As we mark our 10th-anniversary transforming cloud communications, it’s time to reflect back and look forward.
This year Alianza turns ten years old. I founded this company with a mission of helping people connect with each other. As humans, we are social creatures and it should not come as any surprise that good relationships are key to our happiness and well-being. In fact, really great research has shown that the quality of our relationships with our family, friends, and community is the single most significant driver of our happiness—and is more impactful than financial status, career status, religion, education, social status, fame, or even health.
At Alianza, we are proud of how our Cloud Voice Platform is making the world a happier, better place. In the few minutes, you spend reading this blog, Alianza’s Cloud Voice Platform will have helped connect tens of thousands of phone calls. On those calls, people are announcing the arrival of a new baby, checking up on a college admission status, falling in love with that special someone, connecting with family or friends, scheduling a job interview for that big career move, or taking an order for their business that relies on their phone service to support their customers and provide jobs to their community. Some of those calls will be to a suicide prevention hotline, or to a 911 emergency response center, in response to someone in dire need of help.
Regardless of the nature of each individual call, the one thing they all have in common is that they are connecting people. Alianza is connecting people. It is both gratifying and humbling to think of the life that has been lived, and the connections that have taken place over the platform our team has built and managed during the last ten years.
What is even more amazing is that the individuals that place those calls have probably never heard of Alianza. At Alianza, each of our customers is a communications service provider (or CSP). These CSPs provide the communities they serve with cable, fiber, and wireless broadband services, along with phone services, powered by Alianza. At Alianza, we owe our growth and success to our amazing customers who have placed their trust and confidence in Alianza to be a true business partner, not just a vendor.
Like so many new ventures, Alianza started with big dreams and audacious aspirations. But, just like so many other aspects of life, our dreams and aspirations were harder to realize than we first hoped or expected they would be. There have been a lot of highs and lows—and the early days included times when I didn’t know if Alianza would make it. But Alianza has been a testament to what can be accomplished by dedicated people that believe in the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” And “get going” we did. Every new day (and often in the middle of the night) our team at Alianza has brought a determination to do right by our customers and build something special that makes people’s lives better.
Last year we announced that Alianza powers cloud communications for over 60 service providers and more than 300,000 end users across the United States and Canada. Major communication service providers and small, upstart ISPs use our Cloud Voice Platform. And each one of our customers, both big and small, is valued and appreciated—not just professionally, but also personally. Building Alianza has been an amazing professional experience, but it is the relationships I have formed along the way that have brought true happiness. As Alianza turns ten years old, I want to express genuine gratitude to each of our customers and team members at Alianza who have helped turn so many of our dreams into a reality.
Back in 2009, so many IT and network functions were moving to the cloud: compute, storage, CRM, etc. I believed the same thing could happen with the transition of legacy voice networks to cloud operating environments, but at the time it was uncharted territory. Alianza was the first company to design a web-scale, cloud-first software-as-a-service, VoIP platform, that was purpose-built for service providers.
We built it from scratch with some of the smartest software engineers in the industry. We own our own codebase and control the experience we deliver to our CSP customers and their end-users. Over the last ten years, we’ve also built a strong technology ecosystem, with leading vendors like Arris, Calix, Clearcable, CounterPath, GLDS, Level 3, and Polycom. This partner investment helps our customers further streamline their operating environment and enhance their end users’ experience.
Just last month, IDC reported that Cloud Infrastructure Revenues Surpassed Those for Traditional IT for the First Time on Record. Cloud sourcing CSP voice infrastructure is no different, and Alianza now finds ourselves leading innovation for a market in transition. Our original vision for Cloud Voice Platforms has been adopted in some form or fashion by a much broader group of players, including the legacy telecom softswitch establishment (e.g., BroadSoft/Cisco, GENBAND/Ribbon Communications, Metaswitch).
This transition has also attracted a lot of attention to the over-the-top (OTT) UCaaS providers, but CSPs still dominate the overall phone services market with around 90% of the total market share. Alianza believes in the future of CSPs. They own the broadband relationship with consumers and businesses, they are in a position to guarantee the highest quality experience, and they have a local presence and brand that is trusted by their subscribers. The state of VoIP for service providers remains strong and continues to deliver revenue growth and a highly profitable revenue stream for service providers.
In the next ten years at Alianza, I believe that we will help CSPs upgrade millions of voice lines to the cloud. I believe that we will help CSPs take their voice services to new high water marks for innovation, ease of management, and profitability. Here’s why:
- Future proof – Alianza represents the last voice last migration ever – no more network upgrades or end-of-life vendor notices.
- Automated operations – Full API provisioning and management capabilities streamline back-office integration and enable innovation.
- Quality – Superior customer experience with Alianza’s proven platform reliability and quality.
- Agility – State-of-the-art communications products today, and continuous/non-disruptive innovation for what will be needed tomorrow.
- Best economics – No CAPEX, low OPEX, simple “all-in” pricing, and lowest total cost of ownership.
As we embark on the next ten years, I feel a sense of urgency to drive forward, innovate and expand how Alianza is helping people to connect. The future of Alianza will look much different than it does today, but without straying too far from our roots.
Our Cloud Voice Platform is evolving into an expanded suite of programmable communications solutions. I see a future where Alianza fits within a larger Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) market. Our customers will leverage our APIs to deliver a much broader set of real-time communications solutions that help connect individuals and businesses to the people they care about and applications that will make their lives better. This will take place on traditional phones and handsets, but will be increasingly extended to applications and a myriad of other use cases that are yet to be invented.
As our dreams and aspirations continue to change and expand, I hope that the way we reach our goals stays the same. We have a great culture at Alianza. I define culture, not by what we do at Alianza, but how we do it. So much of how we work is unwritten, but at Alianza, we have a set of five defined values that are at the core of our culture. These core values are not what we strive to be, but simply a list of who we already are and the attributes that have brought us this far. These values are worth highlighting:
I’m committed to making sure that the values that got us through the first ten years at Alianza are the same values that will get us through the next ten years—no matter what the future brings our way. I truly look forward to working with the Alianza team to help our customers, connect people, and make the world a better place.