If it isn’t broken, why fix it? Seems like sound sense but, when your market has moved on, it’s time to invest in the next technological generation as a platform for innovation writes Ian Ashford, the Vice President of Carrier Acquisition at PGi

Communications service providers (CSPs) today are facing a perfect storm of challenges including more competition from new cloud-based entrants, increasing customer demands for new services and enhanced quality, the escalating costs of running legacy networks and the ever increasing industry-wide skill shortage.
As with IP networks some 10 years ago, a large number of CSPs’ audio conferencing bridge networks are beginning to reach the end of their life leaving the CSP with an important decision to make regarding the next best step to take.
Some CSPs will look to refresh these networks through the forklift upgrade of their network infrastructure, some will look to a hybrid model based on the virtualization of the media servers that control these networks and others will look to find a new and innovative way to both support their existing customers and offer new enhancements to differentiate themselves from the competition. 
The aim of CSPs that look to follow this innovative path will be to reduce the cost of providing the existing service and become more agile so they can launch new and differentiated value-added services. To achieve this, the attention of the CSP’s top talent will need to be focused on a new world of opportunity rather than their legacy infrastructure but, at the same time, they will want to ensure that they monetize their legacy asset base rather than write it off their balance sheet and incur capex for the greenfield replacement infrastructure. 
Strike the right balance
Achieving this can become a complex balancing act of addressing often-competing needs and requires CSP teams to look in two directions at once. They’re looking forward to launch new technologies to stay ahead of their competition but also looking back at the legacy to identify where to maintain and upgrade existing systems to maximize both business and service performance.
When faced with the challenges of limited CSP resources but the appetite to succeed with both approaches, PGi has been able to help its CSP customers achieve the best of both worlds utilising our audio bridging infrastructure solution. This allows the CSP to:
– Focus their talent on developing and introducing new services that allow them to differentiate and increase average revenue per user (ARPU)
– Move to a more agile, cloud-managed conferencing solution that makes introducing new features easier and faster
– Take advantage of an outcome-based service from PGi delivered under the CSP’s own brand that is charged-for based on customer usage
– Reduce the cost of operation dramatically through this new model
– Monetize the value of existing assets which are transferred to PGi and upgraded over time as part of the service
– Implement a truly multi-vendor offering with local billing
– Make use of an existing global capability to allow new markets and geographies to be entered by the CSP
– Benefit from an end-to-end managed service that includes event management also branded as a CSP service
When faced with the challenges of trying to stay ahead of the innovation curve and maintain relevancy, more and more CSPs are looking for technology partners that help reduce costs and time to market. Working with trusted experts enables CSPs to focus on their core business of new service introduction, differentiation and increased ARPU while companies like PGi operate non-core functionality on their behalf.
This article forms part of the Collaboration Center by PGi. Total Telecom has partnered with PGi to provide insights into the transformation of the Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) market. The article is written by Total Telecom for PGi and does not necessarily reflect the views of Total Telecom. For more articles from the Collaboration Center CLICK HERE
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