Mobile Network Operators (MNO) are under pressure on the consumer market, traditionally their largest, with flat growth, an intensive war on voice and data plans, and fierce competition from over-the-top (OTT) applications and services. The enterprise market offers a better growth outlook—15.2% CAGR between 2016 and 2021 for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)—with relative protection from OTT (due to privacy protection regulations), higher ARPU, and stickiness.
However, MNOs have not been able to compete in full strength with OTT UCaaS solutions because using Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) from a mobile device has been an unhappy marriage between an office desk phone (and its associated PBX line) and a mobile phone (by means of SimRing or a mobile app). Add to that the multitude of fragmented, PC-based collaboration tools clogging the market, and it's hardly been a case of a blissful unity when it comes to integrating mobility into a true UCC experience for enterprises.
The constraints of a wireline-first solution
Implementing mobility in UCC by coupling add-ons or over-the-top (OTT) applications for smartphones is not a true mobile experience but a wireline experience augmented with some mobility features. And it's a problem especially exacerbated by the BYOD phenomenon. With 49% of workers considering themselves mobile workers who spend more than one third of their time away from their primary computing device and over 50% of them using a personal mobile phone as their primary work device, companies and their IT departments have a real technology problem on their hands.
Low end-user uptake of UCC solutions and high capital investments have been the result. Because mobile employees are used to the simplicity and ubiquity of their consumer mobile services, they find themselves constrained by their enterprise UCC solution limitations. For example, when they can’t message a user outside of their walled garden from their UCC app — something they can easily do by sending a simple SMS from their personal mobile.
Growing revenue from an untapped market segment
MNOs have the advantage of a big, unaddressed market already within their reach. Considering that at least 80% of businesses globally have fewer than 10 employees (which in the US alone represents 12.7 million businesses), operators can build on their consumer mobile services—which have a much lower ARPU than enterprise services—to address this vast untapped segment. And while it's true that many Operators are already reselling enterprise-grade UCC solutions, those are limited by walled-gardens for messaging and collaboration and targeted to hard-to-reach medium and large sized enterprises. It's the SOHO/SMB market that's practically tailor-made for MNOs to address with a cloud service platform.
With Mavenir's Mobile-Native Unified Communications as a Service (mUCaaS) that's just what we've done. We have taken a 180-degree approach to change the status quo, re-thinking completely the UCaaS paradigm for MNOs and leveraging their network strengths: voice, messaging, connectivity and QoS — which Mavenir enables every day in 250 operators worldwide.
More than mobile-first: mobile-native
Built from the ground up as a mobile-native, cloud-based, carrier-grade service platform for mobile network operators to sell into businesses, it starts with the mobile device.
With an intuitive user interface for voice and messaging and using RCS as the primary UCaaS IM solution to provide a global reach to any number (no more IM walled-gardens), Mavenir’s mUCaaS solution delivers the same end-user experience people are already familiar with. There is no learning curve and no need to download and use separate apps.
Mavenir’s mUCaaS solution starts with the mobile user experience first, uniquely leveraging the mobile network strengths — like guaranteed quality of service for enterprise voice, video and collaboration services — and then integrates the enterprise desktop communications and collaboration usage scenario (including their Yealink or Polycom phones) making it unique and distinct from traditional cloud PBX or OTT UCC offerings. When you combine a powerful set of features that includes white-boarding, screen-sharing, teleconferencing and more, with RCS messaging and VoLTE—all delivered with carrier-grade mobile QoS—employees will spend less time learning apps and juggling devices and more time successfully communicating and collaborating.
Mavenir’s mUCaaS solution differentiates from the crowded UCaaS space — which use best effort traffic delivery — by integrating with the mobile operator’s packet core to deliver guaranteed QoS and traffic prioritization for voice, video and collaboration feeds. It's a feat accomplished using LTE’s guaranteed bit rate (GBR) QoS class identifiers (QCI). It means no more dropped audio or frames when the mobile email app decides to synchronize attachments and no more competing with other apps for bandwidth and latency. So, if the user is on a critical voice call, video call, or screen sharing session, the mobile network operator has their back.
Our mUCaaS solution also incorporates Mavenir's award-winning Multi-ID technology, allowing the user's personal and work phone numbers to be unified in the same user interface while being simultaneously decoupled from the phone itself. This unique approach makes all the user's phone numbers available across all networks in the Operator's global ecosystem — no matter what device is used — and allows users to conduct business using their mobile number on any device (Desk phone, PC app or even a web client). No more juggling between two mobile phones and no more drama if the mobile phone is forgotten at home.
Benefits for the user, the enterprise, and the operator alike
End users get a convenient, consumer-like and easy-to-use service on a predictable and affordable subscription model. It's a full set of collaboration features with outstanding quality on every device and multiple personal and business numbers. With mUCaaS, end-users will finally be able to reconcile their personal and professional lives with a friction-free UCC experience.
Enterprise IT departments benefit greatly, too. Freed from the costly nightmare of managing all those different mobile devices, UC platforms, and disparate applications, administrators enjoy an operator-managed service that saves them huge capex spend for an affordable opex investment.
White-labeled and sold as a Mavenir-managed service, Operators get an excellent source of new, recurring revenues with only a minimal investment of their own. It's a unique combination that expands their existing 4G and IMS assets with new, high-value offerings for mobile-native UCC solutions aimed at SOHO/SMB customers. Improvement of acquisition, retention, ARPU, and customer loyalty are the happy — and profitable — result.
It’s a rare win-win-win situation for operators, businesses, and end-users that will disrupt the market for good. So, get ready to throw the office desk phone and UCC apps in the dustbin of history because Mavenir's mUCaaS is here to change the game.
 Gartner Unified Communications Forecast 2017Q2
 ZK Research
 dBrn Associates, 2017
 US Census, Eurostat, OECD