Light Reading

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
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Razorsight Expert's Advice on Real-Time Analytics

11|27|14   |   1:43   |   (0) comments


Razorsight's powerful cloud-based Predictive Analytics solutions are used by the world's leading communications and media brands to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes. Get expert advice.
LRTV Interviews
From 4G to 5G: Alcatel-Lucent's Dave Geary

11|25|14   |   09:09   |   (1) comment


Dave Geary, President of Wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, talks about the evolution of the 4G market, small cells, partnerships, 5G and the IoT.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Secure Telefonica Network With Huawei's High-End Firewall

11|24|14   |   4:37   |   (0) comments


Andrew Davies, IP architect of the Telefonica, a leading digital communications company, discusses the Huawei security gateway solution and putting the solution into the testbed.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners with Spirent to Verify CE12816's 10GE Port & TRILL Networking Capabilities

11|24|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Spirent Communications is the world's leading supplier for telecom testing appliances and solutions. Spirent has been in a close partnership with Huawei for a long time.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Airlines & Its ICT Transformation

11|24|14   |   2:07   |   (0) comments


In this video, Saudi Airlines discusses its network problems and how Huawei's Agile Network is its all-in-one solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Switch Benefiting Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital

11|24|14   |   2:40   |   (0) comments


Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital speaks about how Huawei's Agile Switch has improved the medical service's network infrastructure.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FanPlay & Huawei Build a Wireless Agile Smart Stadium

11|24|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


FanPlay is a cloud-based white label service, which is effectively a football fan engagement platform underpinned by mobile payment technology.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building an Agile Stadium

11|24|14   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Stadiums may be thousands of tons of concrete and steel, but they now need to be agile. Being at the stadium may not be as alluring as it once was. Sports franchises and stadium operators discuss how to get fans back.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Helps ChinaCache Tackle Challenges in the Internet Industry

11|24|14   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


ChinaCache is China's largest content distribution network supplier. Huawei's CE12800 has provided ChinaCache with very strong support in its establishment of an infrastructure network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cefinity on Managed Security Services & Next-Generation Firewall

11|24|14   |   7:05   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a cloud management service provider in Southeast Asia. Ivan Zhang, CEO of the company, discusses the implementation of security service management in the cloud era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Gateway in the Eyes of Cefinity

11|24|14   |   2:11   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a managed service provider for enterprise networks. The company currently uses Huawei's AR series routers for the most complete range of functions. CEO Ivan Zhang speaks about the advantages of the AR series routers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
CTO of Bus-Online Talks About Huawei's Agile Gateway

11|24|14   |   2:53   |   (0) comments


Bus-Online covers around 100 million users everyday. In addition to providing mobile TV, and advertising services to the public, Bus-Online has also entered the field of mobile Internet.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Net Neutrality Even Mark Cuban Could Love
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/26/2014
Eurobites: Net Neutrality Battle Looms
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/27/2014
Why 5G Is a Different Beast
Robert Clark, 11/26/2014
New Juniper CEO Can Be Thankful for $14.5M
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2014
Amazon Eyes Ad-Supported Video – NY Post
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 11/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed