I recently attended Genband Perspectives. Genband provides real-time communications software and solutions for service providers, integrators, and enterprises. I last attended Perspectives in 2014 and a lot has changed – particularly Kandy.
Perspectives is an unusual conference because Genband is an unusual company. Genband acquired some of Nortel’s assets, so its customer base actually goes back longer than Genband does. Its products include UC products and services, SBCs, media gateways, FMC solutions, wireless access gateways, and more. From a UC perspective its primary competitors are likely BroadSoft and MetaSwitch. However, it also has a CPaaS service that competes with Twilio and Nexmo. Actually, when you factor in the whole portfolio I suspect Genband’s total list of competitors is pretty long. Though there’s also a lot of co-opetition. I noticed, for example, several BroadSoft customers and partners at the event that were using Genband to complement their offers.
The topics at Perspectives included WebRTC, NFV, SDN, and APIs. The exhibitors on the floor included Vidyo, IBM, SAP, Arrow, and Blackbox. Genband brands include Fring, SPiDR, Kandy, Nuvia, Q21, GENCom. It is one of the more diverse and confusing companies that I follow.
Genband is both mature and carrieresque, yet has a startup culture within it trying to get out. A good example of that is Kandy which competes directly against CPaaS poster-child Twilio.
Kandy and Twilio are CPaaS competitors, but Twilio is basically an un-carrier. Twilio competes with carriers functionally and conceptually. Kandy provides carriers with CPaaS tools that can leverage their own networks. I get confused if I should think of Twilio or the carriers (with Kandy) as David or Goliath?
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One of the things I like about partner conferences vs. analyst only events is the guest speakers. I was not familiar with Dr. Heffernan, but enjoyed her presentation on collaboration. Genband posted it the video, so I’ve included it here. She casually mentions that collaboration is a sport played best with female team members.
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