The NWN cloud offerings can be tailored to any business from several hundred to tens of thousands of users, according to Gai. “Across the country we are working on deals from 250 seats to 20,000 seats at a time,” he said. “We have a very large, ever-growing funnel. If existing customers have on-premise VoIP and they want to switch it to us, we have a really elegant way of operationalizing their existing capital expenses. We are going to take all those capital expenses and spread them out over time and operationalize them into a single managed service. At the end of the day, we are going to monitor and manage it with a fully staffed, 24×7 NOC [network operations center].”
Among the NWN contract wins is an 1,800-seat VoIP based solution for the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools in Orange County, Calif., that provided dramatic monthly cost savings along with full monitoring, management and 24/7 support from NWN.
The increased NWN momentum in the cloud market comes just one year after being named named as a voice and data services provider for the State of California Public Utilities under the CALNET3 government contract.
The CALNET 3 status makes NWN the only systems integrator competing for California VoIP contracts head to head against the likes of AT&T and Verizon. One big NWN differentiator with CALNET3 is its ability to deliver a complete Cisco hosted cloud offering including VoIP, contact center and WebEx under an integrated platform.
Ultimately, Gai said NWN’s biggest hurdle is overcoming the resistance to change that comes with a customer moving from a PBX-based traditional phone system to a hosted VoIP cloud solution.
“Our biggest competition is a customers’ unwillingness to change,” he said. “It’s the status quo. Once the customer makes the decision to change, the telcos typically have trouble responding. We are a very nimble cloud provider. We are big enough to be very elegant with our services and small enough to be flexible to deliver what a customer needs.”
That flexibility, along with its proven managed services track record, gives NWN a big advantage as it seeks to take share in the multibillion-dollar VoIP cloud market against the telecom giants, said Gai. “We are beginning to take market share from them, and we are planning to take a lot more,” he said. “We are going after that with our MPLS network. If we get just 1 percent of that, it will be a huge number. Our goal is to capture 10 percent of the statewide California telecom market in 24 months. That’s a big number.”