VOSS Solutions - Delivering BCOM Automation

19 May 2015

This article is part of a series where UCStrategies examines BCOM vendors

The category of products and solutions, defined as Business Communications Operations Management (BCOM) systems, is rapidly being recognized as a critical component of delivering a successful Unified Communications (UC) environment. BCOM enables organizations, both enterprises and service providers to automate and optimize the configuration and operation of the range of components within a UC system.

Today, UCStrategies examines VOSS Solutions, a leading, Dallas-based, BCOM vendor, which approaches the category from a number of unique perspectives. Their core BCOM platform is called "VOSS-4-UC."

VOSS began their BCOM approach with a focus on service providers, enabling those providers to deliver their hosted and managed communication solutions faster and more cost effectively. The challenge for service providers when delivering hosted solutions is to be the "best value" provider (i.e. offer the value-added services that customers want, but at the lowest cost). Service providers understand that profitability can be very challenging when the provider is dependent upon performing complex processes manually in a highly competitive, skilled resources market. Service providers understand the need to standardize processes and that they can drive down costs, offer richer services, and deliver higher SLAs by automating those processes. As a result, they have traditionally been early adopters of BCOM systems.

According to Mike Frayne, CEO of VOSS, "At the beginning of the IP Telephony revolution, back in 2003, we made the decision to focus on service providers, as they were acutely aware of the additional challenges of operating multi-vendor IP-PBXs, with customized dial plans and call flows, as compared to their traditional Centrex TDM services."

Many enterprise IT teams are seeing these challenges today, as the operation of advanced VoIP and UC capabilities are dramatically more sophisticated and labor intensive than was the case for legacy PBX platforms. In fact, according to UC Expert Marty Parker, operational costs now account for more than half of the TCO for new enterprise communications and collaboration systems. And according to Robin Gareiss, EVP Nemertes Research, "[For a UC&C deployment]... one of the biggest keys to success for an enterprise is having the right management and administrative tools in place from Day-0."

VOSS Solutions has many Tier-1 Carriers and large MSPs deploying their solutions. For example, when discussing VOSS, John Blake, Head of Hosted UC Product at British Telecom, noted: "This is a strategic initiative for BT Global Services, underpinning our voice and UC strategy, and has provided the market differentiation that we require to lead the industry in offering hosted unified communications. VOSS is an ideal partner to support BT's global initiative. VOSS demonstrated their capability to manage the entire lifecycle of a UC platform, enabling BT to manage a growing and more complex network of multi-national enterprise customers from a central point of control."

VOSS Solutions has focused on converting their BCOM capability to the enterprise market. Mike Frayne points out, "Our early service provider focus has allowed us to develop sophisticated, multi-vendor, user-centric, service management capabilities across the full suite of unified communications applications and end-user devices ... and we are now delivering that proven BCOM capability to an increasing range of large to medium enterprises that are now adopting UC. We see our customer base as a strength to our success in BCOM."

A major focus for VOSS Solutions is how the core system design enables users to rapidly configure rich service profiles and orchestration logic, which translates to much higher levels of automation. As Mike Frayne explains, "If you automate 90% of a use-case, but have to task an engineer to manually complete the last 10%, then the benefit of automation is significantly reduced. As a specialist BCOM provider, the goal is to achieve 100% automation of as many end-to-end use cases as possible and this is only possible with agile orchestration".

VOSS also focuses on mass migrations, which comes in the form of their MiGR8-2-UC product. One of the major barriers to the adoption of UC has been the cost and potential business disruption of migration to a new platform. Again, service providers have traditionally understood this challenge, as they are in the business of migrating organizations onto their cloud platforms. Mike Frayne points out, "At VOSS we were an early developer of big data analytics for UC migrations. We integrated the sophisticated extraction and transformation capabilities from this rapidly developing big data industry on what we saw as a similarly complex data transformation problem for UC migrations."

From a customer perspective, the value of BCOM and the VOSS approach is delivering value for UC adopters:

  • A 30,000-seat, 1,200-branch, financial organization in Asia was migrated in eight weeks and the post-cutover incidence rate was an order of magnitude less than the industry average. The bank gave a rating of 11 out of 10 on the success of the project

  • A 12,000-seat Government organization in the U.S. was migrated in half of the time originally budgeted. The project director's feedback was, "With the benefit of hind-sight, MiGR8-2-UC was definitely the right way to go. The productivity of the migration team was significantly above what I expected."

For medium-to-large enterprises looking to address the issues of staff overload, cost over-runs, and UC adoption challenges that BCOM is designed to address, VOSS believes their products have inherent advantages. In looking at their products and successes, for organizations with a complex set of requirements and the need for an innovative, proven vendor, the VOSS solution appears to be a good fit. The VOSS focus on higher levels of automation, multi-vendor, user-centric service management and configuration agility, should fit well for organizations in the midst of, or planning for change in their communications or UC solutions.

This paper is sponsored by VOSS Solutions.

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Also on UCStrategies.com in this series:


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