GENBAND continues to make strides in the scalability and value offered by its Smart Office unified communications and collaboration solution, Greg Zweig, GENBAND’s director of solutions marketing, told me in a recent conversation.
Smart Office is a family of GENBAND solutions, all focused on the business services market. Service providers can buy the individual product elements and deploy them in their own network or buy the finished solution via GENBAND’s Nuvia Cloud service. Likewise, GENBAND enterprise channel partners have access to Nuvia to resell Smart Office to enterprises.
With competition heating up for hosted UC solutions, service providers are more focused than ever on deploying solutions that are ready to compete with OTT offers, “It’s one thing to launch a solution,” said Zweig, “it’s another to launch a solution and make it profitable.”
GENBAND helps its service provider customers do that, he said. One way is by making Smart Office, which multiple enterprises and service providers are now rolling out, more scalable and extensible. Zweig says GENBAND has increased the efficiency of their collaboration server almost 10-fold. That means fewer virtual machines and less hardware. In addition, according to Zweig they’ve adopted Scalable Video Codec (SVC) technology to improve video quality across constrained networks. SVC is also ideal for mobile devices where Wi-Fi and 4G bandwidth may be limited.
Smart Office also offers a consistent look and feel across different computing environments, be they mobile devices, Macs, or PCs, said Zweig. That way end users don’t have to relearn the system as they move from one device to another, he noted.
And in the first quarter of next year GENBAND expects to announce another layer of enhancements that will focus on how to reduce the cost and complexity of delivering UC clients.
Zweig believes that the market for hosted UC will continue to heat up in 2016. He says GENBAND is aggressively working to be sure their Smart Office solution is ready to assist service providers as they compete with Microsoft’s Skype for Business. He believes the software giant will attempt to commoditize business voice as part of its push to increase Office 365 sales. Zweig also feels that Microsoft will try to tilt the playing field to their advantage by promoting the importance of collaboration and the client experience in the buying decision, as opposed to traditional desk phones and PBX services. He says GENBAND is focused on giving service providers the tools they need to fight back.