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The Combined Ericsson And Vonage Could Redefine Enterprise Communications

Ericsson recently completed their acquisition of Vonage and it signals a return of an important brand to enterprise communications. For over a decade now Ericsson has focused mainly on the hardware required for cellular services. This is after many years experience and expertise in other areas of telecoms – if you can remember the 90s then you may even have used one of their mobile phones.

Analysts are predicting that the combined company will now focus on enterprise 5G and using cell technology to build out a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) offer. Additionally, Vonage has also developed a reputation for contact centre solutions so this is another area where they could be exploring.

The industry analyst Frost & Sullivan recently named Vonage as a leader for both growth and innovation in offering contact centre as a service (CCaaS) technology. These rankings are based on F&S independent research covering product portfolio, vision and strategy, research and development, growth pipeline, and customer alignment.

Frost & Sullivan credited Vonage for investing heavily in innovation to deliver new contact centre applications for reporting, analytics, visual engagement, and AI-based functionalities, its deep integrations with Salesforce, ServiceNow and Microsoft Teams, and for offering one of the most comprehensive and flexible cloud communications platforms in the market.

This combination of services and innovation leads me to believe that we will be hearing a lot more about Ericsson in the near future. They have spent a long time in the background, building cell networks, but this experience should now give them a major advantage now that these networks are about to gain more importance in all our lives.

Take a look at this interview with Hannes Ekström, Head of Strategy BNEW at Ericsson. He is talking about some really complex telecoms challenges they are working on, such as being able to connect a fast-moving ambulance to a remote doctor with a reliable connection that can even be used to control instruments inside the ambulance.

In the interview Hannes said: “It’s going to require a bit of change of mindset in a lot of enterprises, but I definitely see a great potential in in this business.”

This is exactly right. When the media covers each iteration of wireless communications, from 3G to 4G, then 4G to 5G, they focus on network speed. It’s typical to read, or watch, a journalist explaining how long it will take to download a movie from Netflix using the upgraded system.

The reality is that the jump from 4G to 5G was more like a quantum leap. Tiny network dropouts that are not noticeable on a voice call are eliminated. This continuity of service is essential for the ambulance situation. Thousands of 5G devices can be in the same place, which is certainly not true of 4G. Have you ever tried getting a data signal inside a rock concert? This means that 5G devices can be used as remote sensors, creating entirely new business possibilities for digital twins and the Internet of Things.

Companies like Ericsson are already exploring these 5G possibilities and talking about how the network could be improved even further for a potential jump to 6G. It’s not just about speed, it’s all about innovation and opportunity.

I think the Vonage acquisition really opens the brand into new areas. Enterprise communication is no longer about a phone circuit inside an office. It needs to be flexible and wireless. There is a huge opportunity to redefine how businesses structure and manage their communication systems globally.

This will move Ericsson from a company that builds hardware and networks back into the frontline of services and products that need support. They will need to start planning for a new type of customer experience strategy. This is an opportunity for the company to use their earlier experience to redefine the communications market they are in today.

Please get in touch with me directly on LinkedIn here if you want to discuss these ideas further.

Interested in learning more about ICON’s expertise in optimising customer journeys?
Please contact ICON’s Mark Matthews.

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