Lumen’s Analyst and Consultant Forum - Palm Trees and Platforms
In-person analyst conferences are making a comeback! It was great to see friends and colleagues among the palm trees in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, at the Lumen Analyst and Consultant Forum. Lumen is an enterprise technology platform, featuring Adaptive Networking, Edge Computing, Security, and more. Applications like unified communications & collaboration (UCC) and contact center are a small but important part of Lumen’s portfolio and offerings.
CEO Jeff Storey kicked off the event explaining how Lumen moved from being a telecom company to a technology company, noting that emerging applications require a new distributed architecture, featuring infrastructure on the bottom layer, the platform in the middle, and applications on top. Lumen calls its platform the “Platform for Amazing Things.”
As Executive VP and CMO Shaun Andrews noted, “The Platform is core to our strategy,” adding, “Next-gen applications require next-level architecture. The architectures out there today aren’t enough – they’re siloed, don’t provide the low latency, privacy, security, etc., that customers need.” Lumen’s solution brings all the critical IT elements together, pulling it to one experience. The platform brings together SDN, hybrid computing/hybrid cloud layer, applications, and managed orchestration – wrapped with integrated security as part of the platform.
According to Andrews, “The Lumen platform is the fastest, most secure platform for the next generation, unifying the components together in a native way through a single experience. The platform empowers customers to drive great results.”
I had the opportunity to meet with Andrews to discuss the key messages from the event, Lumen’s focus on applications (“where all of Lumen’s conversations start”), Lumen’s differentiation, its roadmap regarding the digital experience, and a new ecommerce capability.
There were many sessions and a great deal more discussion about Lumen’s platform, core network solutions, edge services, and so on, but my focus is on applications, notably UC&C and contact center. Lumen takes a partner approach and best-of-breed strategy for UC&C and contact center, partnering with Zoom, Microsoft, and Cisco for UC&C, as well as contact center partners Genesys, Cisco, and more recently Zoom. The slides below highlight Lumen’s voice and UC&C focus.
During the event, Craig Richter, Senior Director Product Management UC&C, explained that with its UC, collaboration, contact center, SIP trunking, hosted VoIP, and professional services offerings, the company supports a sizable base of legacy and new customers. Combined with the rest of the Lumen portfolio, the company is “well positioned to guide customers no matter where they are in their digital transformation journey.”
In this video interview (forgive the background noise) Richter discusses Lumen’s applications, its voice and UC&C strategy, and the new Lumen Enablement Services.
My ears perked up when I heard about the new Lumen Enablement Services for UC&C wrapper, providing adoption services, onboarding, and training – now productized and part of the portfolio. I’ve long been an advocate for user adoption and training programs, and was thrilled to hear that Lumen now offers tailored training, coaching, best practices, etc. across vendors. Customers can log in to the portal and access customized content and end user guides, training sessions, and more. These services can be bought individually or as a package.
To drill down and get more specific information about Lumen’s UC&C and contact center offerings, I spoke with Jeremy DuPont, Senior Product Manager. In this video interview, DuPont discusses Lumen’s various partnerships, as well as service offerings such as Lumen Voice Direct, Managed UC&C Cloud services, contact center, and more.
While I would have loved to have heard from Lumen’s UC&C and contact center partners and customers, I was impressed with Lumen’s strategy and approach. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the Lumen Enablement Services, as well as new customer wins. I also expect to see more cloud contact center vendors added to the portfolio in the near future as Lumen expands its offerings to meet various customer needs.
Kudos to Lumen’s Analyst Relations team for pulling off a wonderful conference while making attendees feel safe and comfortable (and of course, well fed!).