The communications industry. As much as we try to throw off the stereotype, it can often seem like a closed world. Well, our first Cloud Comms Hub meetup was anything but that. Even with the arrival of typical London weather.
We had pizza, prosecco, decent conversation among peers and friendly rivals from across the industry, and a great discussion on a topic that’s making waves – not just in the comms space, but in the digital space as a whole.
An Opportunity to Talk
As the CEO of Voxbone Itay Rosenfeld explained at the beginning of the discussion, this wasn’t an opportunity for us to sell or upsell our services, but one for us to meet more people in the industry and get everyone talking about the topics that are running riot in the worlds of telecoms, cloud technology, and IT.
The evening’s panel was made up of:
- Moderator: Patrick Watson – UC Today – Presenter and Tech Journalist
- Pierre-Baptiste Béchu – Aircall – Co-Founder and CTO
- Muhammad Bajwa – ProVu – Technical Solutions Director
- Mehmet Hussein – Voxbone – Sr Solutions Architect
What We Already Knew About BYOC
Before the panel kicked off it was obvious from buzz across the room in the moments running up to the panel talk that BYOC (Bring Your Own Carrier) was the topic on many people’s lips. A growing number of comms providers and platforms are trying to distinguish themselves as agile and flexible by offering their customers the ability to ‘BYOC’.
Modulation of Services in the Tech Industry
The initial topic of discussion was modularisation. The panel all agreed that a number of their customers had expressed the need or want to split up their software stack. It’s not just a trend for the comms industry, the idea of “Bring Your Own X” is making waves everywhere. It’s apparent that doing so doesn’t just save money in the long run, but by using different elements of software you allow yourself the freedom of choice and agility that you just don’t get from using a single solution.
Mehmet Hussein, Voxbone’s Senior Solutions Architect, explained that Bring Your Own Carrier, is a way for companies to detach their comms platform from their network provider, allowing them to choose who they get their SIP Trunks from and how.
The Advantages of BYOC
The panel went on to talk about the benefits of BYOC. By separating communications platforms from the underlying telephony infrastructure, businesses can keep all the features and benefits of their CPaaS or UCaaS solution, while using a SIP trunking provider of their choice at the telephony layer to give them:
- Greater control over their call routing
- Extended coverage into markets that might not be reachable with the bundled telephony solution
- The platform and tools to avoid regulatory issues
- The ability to use one global provider or multiple players as they see fit – By using one consistently high-quality provider across all regions, they avoid the variable quality and compliance issues that can come from coverage aggregated across multiple providers
Unbundling as a Solution to Customer Pain Points
The panel talked about how one of the biggest challenges businesses have faced in the past with their cloud communications is ‘vendor lock-in’. In other words, when you purchase bundled communications, you’re typically buying one or more applications as well as the core telephony.
While this is ideal when you’re growing initially and focused on building out your core business, it quickly becomes expensive and inefficient as you scale. It also locks you out of the benefits you get from going direct to a CaaS (Communications-as-a-Service) provider for your core telephony.
A Difficult Decision
As the panel noted, many Enterprises today are faced with a difficult decision: Do I continue to scale the applications I know and love, paying through the nose for the privilege; or do I break apart the bundle and manage my communications stack myself? If the latter, do I need to embark on an expensive and time-consuming journey to build out my own communications coverage?
Luckily, these concerns have been rendered moot by BYOC. The ability to ‘Bring Your Own Carrier’ means enterprises get the best of both worlds: a VoIP network of their choosing to provide underlying voice and messaging functionality into platforms or applications that are tailored to meet the needs of their users or customers.
Integrated Communications and How it’s Changing the Landscape
Pierre-Baptiste Béchu, Aircall Co-Founder and CTO, went through how BYOC is changing the way that they conduct business and even improving their product. With traditional bundled telephony, you have little control over how your communications are delivered. But BYOC capable providers like Voxbone have lowered the barrier for changes to the back end, meaning businesses can adapt their existing solutions however they see fit.
‘The Most Exciting Area of Comms’
With some closing comments, the panel took turns talking about what, for them, is the most exciting area of comms as they turn their attention to 2020 and beyond
- Pierre (Aircall) – Even in the past 5 years, it’s clear that the business that older telcos were doing does not exist anymore. The industry is adapting rapidly to the marketplace and with things like BYOC you unlock the ability to add things like AI to comms.
- Muhammed (ProVu) – AI is pushing the limits of solutions and what vendors can get their hands on. A really exciting consideration is how it integrates with upcoming software.
- Mehmet (Voxbone) – One thing that seems to be more important than ever is the idea of usefulness. For a lot of companies, it has been a race to supply the cheapest minutes and rates, these have become a commodity. Following this race to the bottom is the wrong route. You win by increasing usefulness.
With that, the panel finished up and everyone went on to enjoy an evening of free food and drinks with a little bit of all-important networking thrown in.
The Cloud Communications Hub – Don’t miss out!
For the first-ever meeting of our Cloud Communications Hub, we think it went pretty well! In the not-so-distant future we want to hold quarterly meetups, bringing in industry-leading speakers, top analysts and tech evangelists for keynotes, panel discussions like the one we just had, round tables, and of course, beers.
Want to make sure you don’t miss our next event? Join our meetup group here for updates.