ALE’s Trojan Horse: UCaaS & CPaaS on Your Terms
CPaaS & UCaaS with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise
The marketplace for Unified Communications is currently in a state of flux. The world is changing at a rapid pace, with new technology and innovations introduced consistently, transforming the way we connect at a fundamental level. Today’s UC leaders are consolidating, collaborating, and merging with other pioneers around the world to serve consumers in this unique and complicated environment.
As UC continues to change, we’ve noticed new leaders emerging from the sidelines, exploring concepts that the space had never considered before. Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is one of the trailblazers helping companies to find their feet in an unfamiliar communication environment. This brand helps companies bring diverse systems together in a unified and cohesive strategy for communications.
I had the opportunity to speak with Xavier Martin, the VP, Market Development, Communications Business Division at ALE. He told me all about the firm’s path to digital transformation, and how they’re helping their channel partners and end-users move through their own DX journeys.
How Does ALE Deliver Collaboration with a Difference?
One of the things that really makes ALE stand out in the UC industry is their unique, yet comprehensive portfolio. According to Martin, the company is developing “technology for today, and technology for tomorrow”. This helps to set the brand apart from other organisations that are struggling to innovate for the future or overcome their existing legacy strategies.
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise goes to market entirely through their partners, and they rely on giving those channel partners an exceptional experience. One of the ways that they’ve created a differentiated offering for themselves, is with the recent “Rainbow” solution. As Xavier told me:
“Rainbow is only one year old, but it’s already accomplishing amazing things. We already have 300,000 users – which is really impressive for such a young platform.”
Rainbow is the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise strategy for team messaging and collaboration. It’s the brand’s footing in the new UC world – but they’re doing it with a difference. ALE didn’t just bring out another team-based platform, they created something that’s designed to work nicely with other platforms and vendors, to give users the end experience that’s right for them. “We believe that the more we interoperate, the more we can innovate.”
How Important is Interoperability?
In today’s UC world, it appears collaboration is at the front of everything. By developing a UCaaS strategy that interoperates with other tools, ALE has been able to ensure that organisations can choose the team UC&C and solution that truly works best for their needs. This makes Rainbow an exciting alternative to other team apps like RingCentral Glip, Unify Circuit, and Microsoft Teams.
“Rainbow integrates with virtually any other PBX or SIP-based connection. You can take Rainbow and subscribe to the system online, then connect it to your existing telephone or PBX system. Even if you have a bunch of different vendor PBXs in your organisation, you can overlay Rainbow into the whole lot, and make sure that everything interacts with each other.”
ALE has also introduced federation between platforms in their UCaaS offering. This means that users can see the updates and status of users across their organisational network, regardless of which platform they’re using.
How Does Rainbow Innovate with CPaaS?
While many UC companies are offering UCaaS today, ALE has taken their service to the next level with Rainbow by bringing in a “CPaaS” solution as well. “Communications Platform as a Service helps companies to innovate and digitally transform in today’s fast-moving marketplace. Our /unified-communications/cpaas system is intended to give developers an entire toolkit they can use to really innovate and embed communication strategies into their system processes and workflows.”
CPaaS has become increasingly popular lately, with some serious leaders in the marketplace turning their attention to communication platform opportunities. The difference with ALE is that Rainbow was born with CPaaS out of the box. It offers a natural, next-level CPaaS system with a set of powerful APIs that allow you to integrate all the collaboration tools you know and love into your own in-house operations.
“With Rainbow’s CPaaS solution, we’re giving companies the flexibility to design their own truly “unified” communications strategy. There are no restrictions, everything’s designed to drive innovation.”
What Do You Think is Crucial to Digital Transformation?
With such a disruptive solution to offer the marketplace, it’s clear to me that ALE’s Rainbow system is part of the company’s approach to digital transformation. With DX in mind, I asked Martin what he considered to be the most important ingredients in a digital transformation plan for any modern UC business.
The first thing Xavier told me is that every UC platform should be mobile first:
“We know that most generations work on mobile today. They expect their software to be mobile-ready, responsive, and compatible. That’s what we’ve done with Rainbow.”
Xavier also noted that UC platforms need to have the right consumption model. “We have Rainbow to offer from the cloud, but we also offer a hybrid solution, so you can have part of your PBX on the ground, or you can have it fully in the cloud.” According to Marin, it’s important for UC vendors to remember that the consumption model doesn’t just have to be right for the end-customer, but for the channel partner too. “Channel partners and resellers are going through their own digital transformation, moving into the cloud-based OpEx model. Vendor UC solutions need to be aware of that.”
Another important factor of digital transformation from Xavier’s perspective is analytics: “Big data is really important. Every platform that an organisation embraces today must have analytics available” The more we immerse ourselves in technology like machine learning, IoT, and AI, the more crucial analytics will become.
Finally, Martin told me that UC needs to be socially-enabled. “It’s about driving a community regardless of where your worker is located. As teams become more distributed, it’s crucial for platforms to offer that unified experience with a state of the art UX.”
Going forward, it appears ALE as a company, its products, partners and customers are set for digital transformation. It will be interesting to see more Rainbow use-cases, as the application continues to rise in popularity.