For large enterprises and service providers, the process of on-boarding a user can be quite cumbersome. Provisioning a user with a full set of UC services can be a complicated, error-prone process due to the number of systems that need to be set up. UC on-boarding can include voice, presence, conferencing and a number of other applications that fall under the “UC” umbrella. In addition to setting up access to new applications, administrators need to find a way to migrate large numbers of users and massive amounts of data for continuity of dial-plans and other functions.
Last week VOSS, a provider of UC management and provisioning tools (UC-OBT), announced the general availability of its new on-boarding tool kit to make this process simpler and faster. VOSS’ UC-OBT is a suite of tools and applications that provides customers with the services it needs to simply and rapidly connect end users and UC-enabled devices to the wide range of UC collaboration applications.
UC-OBT is currently designed to work with Cisco’s HCS fulfillment toolset and Cisco’s Unified Communications Domain Manager (CUCDM) to help companies simplify the provisioning process. From conversations with VOSS’ service provider customers, the on-boarding tools are of particular value when they are trying to do a mass migration of their end customers, users’ phones and services. UC-OBT can take inputs from premise-based Cisco Call Managers and legacy PBXs, and then manage the entire process.
While on-boarding may not seem like the most exciting initiative with regards to unified communications, it is one of the more important factors, particularly for UC cloud providers looking to leverage Cisco’s HCS platform.
UC is moving to software and software is moving to the cloud, and there’s no doubt that UC will rapidly move to a cloud deployment model as well. The market for UCaaS services has exploded with the traditional telcos having moved into the market as well as a number of UCaaS pure plays. Platforms like Cisco’s HCS and Avaya’s Aura suite are designed for really any type of organization, network operator, systems integrator or even your local VAR to launch a service.
The increased competitive environment combined with the high importance that communications and collaboration tools have in business puts a premium on the service quality from the UCaaS provider. In fact, considering the popularity of Cisco’s HCS, it’s unlikely that a service provider will differentiate themselves on the features of the service. Rather, the quality of experience and customer service will be key points of differentiation. It’s often said that, when meeting someone, the first impression is the most important, and this holds true for network service. Other than contract negotiation, the on-boarding process will be the first experience the customer has with the service provider. If this process goes poorly, what kind of confidence will the customer have with the UCaaS provider moving forward? The answer is not much. Telco’s already have a reputation of offering poor service. Screwing up the on-boarding process for several thousand users at a company will do nothing to change that opinion.
The VOSS UC-OBT toolkit gives service providers the ability to simplify and automate the hundreds of tasks required to import data from legacy systems, including spreadsheets, migrate the data, stage the migration and then execute the migration in a batch process. As a result, UC customers can be migrated faster by smaller, more productive customer service teams.
The market for UCaaS is here, which means the boring, behind-the-scenes processes are becoming more important. The UC-OBT toolkit means service providers and large enterprises can spend less time in the provisioning process, pour themselves a tall glass of VOSS water, and focus on something else.