written by Mike Ardley
Ribbon held their recent annual Partner Summit at the NH Barbizon, Amsterdam. Being the first face-to-face summit that Ribbon had held since the pandemic, it was fantastic to see a great turnout on what was a busy day with a packed agenda. As Ribbon’s leadership team delivered their material, it was clear to see that Cloud platforms are rapidly gaining ground. Microsoft Teams are now at over 12M PSTN users, and 6M of that was in the last 12 months. Furthermore, we’ve seen incredible growth from Zoom with a total of 4M seats, and 1M of those were in the last 3 months! Dominic Black, Director of Research Services at Cavell, provided some useful insights into the markets as we transition through the evolution of communication services from on-premise PBX to flexible hybrid voice-centric UC, all whilst we move towards a collaboration-centric UC (enable anywhere, anytime) in the next few years.
Most of the market has not yet moved to the Cloud, with data showing that around only 20% of Europe had made the switch, so it’s no surprise that the market is growing rapidly. Cavell predicts that; by 2026, the Western European Cloud users will have almost doubled from 32M to almost 60M users. Almost all of the on-premise UC players have not been able to migrate their business to the Cloud, and most have signed strategic agreements with RingCentral to provide the platform for their cloud services. All while there has been a shift with new competition emerging in the form of Amazon, Google, Zoom, Microsoft and RingCentral.
It was great to see some demos of the new Ribbon Connect offerings, Microsoft Teams Direct Routing and SBC as a Service. End-users can now get a free 30-day trial licence for up to 25 users.
Ribbon Application Management Platform (RAMP) was also high on the agenda, as we got to learn how the new cloud-native solution provides efficient management of almost all of Ribbon’s portfolio, the Edgemarc range will be added shortly, replacing Edgeview. RAMP will manage all Ribbon network solutions, regardless of the deployment environment. Whether you have an estate of hardware, virtual, cloud-native edge or core products, RAMP will provide that single pane of glass for visibility of the whole estate. This enables you to quickly configure systems, identify and fix issues whilst helping you deliver a better customer experience at reduced operational costs. It’s available in multiple private or public clouds, is scalable and can be deployed as a standalone or with HA configurations, including options for geographic redundancy.
The session was finished with some updates on Ribbon road maps and Microsoft Teams. Enterprises now have three PSTN connectivity options with Operator Connect, Direct Routing and MSFT calling plans. Stats are showing that 87% of enterprises are using Direct Routing, with only 13% using calling plans to connect Teams to PSTN. Ribbon is closely working with UC/CCaaS partners to understand Reseller models in this evolving space.
In summary, the Ribbon Partner Summit was a fantastic event with great information about the exciting future of cloud communications. It was a pleasure meeting the wider Ribbon team and catching up with many of the partners. I’m looking forward to the next one already!