Light Reading

UC Another Piece of New MegaPath Puzzle

Carol Wilson

MegaPath's move into a broader set of unified communications (UC) services, announced earlier this week, marks a major move to bring more functionality to its hosted voice offering. But it's also the beginning of MegaPath's delivery of more diverse offerings that combine its voice and data capabilities in new ways. (See MegaPath Launches Managed UC Services.)

In fact, expect to see more from MegaPath Inc. in coming weeks as the managed services specialist ups its competitive game to exploit the service footprint it acquired in buying Speakeasy and Covad Communications. (See Mega CLEC Merger Closes and MegaPath Still on Growth Path.)

MegaPath is far from unique in expanding its UC portfolio, but the company has gone beyond the typical offer to bring new integration of mobile working capabilities to its core set of customers, which includes small to midsized businesses and enterprises with widely distributed smaller locations or a more mobile workforce.

Working with CounterPath Solutions Inc. (OTC: CTPS)'s Bria technology, MegaPath created a combination of VoIP services and collaboration that includes screen sharing, presence, instant messaging, SMS text messaging, voicemail transcription into email, call recording and video conferencing -- all on an easy-to-use point and click platform, and all attached to one phone number per user. The software client can be downloaded on the necessary devices and launched from there.

That means workers in different locations, or those on the road, can easily use the device of their preference -- laptop, smartphone or tablet, in addition to desktop computers -- to work together and share information more easily, says John Scarborough, senior VP of marketing and product management of MegaPath. And they can easily transition from one device to another without dropping the communication, whether it is a voice call or an IM chat.

"At the high end, we have been focused on collaboration," he says. "We definitely wanted to include screen sharing, and we think we have a darn good screen share capability."

In a demonstration for Light Reading, Scarborough showed the one-touch option for screen sharing or for adding someone to a conversation from a list of folks in an IM list with presence indicated. All of the functions can be done on any device, making it possible for workers to connect and have a productive conference fall from wherever they are.

A View From My Desk

SMS texting via the same platform will be part of the service within the next three weeks, he adds, and users will be able to initiative a screen share from an SMS text.

All of this functionality is being offered for about $5 more per month per user, over the MegaPath standard price of $29.95 for standard business voice for a nationwide calling plan and 50 voice features. For an additional $10 or $44.95 total, MegaPath adds call recording and international calling.

A competitive play
All of this is intended to make MegaPath more competitive in the increasingly crowded SMB and distributed enterprise space, where cable players are getting aggressive and telecom players aren't backing down. (See MegaPath Launches Managed WiFi Offering.)

MegaPath has built a strong VoIP play with about 125,000 VoIP business customers, based on BroadSoft Inc. 's technology, but chose to add CounterPath for the additional range of collaboration features, and because the new functions could be added to an existing mobility app.

"There are a couple of key feature capabilities that CounterPath had, over and above Broadsoft, one of them being texting capabilities, plus there was a bit more of a skill set and experience on software development that enabled us to customize this and integrate into and existing mobility app that we have," he noted.

See what other telecom players are doing in the UC space in this section of our services channel here at Light Reading.

MegaPath is adding these new capabilities on top of its more integrated services dashboard. At one point, following its acquisition of Speakeasy and Covad Communications, the company had three separate portals, then one portal into the three separate systems. Earlier this year, it introduced the ability for customers to order and upgrade voice services and equipment online, and to chat with tech support, billing and order provisioning.

"Within the next 45 days, MegaPath will enable customers to initiate number porting requests within the portal as well as enable Visual Device Management capabilities that enable users to configure their phones in real time using a simple phone-graphic user interface," Scarborough says. "Additionally, MegaPath will greatly enhance the user experience within the portal’s Voice Admin section by giving it a much easier and more intuitive interface for making changes to user accounts."

The managed services specialist has also been offering cloud-based services through partners, including Mozy for data backup, Apptix for hosted Microsoft Exchange email, and Cirracore for data hosting, but may explore doing its own cloud services at some point, Scarborough notes. The number one thing MegaPath's customers have been asking for is cloud-based data backup.

"We will be doing some of that on our own soon, but to this point, we have continued to have a heavy concentration on the voice side," he tells Light Reading. "We are likely to evolve more on the data hosting side -- we have a number of data centers internally that we operate and we are looking at how we can commercialize some of those. In the meantime, our partners have been doing a good job for us."

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

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/3/2014 | 10:55:21 AM
Re: Analytics integration
@smkinoshita: At the same time, I wonder which is better... closing the tickets beforehand, or being "The Guy" to resolve everything in front of the customer.

Sales, after all, is very much a people business.
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/31/2014 | 11:30:03 PM
Re: Analytics integration
I totally agree with you Joe, analytics are going to be everything, if they aren't already.  It'd be nice as a salesman to be able to report that the client meeting is pending so some open tickets could be closed shortly before, eh?
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/30/2014 | 10:48:07 PM
Analytics integration
The only thing that's missing with many of these services -- and something that major vendors like IBM are trying to fully realize -- is adding in the full integration of advanced analytics, allowing users to share and access all kinds of data and data visualizations from across the organization wherever they are, on whatever device they choose.

How effective it would be, indeed, to be a salesman on the road about to meet one of your biggest clients and be able to pull up all of the open tickets that client has with your support team.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
8/29/2014 | 9:37:06 AM
Re: Residential?
Good question, Karl, I didn't talk about the residential segment with them, but I will check. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/29/2014 | 9:31:53 AM
I've lost track of them since my focus tends to be on the residential market. Just curious: are they still serving any residential customers?

(As an aside I know many users still miss the Speakeasy  that used to be)....
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
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 for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.