A Taste of Kandy at Ribbon Perspectives
Ribbon Communications hosted its service provider and carrier customers, as well as a group of analysts in the nation’s capitol recently, to provide an update about the company’s products and vision. With the theme “Enabling digital services transformation,” Ribbon discussed its mission to optimize and monetize its communication service providers’ (CSPs) digital service transformation journey by focusing on four key areas:
- SaaS & IP transformation
- Enterprise edge
- Application insights and assurance
With the aim of helping service provider and carrier partners add value to their customers, Ribbon discussed its expanded offerings, including CPaaS, UCaaS, SIP trunking, security, analytics, SD-WAN, SBCs, and more. Kevin Riley, CTO & EVP, assured the audience that core transport remains the company’s key focus, noting, “We’re not abandoning the core – we’re expanding our strike zone.”
I was most interested in Ribbon’s Kandy offerings. Kandy is a white label UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS service offered to Ribbon’s carrier and service provider partners. Ribbon also offers turnkey pre-packaged apps (Wrappers), including Live Support and Visual Attendant.
Kandy’s UCaaS is a multitenant full-suite offering, including voice, one-to-one video, address book, presence, and soft client – all enabled by WebRTC.
On the contact center side, Ribbon has several offerings, including:
- Built-in UCD function (internally developed)
- KBS Call Center: voice-only call center functionality (based on Mida Solutions)
- Live Support: offering click-to-connect capability used to omnichannel-enable web pages
- Kandy Contact Center: Based on Five9 technology, which Ribbon OEMs and hosts in its cloud.
Kandy CPaaS is a white label cloud offering for CSPs, offering a common API platform, integrated CPaaS/UCaaS, a customer eCommerce portal, and turnkey applications. Ribbon’s CPaaS offerings include a range of APIs, such as: voice, video, screen share, SMS, rich messaging, group messaging, push notifications, 2-factor authentication, presence, address book, and mid-call events (call transfers, 3-way hold, etc). According to Phil Linttell, Director Product Management, Kandy CPaaS, “The future is programmable communications and an API economy. We are embedding communications into applications and workflows.”
Rather than hearing just from Ribbon at the event, we heard from many of its partners, including BT, Bell, AT&T, NuWave Communications, Charter Communications, Etisalat, Hong Kong Broadband Network, and others. I was most intrigued by AT&T, which is white labeling Kandy services and APIs. AT&T offers Live Connect, based on Ribbon’s Live Support, and also includes Kandy in its AT&T API Marketplace, an app store for communication APIs.
To get a better understanding of Kandy, I spoke with Greg Zweig, Director of Solutions Marketing. In this video interview, Zweig provides an overview of Kandy’s UCaaS and CCaaS capabilities, Ribbon’s competitive differentiators, and discusses how service provider partners can work with the SaaS-based service.
In this video interview, Sacha Gera, SVP Cloud Products, provides an overview of Kandy and how it’s used for rapid service creation to help partners get to market quickly. He also discusses where contact center fits, “Kandy Wrappers,” and a couple key UCaaS and CPaaS partner announcements.
I also spoke with Sanjay Bhatia, VP, Solutions Marketing and Strategy, about Ribbon’s SBC and software capabilities and how they help cloud partners. Ribbon is working with key partners including Amazon to voice-enable Amazon Chime, as well as Microsoft to support Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams, and Google for its voice offerings. Bhatia discusses Ribbon’s SBC differentiators, including scalability.
Wrapping it Up
I was happy to see the progress Ribbon has made with Kandy, going beyond its initial beginnings as a CPaaS platform, to offering much more, bringing the power of UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS together. With assets in a variety of additional areas, including SBC, analytics, Security-as-a-Service, Service Assurance-as-a-Service, SIP Trunking-as-a-Service, and SD-WAN, Ribbon is well positioned to assist service provider partners looking for more complete solutions. Kandy continues to make headway, especially on the CPaaS side, as it’s now available in the AT&T API Marketplace, as well as KPN's API Store. It will be interesting to see how Ribbon’s service provider partners adopt its CPaaS capabilities to provide real-time communications applications to their customers. CPaaS can be challenging, as it generally requires developer expertise, and is a different sales process than UCaaS and CPaaS. As the market continues to evolve and service providers understand the value of CPaaS, companies like Ribbon and others can help make programmable communications a reality.