale customer activity. Being able to effectively track reseller activity can allow a service provider to enhance its offerings and improve its channel strategy. Shango users are able to set up and view data and reports related to their service resellers, including the number of services they are selling, their system activity, and historical growth metrics. Shango users can also determine their top service resellers.
Check out part two in this series as we explore two additional analytics that the Shango platform is equipped with in order to provide CSPs with more visibility into their daily wholesale operations.
There are several critical challenges that communications service providers (CSPs) face when completing sourcing and service fulfillment processes, namely addressing complex point-to-point integrations, jumping between portals, and having to manually “swivel a chair” to input repetitive data.
Last week, we addressed the frightening reality that despite application performance interfaces (APIs) being able to help CSPs overcome these challenges, many have remained reticent to wholeheartedly adopt this competitive technology.
When it comes to sourcing and service fulfillment, Shango offers a strong solution for CSPs looking to overcome these obstacles thanks to its open, common, Saas platform. The platform enables CSPs to seamlessly source wholesale items from providers—including various communications apps and services—by aggregating its providers to a single UI and API. By visiting the Shango platform, CSPs can browse through a variety of wholesale voice services—including phone numbers, features, seats, and cloud applications—to buy from or to sell. The diverse ecosystem of the platform simplifies decision making and removes the need for the manual “swivel chair” processes.
“The Shango API promotes innovation through ease of access to carrier services (primarily the TN), which most carriers do not have a solid strategy around doing themselves,” explains Shango CTO Evin Hunt. “While it's difficult to play both sides of the market at the same time, selling and sourcing, the power that we provide by doing even just what we've done so far is immense in benefit.”
Shango does more than just bridge the legacy and the IP world however, according to Hunt. It also makes sourcing much easier for CSPs by providing legacy-struggling carriers with a strategy to get to the “hungry innovators” who will otherwise go elsewhere.
In addition to a common API, some of the chief differentiators of the platform include the following:
- Conduit to pull services through to the CSP network or to the CSP service offerings for them to mash up; and
- CSP access to all the CLECs available, meaning they are not tied to a single carrier’s pricing model and footprint.
Visit the Shango website for a collection of insights related to the platform including whitepapers, video demos, on-demand webinars, and much more. If you’d like to request a demo or more information related to the Shango platform’s capabilities, contact our sales team.