Connecting with Reinvent

by Sandra Gustavsen

Reinvent Telecom is reporting accelerated growth with its 100% channel-centric unified communications as-a-service (UCaaS) business. The national wholesaler offers Metaswitch-based cloud services, including hosted solutions for telephony, unified communications (UC), contact center, mobility, collaboration and SIP trunking, to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in the United States, U.S. territories and Canada through a private label program. Reseller partners don’t purchase or install any hardware or software, but simply resell the service under their own brand, building their own service plans and bundles, with the added flexibility to incorporate additional third-party solutions as desired. Partners can also take advantage of Reinvent’s billing platform that handles all invoicing, taxes, surcharges and FCC regulation requirements.

Reinvent Telecom, an Arizona-based cloud software and services solutions provider, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saddleback Communications originally founded in 1997 by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to provide telephone, data and Internet services for the residents and businesses located there. Saddleback subsequently extended services to all businesses and residents in the surrounding Scottsdale 101 Highway corridor, and in 2008, the company launched a distribution model that would reach beyond this Scottsdale footprint.  A new (or “re-invented”) division “Reinvent Telecom” emerged in 2009 as a provider of wholesale business UC services nationwide and has since expanded services into Puerto Rico and Canada as well.

Participation in Reinvent’s partner program is showing strong momentum, with the number of reseller partners up 125% over the last two years and expected to nearly double again this year. The number of endpoints in production is also on the rise and on track to increase by more than 60% in 2018, according to the company.

Leveraging Metaswitch and Saddleback

Reinvent Telecom’s UCaaS platform is built on technology from Metaswitch Networks and managed by Reinvent’s softswitch engineers which eliminates the need for partners to invest in any telecom infrastructure or technicians. Reinvent operates a geo-redundant, carrier-grade network with two separate Metaswitch central offices. Metaswitch session border controllers (SBCs) are located in additional data centers in central and western regions of the United States. Contact Center services are further supported by data centers in the mid-western U.S. and Toronto, Canada.

Metaswitch is recognized as a top vendor of business communications solutions.  The company recently earned the number two spot for new UCaaS seat subscribers in the Wainhouse Research UC Shipments and Cloud Sizing SpotCheck Report for Q4 2017 (Wainhouse defines UCaaS as a “public multi-tenant cloud service that delivers a hosted, telephony-enabled UC experience”). Metaswitch was the only vendor in the report to improve its ranking over the prior quarter, climbing from a fourth position ranking in Q3 to second in Q4.

Reinvent also has the backing of its parent company and operating Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC), Saddleback Communications. The network (redundant ILEC facilities), switching and personnel assets are shared, allowing Reinvent to save on operating costs, then pass these savings onto its partners. Saddleback’s experience in 911 services, Local Number Porting (LNP), Line Information Databases and Line Validation Administration Systems also provides an advantage over competing UCaaS vendors that may have to rely on third parties to handle these functions.

Low start-up costs, low operating costs, financial stability, reliability and in-house telco expertise –leveraged through the resources of Metaswitch and Saddleback – are among the key benefits that Reinvent brings to the table. This, coupled with the proprietary Reinvent Partner Portal (RPP) and Reinvent billing services, allow the company to deliver on its main goal – making it easy for reseller partners to start-up and operate their own profitable cloud UC business.

Reinvent’s UCaaS

We reached out to Reinvent Telecom to learn more about the target market, service offerings, subscription options and service delivery methods, as well as what’s on tap for the remainder of 2018. Here is an edited version of our Q&A with Ray Napoletano, Vice President of Sales, and David Ansehl, Senior Channel Manager, at Reinvent.

What is the target market for your cloud-based UC services? Currently, Reinvent sells UCaaS through private-label resellers to small and medium businesses (SMBs) and enterprises in the United States, U.S. territories and Canada. Reinvent’s UCaaS offering is a great fit for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs), but Metaswitch-based cloud services are not restricted by size and can actually scale to handle larger organizations.

Do you offer all Metaswitch UC services or a subset? Reinvent offers all services enabled by the Metaswitch technology, including Metaswitch’s hosted unified communications (UC) for business telephony and call control and Metaswitch Accession UC applications for mobility and collaboration. There are also a number of add-on services to enhance business communications, including some Metaswitch services, and others from third party vendors that Reinvent works with. These include Contact Center, CRM integration, Business SMS and RoboCall Blocking.

Do you specify the telephony/UC user bundles, or do resellers create their own packages? Reinvent allows its private-label reseller partners to create their own bundles and packages to fit their particular go-to-market strategy. The standard wholesale license includes the key features and functions needed by a majority of businesses in one standard package by seat and business group. Unlike some UCaaS providers, Reinvent does not charge extra for automated attendant, music-on-hold, find me-follow me and other popular features.

Do you offer more advanced add-on solutions? Reinvent offers ancillary services for specialized needs such as for contact center environments, team meetings/collaboration and fraud protection, to name a few. The recently-introduced Accession Meeting Webinar is an add-on to the Accession Meeting service released last spring for audio and video conferencing. Meeting Webinar supports up to 100 speakers and up to 10,000 view-only attendees, as well as options for registration, chat, Q&A, polls and reporting.

What are the cloud service delivery options? Reinvent’s private-label resellers primarily deliver services to customers over the top (OTT) via public Internet, but private connections using Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) are also an option. Reinvent is currently in the beta process of rolling out software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), a technology that can offer a better approach to handling the high-bandwidth requirements of the modern work environment. Read more on SD-WAN as it relates to cloud UC here.

What’s ahead in 2018?

Already this year, Reinvent Telecom has released several new offerings related to security (the Equinox automated fraud management system for real-time monitoring of the Metaswitch network), compliance (HIPPA and PCI compliance certifications) and service quality (Edgewater Networks’ EdgeView services to collect service quality data for reporting and analytics, troubleshoot and remediate service quality issues). Also in 2018, Reinvent began offering the aforementioned Accession Meeting Webinar service and a new Business SMS service as a per-user add-on for the Accession UC Communicator desktop or mobile client application or bundled as part of the company’s Advanced UC Package.

Additional goals for 2018 include expansion into international markets and further enhancements related to team collaboration, video and contact center. A new offering for the hospitality market is also on tap for 2018. Stay tuned.