UC Today spoke with Darren Lloyd, Program Manager for Carrier Automate
Operator Connect gives businesses a simple way to bring their existing voice services into Microsoft Teams, but this simplicity comes at the expense of some complexity on the carrier side.
Microsoft validates the quality of the service by ensuring that carriers go through a comprehensive certification process. This process is complex and time-consuming as there are a number of significant technical elements that need to be in place and tested, as well as a need for the carrier to evidence that their solution and processes meet Microsoft’s pre-requisites.
Darren Lloyd Program Manager for Carrier Automate, told UC Today that carriers must overcome three critical challenges on the road to Operator Connect certification.
“It is difficult for organisations to write a business case because there are so many unknowns,” he said. “How much do they need to invest in their infrastructure?
“How much do they need to invest in the people to work on the programme? Operators may have the skills in-house, but they’re not sitting on the bench ready to go at a moment’s notice, so businesses need to establish what resources and investments are required to get this over the line.
“The requirements are complex, which is evidence of Microsoft’s focus on carriers having the reliable, quality-based backbone, required to ensure the high levels of end-user experience it strives to deliver”
Recognising the challenges faced by carriers, and having the in-house knowledge and experience to dramatically reduce them, has been the main drivers for the development of Carrier Automate.
Carrier Automate is a service that helps carriers achieve Operator Connect accreditation in a much-reduced timescale. Providing both technology and consultancy to carriers, the service significantly reduces investment in infrastructure and resource that carriers traditionally face when attempting to achieve accreditation by themselves.
Designed to streamline, through automation, Carrier Automate supports both the onboarding of carriers to Operator Connect, and the onboarding of customers to the carrier’s service.
Businesses do not have to invest heavily in hardware because Carrier Automate provides the SBC requirement via a partnership with Ribbon.
From a resource perspective, Carrier Automate takes much of the work away from the carrier, meaning they don’t need the extensive in-house team they’d need if they went through the process themselves.
This is crucial because many carriers have not had tight relationships with Microsoft in the past. In contrast, Carrier Automate has strong in-house Microsoft expertise across both Operator Connect and Direct Routing.
“We go through the whole certification process with Microsoft and the carrier; we essentially run it,” Lloyd said.
“The process might typically take six or seven months, but we’ve done this before, so we can reduce the time to maybe a few weeks.
“Then our provisioning journey manages all the API integration for migration, porting and assigning the numbers for the end-user – so we’ve taken away a lot of the overheads for the operator.”
Carrier Automate offers a combined service that also provides carriers and service providers the option to use DRaaS while working through the Operator Connect process. This approach accelerates go-to-market for Teams calling, whilst waiting on an Operator Connect listing. Combining or sequencing DRaaS with Operator Connect also increases agility and service options. Whichever approach you choose the experts at Carrier Automate can guide and speed you through the process.