As Cloud Communications Continue To Thrive, Kandy and IBM Tie Ribbon Around Secure UCaaS For Financial Services Firms

As Cloud Communications Continue To Thrive, Kandy and IBM Tie Ribbon Around Secure UCaaS For Financial Services Firms

By Arti Loftus, Special Correspondent  |  September 11, 2020

In another step forward together, after years of partnership and pioneering in the Unified Communications (News - Alert) as a Service (UCaaS) space, Ribbon Communications this week announced their Kandy Business Solutions unit is making their Kandy real time cloud-based communications capabilities available on the IBM (News - Alert) Cloud for Financial Services.

According to Mordor Intelligence, the Unified Communication-as-a-Service in Banking Market is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 18.7% over the forecast period 2020-2025. Banks are now investing in UCaaS to get a bird's-eye view of customer communications across all channels to attain scalability required for large-scale implementation.

With the global pandemic accelerating the number of employees working from home, including contact center agents, the move to cloud-based voice, video, collaboration, messaging and screen sharing services has driven digital transformation within financial institutions, and the financial industry in general, with some of the largest customer service platforms in the world.

To help businesses stay at the leading-edge in the application of these core tools and strategies, IBM and Ribbon earlier this year announced an offer to IBM customers for no-charge, cloud-based unified communications licenses for Ribbon’s Smart Office Collaboration suite.

Now Ribbon just announced it has joined the IBM Cloud for Financial Services ecosystem and intends to onboard its Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offering to the platform.

The IBM Cloud for Financial Services is designed to help institutions safely migrate their sensitive operations to the cloud and take advantage of cloud-native technologies from IBM’s Independent Software Vendor (ISV) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendor partners.

“We are excited to expand our relationship with Ribbon Communications (News - Alert) by helping to onboard its Kandy Business Solutions to the IBM Cloud for Financial Services,” said Evaristus Mainsah, General Manager, Cloud, Cloud Pak and Edge Ecosystem, IBM. “Ribbon’s offering can help financial institutions transform their business communications with a safe platform. Ribbon’s participation in our ecosystem helps to provide financial services customers with innovative tools and solutions that enable them to move their operations to the cloud.”

Ribbon’s Kandy (News - Alert) Business Solutions will provide financial institutions with a full suite of cloud-based Unified Communications (UC) services (Cloud PBX, Cloud Collaboration, Cloud Contact Center, SIP Trunks) and clients like chat, video, voice and text, enabling the seamless transition of business communications to the cloud.

Ribbon’s real time communications solutions are already deployed in the networks of some of the largest financial institutions in the world.

“Becoming a UCaaS vendor for the IBM Cloud for Financial Services is just the latest extension of our relationship, which has delivered advanced cloud communications services to world-class organizations,” said Sacha Gera, Senior Vice President for Ribbon’s Kandy. “Our secure, carrier-grade call control and security solutions are already deployed in the networks of some of the largest financial services institutions in the world. Now we can deliver our industry-leading UCaaS capabilities to even more financial institutions via IBM’s industry-first cloud for financial services platform, which significantly simplifies deployment without sacrificing the reliability or security these organizations require.”

The IBM Cloud for Financial Services was designed to help stakeholders of financial services institutions address their regulatory compliance, security, and resiliency obligations. This is designed to help financial institutions transact with technology vendors who have met the platform's stringent requirements.

IBM and Ribbon have a longstanding relationship and previous success in deploying large scale public cloud UCaaS projects in the retail and government sectors.

In 2016, Ribbon (which was GENBAND (News - Alert) at the time) announced it had integrated with IBM Connections Cloud to enable enterprises to modernize legacy voice infrastructure with advanced cloud communications services for improved collaboration and productivity. Their initial combined solution allowed users to utilize their Connections environment for collaboration purposes such as voice, video or chat from desktop and mobile environments. The combined solution, which was delivered by both companies’ Solutions Delivery Partners, allowed both organizations’ reseller partners to provide a complete cloud solution to the marketplace, with the ability to migrate and transform existing legacy telecom solutions to the cloud, including advanced social and cognitive solutions leveraging IBM Watson.

In 2017, the companies went to market together with chatbot services to create cognitive Contact Center enhancements, and promoted their JITC-tested (Joint Interoperability Test Command) solution, which enables the Department of Defense and other governmental agencies to transition from legacy communications technology to state-of-the-art IP cloud-based solutions, while reducing operational costs.

In 2018 Ribbon and IBM teamed up to help Hertz, one of the world’s largest rental car companies, move critical voice technology to the cloud. IOT Evolution covered the story in 2019. According to a Hertz spokesperson during a presentation at Enterprise Connect 2019, with Ribbon’s and IBM’s support the company was able to better connect its field locations to each other, speed up their transactions, and improve the overall customer experience dramatically.

Ribbon recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell the Kandy Communications business, including Kandy Business Solutions, to American Virtual Cloud Technologies, Inc. (AVCtechnologies). The proposed sale, which is expected to close in the second half of 2020, is subject to receipt of the approval of AVCtechnologies’ stockholders, AVCtechnologies’ completion of an equity offering, consent of the lenders under Ribbon’s credit facility, as well as other customary closing conditions.

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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