& cplSiteName &

Leading Lights Finalists 2014: Most Innovative SMB Service

Carol Wilson
5/21/2014
50%
50%

The Leading Lights Most Innovative SMB Service finalists reflect the growing role of wireless and mobility in the services delivered to this key market segment. The need to provide quality wireless service, and to seamlessly blend wireless and wireline services is becoming more important to smaller firms, with their different technology needs and challenges.

The role of the cloud is also becoming more prominent in the SMB market, which is not surprising given the economics of cloud-based solutions in offering services with little capex or need for sophisticated IT support. Three of the finalists depend in some way on cloud support for remote sites.

The list also reflects a growing diversity in service providers themselves. Interestingly, the finalists do not include an incumbent carrier -- instead we have a cable MSO, a wireless operator, a US-based competitive carrier, and a value-added reseller that has transformed itself into a niche service provider.

Our four finalists for Most Innovative SMB Service, listed alphabetically, are:

Comcast Business VoiceEdge Mobile App
Like employees everywhere, those at SMBs want to be mobile yet able to work productively via their smartphones. This app is an easy-to-use interface to the Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) Business VoiceEdge service, a cloud-based hosted Unified Communications service that offers both voice and video calling features to mobile workers on their smartphones. The app basically allows an SMB employee to appear to be at an office location no matter where they actually are.

The app user can make calls that appear to come from an office phone, direct their incoming calls to any phone number and manage business voice mail as well. It allows calls to move seamlessly from a smartphone to a desk phone as needed. The advantage to the SMB is that as a cloud-hosted service, Comcast Business VoiceEdge doesn't require capex to install equipment or ongoing maintenance or IT staff to run.

The internally developed app was launched in September of 2013 across the Comcast footprint.

Deep Blue Communications WiFi
Deep Blue is a value-added reseller and installer of premises equipment that has transformed itself into a WiFi wireless network service provider for many market niches, notably the hospitality, retail and public venue markets, by adding managed bandwidth services to its customers.

Working with its supplier, Ruckus Wireless Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) and its Smart Cell Gateway, Deep Blue now offers private cloud-managed wireless services that don't require wireless local area network controllers to be deployed on-site. Instead, Smart WiFi access points are shipped to customers and, once installed, automatically connect to a managed Smart Cell Gateway, which dynamically configures them. The system then directs the placement of WiFi access points as needed for each customer. Each customer gets a view of their infrastructure through a custom portal that delivers a variety of performance statistics.

Deep Blue has deployed its cloud-based wireless solution at hotel chains, such as Marriott and Wyndham, and most recently in public venues, such as racetracks.

Vodafone UK Sure Signal Premium
Designed more for the mid-sized end of the SMB market -- and for larger enterprises -- this is an easy-to-deploy small cell system for improving in-building coverage that lets employees use wireless voice and data on premises, wherever they happen to physically be, without being tied to a desk or location. The Vodafone UK system leverages existing Ethernet local area network infrastructure, and doesn't require radio frequency expertise to deploy or operate.

A single Services Node in a company's communications room can control all radio nodes securely, with each radio node supporting soft-handover and up to 16 simultaneously 3G voice calls using the existing Ethernet infrastructure. The system installs in a way similar to WiFi, so it's not a tough install. Also, the Services Node serves as a local control point, so that traffic doesn't have to connect to the mobile operator's network-based gateways which would slow down handovers and require increased interference coordination inside buildings across the 3G cells.

XO Communications' WorkTime
WorkTime is a combined Bring-Your-Own Device and Unified Communications service for small businesses that delivers business voice, video chat, instant messaging and presence onto employee smartphones via an app that can be easily downloaded.

The employee downloads the XO Communications Inc. WorkTime app onto their smartphone and that creates a separate work persona on the phone, which business IT managers can use to implement business mobility apps, providing a consistent user experience for all communications.

WorkTime can be an extension of the SMB's XO VoIP, Hosted PBX or SIP Trunking services. Employees just launch the app in order to talk, video chat or IM as if they were using their business phone.

WorkTime enforces personal boundaries, maintaining separation between work and personal identities on smartphones, ensuring employees' personal phone numbers, applications and information remain private.

This is the second set of entries in the SMB category we launched in 2013 -- are there services that were overlooked by our nomination process? Let me know about them in the message boards below.

We are going to be naming the Leading Lights winners on June 17th in conjunction with our Big Telecom Event. If you haven't heard about that yet, you are not paying attention! Both the ceremony and the event itself are worth checking out.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
AT&T Lights Fire Under 5G, Plans 2016 Trials
Iain Morris, News Editor, 2/12/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Andreessen Facepalms on Facebook Free Basics
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/10/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.