New shared architecture opens up top-tier, enterprise-grade UC tools from Cisco to organisations with as few as 30 seats

Node4 announces a new and improved Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platform. The new offering is being built on a shared architecture which means that Node4 customers and channel partners will benefit from both a customer dedicated platform and a multi-tenant one, allowing much smaller organisations to affordably access top-tier collaboration tools.

Mark Phelps, Collaboration Product Manager, said: “It’s a really exciting time for Node4 and its customers. We have seen fantastic take up of our newly launched Collaboration platform, with thousands of users already benefitting from our Collaboration Experiences. The development of a shared architecture solution will allow partners and customers of every size to benefit from our Cisco Powered enterprise class collaboration experience. This is only the first in a number of major product portfolio enhancements Node4 is going to announce across the coming months, intended to help businesses supercharge their collaborative abilities.”

This new shared architecture will allow Node4 to service smaller customers, and makes Node4 one of the few Cisco HCS providers that can deliver to SMEs.

Node4 can now bring the Cisco Enterprise Class experience, delivered in the cloud, to customers with as few as 30 seats. Normally, customers of this size would be forced to compromise on the technology choice, or would be forced to purchase on-premise or managed services, rather than a fully hosted, CMSP certified, Cisco Powered service.

Richard Buxton, Head of Collaboration at Node4 commented: “UC and collaboration are key pillars for Node4. We’re focused on providing our customers with state-of-the-art technology to help them keep up with the rapidly evolving workplace of the future. We want to help small and medium businesses to be part of the future of work revolution, and our improved solutions will do just that.”

Channel partners will see the benefits of this new shared architecture too. They will be able to build a shared architecture instance which can be dedicated to a single partner. This shared architecture instance can be used to service a number of the partner’s end customers through a single set of applications, providing simplicity, scalability and more direct customer control to every channel partner.

Andrew Wilson, Channel Sales Director at Node4 added: “As with all our partner solutions, this release is underpinned by our well-received ‘Recruit, Enable, Grow’ channel methodology. This gives our partners the best of both worlds; our top right Gartner Magic Quadrant technology and the right support and people to help partners position the solution with their customers.”

As Node4 has noted previously, in research and whitepapers, smaller and mid-sized businesses represent a critical part of the world’s business economy, yet are fundamentally under-served by existing tools. They often struggle to find affordable, high-quality solutions that enable collaboration. Node4’s new and improved UCaaS will help small and mid-size businesses have access to enterprise grade collaboration software of the quality and capability they deserve.

This project is part of Node4’s continuous development plan for its collaborartion offering, which currently includes business messaging and meeting applications, reporting and call analytics, compliance solutions, and network based call routing amongst other exciting roadmap developments to be announced in the coming months.

Find out more about Node4’s UCaaS offering here.

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New Partnership Extends Best-in-Class Collaboration Solution to Small- and Medium- Sized Enterprises

Node4 has selected VOSS Solutions UC management technology to manage its Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) Shared Architecture and Hybrid HCS-Spark environments – in addition to the management of its current Cisco HCSv11.5 platform.

The new shared architecture will allow Node4 to reach out to medium enterprises and smaller customers (SMEs), and makes Node4 one of the first Cisco HCS providers that can deliver to this market. Node4 will bring an enterprise grade collaboration experience delivered from the cloud, to customers with as few as 30 seats and at a price point within their budget. Normally, customers of this size would be forced to compromise on the technology choice, or would be forced to purchase on premise or managed services, rather than a fully hosted, CMSP certified, Cisco Powered service.

Mark Phelps, Collaboration Product Manager at Node4 commented; “We provide state of the art technology to help businesses access top-tier collaboration software of the quality and capability they deserve. Therefore, we wanted to be sure we were selecting the very best UC management technology for our new Shared Architecture solution. We were most impressed with the latest version of VOSS-4-UC, together with the VOSS team’s deep technical know-how of latest HCS thinking.”

The VOSS-4-UC provisioning and management solution selected by Node4 provides, from a single workflow interface, provisioning of a complete build of a customer and two sites using Shared Architecture, in just 16 minutes (100% configured); followed by automated loading of ‘full-service’ subscribers (including WebEx and Spark support) in a further 6 minutes – getting to service go-live in under 30 minutes. The solution:

  • Simplifies end user on-boarding and provisioning, reducing the cost and time it takes to bring new customers onto the platform
  • Automates critical business process, to improve end user experience and speed time to resolution
  • Standardizes workflows, which promotes repeatability, eliminates manual error, and streamlines administration processes

During the selection process, Node4 completed a comprehensive trial before choosing VOSS over another HCS-OPA provisioning platform provider. The brief was to build, test and deliver a live, multi-country, multi-customer HCS-Shared-Architecture environment, together with Hybrid HCS-Spark and WebEx management support.

Mike Frayne, CEO at VOSS Solutions, commented: “Our understanding of the business challenges that cloud service providers experience, our superior technology that has been broadly deployed in production throughout the world, and our long and deep understanding of the HCS architecture contributed to our success at Node4.”

Henry Barton, VP Operations Strategy at VOSS and Node4 Solution Architect, added: “Node4 has a highly knowledgeable, agile and demanding technical team. They were extremely diligent in laying down the requirements for this solution: to manage a full suite of multi-tenant shared architecture Cisco v11.5 UC apps and HCM-F servers, Cisco Collaboration Edge, Imagicle UC app and OpenLDAP servers plus links to their WAN and PSTN network and Cisco-Spark. This was a valuable opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities relative to those of other OPA players. VOSS performed strongly in all areas and we are delighted that Node4 has chosen to deliver this with VOSS.”

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Node4 renews its Advanced Collaboration Architecture Specialisation
Posted by Tom Hassan on 21 November 2017 10:52 AM

Cisco – Advanced Collaboration Architecture Specialisation accreditation

Node4 is proud to announce that it has successfully renewed its Advanced Collaboration Architecture Specialisation in partnership with Cisco last month. This accreditation demonstrates Node4’s continuing dedication to, and expertise in, delivering and advising on Cisco products and services.

“This accreditation is extremely important to us, as it enables us to better connect our customers with their partners and suppliers across our HCS platform.. We have demonstrated that we are experts in Collaboration Architecture, and this accreditation recognises that,” said Aaron Tebbutt, Vendor Manager from Node4.

Several levels of staff within Node4 have been involved in, and re-qualified as part of, the accreditation process, including numerous account managers, field engineers, and systems architecture engineers. By achieving the Advanced Collaboration Architecture Specialisation, Node4 has proven itself capable of delivering sophisticated, value-added Cisco solutions through its in-depth sales capabilities, technology skills, and service offerings. Renewing the accreditation also demonstrates that Node4 is qualified to deliver and support Cisco solutions and services to the highest standards.

“We are over the moon to be one of few accredited companies, as collaboration is one of our key offerings. The accreditation recognises our continual investment into this area, and demonstrates to the market that we have the right expertise to deliver the highest quality service and solutions,” said Paul Bryce, Business Development Director at Node4. He added: “Our customers and partners can have the confidence that they are in safe hands, and that they are being offered recognised and accredited Cisco services.”

Node4 is listed as having achieved this specialisation in the Cisco Partner Locator. As part of the elite group of Advanced Collaboration Architecture Specialisation Partners, Node4 will have greater opportunities for competitive differentiation and branding.

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UC Mid-Market Report
Posted by Tom Hassan on 27 April 2017 09:30 AM

Mid-market needs to tackle untapped Unified Communications potential to address workforce productivity challenge

  • 56% of mid-market companies say workforce productivity is a top priority
  • Only 52% have implemented UC
  • Just  one in five is ‘very satisfied’ with UC system
  • Biggest bugbears include cost, audio conference facilities and lack of social integration

56% of mid-market companies say workforce productivity is a top priority, but only 52% have invested in a UC system and the majority are missing out on the full collaborative potential of UC for their businesses. As well as being too expensive, mid-market UC bugbears include sub-optimal audio-conferencing facilities, poor data sharing abilities and failure to integrate with company social networks.

This mid-market UC dissatisfaction is highlighted in a new report published today by Cloud and Data Centre and Communications specialist, Node4, titled ‘UC deployment amongst mid-market businesses in 2017’. The report is based on research which examines the IT priorities of mid-market companies with a turnover of £15- £800m.

While supporting the needs of the modern workforce is a priority for 40% of the mid-market, the uptake of tools to support this is seemingly lagging behind workplace expectations. Only 18% benefit from fully-featured UC including voice, video, mobile convergence, file sharing, presence, integration with social media and other business software.

Just one in five is ‘very satisfied’ with their UC system, which is perhaps not surprising given that 70% are missing out on full collaborative features and making do with voice functionality, fixed mobile convergence, video conferencing and a few additional collaboration features.

However, on a more positive note, those that haven’t yet implemented UC are either running a pilot (17%), planning a trial in the next 12 months (12%) or considering various UC options for their business (12%). The study suggests that the mid-market is just beginning to embrace UC as a service (UCaaS), which represents one in ten UC deployments in our study.

“In the last year we’ve sensed real hunger within the mid-market for the kind of advanced, fully-featured UC systems that, until recently, only the largest enterprises have been able to afford,” commented Simon Herbert, Cloud Solution Development Specialist, Cisco. “There’s an enormous opportunity here. It’s only right that more advanced functionality should start to migrate down the chain via a UcaaS model. We’re delighted to see that Node4 enabling this transition and offering its partners a clear route to addressing this need.”

Paul Bryce, Commercial Director at Node4 commented: “Mid-market companies are expecting to create thousands of new jobs by 2020. Many of these employees will expect to be able to move seamlessly between multiple communications types to collaborate with colleagues. Being able to meet their needs will be crucial to recruiting and retaining the right talent.

“Yet our research shows that the mid-market is still a long way from realising the full potential of UC for employee collaboration. This is partly because enterprise-class UC systems have been unaffordable and inaccessible for the mid-market. However UC, as a service, is now available meeting an obvious market need for advanced, fully-featured UC systems at an affordable price.”

Node4 has recently launched a new UCaaS solution, which brings enterprise-class UCaaS to the mid-market, with all the features of Cisco HCS. These include voice, video, instant messaging and presence, teleconferencing, voicemail and integrated messaging, mobility, and contact centre functionality.

The new report by Node4 entitled ‘Mid-market UC Deployment in 2017:Are mid-sized companies reaping the benefits of UC for improved business performance?’ can be downloaded here.

To book an appointment to see a demo of Node4’s game-changing new mid-market system at UC Expo, or to discuss Node4’s views regarding UC and the mid-market, contact

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