We Speak to netsapiens About Service Provider must-haves
The Cloud Comms Summit is the ultimate event for Service Providers in the communications industry, providing insights into some of the most innovative tools and services on the market. I was lucky enough to attend the event for myself this year between June 26th and the 27th in Washington. During my time there, I was able to speak to a wide selection of industry experts, including the CEO of netsapiens, Anand Buch.
netsapiens is an organisation providing forward-thinking solutions to smaller service providers in the cloud environment. Their vision is to create an environment where service providers of all shapes and sizes can connect to drive more positive experiences for the end user.
Anand told me that netsapiens has been around since way back in 2002, with a headquarters in California. He noted that the first few years the organisation spent in business was really all about finding themselves and deciding where they wanted to go. However, from the moment of launch, the company always had a strong focus on next-generation applications and VoIP.
“All the way back in 2002, we were already hanging our hat on SIP – when it was still very early days for the technology. The reason we were already in that position is that our founders all came from a background of telecom convergence. For me, ever since I got out of school in the early 1990s, I was building solutions to combine voice and data.”
netsapiens has always been primed for the cloud and communication innovation space. “When we launched the business, we wanted to show that we had all the right know-how and DNA to build carrier-class solutions for service providers of any size. We saw this significant gap in the market around creating carrier-class technology and running it on next-generation commodity internet infrastructure and hardware.”
netsapiens is a company that describes itself as a “Smart Network” application provider. This agile and growing company supports service providers from a range of backgrounds, to deliver next-level solutions for the modern market. Anand told me that when the business explored the market, they felt that it was the smaller service provider that really had the closest connection with the end user.
“We started deploying our systems into the ISP market, and we also had wholesale VOIP providers moving to next generation technology. Our goal all along has been to serve Tier 2 service providers and smaller, because we believe that’s where a lot of the innovation comes from. That being said, we’ve also found that a lot of small companies use the fragmented and competitive environment we have today as a stepping stone to keep going upmarket.”
Anand noted that small service providers are constantly growing, and as they develop, they’re hitting a stage in their technology needs where they need to reach the next level of scale. “This jump takes a lot of risk, and we saw two options for the market. One was that providers could just resell someone else’s product, and the other was that they could build their own products with open-source technology. What we decided to do was shatter the concept of needing proprietary hardware or dedicated hardware with a platform-agnostic solution and a geo-distributable platform, to give smaller providers a better balance between vendor, service provider, and end user.”
netsapiens offers a disruptive solution to service providers, at an engaging value proposition. The company is modelled on usage, so people buy capacity, instead of paying per seat. Anand told me that the premise of the business was never to create a killer application, rather to create a platform and an environment to allow the potential market creation of many killer applications by service providers utilizing the platform.
“However, we can provide the tools and platform required to get as many innovators into the marketplace as possible. Our core platform is highly customisable, and our clients simply take it, put it in their data centre, and create a UC offering. We have about 140 service providers using the platform today, ranging all the way from small internet SPs, to those serving specific verticals.”
Anand told me that most of netsapiens’ clients are very niche-focused. They’re not going after the broader market, but specific use cases and verticals.
As we approached the end of our conversation, I was keen to hear more about what Anand and netsapiens believe the Service Provider market needs this year. After all, we were at the Cloud Comms Summit – the perfect place to learn more about what service providers need. From his perspective, Anand believes that service providers are looking for three things:
“The first thing is that they want tier one class of service, even if they’re not tier one size-wise. They want operational integrity, innovation, and redundancy. Secondly, everyone is talking about differentiation, and to get that, service providers need as much flexibility as possible in controlling their feature sets and business models. They need to have a platform that’s going to let them innovate without restriction, test new ideas and accomplish different things.”
Lastly, Anand commented that he believes Service Providers are looking for more ecosystem partnerships too; to help their organisations innovate and grow faster. “They might want to integrate a CRM system, for instance, or new business analytics tools. They might just want to be able to play nicely with Office 365 or G-Suite. It’s all about appealing to diversity when expectations are high.”
Anand went on to say that netsapiens will continue to empower their providers, by both addressing the low hanging fruit, and staying in line with the path that UC is taking in general.
“It’s critical for us to continue listening to our clients, see where they’re going, and establish ourselves as a trusted advisor.”