We interviewed Orange Business Services recently to get their perspectives on the state of the Unified Communications market, speaking with Brad Lewis who heads up international video business development at the company. Since Orange Business Services (OBS) targets large, multinational companies with its network services, Lewis offers a somewhat unique perspective.
Lewis began the interview noting that while his title suggests a video focus, he is equally involved across the board with unified communications, voice, and video because his company and his client are moving from collaboration that was based on point solutions with integrated infrastructure, organizations, and budgets. Technology has advanced to converged platforms, and are customers similarly beginning to merge their IT organizations.
He sees customers with large investments in platforms from Cisco and Microsoft, along with Avaya and Polycom, and OBS often operates each of the platforms for its customers on dedicated servers. Where OBS adds value is by managing and integrating the various platforms for its client base. OBS recently announced that it has extended its support for Cisco’s suite of cloud-based collaboration tools, with the WebEx Collaboration Meeting Rooms (CMR) in addition to its range of hosted collaboration and conferencing solutions.
Orange, the parent company of OBS, operates as a mobile provider in 29 countries. Where Orange doesn’t own a mobile network, OBS works with IOS and Android applications to provide its subscribers a common user experience across multiple devices. In countries where Orange does have mobile network coverage, OBS also offers to manage the entire mobile and fixed line experience. Lewis notes that offering a single experience across PC, tablets, and smartphone, “is where the real expansion and growth is.”
Video demand continues to grow for OBS and not just in the conference room. Video collaboration is providing very useful in telemedicine, the oil and gas sector, the maritime industry, and manufacturing plants-offering face-to-face remote subject matter experts along with remote access to data critical to making good decisions. OBS also uses WebRTC for some applications to more efficiently deliver video collaboration. OBS recently signed a deal with Bharti Airtel for inter-provider connectivity that enables Airtel Managed Video Conference Service customers and Orange Open Video Presence Community customers to collaborate via video meetings using any approved endpoint.
Our thanks to OBS and Mr. Lewis for sharing his perspectives.