A Cloud Service for Cloud Providers


A Cloud Service for Cloud Providers

By Doug Barney

Cloud Providers can use the same types of services that pay the bills to, well, send out bills. The new Cloud Innovation Suite from BlueOSS not only bills, but provisions and does end-to-end ordering, all in a neat little Software as a Service (SaaS) package. The idea is to not just support existing cloud players, but allow providers to launch new cloud businesses.

This comes from a company well versed in servicing service providers. It already targets VARs, MSPs, telcos and cloud providers with business intelligence, process management and productivity tools.

It has particular expertise in supporting Unified Communications as Service (UCaaS).

While BlueOSS is all about the cloud, that doesn’t mean it services install with a snap of the fingers. Instead the company carefully walks through a detailed process, which “begins with proper and thorough understanding of customer needs and business processes. The implementation process has four stages: Requirements definition workshop which produces a Statement of Work; System preparation and on site configuration and testing; Training and knowledge transfer; and User Acceptance Testing,” the company said.

The Cloud Innovation Suite is divided into three main categories: integration tools, process tools, and what the vendor calls “value engineering tools.”

On the integration side, the built-in product management features can both aggregate and integrate items such as order process management, cloud services catalogs, and license management. It can also help automate by allowing for “provisioning and authentication to multiple cloud providers and hybrid premise applications as a single service bundle,” the vendor said.

On the process side, it manages customers by handling customer quotes, managing their terms of service, and providing a self-service portal where customers can do their own changes and upgrades as well as manage their own accounts.

The value engineering tools include the ability to handle SLAs, do renewals and manage partners through multi-tenant pricing and support.

This is what just what the MSP doctor ordered, the company hopes.

“We have seen great demand for cloud billing solution with a provisioning component. Coupling billing with provisioning is truly the only way to manage and control license and usage costs. There are no comparable offerings that possess the inherent flexibility, billing, operational support, and extensive industry heritage to meet the demands of today’s Cloud Solution Providers,” said Adam Cole, CEO of BlueOSS.

The UC Angle

As mentioned, BlueOSS puts considerable effort behind supporting UCaaS providers. This is a market that is quickly maturing, at least according to last year’s Magic Quadrant for UC Providers from Gartner.

The research house sees three areas of progress – “the emergence of branded CPE platforms now supporting UCaaS; the maturity of selected UCaaS platforms; and limited adoption by the Fortune 1000 community,” the report said.

Leading the CPE is, of course, Cisco. In fact many of the most magic companies in this space are existing Cisco partners.

Microsoft is another major player through Lync which is now in the cloud as part of Office 365.

All the big CPEs guns are now in the UCaaS market to some degree, including ShoreTel, Siemens, Avaya and Alcatel-Lucent.

“These traditional CPE vendors believe it is essential to support both premises and cloud UC to maintain market relevancy. In parallel, larger customers tend to reveal a preference for UCaaS delivery via the major CPE vendors, particularly Cisco and Microsoft,” Gartner believes.

Meanwhile UC wares are getting stronger and more mature, as new versions keep piling up.

Large shops are starting to take notice. “Fortune 1000 companies are cautiously adopting UCaaS via staged rollouts. In many cases, these rollouts are limited to a specific business unit, functional group or geographic location. Gartner expects that broader, global rollouts will occur after these initial forays have proven successful,” the report argued. “Larger Fortune 1000 organizations require such proof points before making corporate-wide technology commitments. In addition, they generally prefer working with branded vendor solutions from larger delivery partners.”

For in-depth analysis of unified communications, check out MSPToday’s ongoing coverage.

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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