What’s more important, Scalability and Reliability or Feature set?

Software solutions to the carrier voice interconnect marketplace are enabling the creative destruction of the industry. Advances in VoiP and Next Gen infrastructure have reduced the total cost of running and managing a network by significant orders of magnitude, and as a result legacy carriers are confronting new paradigms where new competitors (Cable Cos, mobile providers, and even OTT players) are threatening their business model. In response, these larger legacy carriers are accelerating their network conversion to Next Gen technologies while at the same time looking toward their strategic vendors to provide software solutions that allow them to rapidly reduce operation costs. This is true in all areas of communications service providers (CSPs), but in the interconnect marketplace it’s one of the primary operating objectives. The larger CSPs in the market focus a lot of their attention on the interconnect operation side of their business and they are now realizing that their current cost structure is too high, and that they need to automate many of their OSS & BSS related interconnect voice functions, and that the dynamics of the business have changed.

As a result, solution providers, particularly software solution providers, are thriving as they rush to respond to this market demand. But because these CSPs have delayed making these OSS & BSS investments, they are confronting a plethora of options from companies offering to revolutionize their interconnect voice business. Our company is no exception. The challenge for CSPs is to evaluate and analyze all of their options and make a decision, but what should carriers use for their criteria when making a choice?  Solution providers all have broad feature sets, but what are the most important capabilities?

GCS has spent years developing our platform and our feature set is as broad and deep as any other provider. But, where our strength lies, where we really differentiate ourselves, is in the area of Scalability & Reliability. We often have conversations with CSPs that are evaluating their options and are unsure what is more important, scalability & reliability or the feature set.   Well, it’s kind of like a person choosing between air & water and food.  You need both to live.  Can you really say one is more important than the other? Well, for Tier 1 CSPs that operate at massive scalability and have enormous investments in operations, processes, and staff supporting them, scalability and reliability has to trump the feature set. It’s important to have the features and functions a CSP needs to run its business, but performing those functions at scale is a different and unique challenge that requires the solution provider to dedicate a portion of their R&D to it. Since we originally deployed our solution in 2009, we have spent approximately 40% of our R&D to this domain of scalability & reliability.  We did that on purpose because we believed that it was incredibly important for our customers to choose our solution and for that choice to be an investment that would provide value for a long term. And that is where scalability & reliability comes in. It’s not sexy to sell or discuss, it’s like selling air & water. Nobody really cares until you don’t have it.

So, feature sets are really important, but it’s not the air & water of a software solution.  Scalability & Reliability are the most important.

Want to learn more about how GCS addresses scalability & reliability? Check out our series on the -lilities of interconnect voice management solution.