On March 17th we saw Genband launch their Nuvia Cloud service in the UK to be distributed by their long-term partner IHUB. The Nuvia service is based on an OPEX pay-as-you-go model, which is sold on a per user basis, rather than Service Providers having to invest in their own large platform. Cavell were able to have a sneak preview of the service and were impressed by the proposition, readers can see more at http://www.nuviacloud.com
Genband have done a lot of work on the portals and the ‘look & feel’ of their services which used to be their major weakness a few years ago and the results of this are clear in this latest announcement. This release follows on from their launch in the US around a year ago and indicates Genband’s ambition to offer this as a Global service to help address multinational end customers who require a global homogenized service.
Genband’s Nuvia Cloud Service is the latest in a series of launches of pay-as-you-go platforms from the likes of Broadsoft, Mitel and other Softswitch providers and traditional IP-PBX manufacturers. These launches signify a major change in the supply chain of the industry from a “supply” to an Adoption paradigm. It also signifies a change in where the risk and reward is born within the supply chain and a change in focus onto end customer & end-user Adoption.
In the old Enterprise voice world, the supply chain was relatively simple. There was a traditional PBX Channel/Distribution model where the focus was on getting a large upfront fee for equipment from the customer and a smaller ongoing maintenance. The Channel and Manufacturers focused on efficient distribution of equipment, which saw large warehouses popping up and sales teams incentivized by acquiring new customers and making large one-off equipment sales. The manufacturers supported the equipment and there was a clear demarcation between them and the communications infrastructure.
In the initial wave of Hosted VoIP, providers either built their own platforms or purchased a platform from the likes of Broadsoft, Cisco or Genband often for a fee well over £500k. In simple terms, the providers took most of the risk as they purchased or built their own platforms, whilst also managing their own communications infrastructure and driving sales independently. The model from the manufacturers point of view was still based on supply, where the focus was on receiving a large upfront fee. The Service Provider and indirect channel models were starting to change, as they had to become very much focused on the adoption of their services as they were being paid on a per user basis. Service Providers also struggled to convince the channel to adopt this new risk sharing adoption method, as the channel was still being enticed by PBX providers offering large upfront payments.
The recent announcements are now seeing the whole supply channel becoming focused on the Adoption of services on a per-user basis. Manufacturers/Service Providers and indirect channels are now all reliant on users coming onto the platforms and staying on the platforms and consuming new services.
This is forcing players in the supply chain to make fundamental changes to the way they operate and consider carefully their role in the future. Throughout the supply chain, sales teams of all organizations have to undertake a fundamental transformation to an “Adoption” and solutions sales approach. This includes the manufacturers who sales teams now need to focus not just on selling the platform but driving ongoing adoption and usage by the end customer. It’s not ok to just be a “Hunter” you have to be a “Farmer” as well.
‘Who are going to be the Service Providers of the future?’ and ‘What is going to be their role?’ is also an open question. In some ways we have the likes of Broadsoft, Genband & Mitel becoming services providers but also some of the traditional providers are reconsidering their current model of operation and starting to sell their platforms on a Wholesale basis to compete, whilst others focus more on the go-to-market elements and may ditch owning a platform and purchase the platform on an OPEX model from a third party. Some people still appear to be struggling with this fundamental change, with some PBX providers are trying to build complex pricing and go-to-market models which were a kin to the old paradigm and overlay them on the new world, not appearing to understand their new role in the market.
Clearly there is going to continue to be a mix of approaches, some providers who have established platforms are going to continue with their existing model where they take the risk and reward, and in other circumstances we are going to see new and existing channels move to the new model. Already we have seen companies like BT utilize the consume model as a stepping-stone to delivering their own solution. We see players like RingCentral & NFON who developed their own platform now both sell direct but also enable large providers such as AT&T, O2 Germany and BT.
Cavell believes that the whole supply chain is now becoming more focused on the adoption of services, by not only the Enterprise but also the actual end user. It is no longer viable to supply the platform and move onto a new customer. From a Go-to-Market approach, there needs to be more of a focus on Sales Enablement helping partners, channels and direct sales teams bring users onto their platform and keep them there rather than just selling large platform. This will require manufacturers to undergo a Sale Transformation of their own sales teams put in place new programs to support partners.
The traditional PBX distributors have been scratching their heads for a while, although with Hosted VoIP there is still equipment (such as phones) that needs distributing. On the other hand we see a group of technology enablers who both distribute technology but also enable and manager service for their customers with the likes of Siphon Networks. The issue of adoption is not limited to UC we are seeing that as providers driver services to the cloud the requirement is covering multiple services.
Cavell is seeing the above translate both into real challenges but also opportunities; we are already helping services providers and manufacturers with sales enablement and transformation programs. We are working with players in all elements of the supply chain on what their role and strategy in the future.
If you want to discuss the above further, and find out how we could help your organization with the challenges drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org