You may not have heard of them before, but that’s by design. Dag Peak, chief product officer at Alianza, told Fierce Telecom it’s generally content to be the vendor working behind the scenes to power voice-over-IP (VoIP) services for Tier-2 and Tier-3 operators in order to let their broadband brands shine. But he noted that as it turns its attention toward gaining more Tier-1 customers, brand recognition is more important. And that’s where AWS comes in.
Alianza’s primary offering is a VoIP application that runs in the public cloud, though it also dabbles in unified communications. The company’s whole pitch is that operators can outsource operation of their legacy (and slowly dying) telephony services to Alianza so they can focus on core and growth products.
The company primarily serves Tier-2 and Tier-3 customers. Think Brightspeed, Ziply Fiber, Blue Ridge and Service Electric, though it also counts Lumen among its clients. According to Peak, the desire to drive more conversations with Tier-1 telcos was part of the reason for a new collaborative partnership with AWS.
Trying to speak to the Verizon’s and Comcast’s of the world with no name recognition is an uphill battle, he said. But “when Alianza walks in with Amazon to have the conversation about cloudifying Verizon’s core telecommunications infrastructure, that’s a much different thing than little old Alianza walking in by ourselves,” he added. In short, AWS’ stamp of approval provides a huge boost for the company.
Peak said the telephony market can be roughly broken down into two categories: Phone centric services and unified communications (UC). From there it can be subdivided between residential and small, medium and large enterprises.
Alianza historically played in the phone-centric residential space, while Broadsoft, Metaswitch and RingCentral occupied the medium business market and Cisco and Microsoft dominated the UC space. Cisco acquired Broadsoft in 2018 and Microsoft scooped up Metaswitch in 2020. With both companies focusing their efforts on UC offerings for larger enterprises, that left room for Alianza to swoop into the medium enterprise arena.
These days, Cisco and other players like Ringcentral and Zoom have taken a back seat to the dominance of Microsoft’s Teams platform. And since Alianza’s offering is cloud-based, that presents a fresh opportunity to step up the ladder once again.
“Our play here is to integrate with Microsoft teams,” Peak said. “If you’re a communications service provider, you can choose Alianza and capture this end of the market segmentation – residential voice, SMB voice, medium business voice – and then you can plug Alianza voice into Microsoft Teams and capture the rest of it.”
Remembering its roots
Even as it chases bigger accounts, Alianza isn’t forgetting its roots. Peak said the company is working on a handful of innovations which will allow businesses on “Main Street America” to tap into tech like artificial intelligence (AI) and UC-like capabilities on mobile (yes, much like Webex Go).
On the former front, he said the company is working on an AI tool which small businesses can use for sentiment analysis to better understand interactions with customers who call in. That’s coming in the middle of 2024, he added.
“I don’t see anyone else talking about AI enabling traditional telephony services. All the hype and all the focus is on contact center…and chatbot enabling support interactions,” he said, noting small businesses don’t use big support centers but instead field calls themselves. “I love this notion of Alianza bringing power of AI to Main Street America to make their traditional telephony to much, much smarter than it’s ever been.”