Ribbon is one of the 6 partners approved by Microsoft as an Operator Connect Accelerator, and the first one with a live operator in multiple regions with SwitchConnect offering Operator Connect services for Australia, and New Zealand via Ribbon Operator Connect Accelerator.
Ribbon has been working with Microsoft in the voice space since 2007. I spoke to Ribbon to understand what they uniquely bring to Operator Connect and Operator Connect Accelerator.
About Operator Connect and Operator Connect Accelerator
Operator Connect is an integration/certification between Microsoft and telecom operators that enable the telecoms operator to provide PSTN phone numbers and services for Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams customers can view the services available from Operator Connect operators directly in the Teams Admin Center and manage and assign Operator Connect provided numbers to users.
The Operator Connect program has technical and commercial requirements defined by Microsoft. Operator Connect Accelerator is a program that allows select approved Microsoft partners to provide software and services to telecom operators enabling them to accelerate their onboarding to Operator Connect and provide ongoing support/services/infrastructure between the telco and Microsoft.
Ribbon Connect for Operator Connect
Ribbon Connect for Operator Connect is Ribbons’s name for their Operator Connect Accelerator Service.
Ribbon has decades of experience in the Tier 1 operator space, deploying and managing large global SBC networks, hence having a lot of credibility in this area. Obviously, at the SBC level Ribbon support its own SBCs and offers SBCs as a cloud service within its Operator Connect Accelerator solution. Operators would SIP trunk to the Ribbon infrastructure and Ribbon interconnect to Microsoft. Ribbon says they can fast track onboarding in 6 to 8 weeks.
Ribbon Provides portals, really one portal with different experiences for different roles: Service provider portal, Customer Portal, and Channel Portal. The service can be deeply integrated into the operator’s OSS/BSS, but operators can also get started day 1 with less deep integration, leveraging the portal to manage all aspects of the service – for example importing numbers to the portal and allocating to customer accounts.
It’s not just number management that the Ribbon portal provides, but also sales engagement tools to ensure the customer journey is well managed from the outset.
The full Automation is what enables an Operator to take the details from the portal and automate both the backend number provisioning and API elements on their OSS systems, and the customer engagement and communications.
The Ribbon Connect engagement also offers content to train sales teams, create marketing materials, and options to generate leads.
Ribbon position the value of buying their OCA solution vs building your own operator connect solution in house.
Ribbon Analytics platform and KPIs
A USP of Ribbon is their deep analytics and KPI reporting. The Ribbon Analytics platform, and its associated applications, providing analytics and insights for real-time communications network operations and threat intelligence detection.
The Ribbon Analytics solution is built-in as part of their Operator Connect Accelerator service, giving real-time insight to the Operator’s voice services to Teams, and identifying any potential issues early before they become a bigger problem.
Here are a couple of screenshots of the experience of their Analytics platform.
From the top-level dashboard, it is possible to dig deeper and display Graphs showing, (for example) Jitter over time.
It is also possible to display a full list of CDRs for a selected period of time, for further analysis.