This Buyers’ Guide provides an overview of several managed premises-based IP telephony and UCC services providers and solutions. Due to the diverse and fragmented nature of the North American managed premises-based IP telephony and UCC services market, the author has selected leading providers in key market participant groups, including IP telephony and UCC solution vendors, telecommunications carriers, value-added resellers and systems integrators, as well as specialized managed services providers. In addition to merit, the providers were selected based on their willingness to participate in this research.
Demand for managed CPE services remains strong, although it has been negatively affected by the gradual shift of IT to the cloud. More specifically, managed IP telephony and UCC services have been impacted by customer adoption of hosted IP telephony and unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solutions. Other factors negatively affecting managed services as well as the broader UCC market include tough global macro-economic conditions and a more conservative IT investment climate.However, these trends are being offset by businesses’ need to right -size existing communications infrastructures and more effectively leverage IT assets and staff to achieve broader business goals and a competitive advantage. Many organizations with substantial premises -based communications investments turn to partners owning greater capabilities to manage complex communications infrastructures.
As businesses evaluate managed services solution and provider options, they face a number of challenges. The top priority is to find a managed services provider with the right technology expertise. However, solutions vary based on scale, services provided, price, service level agreements (SLAs) and other factors. Service provider attributes such as financial stability, geographic reach, customer service and support, and ability to balance consistency and standardization with flexibility and a customized approach, can also impact customers’ managed services options.
Many providers of varying background-UCC developers, telcos, value-added resellers (VARs), systems integrators, and others-continue to pursue opportunities to deliver customer value through managed IP telephony and UCC services. Typical scenarios where market participants can provide considerable benefits to a customer organization include:
- Sunset asset management as the business migrates to newer technologies and solutions, including UCaaS
- Infrastructure rationalization (e.g., reducing the number of vendors and technologies currently deployed)
- Risk management in the process of digital transformation
- Shifting priorities within the customer organization
Each competitor brings specific strengths and a differentiated skill set to the market. While UCC solution vendors can provide the deepest technology expertise, VARs, systems integrators and other managed services partners typically offer greater flexibility as well as multi -vendor expertise. Market participants’ broader portfolios (equipment, network -based services, IT services and solutions, integration skills, etc.) also impact their ability to address diverse customer requirements.
Most managed services providers employ standard global services packaging and pricing with some variations based on local requirements. Typically, providers offer several services packages and add-on services options. Each managed services engagement is, however, tailored to meet specific customer requirements.Managed telephony and UCC services monthly recurring charges (MRCs) vary from as little as $X per user per month for a basic-voice user to $/agent/month for a multi -media contact center agent. Prices vary by customer size, infrastructure complexity, contract terms (time commitment, SLAs, etc.) and other factors.
It is critical for businesses assessing different managed services providers to conduct thorough due diligence research to better understand the providers’ capabilities and business models. This Buyers’ Guide provides an overview of several managed premises-based IP telephony and UCC services providers and solutions.The study focuses on providers with significant presence in the North American market; however, most providers included in the analysis have global capabilities. Business decision makers can use this analysis to learn more about service provider capabilities and solution features in order to make informed decisions and better protect their communications investments .
2.Introduction: Augmenting Internal IT Capabilities with Managed UC Services
6.Competitor Inclusion Criteria
8.Alcatel- Lucent Enterprise