Is It Possible To Hear A Pin Drop at the Edge of the Telco Cloud?

By Matthew Vulpis March 20, 2023

In 1986, Sprint (now part of T-Mobile (News - Alert)) came out with the "pin drop" ad campaign, which featured commercials stating that the network was so quiet "you can hear a pin drop" over their long-distance network.

Here we are 27 years later and, after the waves of disruption to real-time telephony networks, from the rise of VoIP to the triumph of Over-the-Top (OTT) cloud-based services, organizations are still struggling with quality issues, especially at the edge of their now virtualized networks.

While the telco industry has made massive strides in moving to Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and "programmable networks" being supported by the same Internet infrastructure that supports Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS), there are still major challenges at the edge, especially when it comes to cloud contact centers, which are growing faster than ever, and the Work From Home revolution.

Given the variety of devices (smartphones, edskphones, tablets, and computers) and the variations in broadband speeds (5G is just beginning), the huge range of applications and services (for voice, video, messaging, collaboration, voice-activated services, and more) attention is now being paid to how the quality of experience can be delivered at the edge. The quality is so predictable and amazing that you can, in fact, hear a pin drop.

ConnX, a multiservice communication platform integrator and managed service provider, and Nectar Services Corp., which delivers actionable insights for the cloud collaboration and contact center markets, just announced the availability of an advanced edge experience assurance solution designed to ensure every voice and collaboration interaction is excellent on every endpoint and every step of the way.

Claiming "next level" quality of experience, made possible with the integration of Nectar (News - Alert)'s edge sensing and automation technology with ConnX's AI-powered Maestro platform, the bundled solution has been in development since last year and is now generally available to those organizations for which delivering exceptional customer experiences is mission critical.

ConnX has been managing large enterprise networks in the retail, manufacturing, healthcare, government, and financial services sectors for nearly three decades, and its extremely popular ConnX Virtual Edge (CVE) has been in place and serving Fortune 500 companies as real-time communications and collaboration shifted dramatically to the cloud.

Nectar's market-leading software solutions, delivered as a service in the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid model, are embedded into the ConnX AI Active Assurance offering. Nectar brings to the collaboration dynamic geospatial dashboards, which provide location-based views of usage and user experience metrics that enable IT support and managed services teams to drill down on individual users, locations, and sessions to quickly troubleshoot issues.

These user-based dashboards give ConnX managed services support teams full context into an individual user's devices, client versions, and network connections with correlated insights and a real-time health assessment (powered by Nectar's proprietary User Health Index) for fast troubleshooting. ConnX integrates Nectar's solution into a broader partner ecosystem that simplifies the client experience and helps resolve issues with greater efficiency.

"ConnX has been working with Nectar for over ten years, collaborating through the rapid evolution from traditional infrastructure to cloud networking solutions," said Jeff Li, Senior Director, Risk, Governance, Partners, and Projects at ConnX. "By bringing together two talented engineering teams around a common vision – to bring the highest quality real-time communications services to enterprise customers and contact center and CX providers at a level they've never seen before – we are dramatically improving how the 'borderless enterprise' can deliver consistently excellent interactions with their customers and partners. The pandemic caused us to work harder and faster than ever as the evolution to the cloud became a revolution, and together our offering addresses the hardest challenges."

"Working with ConnX, we've been able to bring enterprises more visibility into private, public, and hybrid cloud UCaaS services," said Steph Shaw, Strategic Alliance Manager, Nectar. "Our combination of strengths, including our great teams and common vision, make it possible to bring enterprises and departments insights their teams need. We are proud to enhance ConnX's AI Active Assurance premium offerings and support their next-level AI SD-WAN capabilities."

Nectar was founded on the idea that voice and video are a unique workload within IT and, over the years, it has proven its value in day-to-day telephony operations within many of the world's largest organizations.

By instrumenting devices used for daily internal and external communications with additional software, the two companies have gone way beyond intelligent routing for quality and resiliency, advancing into software that validates and makes instantly visible controls associated with the management of every session.

The future is applying analytics to generate BI insights that have a direct impact on business outcomes, whether companies wish to grow revenues by improving customer experience or to improve profitability.

"We are very proud of our collective solution and grateful for the partnerships we have been blessed with as we have always been able to succeed when we can truly help leaders across the entire organization to drive increasingly positive business outcomes," Li said.

Advanced telco-edge solutions like these are rapidly growing in popularity. The MSP industry is experiencing continued expansion as more organizations are choosing to offload their IT and telecom needs as the cloud continues to disrupt. Cloud-to-edge and edge computing solutions are part of this movement.

The global edge computing market in 2021 was valued at $9.5 billion, according to Global Data, which wrote last year that the market is projected to grow at a CAGR of more than 23% during the forecast period 2022-2025. "The global edge computing market is expected to grow in AME, supported by growth in edge data centers, edge software/platforms, edge integration services, and telco edge solutions," the report also said, noting that the manufacturing, retail banking, insurance, energy, and utilities verticals are among the top ten verticals taking advantage of edge computing and communications advances.

Edited by Erik Linask
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