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Why Buy a Car? I Would Rather Take the Train!

By Todd Carothers
OTT in the Enterprise - How businesses are adopting UC technology faster than Carriers are providing it.CounterPath has two different, but connected markets: the Enterprise and Carriers. For years, Enterprises have embraced VoIP and Unified Communications (UC) technology because of its positive impact on productivity and costs.
Why buy a car? I would rather take the train.


Adoption of UC right now hovers between 33% and 60% (depending on who you believe and their definition of UC). But adoption could be faster, and Enterprise CIOs often complain that implementing UC is hard work. There are three paths enterprises could take to get a UC platform:

  1. Buy UC services from their carrier
  2. Buy a UC platform and maintain themselves
  3. Piece together UC from OTT provider(s)

Each of these paths has pros and cons, but the reality is that the first option (buying from their carrier) is not as readily available or as complete as many Enterprises would want. So they are forced to take another path.

Carriers’ incomplete or slow-to-market UC offerings are truly unfortunate. In many ways, carriers are best positioned to provide the most seamless UC offering that

  • Bridges landline and mobile,
  • Provide a consistent experience across laptops, smartphones, tablets, and
  • Brings together voice, IM, SMS, video, and screen sharing
  • Offer UC at a reasonable price

Business CIOs have been exposed to consumer OTT products that offer siloed services (e.g. Skype for voice) – and they are under pressure to offer those same capabilities to their employees. So enterprises look for another path. It is sort of like planning a trip. It would be great if someone had built a fast train to get you from point A to point B (i.e. Carrier UC).

But in the absence of a train, you might buy a car that suits your purposes (i.e buy and maintain UC yourself). Enterprises with large IT and Communications staff can tailor UC to meet their needs. For years, CounterPath has helped thousands of enterprises achieve their UC goals with customization of the Bria and its Client Configuration Server (CCS). But not all enterprises are capable or want to take this hard-fought path. (see: “Unified Communications Drives Collaboration, Cost Savings (After a Lot of Hard Work))

Or, you might take cobble together multiple cab ride that take you there (i.e. buy from OTT providers).

Medium and Small businesses might mix and match hosted PBX for landline voice, with multiple mobile operators for voice, with a separate screen-sharing collaboration tool (e.g. WebEx, Adobe Connect), with a separate video tool (e.g. Polycom), with another Instant Messaging system (Google +). Phew! That covers most of the business’ needs, but it is a lot of work to administrate and keep all of those services consistent, and working with each other. The number of businesses that have taken this path is large. And many are starting to reconsider the pain and expense it has caused. In the end, both large enterprises and SMBs would prefer to get on a train. An express train.

If a carrier deploys the Bria solution, then they can go to market very quickly with a cohesive UC offering. The longer that carriers wait for the “next” technology (RCS, WebRTC) that makes vague promises to solve these issues, the longer enterprises have to pursue other paths that take business away and enrich competitive offers. Why wait for RCS or WebRTC? The UC train is leaving the station. As a carrier, you could be driving that train powered by Bria’s proven technology with significant ecosystem with an evolution path that will converge with RCS and WebRTC if then truly succeed. All aboard!

Todd Carothers

About Todd Carothers

Todd Carothers is the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Products at CounterPath and oversees Product Management and Marketing initiatives. Growing up in Silicon Valley and having witnessed the technical marvels coming out of Xerox PARC (where his dad was a patent attorney) Todd developed a deep passion for the high-tech industry. With a particular interest in Internet and mobile applications, Todd eventually found himself within the massive Telecommunications sector and companies that were on the leading edge of new services that added significant value to operators worldwide.