Discussing Gamma Connect and Fixed Mobile Convergence
We take a look at Gamma Connect and FMC
A leader in the world of voice, mobile, and data products, Gamma have once again delivered innovation to the Unified Communications (UC) market with their Gamma Connect fixed mobile convergence solution.
In an era where Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has become more popular than ever, and people in the workspace are turning to their mobile and smartphone devices to make business calls, Gamma hopes to introduce a solution that will provide end-users with complete control over their communications systems – regardless of whether an agent is using a smartphone or a desk phone.
We spoke to the Head of Product Management for Application Services at Gamma, James Bushell, to find out more about the features and benefits of Gamma Connect. James is responsible for running the product management team that covers Gamma Horizon, Connect, and the company’s SIP Trunking services too.
When Did UC Start to Emerge for Gamma?
Before we jumped straight into a discussion about Gamma’s recent mobile convergence product, I was interested to find out when the company started to really explore the potential of unified communications. James noted that while UC has been a talking point in the communications sector for some time now, it’s only started to gather speed recently, with the rise of Cloud Computing and Software as a Service (SaaS).
“I think at the heart of everything is still PBX functionality. Everything starts with a call – even at a time when video is available. Our launch of Horizon was really our first step into UC, as our Cloud PBX service.”
“The more we worked with channel partners and saw that they needed more opportunities to add value to their offering, the more we began to expand outside of the traditional voice call, asking ourselves how we could offer more than just a PBX.”
Horizon has been an incredibly successful platform for Gamma – and a solution that’s continuing to grow exponentially today. “We’re growing ahead of the year on year figures, and expanding further into UC is how we plan to continue driving that growth.”
Have You Felt A Lot of Pressure in the Current Market?
It’s safe to say that the UC market is a competitive one. Even with their success, I was interested to find out whether Gamma has experienced a lot of pressure from their channel partners and customers to continue differentiating and delivering more value. James told me:
“I think that channel partners should always be pushing their providers to help them grow. I think we’ve been successful with our channel because we’re always looking for new ways to differentiate and help them. We never sit back on our laurels. I don’t think there’s really any pressure in that sense – this is just what we do. We want to put more and more effort into innovation.”
When Did Gamma Start Exploring Fixed Mobile Convergence?
Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) with Gamma Connect is obviously the hot topic for the brand right now. In an environment where smartphones are everywhere, I was keen to find out what pushed Gamma into the FMC market.
“The obvious starting point for us was when we invested in our own core mobile network. Connect is helping us to really leverage our mobile core, and IP network at the same time. We were keen to move into a solution where we had real control over our mobile network, and we felt that this was a great way to differentiate ourselves, and our partners.”
Like UC, fixed mobile convergence has been a common topic for several years in the communication space, but James feels that no-one has really cracked it up until now. He hopes that Gamma’s Connect solution will finally begin to solve the problems that are preventing organisations from uncovering the true value of mobile.
What is Gamma Connect?
Gamma Connect is the company’s attempt to push the siloed islands of business telephone systems and mobile connectivity together. Most businesses spend their time investing in fixed lines, and mobile estate, so that they have the flexibility of a mobile phone, combined with the functionality of a desk phone. The trouble is, when those things are separated, the company can never get the full value from either of them.
“Connect addresses the siloed investments in the market. Because we have complete control over our hosted platform and mobile core, we can take any mobile phone with a Gamma SIM and make it part of a company’s PBX. It simply becomes a Horizon endpoint.”
“The great thing about Connect is that you don’t need any apps to make it work either – it just works natively.”
Gamma allows a mobile phone to work like a desk phone, with all the overlaid features over the top like call barring, and recording.
So, What are the Benefits of Gamma Connect?
The benefits of Gamma Connect as a differentiated offering differ depending on your perspective. For instance, James told me that as an end-user, it means you can have a single voice mail system for your mobile and fixed line, a single number that ensures constant connectivity, and the ability to transfer calls from your office to your smartphone.
“All of the functionality you had on your desk phone now sits in your pocket with your smartphone. End users can get more out of their phone system and enjoy more flexibility.”
At the same time, businesses benefit from more control over their handset estate. They can control how all their phones are managed, restrict calls to premium numbers and get all the visibility they need over every device. “You don’t even need a desk phone anymore if you don’t want one.”
James noted that Connect also delivers a new market opportunity for channel partners. It allows them to differentiate themselves and lock their customers in. “Once they get used to that mobile freedom, it’s hard to move away from it, that makes the offering much stickier.”
How Do You Plan to Progress in the Future?
Gamma is in a unique place right now – with a fantastically differentiated offering. However, an important focus for the company is making sure that they don’t simply stop and enjoy the success.
“We never think our job is done, and I think that’s what makes us special.”
Gamma is constantly looking for new ways to bring different components together and deliver maximum benefits to their channel partners. “It’s about offering a whole solution to the customer. Moving forward, we’ll be launching more collaboration features, more contact centre functionality, and all with a solid PBX platform in the middle.