Adding contact center and unified communications to your offerings adds a 30% addressable market for carriers according to Chris Carabello of Metawitch networks. He then said, “We’re very invested in service providers and given their broadband infrastructure, ability to own quality of experience and have an existing distribution channel.”
Moreover, Chris showed me research which cites carrier customers saying they would be happy to buy these services from the carrier if the price is right.
Carriers providing contact center or even business voice services is not necessarily a new idea. Anyone old enough to remember Centrex, the original hosted voice platform from decades back? I often get a kick out of the tech industry – we go on and on about the latest and newest trends like cloud – never mentioning that it too is basically a rehash of the mainframes from half-a-century ago.
But I digress. Metaswitch has been pushing the move towards software telco for many years – via the adoption of NFV technology which reduces the cost of doing business and adds flexibility to the carriers’ service offerings.
The company has advocated early – thanks to its arsenal of software and virtualized solutions, that going up against OTT vendors requires a similar network architecture in order to be cost competitive. In other words, if you competition is running on the Amazon cloud and you’re buying big proprietary iron, you’ll never be competitive.
But UC and the contact center have healthier margins, meaning carriers who haven’t done so, would be smart to look to this market as a growth engine. That was the point of our talk and it makes sense. The only challenge is Metaswitch isn’t breaking new ground here. Still, there is a move from hardware to services going on in the telecom market – like so many others. This means its great timing for carriers looking to expand.
In fact two days ago, TMC revealed on the Call Center Services online community sponsored by inContact that EarthLink is using Metaswitch to power their cloud contact center offering.
In other exciting news, Chris shared the company has partnered with Zoom meaning it can now integrate video and web collaboration into Accession Communicator, its unified communications client for mobile and desktops.
Incumbent or CPE providers have been under attack for many years thanks to cloud vendors moving upmarket. They now have to also worry about carriers providing solutions which are potentially even better because the service provider also owns the network… Giving them a potential edge in quality.