Introduction: Enterprises should look to the cloud
Cloud SaaS is a hot topic within the business communications industry, but the reality is that in-house managed solutions are still the norm. Less than 10% of the overall business communications market is currently fulfilled as a service from the cloud, according to market trackers including Synergy Research. There’s still a long way to go.
Whether an on-premises, private cloud, public cloud, or even managed PBX deployment, the services provided by cloud communications solutions are increasingly required in both cloud and in-house deployments. Whether or not a business chooses to offload their communications infrastructure needs to a cloud platform, the services used by the platforms themselves can be a roadmap for delivering value within an in-house comms solution.
For this report we’ll focus on what we’re calling the Business Communications as a Service (BCaaS) Magic Quadrants. BCaaS includes five MQs: two for Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), one for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), as well as one from each Web Collaboration, and Meetings.
The competition is intense within these segments as more enterprises are transitioning from legacy systems to BCaaS platforms.
How Voxbone powers businesses
The Gartner Magic Quadrants have become a critical part of the vendor evaluation landscape, and CTOs/CIOs use them as a litmus test of potential service providers. Throw a dart at one of these MQs (Magic Quadrants), and you’ll likely hit one of Voxbone’s customers’ names.
You might not have heard of Voxbone before, but there’s a good chance you’ve used our communications services at work. Especially if your business relies on a big-name cloud comms provider like those featured in the Gartner MQs. Voxbone is famous within the industry for providing the key technologies that enable the CaaS (Communications as a Service) space. Now we’re offering more alternatives to carriers or big-name solutions by launching services that better support enterprises and business customers directly. These are the same capabilities that are catching Gartner’s attention (see the Appendix for more information on the Magic Quadrant).
In fact, in the four analyzed areas of BCaaS evaluated by Gartner, 83% of the Leaders use Voxbone to provide key elements of their solution. This leadership is shown in all areas and all five of the Leaders and Niche categories, as well as in the Visionary and Challenger quadrants as well. It’s clear that Voxbone is a commonly used ingredient in the names selected for Magic Quadrant recognition, particularly in the Leader category.
Enterprises looking to enhance the capabilities of in-house, on-premises or hybrid solutions to enable BCaaS capabilities can follow a similar recipe to that used by the big comms players. The set of capabilities that Voxbone provides (i.e., rapid deployment, quality performance, automation, global coverage, etc.) can significantly enhance an enterprise communications solution, both increasing user satisfaction and reducing the need for a completely outsourced solution.
Voxbone started out as an inbound-only provider, which has traditionally been more difficult to incorporate into a communications offering. We built our global backbone from the ground up, and now we’re taking the next step. In November 2017 we launched a two-way calling service that not only allows comms providers to consolidate service providers, but this development will also change the game for our enterprise customers that need the same services that make the big MQ players and other household names in enterprise communications get where they are today.
Voxbone offers a range of capabilities that bridge the gap between IP and PSTN, with a wide global reach and APIs that make on-demand provisioning fast and easy. These solutions have been geared to provide value to service providers, cloud providers, and most recently, to enterprises. This value can be found in the ability to quickly and effectively implement two-way international calling, global customer support, and a range of scalable voice and messaging services. The Voxbone solution set includes multiple elements that lead to a superior market position, both for communications providers and in-house enterprise systems:
- Number availability: Voxbone’s inbound reach covers more than 9,400 area codes in 60+ countries around the globe with leading-edge PSTN access and IP delivery services. Currently Voxbone covers 92% of the world’s GDP with its business communications services.
- Provider consolidation: Partnering with Voxbone means one contract for global capabilities including recently launched two-way communications using Voxbone DIDs.
- Automated provisioning (via API or web): Allocating numbers is more flexible and quicker than traditional carriers and suppliers, ideal for scaling up or growing an international reach.
- Managing complexity: A team of experts monitors and ensures global compliance so there are no hiccups or roadblocks to global domination.
Additionally, Voxbone has demonstrated leadership through market success:
- Voxbone has staying power in the industry and will remain a viable choice in the long term.
- Voxbone sees a steady growth in services with the addition of outbound dialing, as well as coverage (76 Russian cities were added last October), and usage, which currently exceeds 30 million unique callers per month–and that’s inbound-only.
- Voxbone is supported by a leading global team that follows trends in communications services and launches new products (i.e., 2-way voice and SMS, Emergency Calling for PSTN replacement, BI services like Speech Analytics) to fulfill the need of customers and end users.
Applying the MQ criteria to enterprise deployment of Voxbone services
While the Voxbone capabilities have been largely adopted by service providers and cloud vendors, they have been designed to be easily adopted and applied to in-house managed enterprise deployments. The services are designed to be implemented with existing communications platforms through standards such as SIP and WebRTC.
Delivering Completeness of Vision criteria for enterprise
Achieving a prominent status in the BCaaS MQs requires a certain degree of Completeness of Vision. Enterprises can achieve success with their in-house solutions by aligning their goals with those of the top BCaaS players. While this may include product innovations and features, it is also based on how and where those services are delivered.
- Breadth of communications support: The full range of Voxbone solutions, including inbound and outbound dialing, local numbers, toll-free access and 2-way SMS, all increase the reach and value of in-house systems. Voxbone supports a full range of geographies with global access and capabilities at advantageous pricing and flat-rate fees. Automated number management is critical, as is meeting current demand for local numbers in hard-to-get countries like China and Russia is an ongoing challenge, even for BCaaS providers.
- Innovation: Voxbone is a global leader in innovation when it comes to connectivity to the global market–the latest technology we’re focusing on is speech analytics, which is driving new values in the market geared towards enterprise deployments. This service will deliver insights from customer/employee interactions, including keyword spotting, emotional sentiment analysis, and in-call assistance.
- Global extension: The ability to easily extend international presence is a critical capability for global growth. Delivering local fixed and mobile numbers, conferencing dial-in options, IP PoPs (Points of Presence), WebRTC and click-to-call integration are some crucial areas for extending a regional BCaaS offer to obtain a global leadership evaluation.
- Partnering business model: The Voxbone business model has traditionally been to partner with cloud providers and offer services across the board. However, the same services are available to enterprises pursuing more traditional, in-house delivered and managed solutions. Whether implemented using traditional premises deployments or using cloud-based data center strategies, Voxbone can provide the same capabilities for enterprises that support the BCaaS Leaders.
- Optimized performance: The global Voxbone network, with IP and telephony Points of Presence around the globe, delivers high performance with low packet loss and low latency. This optimized infrastructure delivers the quality that BCaaS providers know they need to delight their customers, and gives your in-house solution the muscle it needs to last for years.
Delivering Ability to Execute for enterprise
In the BCaaS MQs, the Challenger space is dominated by large carriers as well as traditional IT players. Often these companies have existing legacy capabilities that they use as part of their BCaaS solution. As Voxbone allows users to move their communications systems to the cloud, allowing for a more agile architecture, the Ability to Execute becomes more feasible for scale-up and global companies in the following ways:
- Easy integration: Voxbone’s services work seamlessly with a scalable communications solution and offer API automation.
- Global reach and local simplicity: Voxbone’s tagline is “strangely simple communications,” which is an apt description of why Voxbone makes it simple to succeed globally. By making access to global communications as simple as getting a local line (or easier), including global capabilities, is now possible for all solutions.
- Rapid number assignment and management: Voxbone has automated the process of allocating local numbers. This is based on the next-generation architecture implemented by Voxbone and stands in stark contrast with the complexity and lack of deterministic capabilities of traditional carriers or service providers.
- Service dependability: The Voxbone services set is defined by high reliability and defined and sustained QoS to deliver quality real-time services, and customer service. A 2016 Voxbone survey showed a 95% satisfaction rating among customers.
- Pricing: The Voxbone pricing model is designed to support growing or large-scale organizations, whether they are BCaaS vendors or enterprises. The Voxbone model includes connection/line based flat-rate fees, instead of traditional per-minute models that result in much higher costs, with mature levels of utilization.
- Market responsiveness: Voxbone is continually working with their partners, both BCaaS providers as well as enterprises, to identify and respond to opportunities and to provide new services to businesses. This includes a move into two-way communications services in late 2017/early 2018, enabling a new range of services to be implemented with the existing automated provisioning models.
- Scale: Voxbone enables its partners to rapidly scale to new levels of delivery. With the recent launch of outbound services, daily call and SMS traffic is expected to grow exponentially.
Benefits to enterprise in relation to each of the Magic Quadrants
Looking at its presence in each of the categories for BCaaS, there are multiple ways that Voxbone can promote success for businesses, as they have done for the Magic Quadrant players. Let’s analyze how Voxbone assists the big names in each space, to define how best to use Voxbone in a specific enterprise deployment.
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
- In the UCaaS Magic Quadrant, 67% of the leaders have adopted Voxbone. The 33% that are not using Voxbone in this segment are large global carriers that have extensive services and the resources to meet the criteria for Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. Looking at these capabilities under a microscope, however, you’ll see that these players are still supported by legacy systems that do not offer the speed and flexibility of automated, cloud-based communications support.
This is also generally the case in the Challenger segment, though clearly being a large legacy carrier is not a guarantee of reaching the Leader quadrant. The most interesting fact to note is that 100% of the execution-challenged participants are using Voxbone to extend their offers and achieve a higher evaluation of their execution capabilities.
- How BCaaS players benefit: The uniqueness of Voxbone’s services enables UCaaS providers to fill gaps in their services and gives them the vision to succeed. The ability to deliver globally with simple integration enables services that drive their Magic Quadrant ratings up.
- Benefits to enterprise: This could mean a vision to expand globally and at scale. Some examples? How about global customer support for on-demand services or international collaboration for international architecture firms. The same pricing and provisioning flexibility that has benefited BCaaS players can allow companies to extend their reach effectively.
Voxbone’s unique combination of advanced services, automated delivery and change management, and focused customer support can be a critical component in enabling these companies to execute and deliver their solutions. Take SMS, for example. For enterprises such as global banks that need to send notices, hospitals that want to send appointment reminders, or for customer support of all kinds, Voxbone can support these services internationally at a far lower cost and higher efficiency than through traditional means.
Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)
Voxbone has long been a leader in the contact center space, enabling enterprises to extend their support and sales coverage across the globe. This adoption can also be seen by providers in the CCaaS market. In fact, in the three higher rated quadrants, the adoption of Voxbone is at or exceeds 80%. Only in the Niche player quadrant is the adoption lower, reflecting the regional nature of many of the smaller players. In this CCaaS space, Voxbone’s capabilities can give companies an extensive global reach, fast setup times and value-added services including Speech Analytics for better voice insights within the contact center.
- How BCaaS players benefit: The capabilities that Voxbone delivers appear to be essential for a high Vision rating by Gartner. The combination of global reach and capabilities are critical for achieving a Leader or Visionary appointment. In the UCaaS space, providers need to be able to deliver to a range of customer needs. Executing on delivering a CCaaS service is challenging. The demands of both new customers and ongoing changes driven by programs and changes in existing customers make the contact center space more dynamic than others. While the global reach is critical, the Voxbone delivery of features like click-to-call and SMS integration also have a big impact.
- Benefits to enterprise: Businesses looking to use Voxbone directly can find the ability to use multiple channels to connect with customers using a single provider. The automated solutions from Voxbone, and the ability to easily allocate numbers and establish a presence to accommodate new customers or new market programs by existing customers is critical to execution. In the cloud, speed is king. Voxbone enables its customers to deliver communications capabilities on demand, which is a key capability even for large enterprises that traditionally move at snail speed.
Web conferencing, in many ways, is the original BCaaS solution. While UCaaS, CCaaS and Meetings are a migration from on-premises to the cloud, web conferencing has been a cloud-delivered BCaaS solution from the start, over 15 years ago. Interestingly, Web Conferencing as a segment is rapidly becoming part of other areas (UCaaS, Meetings). The evaluation of this area as a separate Magic Quadrant gives further insight into how Voxbone is enabling the Leaders. As in other segments, we see a high percentage of the Leaders adopting Voxbone services, with a majority of the execution challenged companies also partnering with Voxbone.
- How BCaaS players benefit: While Web Conferencing has been about IP-based web meetings from the beginning, clearly the capabilities provided by Voxbone are critical for achieving a high rating of vision. With an average of 70% of the companies on the right (in vision analysis) partnering with Voxbone, these capabilities are crucial for success. They include the ability to have global dial-in numbers, both toll and toll-free, dial-out options, SMS notifications, and more. The key point is that, while most attendees to a web-conferencing session may be using the internet and/or an IP-based app, there are always key participants that must join through traditional means. The ability to have a complete offer (with dial-in or dial-out capabilities) is clearly critical to a Vision evaluation.
- How businesses benefit: Implementing a global conferencing service in-house is a challenge, hence the popularity of PaaS conferencing services. The BCaaS leaders see the value of Voxbone in its support for a global reach and automated operations. Also, most Visionaries see Voxbone adoption as an opportunity to attack the market in their pursuit of moving up into the upper quadrants.
In 2017, Gartner has combined its evaluation of web conferencing and other collaboration tools to define Meeting Solutions as the enablement of users to work anywhere and “help to reduce geographic barriers for teams that need to work on projects or specific business processes.”
As can be seen from the chart, the adoption of Voxbone and the relationship to Magic Quadrant success is very evident in Meeting Solutions. While 100% of the Leaders are Voxbone partners, in the other quadrants, Voxbone utilization is much lower than any other segment. This reflects both the challenges of the non-Leaders in this segment, as well as the niche focus of some of the players. Outside of the Leaders category, a number of players are internet-only and do not provide the complete set of capabilities. What is clear is that this lack of breadth does not reflect well on the Meetings Solution MQ evaluations.
- How BCaaS players benefit: Meeting Solutions combines video and web conferencing spaces into solutions that deliver a capability to work at a distance through well-organized and content-focused meetings. This is where Voxbone services can help these companies differentiate themselves. The ability to extend meetings globally through the PSTN (for attendees not able to tend using the internet), PoPs for global access, as well as notification and other management resources, are the core building blocks of a successful Visionary solution. As in other markets, the ability to deliver advanced functionality at scale globally is critical. In this market, the ability to work anywhere, anytime, is a core part of the value Voxbone provides.
- How businesses benefit: Without global reach and scale, companies would not be considered for the Magic Quadrants. As CIOs and IT leaders are the typical audiences for the MQs, they would be apt know how the companies listed achieve this recognition and how they can benefit from these capabilities directly. Being able to incorporate dial-in numbers, as well as international dial-out meeting capabilities, in a quick and easy way, presents a key capability for enterprises to collaborate across large distances, both in the cloud and through their fixed-line or mobile phones.
Delivering enterprise success through business communications
When it comes to telephony or communications networks, enterprises are aiming their sights on lower costs, as well as increased flexibility and scalability. The traditional model that relies on support from carriers or a complicated web of global providers is coming to an end. While moving to the cloud with a BCaaS solution from a MQ Leader is an obvious way to achieve success for your organization, there are other options for implementing the same capabilities in your in-house solution.
The cloud and BCaaS is not a silver bullet for everyone. Whether an organization is large enough to have internal economic scale, or security and privacy concerns that lead to on-premises solutions, Voxbone can play a key role in optimizing and streamlining operations within these systems. All the capabilities (automated delivery, quality of service, availability and focused customer service) can be acquired directly by enterprises such as banking, health and on-demand services, to name a few. The range of capabilities and solutions that make Voxbone an ideal BCaaS partner absolutely apply to enterprise, as they are often operating as an internal services organization. The automation, quality and availability and customer service–the same capabilities that enable the BCaaS leaders to succeed – have great potential for implementation in the enterprise.
The Gartner Magic Quadrant is a well-defined and repeatable evaluation of the competitors in a specific market space. In the four BCaaS spaces, the Leaders and Visionaries have a strong likelihood of using Voxbone to deliver both the Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute that the Gartner teams are evaluating.
For enterprises looking to implement a BCaaS service for an outsourced solution, the Gartner Magic Quadrants provide insight to choose the right solution or at least prune the list of options. For enterprises looking to deliver their own solutions, wither with on-premises or hybrid cloud delivery, the same Voxbone services are an important element to their delivering a world-class solution. Voxbone may be the secret sauce you need in your quest for success in your marketplace.
Appendix: The Gartner Magic Quadrant
The Magic Quadrant uses two measures of a company’s relative position in the market, both against a theoretical perfect player as well as against the other rated competitors. The two measures are: Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. The ratings for each company are plotted in a two-dimensional field as shown in the diagram.
In every Magic Quadrant report there is an explanation of the methodology, but essentially, each company is ranked against a set of criteria for each analysis and then a position in the grid is established.
Completeness of Vision covers the capabilities of the solution to meet all the needs of the user, both functionally and in delivery. Ability to Execute is an analysis of the underlying strength of the company and the ability to compete and invest in the solution and the market. As part of the overall Magic Quadrant process in each market, initial criteria are established for inclusion in the analysis. For example, in UCaaS, for 2017 it was required to have a global presence, including identified customers in both Europe And Asia. In the 2017 UCaaS report, a top five market share vendor was excluded due to the lack of Asian presence.
When companies are rated in a Magic Quadrant, they fall into one of four broad categories: Leaders, Visionaries, Challengers, and Niche Players. The following are descriptions of the categories (source):
- Leaders: Vendors in the Leaders quadrant have the highest composite scores for their Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. A vendor in the Leaders quadrant has the market share, credibility, and marketing & sales capabilities needed to drive the acceptance of new technologies. These vendors demonstrate a clear understanding of market needs, they are innovators and thought leaders, and they have well-articulated plans that customers and prospects can use when designing their infrastructures and strategies. In addition, they have a presence in the five major geographical regions, consistent financial performance, and broad platform support.
- Challengers: A vendor in the Challengers quadrant participates in the market and executes well enough to be a serious threat to vendors in the Leaders quadrant. They have strong products, as well as sufficiently credible market position and resources to sustain continued growth. Financial viability is not an issue for vendors in the Challengers quadrant, but they lack the size and influence of vendors in the Leaders quadrant.
- Visionaries: A vendor in the Visionaries quadrant delivers innovative products that address operationally or financially important end-user problems at a broad scale, but has not yet demonstrated the ability to capture market share or sustainable profitability. Visionary vendors are frequently privately held companies and acquisition targets for larger, established companies. The likelihood of acquisition often reduces the risks associated with installing their systems.
- Niche Players: Vendors in the Niche Players quadrant is often narrowly focused on specific market or vertical segments. This quadrant may also include vendors that are adapting their existing products to enter the market under consideration, or larger vendors having difficulty developing and executing on their vision.
Leaders are companies that have both a complete solution as well as the financial and organizational wherewithal to deliver. Visionaries are generally smaller companies that have a great solution but are limited buy their financial resources, scale or other factors that kept the Ability to Execute from reaching the Leader level. Challengers are often larger companies that have many resources but lack the Vision and product focus of the Leaders and Visionaries. Finally, Niche players are those that are focused on specific vertical, geographic or functional market position where their limited product offer and financial strength can be mitigated.