Metaswitch was on the leading edge of seeing the social media threat to carriers – they were somewhat-famous for warning that social network user-names were being used in lieu of phone numbers and disintermediating the relationship between carriers and customers. Except they said it with a UK accent so it sounded a lot more exotic. J
What was really interesting to us though was their Mobile UC solution for micro-businesses of 1-10 people. The benefit? Consumers get something similar to a Broadsoft-based solution but its simpler and easier to manage – and also less expensive.
The idea is the carrier knows a lot about the phone-user, they can utilize network intelligence to determine which persona to use, etc. They can assign various CLIs as needed based on the called number.
Moreover, the service really acts like a key-system, a pilot number rings on the phones of multiple employees, so even if numerous calls come in at once, no calls are missed – assuming there are enough phones.
Also, look at this GUI – it’s gorgeous. You can simply drag a person’s photo to a call to initiate a conference call.
There is a companion app as well which allows users to take advantage of contact management and team collaboration.
We recently interviewed Shubh Agarwal, SVP of Strategic Marketing and he told us they suggest carriers charge $10-$15 per company per month. Moreover he said the system has a business feed which is Slack-like.
We think Metaswitch is onto something here – the idea is sound and if carriers don’t embrace this concept, they will continue to lose share to OTT UC players or UCaaS. We believe the mobile operators needs to learn from the Slacks of the world and give away some basic functionality and then charge for a complete service. The so-called freemium model that carriers don’t currently do very well.
It’s good to see Metaswitch continuing to innovate – in this case, through a product and a laser-focus on a target-audience. Now it’s up to carriers to embrace the change and keep their customers from leaving them.