Slack Has Blossomed Rapidly, but is Threatened by a Major Obstacle

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• Slack has been quite busy lately enhancing its platform, forging alliances and strengthening internal operations. However, a major obstacle threatens to derail those efforts.

• Slack must determine a way to convert the vast majority of its customers from free plans to paid plans.

Slack comes from humble beginnings as an internal communication tool at a small company. Since then, the platform has evolved into one of the most prominent in the market. A flurry of recent activity including feature rollouts, deal making, management changes, and judicial action has propelled Slack by great lengths in a brief period of time. However, the company is challenged by a scarcity of customers on paid plans. Continue reading “Slack Has Blossomed Rapidly, but is Threatened by a Major Obstacle”

5G Updates in ASEAN – Q3 2020: Mixed Developments, but Still a Solid Growth Forecast

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • There have been mixed 5G developments in the region. While the 5G race is heating up in the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore, the launch is still unclear for Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • 5G subscribers are expected to grow from 0.2 million in 2020 to 127 million and account for 17% of the total mobile subscribers in 2025.

Key Announcements

July 2020 – Philippine PLDT/Smart 5G Goes Live: The incumbent launched its 5G services in key business districts in Metro Manila about one year after its rival, Globe. While PLDT may have lost some very early opportunity, the launch is timely in the Philippines considering the ecosystem and market readiness. The launch will also increase the competition and hence drive the adoption of 5G in the country. PLDT is also leveraging its strength in the enterprise segment to stay ahead of competitors. It has integrated the technology in its enterprise portfolio and is collaborating with various industry players to co-develop 5G use cases, such as partnerships with TV5 to modernize news operations and with Ateneo de Manila University on 5G smart campus. Continue reading “5G Updates in ASEAN – Q3 2020: Mixed Developments, but Still a Solid Growth Forecast”

Joined-Up Utilities: How Collaboration Services Can Deliver Safety and Efficiency Benefits

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Collaboration technology can ensure that resources are deployed in the most effective way and help reduce maintenance issues and accidents.
  • Collaboration technology should be interwoven with other technologies such as corporate applications and IoT and contact center platforms.

Increasingly extreme environmental conditions ranging from wildfires and droughts in North America and Australia to heightened instances of flooding in Europe and China have all been in the news in recent times and are symptomatic of ever more extreme climatic conditions.  Utilities need to keep power and water available to the population in these circumstances while also meeting demands to generate power through less carbon-intensive means. Continue reading “Joined-Up Utilities: How Collaboration Services Can Deliver Safety and Efficiency Benefits”

Microsoft’s Azure Communication Services Launch Challenges OTT/CPaaS Vendors & MSPs and Gives Enterprises New Options

Gary Barton – Analyst, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises should be aware that Azure Communication Services will let them plug features such as SMS and voice and video calling into other applications and services.
  • Azure Communication Services offers security through its layered structure and can be integrated with Azure AI features.

What Is Azure Communication Services?

Azure Communications Services (ACS) is Microsoft’s decision to open up the platform that underpins services such as Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 as a managed service/API and SDK library. ACS is launching with a set of features that closely mirrors the core capabilities of Microsoft Teams. This is essentially because the features being offered are the blocks used to build the Teams platform. Customers will be able to integrate PSTN calling, IP voice and video, SMS, and individual and group chat functionality which includes content sharing and message history. Continue reading “Microsoft’s Azure Communication Services Launch Challenges OTT/CPaaS Vendors & MSPs and Gives Enterprises New Options”

What Do Businesses Need to Do to Support Homeworkers?

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • In COVID-19 times and the aftermath, enterprises need to think about both collaboration and connectivity.
  • Businesses should consider talking to their telecoms and/or IT providers about developing a new digital transformation strategy.

The COVID-19 crisis looks set to carry on into at least the early part of 2021, and with new restrictions coming into place in many countries to prevent a ‘second wave,’ many employees and employers could easily be facing another six months of staff working from home. Furthermore, many large global enterprises have already indicated that homeworking will be the norm for the long term. So, how should enterprises respond? Continue reading “What Do Businesses Need to Do to Support Homeworkers?”

“BlueJeans by Verizon” Has Come a Long Way in a Short Time

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• Verizon has been aggressively expanding and marketing the “BlueJeans by Verizon” offer since the acquisition five months ago.

• BlueJeans by Verizon will continue to play a key role in Verizon’s UC&C portfolio going forward.

Overview

In just five months, BlueJeans by Verizon has become a centerpiece of Verizon’s UC&C portfolio and larger advanced communications strategy. Verizon has left no stone unturned. Product features, integration with existing Verizon offers, sales, marketing, and support have been carefully considered. Very compelling is Verizon’s decision to operationalize BlueJeans as something of an independent start-up within the larger Verizon organization. Despite significant progress, the BlueJeans story at Verizon is not yet complete as more change lies ahead. Continue reading ““BlueJeans by Verizon” Has Come a Long Way in a Short Time”

Cloud-Network Convergence: Double-Edged Sword for Carriers, but an Opportunity Emerges in the Edge

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • Hyperscale cloud providers continue to invest in expansion of networking solutions and network adjacent partnerships with SD-WAN vendors and data center providers.
  • As hyperscale networking solutions become more advanced and the cloud edge moves closer to end users, some carriers may be crowded out of the cloud-network convergence market.

Hyperscale cloud providers and global network carriers have been building stronger relationships and deeper integrations around WAN and networking solutions. The partnerships are a natural fit as more enterprises move business-critical workloads to cloud platforms. These workloads require high-bandwidth, high-throughput, low-latency, secure, and reliable connections from virtually any location these days to connect to the major cloud platforms. Continue reading “Cloud-Network Convergence: Double-Edged Sword for Carriers, but an Opportunity Emerges in the Edge”

AWS Outposts Availability in New Countries Strengthens AWS’ Presence and Drives Edge Computing in ASEAN

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • AWS Outposts availability in ASEAN countries strengthens AWS’ presence in the region and enables it to capture the high-growth cloud opportunities there.
  • AWS Outposts and Wavelength will drive edge computing through stronger collaborations with partners, especially the telcos.

Launched late last year in select markets, AWS Outposts takes hybrid cloud to the next level by enabling enterprises to run AWS compute storage, database, and other services within their own premises or preferred third-party data centers. For more, please see AWS re:Invent 2019: AWS Announces General Availability of Outposts, but Must Demonstrate Management Competence (December 5, 2019). Recently, the provider added nine new countries, including emerging markets such as Malaysia and Thailand, making Outposts available to 50 markets through 22 regions to date. While competitors have their own approach (e.g., Azure Stack, Google Anthos, Alibaba Apsara Stack), AWS is a step ahead in its service availability globally and partner ecosystem. Continue reading “AWS Outposts Availability in New Countries Strengthens AWS’ Presence and Drives Edge Computing in ASEAN”

COVID-19: The Crisis Has Underlined the Need for Omnichannel Contact Centers

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Omnichannel delivers an enhanced and consistent customer experience.
  • Omnichannel should include social media, mobile apps, and video.

The COVID-19 crisis has set the contact center at the epicenter of the customer contact process. While the trend has been slowly moving away from interactions between businesses and clients at brick-and-mortar branches, the COVID crisis lockdown took away the in-person option for almost all circumstances in one move. The result is a widely varied mix of experiences, but for most organizations, it has been a disjointed one. This is understandable, as the first priority in the early stages of COVID-19 was just to make sure a minimum viable level of customer contact was achieved. But we are now moving gradually out of lockdown and GlobalData’s research makes clear that companies are now reassessing their IT strategies. For the contact center, this means that many organizations are looking to move away from legacy platforms. As they do so, the question becomes: What next? Continue reading “COVID-19: The Crisis Has Underlined the Need for Omnichannel Contact Centers”

How Digital Tech Can Help Address the COVID-19 Mental Health Crisis

jJonathan Cordwell – Principal Analyst, UK Health & Social Care TechnologyThe COVID-19 pandemic is quietly damaging the mental health of everyone across the world. During the coronavirus outbreak, we have been laser-focused on black-and-white statistics such as the death toll to measure the gravity of the outbreak, but what about the grey areas in between? Not only must we deal with the immediate threat to life but we must also ready ourselves for the mental health fallout caused by lockdown measures. Continue reading “How Digital Tech Can Help Address the COVID-19 Mental Health Crisis”