A Service Provider’s Road to Unified Communications

At last week’s Genband’s Perspective Conference 2015, I had the opportunity to speak and address the thousands of users we serve, discussing our process for selecting the right unified communications platform.

NetFortris has provided cloud communications services for two decades, beginning with 10g-enabled, multi-peering point secure MPLS network. This initial offering has expanded over the past 20 years, and NetFortris now provides a comprehensive suite of secure cloud based PBX solutions. Today, we have over 700 enterprises and thousands of users who rely on our secure cloud communications services for daily business operations.

It is an undeniable fact that the cloud UC market is growing. Infonetics research predicts that by 2017, the global market for cloud voice services and UC will reach nearly $12 billion. Businesses are looking for ways to address the needs of increasingly mobile employees and seeking solutions for a BYOD landscape. Similarly, they are seeking collaboration software to promote teamwork within their companies. With such significant predictions, NetFortris needed to partner with a communications platform vendor that could effectively serve the needs of our clients, especially as the number of clients grows and their needs become more complex.

We needed a unified communications solution to meet current user needs, but also to adapt to future needs and technology advancements. Our list of requirements for a communications platform was long: point to point video, presence and location, IM/chat, a strong mobile component to support BYOD, WebRTC support from a wide array of browsers, an open platform, and finally, an acceptable price point for users.

We required a business communications platform that was redundant, scalable, and provided the highest degree of quality. After analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, and overall capabilities of the four major platform communications providers, we ultimately selected Genband Experius. It was the only provider that offered cost-effective services for our users without compromising on features or sacrificing functionality.

In comparison with other communications platform providers, Genband offered an integrated UC solution from a single vendor. Although there were similar UC clients and cloud UC offerings, Genband provided better provisioning and back office tools. Their professional services and speed to deployment were unmatched, and overall, Genband aligned with the NetFortris roadmap which includes WebRTC, and more. Finally, the total cost of ownership effectively beat out all other cloud communications platform providers.

Experius, along with other NetFortris voice communications solutions,  will now be offered under the product name, NetFortris Unified™.    Immediately available functionality will include IM, presence, voice, video, visual voicemail, and directory integration. These services address the pressing needs of our broadest set of customers. NetFortris Unified ™ will also enable us to support Android and iOS tablets and smartphones. Users will have maximum flexibility across all of their devices, and WebRTC functionality will bring full-featured voice, video, presence and messaging to any browser.

Our first customer deployments of NetFortris Unified™ are already underway. We are confident in our choice of Genband as a cloud communications platform partner and look forward to working together to deliver more and more functionality. Our customers will undoubtedly benefit from the powerful collaboration of our two companies and from the dynamic services of NetFortris Unified™.

Tom Swayze
About the author: Thomas Swayze is the EVP Technology at NetFortris. Thomas has over 26 years of significant technology experience. He pioneered voice over frame and ATM technologies in the mid 1990’s and deployed one of the first Selsius (Cisco Call Manager) solutions. Prior to NetFortris, Thomas served as CTO at Telekenex.