Brian Beutler, CEO and CO-Founder Alianza
The UCaaS industry was really created by independent service providers offering hosted VoIP. Many of these service providers turned to companies like BraodSoft and Genband to obtain the software needed to create their own offerings.
The concept still exists, but it has been updated. First, it’s a lot more than hosted VoIP, the scope of UCaaS is not clearly agreed, but tends to include a variety of services such as messaging, meetings, and more. Secondly, many service providers no longer want to host their own platforms. It turns out the benefits of cloud-delivered services extends to service providers too.
Alianza gives service providers an alternative to selling Teams, Zoom, Webex, and other brands. It, and several other newer providers, offer the services needed for a provider to create their own UCaaS offering. In this podcast, we learn more about Alianza from its Co-Founder and CEO Brian Beutler.
Dave Michels 0:00
Hey welcome to talk to you guys today Evan and I will be talking with Brian Bueller of Alianza. But first, Evan, it was great to see you. We just got back from Enterprise Connect. How did you like that?
Evan Kirstel 0:22
You know, I thought it wouldn’t like it being sort of semi COVID times, and being pretty cautious, but I actually enjoyed it. I actually liked seeing you I like reconnecting with people and clients,
Dave Michels 0:33
you came out of your shell, you came out of your reclusive they sent me emerged as a turtle, I
Evan Kirstel 0:37
sort of stuck my head out. I was mostly by the pool, but I was actually surprised how dynamic the expo was and well attended, and how many big names were there in force, whether it’s a RingCentral, or Google, these big companies, big brands, and they went all in at Enterprise Connect?
Dave Michels 0:54
Yeah, it really is, you know, every year, I’d make a note of how the show was changing, and who’s got the most signage, and who’s got the bigger booths and everything. And, you know, we didn’t have an Enterprise Connect, you know, in person for, I guess, it’s been three years. And so it was, you know, much bigger change than usual, it was a very significant changes in the branding. And I would say, you know, the biggest name that was, you know, had the biggest signage just like three years ago, wasn’t even exhibiting this year, and he had a use that Google RingCentral I mean, Salesforce was there for that. I think that was the first time maybe the second time they were there, but very good changes. I also thought, you know, battery or pandemic point, you know, you fly out there, you got to wear the facemask, and we’re coming out of our caves for the first time. Once you get there, you know, everybody was like, you know, I don’t know if it’s Florida, or I don’t know if it’s our industry or what, but what pandemic it was like I didn’t see really any face masks. Everybody wanted to shake hands. I wasn’t shaking hands. But I think I was the only one not shaking hands. But it was all over. It was like the memo go out to the pandemic was over. It’s I missed that.
Evan Kirstel 1:57
Well, to be fair, they did have a vaccine requirement and a test requirement for attendees. So that was nice to see. But you’re right, I mean, people are ready. And companies are ready to like I sat through the entire Innovation Showcase which you sort of CO produced or managed and the amount of innovative companies also born in the pandemic companies that we saw, I hadn’t seen that in prior years, maybe mostly because I didn’t go to the Innovation Showcase. But it was good to see all those young companies on display.
Dave Michels 2:25
It was also interesting, because the show was a little smaller, a lot of people weren’t traveling yet. And so the show was a little smaller, but it was, if anything more crowded, you walk around the expo hall and with that, we did some videos in the expo hall. But the booths were packed, but it was just a very vibrant show. Everything’s alive and well. I
Evan Kirstel 2:42
happen to report. Yeah, so I think next year, it’s gonna be even bigger. And this industry has gotten more dynamic because of COVID. Partly so we’re gonna see more of this, but we have a great guest so we should get on with him. It’s good.
Talking. It’s a semi monthly podcast with interviews of the top movers and shakers and enterprise communications and collaboration, your host Dave Michaels and Evan Kirkstall, both of which offer extraordinary services including research, analysis and social media marketing. You can find them on Twitter, LinkedIn, or at talking points.com. That’s points with the Z and Devon kirsten.com. That’s k r s t e l.
Dave Michels 3:25
Today we have with us Brian Bueller, Bueller did it. welcome Brian.
Brian Beutler 3:31
Happy to be here. Thank you for having me.
Dave Michels 3:33
You are the CEO and co founder of Alianza based in Salt Lake City, is that correct?
Brian Beutler 3:39
That is correct. We are about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City in Pleasant Grove, Utah is our headquarters. So yes,
Dave Michels 3:47
and you are like a real telecom exec not one of these guys that just kind of landed in for a short time gig. You like started with Beeline long distance you get phone? And then you found it. Alianza back in 2009. What were you thinking?
Brian Beutler 4:01
I hear this a lot really telecom by choice? And the answer is yes. I think underlying the professional tract is really a strong desire to connect people and a belief that the more connected we are, the happier we are. And so somehow I’ve woven that into a career that spanned over two decades now. And really happy and grateful to be a part of a great industry and a great career people that are trying to bring the world closer together.
Evan Kirstel 4:26
Love it, and Allianz is not an insurance company. Correct. So, just want to make that clear, right?
Brian Beutler 4:32
Allianz, Allianz is a Latin word and root. And I think it would carry over into most of the Romance languages. So it’s the same in Portuguese, French, Italian, Spanish, it means Alliance, which is really a good descriptor of what we’re up to at Allianz because we’re all about alliances with our customers, tightly aligned with their success, so it felt fitting and
Dave Michels 4:52
unique. I thought it was a football team or something or a football team called Alianza,
Brian Beutler 4:56
maybe a football team in Peru called all Hamza also brings people together in a stadium to cheer but slightly different application.
Evan Kirstel 5:05
Well, Allianz said you did acquire counterpath and message Hopper last year. So, you know, since that give us a general outlook on what Allianz offers today,
Brian Beutler 5:17
yeah, today, look, maybe I’ll give like a short history. So I think it’ll help frame this. I’ll answer is the cloud communications platform for broadband service providers. The two acquisitions we did last year really helped round out our product portfolio in a way that lets our service providers sales teams walk into any customer environment, with competence on their toes that they can support their communications needs. So the counterpath stuff for us really came out of a long standing relationship of CO selling with one another and partnering in our go to market, we serve a number of tier one customers together, and just became obvious, I think, to both executive teams that we could do more together than we could do separately. And that’s just been a fantastic addition, super happy with the team, the technology and how it’s been received by our customers in the market at large. The message Hopper acquisition was a little bit different in nature, more of a technology acquisition than kind of a team focus, but brought us into the business text messaging business, which is really a natural extension of the UCX and voice experience where we’re essentially text enabling the primary business phone number in a way that allows them to connect in new and innovative ways with their customers.
Dave Michels 6:25
No. counterpath is basically a slice of history. I mean, I think everyone’s first off phone was probably a counterpath software, it used to be shaped like a little cartoon phone, I remember, but you’ve got more than a soft phone. What was kind of tough doing back when you acquired it, though? Yeah, so
Brian Beutler 6:40
counterpath really is for us a big part of our mobile strategy, our UC strategy, and messaging. So counterpath really evolved from what most people probably know counterpath From the soft phone client days, whether it’s x Lite, or x 10, to 2021, when we purchase counterpath, they were doing full UC and collaboration, video, screen sharing, conferencing, and messaging platform all built on their core soft phone client, for fixed and mobile. So really, it was a natural extension of the Allianz cloud communications platform to bring on the mobile expertise The counterpath brings to us
Dave Michels 7:17
now at this point in our podcast, we have all of our listeners totally confused, because we’re describing you know, your company, and as you know, made these acquisitions and it sounds like a legendary, famous company, but it’s not that well known. And so why don’t you explain your business model and why your name isn’t as well known as a Microsoft team’s?
Brian Beutler 7:37
Yeah, we really like to say that all the answer is the brand behind the brand. On purpose, customers do not know who we are. Because we’re not a retail brand. We’re not selling directly into the enterprise or consumer market. Allianz is the communications cloud that sits behind service providers and powers their retail services. And as such customers would absolutely know the logos of our customers and who we support, but they will not know all answer directly.
Dave Michels 8:03
You call their services, your customer services, you call that retail services. So does that mean that you call your services wholesale? Because I’m still this has come up a few times? What is the difference between wholesale and private label? And what do you call your own services?
Brian Beutler 8:20
Yeah, I’ll answer really likes to position ourselves somewhere in between wholesale and retail as the communications cloud. Meaning if you think about retail, being, you know, like RingCentral, or eight by the brand that people would know, or the service provider brand, whether that brand is lumen are Comcast or Rogers Communications, or British Telecom, those are retail brands, wholesale would be somebody taking those solutions, discounting them, and then reselling them in different applications. Ali answer really is the software solution that powers of retail offering. It’s a small nuance there, but I think it’s important. Our customers, when they consume all ANSYS software platform, they are taking what I would call a low code, no code, software suite, customizing it controlling the product experience controlling the pricing experience controlling the sales and the install experience with their end user in a way that they maintain that customer relationship. So we’re not disintermediating the relationship that exists between the service provider and the customer. We’re empowering it. And as such, it’s not really like the traditional wholesale model.
Dave Michels 9:30
Either you’re making the whole thing up i That sounds crazy. I don’t know.
Evan Kirstel 9:34
Well, Dave always likes to buy wholesale, not retail, but particularly at Costco. But if I’m an enterprise and I ask really, really nicely, will you sell to me directly?
Brian Beutler 9:43
No, we will not. It’s one of the core fundamental tenants of Allianz is, we think we can be the best in the world at providing service providers with the communications cloud of the future. And part of that means we’re not going to compete with our customers.
Evan Kirstel 9:57
Got it? It’s a really big differentiator.
Dave Michels 9:58
So you won’t sell anything He asked nicely, but I’ve never asked nicely. So so the question is, you wouldn’t sell them either way, no matter how he asked what you’re what you’re saying. I mean,
Brian Beutler 10:06
we would love to talk with them. And we’d love to, you know, help them understand the merits of the cloud communication suite of solutions that we built. And then we would very nicely introduce them to one of our customers
Dave Michels 10:16
very nicely. So you’re kind of bucking the trend here, because the trend over the past few years, has been some sort of celebration at odd, perverse celebration of Microsoft Teams, where it seems like every UCaaS provider is out there trying to be the best and making teams better. Are you sure selling a solution that competes with teams is a good idea?
Brian Beutler 10:39
Absolutely. Yes. And the reason is, is because we’re partnering with service providers, I would say like, broadly, if we were to take a macro level view at the market today, you see sits at roughly 50% penetration. I think I read a report this last week, that says we’re now at 45% Penetration per cloud in the enterprise space. So certainly, like there’s still more headroom there. And nothing that I’m about to say changes the fact that this is still a growth market for a very long time to come. But I also think if you read the tea leaves, Microsoft is the gorilla in the room, that’s going to be the force to be reckoned with. And as I view things, the only players that can really go toe to toe with teams in an environment where I think there’s going to be increasing price pressure in the future is the service provider. The service providers have an underlying advantage because they own the broadband pipe into the home or business. And as such, service providers are joined by teams as the only entities out there that are bundling multiple services. And when you bundle multiple services, whether it’s desktop or broadband, in the case of Microsoft or the broadband service provider, you have an inherent competitive advantage against an over the top provider that is more one dimensional, even the best over the top providers out there. The most successful if you look at their public earnings report still spend more than 50% of their overall revenue on customer acquisition. That’s where Microsoft and the service providers have a massive advantage going forward because their customer acquisition cost is low single digit percentage of revenue instead of a super majority of their revenue.
Evan Kirstel 12:15
Got it? The old adage in our industry is that service providers are only good at selling dumb pipes. Sorry, are you the anecdote to the dumb pipe syndrome?
Brian Beutler 12:25
Absolutely look evident. For a long time service providers have been at risk of becoming the dumb pipe. And it’s a very real legitimate question. I think you have to trace the origins of the question back to what I would call a voice one Dotto installations and even boy to Dotto, which is now we’re talking about the history of the soft switch and going back to 2000. When customers first selected broadsoft Mehta switch or Gen ban soft switches. And in some ways that architecture decision was like a ball and chain when OTT entered the market because the OTT providers or the over the top providers were built on agile cloud architectures. And that fundamental difference has led to a decade of over the top providers out innovating out competing, getting faster to market with new products and new services in a way that just served the market better and created billions of dollars of market value. At a time when service providers were let’s call it stagnant at best, but yet lulled into, let’s say a false sense of security, that they were really competing and playing in the market because they had a soft switch, when reality the market was moving past them at breakneck speed while they were trying to integrate that soft switch with their back office Oss. So in some ways, I’ll answer yes, we’re the anecdote to that. Because we think for the first time service providers with Allianz now have an option to Cloud Source their communications infrastructure in a way that gets them all the benefit of agility and speed to market and new product feature and functionality at a speed and agility that allows them to compete with Ott, that’s novel. And that’s new. And if I could just add, maybe build on that for one second, if you look at the end user market, the dynamics we just talked about around kind of roughly 50% penetration of cloud into the communications market. If you look at the service provider space 95% of service providers today, even though they’re big advocates of cloud for the enterprise, in the end user are not leveraging the cloud or their communications infrastructure. 95% are still built on legacy soft switches, network based appliances, legacy, you know, perpetual licensing and support and maintenance models that are just completely unaligned with their success in the market. And so all answer really is transformational, anecdotal, and really a catalyst that I think can help service providers over the next decade turn the tide in what has been a very difficult let’s call it 20 year run and the proliferation of the OTT disintermediation problem I’m all answers here to help solve that, fix it and put service providers back on a growth path.
Dave Michels 15:05
So it actually seems like we are in a renaissance of, I don’t know, privately, I don’t know what to call your business. You got me confused now, but a renaissance of private label or wholesale or whatever you call it, we’ve recently interviewed 2600 hertz we have so go on. We had a intermedia on, we got creciendo coming up at a future episode, what is driving this new wave of private label wholesale, whatever you want to call it type solutions? What’s going on there?
Brian Beutler 15:33
Yeah. First, before I answer the question, I’d say, you know, backup a hair two and add RingCentral to the list that’s also got their own wholesale offering now, and surprising to us. Many of the retail providers are trying to figure out how do we crack this nut? How do we work closer with service providers? And I think you see the same dynamic playing out with Microsoft, where everybody’s trying to figure out, hey, how do we complement Microsoft? And how do we complement the service provider? And I think it’s because people understand the dynamic that I’ve described, which is, as this plays out, over the next decade, I think there’s two cohorts of the market that are going to be runaway winners, it’s going to be Microsoft, at the upper end of the market, particularly large enterprise. And then for mid market. And below, it’s going to be the service provider, the local touch, the local presence, the broadband advantage around security and QoS, the clear advantage around cost of sales and ability to bundle. So no surprise to me that many of these different operators are trying to figure out how do we attach our cart to this horse to the service providers? How do we participate in what is looking like a very, very successful next decade plus for the service providers in the communication space relative to what they’ve experienced over the last two
Evan Kirstel 16:42
decades? So when you sell products to service providers, you know, who hosts what? And are you like a SaaS solution? So a perpetual license, or is it more subscription?
Brian Beutler 16:52
Yeah, great question. It’s one of the things that actually really sets us apart versus all the other competitors and players in the wholesale space you mentioned before. Allianz is 100%, cloud based, and it’s 100%. SAS model. So it really helps us take advantage of the cloud architecture dynamics that I described before, in a, what I’ll call a multi code, multi environment structure that a lot of folks are trying to implement to be all things to all people. I mean, this is what slowed service providers down in the past and all answers really trying to avoid that pitfall. And saying, Hey, we’re going to have a single codebase. And we’re going to move quickly, we’re going to help service providers address market demand, as it evolves at breakneck speed. And the only way we can do that as if we stay agile ourselves, which means saying no, just as often, as we say, yes. Well, that’s
Dave Michels 17:41
kind of the original model. I mean, the original version of these holsters, you know, had a PC running in their back corner of the office posting running asterisk or something is, is that kind of what you’re doing there?
Brian Beutler 17:51
Yeah, pretty much other than the back office PC part. I mean, we really are trying to make it easy for service providers to simply plug into our cloud and go, right. So when we talk about things like time to market speed to market with products and services, speed to integrate those services into complex back office operating systems. All answer is second to none at solving that type of pain that’s traditionally plagued the service provider.
Dave Michels 18:15
I got a question here, but I gotta do a little history lesson for us because I referred to it earlier, there was this initial wave of private label wholesale providers, it was kind of led by broadsoft, you had cilantro Metis, which Gen band etc. broadsoft kind of pulled ahead. And then Cisco’s acquisition of broad soft credit created a new window of uncertainty, but that dust has largely struggled. So the question is, what need are you addressing? And it’s only on to addressing because providers have a choice. We got the the OTG, option, team, zoom, WebEx, RingCentral, etc. And then they’ve also got Cisco with their broad soft solution. So what is the unmet need that Alianza is addressing? All right,
Brian Beutler 18:59
so two things. Number one, you’re right, they could resell any of the OTT providers in that environment, they give up margin, and they give up relationship with the customer. Right? Once again, they’re letting the OTT disintermediate the relationship between them and their end user. Fundamentally, when we talk with service providers and executives in the market, they want to own the end user customer, it’s part of their defensible competitive advantage that they want to maintain. They also operate with, I will say, advantaged margins versus OTT because of some of those dynamics I tucked around customer acquisition costs earlier. So I don’t see OTT really as a long term sustainable solution for service providers. And then secondarily, the other ones, you know, you mentioned but there’s like this long list of soft switch vendors that have really consolidated down to now being owned by one of two logos, Cisco or Microsoft. So meta at Microsoft, and then all the broadsoft acquisitions, I think, you know, 20 plus acquisitions over the last decade. And now under the Cisco umbrella, the big differentiator for all answer, I guess I’d say there’s two, we don’t compete with our customers, which neither Microsoft nor Cisco can bring that dynamic to the table, have a true partner, that’s a catalyst for your success, rather than being on the other side of the table in your most important strategic customer engagements. And then number two, we’re cloud first cloud only really native cloud architecture, which is something else that honestly like surprises me that here we are in 2022. And Cisco and Microsoft are still both selling legacy software solutions to service providers. And they think it’s going to somehow help them compete with OTT that are cloud and agile and moving so much faster. And I think you know, that’s back to really what makes all answer great and sets us apart for service providers is, we’re not going to compete with you. And we’re going to bring you an agile cloud platform that allows you to go toe to toe with the OTT
Dave Michels 20:53
competitors. You forgot a bunch of the low code, no code.
Brian Beutler 20:57
Yeah, sure. Low code, no code. I mean, yeah, there’s something to be said there, you know, you go get a market leading soft switching cluster from one of those two brands we talked about. And you now have saddled yourself with 18 different interfaces and command line interfaces for managing this platform you have multiple API’s to integrate with, with Allianz, it really is no code or low code option, you know, pick between those two, but it’s really about simplicity, and speed and agility. And those old legacy solutions, even though they have the big brand name logo attached to them, are still the same big, cumbersome legacy solutions that are just inadequate in
Evan Kirstel 21:35
2022. Got it? So Allianz offers 910, different products services, that’s a lot for voice. I can’t name nine different voice related services. So what are they? Can you rattle them off top of your head?
Brian Beutler 21:48
Yeah, certainly like it starts with business cloud communications, which is kind of the full UC suite cloud meetings, messaging, business lines is next, which is essentially, you know, it’s a phone line with some of the I’ll call it light key system type replacement functionality. mobile office extends the experience of either one of those two, into a mobile only environment. So if you think about, you know all the features and functionality that exists on IP phone, we’ve now extended that in software to the desktop and mobile device. Four would be the standalone UC app. This is the legacy counterpath business that we continue to support. But a customer that’s using a broadsoft or Metis switcher Jen ban soft switch that wants a cutting edge mobile client to interrupt with it, we still offer those and do quite well in that space. The fifth one would be SIP Trunking. Number six is specialty lines, which is a new product we launched this year that we’re particularly excited about. You know, this is addressing the 20 to 30 million legacy TDM copper lines in this country that need a modern home. This this is a really cool product to address everything from alarm panels to fire alarm systems to elevator phones, security system lines, but 20 million of these they’ve got to come off TDM and find a permanent durable home seventh product for us is business text messaging, which I described a bit earlier, eight would be V fax and then we’ll end it on home phone replacement. So once again, really trying to pitch Allianz as the one stop shop for service providers were in a single pane of glass they can manage every communications product that allows them to win in a consumer and enterprise environment with their end users
Evan Kirstel 23:27
impressive Well you mentioned fax though it is Does anyone still buy fax services except a Michaels?
Brian Beutler 23:33
I wish the answer to this question was no but unfortunately, whether it’s pharmacies banks mortgage offices, there’s way too many faxes being sent them there should be but necessary evil and we’ll continue to support it best we can until the very last fax is sent which cannot come soon enough.
Dave Michels 23:52
Well, okay. You mentioned the portfolio no was described describe your customers, you don’t need to name any names. But who are you selling to? Are they small, big national, global? Are they all in Peru playing football because your customers?
Brian Beutler 24:06
Today only answer sports 200 service providers across the globe? Primarily, I would say that the common thread across all of them is that they’re providing broadband services. Our customers range in size from small municipal broadband operators, fiber builders, Rural Electric Co Ops, through mid market cable companies and all the way up to tier one service providers that are national and then even international. So we have customers in Europe, Asia, Pacific, Australia, all over the world that rely on all answer products and services.
Evan Kirstel 24:38
Impressive why I think I want to be a service provider now and offer my own comm service. I actually have my own cryptocurrency coin too called b2b. I could offer a b2b payment for my comm service. What do you think? Can I be a partner?
Brian Beutler 24:51
I can’t blame you at all for wanting to be a service provider. It is time to be a service provider and the differentiation about maybe being one of the first first and only service providers to accept crypto may just set you apart.
Dave Michels 25:03
All right, let’s do it. Most of the services you describe are voice related. And I’m sure you get as angry as I do when you hear the voices dead nonsense. A bigger question is who should be selling voice? How can the independent service provider compete with these OTT offers? How do you advise your customers?
Brian Beutler 25:26
Yeah, it’s a great question, Dave. I mean, it’s actually not that hard to answer, anybody that’s delivering broadband services, to end users should absolutely be delivering communication services. On top of that, it’s a natural fit, it’s a high margin product, it’s one that the customer wants to purchase from their broadband operator, end users love the fact that their broadband company is a trusted local brand, with a local presence, that oftentimes will come out on site and installed either their phone system right alongside their broadband, train them on their business, text messaging, have a local person on the other end of the phone line when they need help, or they call support. So any broadband service provider should absolutely be in the business of offering communication services.
Evan Kirstel 26:07
Interesting. So we just got back from Enterprise Connect, and which was voiced con, before, you know, 15 years ago, and at that time, it was the independent providers, you know, the ISPs have for us to deliver Hosted Voice. So clearly, this provider has a technical advantage. But, you know, in the meantime, the over the top brands have grown and have these, you know, global names. So I’m wondering, why not have your service provider sell Aliaga voice or another kind of branded service? So you can differentiate yourself?
Brian Beutler 26:41
Yeah, that’s a good question. I would say at the smaller end of the service provider market, there exists service providers that don’t want to, for example, create their own brands in the Android store or the iOS store. In both of those environments, they can leverage the Sindbis brand, which is an Allianz a sponsored brand for mid market and smaller service providers. And service providers do really well with that, it’s kind of the easy entry. And you know, it would be a, it’s kind of the powered by brands. So either they could lead with the service provider brand, powered by symbol, or they could do the reverse, you know, Sindbis cloud communications powered by your local service provider. So there’s certainly kind of an easy button option there. But for you know, I would say the majority of service providers that still want their brand to be front and center, it is fully private branded to the service provider brand.
Dave Michels 27:32
You know, one of the challenges with letting them use your brand is quality, though, you know, the franchise model, they always have to make sure that the franchises are behaving properly with their brand. But since you’re actually hosting everything, you don’t really have that issue. So do they all have your SLA or do they all have? Is there anything that they have customer facing that kind of links back to you?
Brian Beutler 27:53
Certainly, I think our customers would pass through our SLA to their end users, which is industry leading five nines type of SLA highly fault tolerant, resilient, geographically redundant. I mean, it’s one of the things we’re proud of stuff is the performance of the platform that we built. And service providers would pass those SLA along to their end users. But really, it’s once again, one of the big advantages of working with broadband service providers is the quality of service that we’re jointly able to offer end users. When you think about the end user experience with a voice or collaboration, or any sort of real time communications medium, very rarely is the root cause of problems or quality, it’s being experienced in the voice network itself. 99.9% of the time, the root problem is in the broadband connection, whether it’s latency, packet loss jitter, low throughput, you name it, kids in the back room streaming Netflix, by partnering with the service providers, were able to set up service flows, quality of service, dedicated pipes, and it’s really one of the big competitive advantages is the OTT folks would have to go set up separate dedicated MPLS connections or dedicated broadband to simulate a similar experience, where with the service providers, they can just prioritize those packets over their network and create a first class quality experience from end to end.
Dave Michels 29:09
That’s really interesting. I’m thinking about because you’re right, well, the OTT brands, that’s kind of confusing, you know, whose throat to choke, as they say, when things don’t work, right. And your model, you’re like volunteering, it’s your service provider, your customer choke their throat, they’re the ones responsible for the end in service, because they’ve got the pipe, and they’ve got the boy Bovver. And I think that’s an important characteristic, actually. And you’re also avoiding the whole, I don’t know, armwrestling match of who owns the customer, which that must be important. Part two.
Brian Beutler 29:39
Yeah, clearly, we just want to be the software enablement platform behind the scenes and are more than happy to let our service provider customers own that end user relationship. I mean, it’s really, it’s the best of both worlds. We’re able to do what we do best and what we’re passionate about, which is building world class communications platforms and services. And our customers are able to do what they do best which is customer relationships. and broadband delivery.
Dave Michels 30:01
So who does the billing them because that billing is really complicated in telephony. And a lot of service providers don’t have that ability. And some obviously have invested heavily to do that ability. So as your wholesale offering, or I don’t know what to call your wholesale private label, whatever business you’re in, do you offer billing as well?
Brian Beutler 30:21
Yeah, I would say it this way, our cloud communications platform does all of the transactions, and the billing on all the communication services, we package it up, deliver it in a recording format that makes it easy for our service providers to consume, ingest into their billing and invoicing systems and pass through to their customers. But everything from you think about a complex environment for CDRs being delivered back to customers in real time. That’s all available in portal experience or downloads, we made that really easy across the board.
Evan Kirstel 30:50
Impressive. Well, I guess at this point, you can just drop the mic, you really put it all out there. It’s very impressive to hear. But what’s next, what’s coming up big acquisitions? Are you going to offer another nine services to the ones who offer today? Like, what do you think are just scale?
Brian Beutler 31:05
I think I’d maybe like start by answering this question by going back to the beginning of our conversation, which is a lot of people haven’t heard of all answer. That’s been on purpose. Historically, we’ve been happy to fly under the radar and win our customers, you know, based off of boots on the ground effort. But I would say for the first time, it feels like the market is lining up behind what Allianz has. And so I think what we’re focused on going forward is really expanding our market presence, making sure that every service provider out there knows that there is a communications cloud option, an alternative to deploying Another legacy soft switch, that’s going to give them the same legacy type of experience, and continue to lose share to the OTT competitor marketplace
Dave Michels 31:47
is interesting, Brian, because what you’re talking about is, you know, the Race to Zero, really that’s happening in the industry. And you’re looking at the economics, what’s driving the valuations and businesses and and who’s making money in this industry?
Brian Beutler 32:01
Yeah, it’s a great question. I mean, certainly, if you look at the two different sides of that question, first off valuations, I would say predominantly being driven by OTT providers at this point in time, which is really a function of the fact that their growth is attractive. If you look at the public markets, public markets value top line growth, but the answer is completely different to the second part of your question, which is who’s making money in this market? Who’s making money in this market as service providers? hand over fist? Not even close? Right? You know, if you look at top line revenue, growth of the best market leading OTT providers even adjusted for kind of what we call the COVID, Bunk, we’ve been through the last couple of years, top of industry 35, maybe 40%, service providers 10 to 12%, right, so 3x less, but then if you look at who’s making money, the top service providers are making money hand over fist at a time when those that are growing three times their rate are losing 50 cents for every dollar of revenue they’re bringing in. And I just don’t think you know, the OTT dynamic is not sustainable, long term.
Dave Michels 33:06
See, Evans always been my inspiration in business, and he’s teaching me to lose 75 cents of every dollar I’m putting and so you know, he’s ahead of the industry and pet right.
Evan Kirstel 33:13
In any case, great chatting, you’re clearly reinventing the business of service providers. And it’s really exciting to see your solutions and the impact with customers. So congratulations, and we’ll catch you on social media.
Brian Beutler 33:25
Yeah. Thanks, Evan. Thanks, Dave. I really do appreciate you having me.
Evan Kirstel 33:28
Thank you, bro. Take care.
Dave Michels 33:32
Well, Evan, that was another interesting conversation. And you know, you and I have been at this for a while but it’s like it’s surprising how much we learned in these conversations.
Evan Kirstel 33:40
And I sometimes joke about best kept secrets in the industry and other one another company. I really had no idea they were such a powerhouse behind the scenes.
Dave Michels 33:49
You know, I have a feeling and I have a very strong premonition here that we’re gonna be hearing more about Alianza and some big wins here pretty soon.
Evan Kirstel 33:58
inside information we’ll have to wait to see all right,
Dave Michels 34:01
well, I’ll tell you some information or conversation man I gotta get out of the phone. Don’t don’t read your phone. No man knows me.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai