Communications firm pitches cloud route as industry undergoes massive shift

By Melvin G. Calimag

At its first user conference held under its new name, technology solutions provider Ribbon Communications made a bold pitch to lead the transformation and journey of the network communications industry into the cloud era.

Ribbon Communications CEO Fritz Hobbs speaking during the Ribbon Perspectives18 conference held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles on June 3-7

Ribbon Communications, the result of the merger between tech firms Sonus Networks and Genband, said during the recent Ribbon Perspectives18 confab that it intends to carry the torch for solutions providers as the winds of change continue to reshape the communications industry.

Mike Swade, executive vice president for global sales at Ribbon Communications, told around 600 attendees from 40 countries who trooped to Ribbon Perspectives18 that the communications landscape continues to evolve – both in the technology and business aspects.

This is one of the reasons why Ribbon, according to its chief marketing officer and EVP for business development Patrick Joggerts, was created. “Our company embodies the future but combines the legacies of Sonus and Genband,” he said.

Fritz Hobbs, CEO of Ribbon, said the company now has a combined workforce of 2,3000 employees located in 27 countries worldwide.

“We closed the deal in October 2017 and here we are now in June 2018 having a united front,” Hobbs said in his keynote speech. “In terms of global footprint and financial skills, we are now a much stronger competitor and much more able to offer solutions to our customers.”

By combining the strengths of Sonus and Genband, Hobbs said Ribbon has become a global leader in secure and real-time communication solutions to enterprises and communications service providers.

“We think we can help transform the communications landscape and enterprises from legacy to cloud-based solutions. We’re going fast-track that path,” said Hobbs.

The Ribbon chief executive vowed to keep pushing for cloud solutions such as Unified Communications-as-a –Service (UCaaS) and Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) even as consolidation among network communication companies is transpiring in the background.

“What can you expect from us going forward? Well, we’ve got to keep moving towards the cloud,” said Hobbs said as he stressed the need for its clients to jump on the transformation trend by getting to the cloud.

The global UCaaS market, he noted, is worth $37.85 billion with an annual growth rate of 23.4% from 2014 to 2021.

The official added that Ribbon will pour significant of investments to broaden its product line. “We’re going to leverage on our global footprint, which is a huge asset for us because we can get our products on the whole global network of opportunities,” he said.

Security, according to Hobbs, is also a major pillar of the company’s strategy. “We want to expand our market with security solutions that protect communications networks,” he asserted.

The company’s wide breadth of offerings, he said, makes Ribbon a force to be reckoned with. “We think that with our size and earning power, we’ve created a vehicle that can compete with other companies out there,” he said.

Kevin Riley, chief technology officer of Ribbon Communications, said the company will take the lead in offering cutting-edge solutions as he noted that communications service providers are in a middle of a massive architectural shift while enterprises are embracing new service consumption models.

“Moving to the cloud means you’ll have a small footprint but has the ability to hyperscale,” Riley said, adding that most communications infrastructure is now powered by cloud-based software running on a common hardware platform.

But, he said maturing technology trends such as 5G, Internet-of-Things (IoT), big data, machine learning, and analytics are expected to alter further the communications space. “The path to realization is through disruptive technologies. And that’s what we’re doing at Ribbon,” Riley said.

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