Having followed Ribbon Communications and all the companies it acquired for decades, we have to say, even we are blown away by all of the activity at the company. They seem to be working on all cylinders – pushing out new products and certifications at a bewildering pace.
We recently had an exclusive interview with CMO and EVP Business Development Patrick Joggerst and we continue to be impressed with the company’s accomplishments and more importantly, its ambition.
Our discussion was more product and solutions-oriented than our recent exclusive interview with new CEO Bruce McClelland last month which focused on strategy and what Bruce brings to the table as a leader.
Perhaps the biggest recent news from the company has been the merger with ECI Telecom. It has been more controversial than typical tech M&A.
Patrick explained this move will not result in the company deemphasizing its channel or enterprise strategy.
This is why he says the merger makes sense:
Many utilities are becoming carriers thanks to their ability to lay fiber in areas where they have access, thanks to their core business. As a result, the companies who would use ECI equipment to manage fiber are ripe for Ribbon’s other carrier solutions.
In addition, Ribbon will be able to leverage its deep relationship with tier-one carriers in the U.S. and Japan. These are regions where ECI did not previously have a strong footprint but can now bring their 5G capabilities to new opportunities around the growing 5G market.
The idea here is cross-pollination, across carrier equipment, software, services and also across geographies.
Some are concerned the Ribbon team may not be able to sell fiber solutions but this thinking would be a mistake. Many of the company’s salespeople came from Nortel via an acquisition where they had a portfolio of optical products.
While every merger has inherent risk, these are three solid reasons why we think the acquisition makes sense.
One of the challenges facing the company as it integrates with the Israeli-based ECI is actually Israel. The land of milk and honey is on virus lockdown… People cannot enter it. As a result, they are using their Smart Office collaboration tools to work together.
On to the rest of the company.
CPaaS platform Kandy continues to power solutions. Last year we broke the news about the AT&T API Marketplace being built on Kandy and AT&T recently announced Braidio will use these APIs to build its next-generation mobile applications and tailor them to healthcare, financial services, retail, construction, and pet wellness and veterinary medical industries.
“Each consumer touchpoint is a valuable opportunity—for relationship-building, for revenue growth, lead conversion,” said Iain Scholnick, founder and CEO, Braidio. “Using tools from the AT&T API Marketplace, we can help businesses create a better, edge-driven customer experience. One that’s more efficient, more engaging, and ultimately more successful, more often.”
Patrick said carriers are not happy with Twilio taking their business and more are exploring Kandy – especially as they look and see what AT&T has done.
There is also tight integration with Microsoft Teams – every Ribbon SBC and EdgeMarc device is certified for Teams in fact.
In addition, the company introduced the Next Generation Intelligent Edge Portfolio at the end of January 2020 with the EdgeMarc 6000 as the centerpiece. Ribbon’s EdgeMarc 6000 is a transformational platform for voice and data network functions.
The EdgeMarc 6000 contains the best of Ribbon’s edge services in a single, modular platform that is extensible for future innovations. It physically connects existing enterprise communications infrastructure and has the capacity to run containerized network functions.
In addition to improving voice and data applications, the Ribbon Next Generation Intelligent Edge portfolio’s LTE radio capabilities further enhance connectivity as a failover network for business continuity.
Finally, Its ARM-based architecture provides dramatic value, performance and scale, while automated “zero-touch” provisioning, remote monitoring and management reduce operating expense. The EdgeMarc 6000 runs VNFs to meet customer-specific needs.
Patrick said, “We have Edgeview Analytics which sit in our cloud offer, so anyone who has EdgeMarc devices at the edge of their network and wants to monitor quality of service, they can do it using that software. We also have some customers who are leveraging Managed Network Operations Center in Prague – which was originally a Sonus Operation Center.”
In case you missed it – this past summer, The US Department of Defense Leveraged Ribbon Communications Application Server to Complete 50,000-plus Seat UC Deployment.
Shortly thereafter, our colleague Maurice Nagle wrote on the TMC UC Network Management Community sponsored by Nectar that the DoD certified Ribbon’s SBC 5000 series as part of the Microsoft Skype for Business JITC certified solution. This week, the Ribbon SBC 5400 also passed JITC certification, approved for the DoD.
Also this week, the company responding to the Covid-19 Coronavirus and made Kandy available to contact centers and UCaaS customers in the form of a solution called Work@Home.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies must be empowered to shift their operations to alternate locations quickly and efficiently,” said Sacha Gera, Senior Vice President, Cloud Products. “Our Kandy Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS)-based solutions enable companies to rapidly meet this need seamlessly and cost-effectively.”
Finally, this week, Ribbon’s Intelligent Edge Solutions became certified for Microsoft Teams Direct Routing Voice Calling Capabilities. This includes the EdgeMarc 2900, 4800, 6000 and 7000 series.
“We are already leveraging the capabilities of Ribbon’s SBCs within our Microsoft Teams Direct Routing and SD-WAN service offering and now we are in the process of deploying their EdgeMarc devices at various customer sites. The timing of their latest certification could not be more ideal,” said Gary Forrest, Chief Executive Officer of Pure IP. “Not only does it allow us to enhance our Direct Routing and SD-WAN offering, but more importantly as more of our enterprise customers migrate to Microsoft Teams, they can feel comfortable that they are getting a market-proven, fully certified Direct Routing solution that provides optimal calling performance and enhanced service assurance.”
“We have one of the most extensive portfolios of Microsoft-certified solutions for Direct Routing on the market – this latest certification of the EdgeMarc portfolio extends that differentiation,” said Tony Scarfo, EVP, Products, R&D, Support and Supply Chain for Ribbon. “In addition to enhancing the quality of calls passed through our EdgeMarc devices, our SD-WAN capabilities deliver a number of benefits to our customers, including WAN failover, application traffic prioritization and bandwidth aggregation, and the ability to use zero-touch provisioning to deploy devices at remote locations without the need for experts to be present.”
In summary – the company is operating on all cylinders. It’s working with partners, its enabling carriers to compete more effectively via software and optical solutions and finally, it is increasingly using synergies to grow – across product lines and geographies.
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