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Unified communication

Metaswitch Thinks NFV With UC, Contact Center

Metaswitch had NFV in mind when it launched new features and enhancements to both its Accession Unified Communications and Cloud Contact Center platforms for service providers.

In an interview with Light Reading, Chris Carabello, senior director of product marketing for Metaswitch Networks , said improvements to the Accession UC platform and Cloud Contact Center were made in response to an increasingly mobile workforce and need for more customizable business service platforms, and to provide a flexible platform that keeps pace with the industry's move toward network functions virtualization (NFV).


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"All this is built on a virtualized platform and to the service provider it means lower operating costs, faster time to market, and a future-proof sort of platform," said Carabello. "We're talking about the services -- but core to all of this is the fact that the application server for which the software is written is built for NFV and used by the operators who are adopting that approach."

New features included in the Accession Unified Communications platform include a new webinar offering with the capability to host up to 10,000 participants, and the ability to integrate web and video conferencing into the Accession meeting service. Plus, enterprise customers will be able to use COTS audio/video equipment for conferencing. In addition, Metaswitch added new functionality and an enhanced enhanced user interface to its Cloud Contact Center platform. (See Metaswitch Upgrades Its Unified Comms Platform and Metaswitch Cloud Contact Center Empowers Service Provider Brand & Business Intelligence.)

With these enhancements, Metaswitch aims to improve the end-user experience and interface of its platforms to better meet the needs of customers such as AccessOne and SoTel Systems, and over 700 service provider customers globally -- 280 of which are deploying the vendor's business service portfolio, including hosted UC, collaboration in meeting, contact centers and SIP trunking services. That customer number is likely to grow as just last month, the company announced the acquisition of OpenCloud, an application server company, to extend its reach in the voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) market. (See Metaswitch Eyes VoLTE With OpenCloud Buy.)

The UC market is also expected to grow thanks to increasing demand from enterprise customers for advanced real-time communications services, flexibility and efficiency. In fact, in January, Globe Markets, Inc., forecasted that the UC market would reach $96 billion by 2023, up from $34.80 billion in 2015.

Metaswitch isn't the only vendor looking to fulfill the UC and contact center needs of the service provider community -- rivals such as BroadSoft and Cisco are chasing the same pot of gold.

In fact, BroadSoft Inc. is among a number of other vendors looking to expand their UC and business cloud services, and announced in February a migration plan for Avaya customers to migrate to business cloud services with BroadSoft Business.

Also expect to see movement from Cisco in the UC and contact center space in the second half of 2017 as well -- last fall, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)and Salesforce.com Inc. announced an alliance to pair Cisco IoT and contact center tools with Salesforce Sales Cloud, IoT Cloud and Service Cloud. (See Cisco, Salesforce Team Up on Workforce Productivity.)

— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Editor, Upskill U

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