Cloud Service Providers Talk About Their Ventures Into the Lucrative Communications-as-a-Service Market
The cloud is increasingly taking a front seat among IT decision-makers, and for good reason. Looking solely at cloud-based communications, recent market data shows that its growth is outpacing on-premise communications.
Some 55 percent of large enterprises currently host unified communications on-premise. That number will fall to 17 percent by 2017, according to new research from IDG. By comparison, pure cloud, hosted and hybrid models will grow from 37 percent adoption among large enterprises today to 69 percent in the next two years.
Innovative cloud service providers are fueling this growth, and in this article, I wanted to sit down with two Avaya customers, in different market regions, to talk about their venture into the exciting market of cloud-based communications and discuss what enabling technologies from Avaya they have deployed and why.
Let’s start with DTSI Group. DTSI Group primarily provides innovative, end-to-end solutions of world-class facilities, advanced communication services and game-changing technology to Business Process Outsourcing companies doing business in the Philippines. The company powers 60 percent of the Philippine contact center industry, with 500,000 call center seats enabled. They are also taking the U.S. market by storm, offering customers a suite of high-value services, including Contact Center-as-a-Service.
“We wanted to be the first company to address the [Business Process Outsourcing] industries’ need for a utility-based, Software-as-a-Service solution,” said John Pike, DTSI Contact Center Architect and Sales Engineer. “The BPO market is both very seasonal and often grows and retracts very quickly. Giving a BPO the option to pay according to how much they use each month is a powerful business case.”
DTSI Group chose to implement their Contact Center-as-a-Service offering on Avaya Collaboration Pod. Collaboration Pods are pre-integrated, pre-tested solutions for running virtualized communications either internally or as a service within the data center.
“Our main business goal was to provide a cost-effective, highly scalable, resilient and flexible system to meet the unique requirements of our clients,” Pike said. “With the deployment of the Collaboration Pod, we are able to support a large number of stations and contact center agents in a small footprint. The system we are using is capable of supporting 8 instances of the Avaya contact center solution with 2,500 agents per instance.”
When it came to the decision about whether to buy a pre-integrated solution versus building their own virtualized infrastructure to host the CC-as-a-Service applications, DTSI decided that the Collaboration Pod would actually save the company money over the long term.
“We did a comprehensive TCO study of the Collaboration Pod solution comparing an equivalent do-it-yourself solution and found that over three years the Collaboration Pod solution would save us $400,000, and over five years save us $600,000. We were then able to pass along this cost savings to our customers,” Pike said.
Speed of deployment was also a major consideration, as they had customers who wanted to take advantage of DTSI’s services as quickly as possible.
“The Collaboration Pod shortened our time-to-market by about a month,” Pike said. “We were able to take the rack, plug it in and turn it on and follow a few simple instructions to get up and running. We were able to turn up live agents on the system within days of being deployed.”
DTSI Group has aggressive plans for expansion. Headquartered in the Philippines, they are able to leverage lower operating costs to deliver high value and cost-effective services to their clients in the U.S. With the Contact Center-as-a-Service market on the increase, this company is poised for success.
The next company I wanted to feature is Connex Telecommunications Corporation, a cloud service provider based in Richmond Hill, Ontario that provides a suite of enterprise communications, networking and infrastructure solutions.
Last year, Connex made it a goal to become the first to market in Canada with a cloud-based, per-user, per month, full UC solution. As a result, they launched Connex Hosted Services under the Connex Cloud brand to deliver Unified Communications, Contact Center and Video Conferencing-as-a-Service.
“We are a nimble and agile company that drives business by providing exceptional services. We focus on making things simple for our customers,” says Peter Manickavasagar, Vice President, Global Strategic Solutions at Connex.
This company also chose the Avaya Collaboration Pod as the best solution to secure their first-mover advantage in hosted services. “After we received Collaboration Pod at our warehouse, it took roughly 2 weeks to configure and bring to the Connex Data Center to turn up services,” Manickavasagar said.
“In terms of rolling out services to our customer base, the Canadian market we serve (larger enterprise customers with 100+ users) prefer private network implementations,” he said. “Therefore, we are deploying a Collaboration Pod that supports multiple instances of the UU/CC applications so that each customer is completely isolated on their own network.”
Commenting on how they roll out these services to their customers: “Turning up new customers has been very fast on the Collaboration Pod,” he said. “The only delays we’ve had is on the networking side and delivering that secure network connection to our customers.”
Connex really likes the unified management and remote monitoring capabilities of the Pod, as well as having single call support across the entire infrastructure. Manickavasagar said he expects his company to see operational cost reductions as a result.
With multiple customers already taking advantage of hosted services on the Collaboration Pod, Connex is clearly an innovator taking the Canadian market by storm with their suite of hosted services.