& 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. 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
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Zayo's CTO: Respect the Infrastructure!

5|29|17   |   3:04   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Zayo's CTO Jack Waters talked about infrastructure and the changing customer landscape for network providers. While everyone else is chatting up applications and services, Waters urges the industry not to downplay the role that ...
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Creating Dynamic Networks to Meet Business Needs

5|26|17   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


As enterprises need more dynamic networks, service providers need to deliver on-demand, virtual services to meet those needs. AT&T is creating a networking fabric to mix-and-match SDN technologies for enterprise customers, says Roman Pacewicz, AT&T senior vice president for offer management and service integration, in an interview at Light Reading's
LRTV Interviews
EdgeConneX on Industry Headwinds & Tailwinds

5|26|17   |   2:41   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event 2017, EdgeConneX CTO Don MacNeil discussed the value of partnerships in the digital world.
LRTV Documentaries
4 Steps Toward a Higher Network IQ

5|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, EXFO CEO Philippe Morin explains how sensors and analytics can boost a network's intelligence and enable on-demand customer experiences. Find more BCE 2017 coverage here.
LRTV Interviews
BT's McRae Sheds Light on 4K Strategy

5|25|17   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event 2017 in Austin, Texas, BT Group's Chief Network Architect Neil McRae talks about what it took for BT to broadcast live sports in 4K. Catch up with all our BCE coverage at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
From the Founder
How the NIA Aims to Advance NFV

5|25|17   |   08:07   |   (1) comment


Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
Better Solutions That Address Growing Scale

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


For Comcast, the X1 rollout and 17-fold increases in broadband speeds in the past 16 years are among factors driving the need for Energy 2020 solutions that reduce cost and consumption, says Mark Hess.
LRTV Custom TV
Ethernity Network Delivers Instant Offloading of Network Functions With All-Programmable Intelligent NIC

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Levi, CEO of Ethernity Networks, explains that programmability of the hardware makes the company's All-Programmable Intelligent NIC uniquely beneficial for communications service providers that need advanced data appliances with agile support of virtualization. Utilizing the company's patented network processing technology, Ethernity offers data path ...
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Vodafone Gets Obsessed With Cloud-Native

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Vodafone's Matt Beal updates us on Project Ocean and explains why simple virtualization isn't enough of a goal for network transformation. Catch up with other BCE 2017 keynotes and news at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Intel's Take on Network Transformation

5|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In this BCE 2017 keynote, Lynn Comp discusses Intel's vision for areas such as analytics, automation and service assurance. For more videos and BCE coverage, see http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
Order From Chaos: The Steve Saunders BCE Keynote

5|24|17   |   17:27   |   (0) comments


Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability testing.
Think of this as the video sequel to the recent columns he's written about NFV and the prospect of a telecom app store. (See

LRTV Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Cities Clamor for More Clout at FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/23/2017
What's Blocking 4K TV Today
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 5/22/2017
Sonus & Genband Finally Combine to Form $745M Company
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
What Brogrammers Look Like to the Rest of Us Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.