Bandwidth, Alianza partner to fast-path CSP modernization — Kerravala


Bandwidth and Alianza have partnered together to offer a joint solution designed specifically for communications service providers (CSPs). The goal, according to the companies, is to help CSPs modernize their legacy infrastructure with cloud-based voice, messaging and videoconferencing services.

Alianza offers a cloud-native communications platform for CSPs. And Bandwidth is a communications software company that helps enterprises with cloud-ready voice, messaging and emergency services.

Many CSPs, particularly smaller or regional ones have been late to the cloud game, and they let many of the UCaaS providers, such as RingCentral, Zoom and Webex gain a significant early-mover advantage. Now CSPs are facing two choices.

The first would be to go through the long, laborious process of modernizing the network and communications platform, but that does nothing to help close the gap between them and the UCaaS vendors.

The second would be to partner, but that would still require stitching together network and communication services.

The Bandwidth/Alianza partnership acts as a “one stop shop” to simplify the deployment process. Bandwidith offers a robust, global network foundation and application programming interfaces (APIs), while Alianza brings a carrier-grade communications platform. Alianza has integrated with Bandwidth’s platform and APIs, so CSPs can easily deploy various communications services. CSPs come into Alianza’s portal and tap into the APIs. Alianza handles the provisioning back to Bandwidth’s public switched telephone network (PSTN). 

In essence, what both vendors are bringing to the table through their partnership is a single experience for CSPs.

Bandwidth aligns with Alianza’s vision around software, enabling PSTN services and automating high transaction activity that has plagued service providers for the last decade, said Brian Beutler, Alianza’s founder and chief executive officer, in an interview with ZK Research. Service automation is the “secret sauce” CSPs need to provision digital first customer experiences, according to Beutler. 

The joint solution has already been implemented by more than 50 CSPs in the U.S. and Canada. The vast majority of those CSPs are coming off of legacy BroadSoft and Metaswitch infrastructure. Moreover, they’ve been relying on legacy network providers, while managing dozens of vendors and point solutions. What Bandwidth and Alianza have done is consolidated that complex stack of services into a cloud solution that includes everything CSPs need.

One of the harsh realities of cloud communications for CSPs is that the definition of cloud has changed in the past decade. As mentioned before, CSPs initially relied on BroadSoft and/or Metaswitch to build their “cloud” solutions but the softswitch based approach was more akin to hosting than a cloud native, multi-tenant platform. Also, the BroadSoft and Metaswitch platforms are now owned by Cisco and Microsoft, respectively, making CSPs nervous about competing with their underlying provider. CSPs prefer a neutral third-party vendor that innovates around the service provider experience, so they can still control the retail experience, said Sandy Priezler, Bandwidth’s chief revenue officer.

“CSPs are waking up in masses and realizing that succeeding in the next 10 years is not just a matter of having a checklist of features and functionality offered by a softswitch inside their network. It slows them down, it creates operational friction,” said Priezler in an interview. “They want a true cloud operating platform that gives them the full end-to-end digital customer experience, as well as extensibility and scalability.”

Beyond the 50-plus CSPs that the joint solution already serves, Bandwidth and Alianza have set an ambitious target of reaching a more diverse market of over 2,000 CSPs in the U.S. and Canada, including telecom carriers, cable companies, and broadband operators.

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. He provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long-term strategic advice. Kerravala provides research and advice to end-user IT and network managers, vendors of IT hardware, software and services and the financial community looking to invest in the companies that he covers. He can be reached at [email protected], and follow him @zkerravala and on YouTube.

Industry Voices are opinion columns written by outside contributors—often industry experts or analysts—who are invited to the conversation by Fierce staff. They do not represent the opinions of Fierce.