UCaaS Market Dynamics in Asia-Pacific

ITCB-HarishTaoriSummary Bullets:

  • Cloud-based products and services are the most important priority for APAC enterprises, where they are currently investing or plan to invest in the next 12-24 months.
  • Service providers (SPs) with integration capabilities and the ability to federate across unified communications (UC) platforms may have a competitive edge with their UCaaS offerings.

Current Analysis’ 2014 Enterprise Investment Plans Survey highlighted that workloads such as e-mail/calendar, UC and productivity applications are the first to move to cloud. Furthermore, many enterprises appear open to using UC running on public cloud services – good news for major providers such as Microsoft, Google and AWS. A high proportion of enterprises already use some collaboration services such as audio and web conferencing; cloud-hosted contact center and video collaboration are among the most anticipated investments in the next 12 months. Read more of this post

Vodafone – Riding its Competitive Advantage to Expand in Adjacent Markets

ITCB-HarishTaoriSummary Bullets:

  • In its annual global analyst event, Vodafone emphasized its evolution as a global “Total Communications” service provider.
  • Planned new investments, under Project Spring, to enhance the network (NFV, SDN) and solutions (M2M, Cloud connect, UCaaS) capabilities globally.

Vodafone hosted its annual global analyst event this year in London. This blog post summarizes some of the key takeaways from that event, and analyzes the implications on industry and enterprises.

  • The key theme was Vodafone’s strategy to become a global total communications service provider. Vodafone is making concerted efforts to enable this strategy by expanding global network (fixed and mobile) reach and related communication services (cloud, mobility unified collaboration, and M2M) portfolios.
  • Vodafone has deep network reach in 60 countries with 211 fixed PoPs in 161 cities. In AMEA, Vodafone has recently added new PoPs in Philippines, Taiwan and 22 African countries expanding its network presence in 14 Asia-Pacific, three Middle East and 24 African countries. Vodafone intends to expand its global coverage to 92 countries by end of 2016. Under Project Spring, Vodafone commits to invest GBP 500 million in five years to scale up its network and solution capabilities, people and offices across Asia and Africa
  • Vodafone has witnessed good momentum in its M2M portfolio, especially from automotive, consumer electronics and utilities verticals. The acquisition of Cobra consolidated Vodafone’s position in automotive, as Cobra’s clientele includes Porsche, Ferrari, Renault, and Toyota. Furthermore, Cobra enables Vodafone to provide solutions for embedded and aftermarket automotive opportunities in 41 markets as well as in fleet management for rental, leasing, and sharing of cars.
  • Vodafone reiterated its competitive advantage in mobile networks. Leveraging its core capabilities, Vodafone is offering comprehensive enterprise mobility solutions. Vodafone is further extending its service portfolio in adjacent businesses – cloud and hosting, unified communications and collaboration. Currently these services are available in US and Europe and expected to come in AMEA by next year.
  • Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) is targeting 1,700 global MNCs. Its key value proposition for these customers is a consistent global SLA across Vodafone and partner networks. ‘Mobile First’ people and process initiatives are key themes among VGE customers. Vodafone has also created a business unit to target SMEs. SME products and solutions are expected to roll out in AMEA by next year.

Implications on SP and enterprise ICT buyers:

  • Vodafone – Vodafone’s ICT solutions are primarily available in Europe. It needs to ramp up efforts to promote its ICT solution portfolio in APAC and MEA, to be seen as an end-to-end solution provider for global MNCs interested in expanding their operations in emerging markets. Furthermore, the company has to articulate its value proposition, specifically for verticals, to differentiate itself from its global and regional competition.
  • Enterprises – Asian automotive OEMs can evaluate Vodafone’s capabilities to provide M2M solutions for Infotainment, connected cars and insurance companies for usage based insurance (UBI) service. Global and regional MNCs expanding their business outside Asia can consider Vodafone’s network and ICT solution capabilities for cloud, M2M, and unified communications/collaboration against similar offerings from other global and regional service providers.

Verizon – Striving to Enhance Its Edge in ICT Solutions

ITCB-HarishTaoriSummary Bullets:

  • Verizon has brought a management team from SIs and IT hardware/software vendors on board to help expedite its transformation to an ICT solutions provider.
  • Verizon has refined and enhanced its focus on enterprise cloud, IoT/M2M solutions, enterprise mobility and UcaaS, with security being the core of the network.

Verizon held its annual global analyst event this year in Boston, MA. This blog post summarizes some of the key takeaways and assesses the implications on the industry as well as enterprise buyers. Read more of this post

Demystifying the Internet of Things – Inhibitors That Can Derail Mass Adoption

ITCB-HarishTaoriSummary Bullets:

  • A nascent ecosystem, lack of standards, emergence of new business models and cost economics remain some key barriers for large-scale IoT adoption.
  • IoT challenges will be addressed in time by active participation of tech savvy consumers, profit seeking smart entrepreneurs and innovative enterprises.

Continuing my Demystifying IoT series, in this blog I am sharing some of the key challenges that may inhibit IoT growth or prevent IoT from achieving its potential. Read more of this post

Demystifying IoT – What It Means to You

Harish Taori

Harish Taori

Summary Bullets:

  • IoT expands the meaning and value of the Internet as more physical objects (i.e., sensors, actuators, devices, modules and new age systems) will be connected to the internet and accessible through Internet protocols or web services. It will enable humans/software programs to analyze data, evaluate patterns and take predictive or preventive actions based on the derived intelligence.
  • In addition to consumers, utilities, energy, automotive, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and retail were early adopters of M2M and may start piloting IoT applications as supply side economics make sense. The IoT ecosystem is getting ready for enterprises to innovate business models and improve operational efficiency.

Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data were among the key ICT themes that dominated the majority of panel discussions and presentations at CommunicAsia 2014. Both buzzwords, in addition to cloud and social, are often the current topic of discussions in IT circles. I chaired a panel discussion on IoT and will be using that session in this blog in an attempt to demystify IoT.
IoT is a natural evolution of Internet and machine to machine (M2M), which find its roots in industrial automation. It not only further integrates the physical world with the digital world, but also enables machines to learn from the events and become smarter by gaining predictive and cognitive capabilities. Machine learning will play important role in gaining these capabilities through data mining, statistical modeling and artificial intelligence. The IoT ecosystem will enable companies and consumers to create and enjoy new services that are founded on web-based business models. Read more of this post

Cisco APJC Collaboration: A Step Towards Pervasive Enterprise Collaboration

Harish Taori

Harish Taori

Summary Bullets:

  • Launching its innovative DX80 / DX70 endpoints and collaboration meeting room (CMR) solution, Cisco makes an attempt to plug the gaps in its collaboration offering for enterprises.
  • However, Cisco needs to improve its value proposition by making the solution easy to acquire, consume and manage in a heterogeneous IT environment to address persistent TCO concerns.

It was a bright sunny day when I landed in Macau to attend Cisco’s APJC collaboration summit last week. The summit started with two major announcements – launch of collaboration endpoints DX80/70 and the collaboration meeting room (CMR) solution – both part of Cisco’s “Browser to Boardroom” theme. The former was an attempt to consolidate the number of communication/collaboration devices present on a work desk in one endpoint while the latter (CMR) was a software solution that caught my attention due to its broader appeal to the enterprises. Read more of this post

Enterprise Mobility Strategy – An IT Imperative

Harish Taori

Harish Taori

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise IT teams are struggling to manage secured access to enterprise data and systems, standardization of platforms/mobile devices, monitoring personal vs. work related usage and unplanned growth of BYOD devices due to consumerization of IT.
  • Enterprises are investing in optimizing their business workflows, applications and user interfaces to derive the maximum value out of enterprise mobility initiatives.

Growing usage of individual liable mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and in some case even notebooks, is driving the first wave of unplanned adoption. Enterprises are forced to provide access to communication and collaboration applications like email, messaging and conferencing in a secured manner and to develop mobility related policies and guidelines to support usage of personal devices. As a result IT teams are struggling to manage the device and data security, secured access to enterprise systems, standardization of platforms and mobile devices and unplanned growth of BYOD devices due to consumerization of IT. Read more of this post