& 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
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Executives from Deutsch Telekom, Facebook, AT&T, Vodafone, and Masergy share insights from their company’s major transformation efforts and updates on key issues including open source, managed cloud connections and 5G.
Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
UBBS 2016 Highlights

5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of Huawei's UBBS event in Hong Kong.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
European 2020 Digital Agenda

5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Anacom's Fatima Barros discusses the plan to bring ultrafast broadband to Portugal by 2020.
Upcoming Live Events
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/20/2016
Nokia Plays It Smart With Major Mobile Devices Brand Deal
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/18/2016
Ingenu Revs Up IoT Rhetoric
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/18/2016
Google Doubles Down on Machine Learning, AI
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 5/19/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.