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Comms tech firms eye partnership opportunities with provider community

In latest example of growing trend, Virgin Media Business signs strategic partnership with integrated cloud communications platform to extend voice and unified communications portfolio

With lockdowns and remote working continuing for those who can work at home, the need to develop home networks – which have now become the extended business network – with more enterprise-ready applications continues apace, increasingly within the context of collaboration and conferencing.

In the most recent example of this, Virgin Media Business has signed a strategic partnership with integrated cloud platform 8x8 to accelerate communications adoption across the UK.

Virgin Media Business is one of the UK’s largest business data network providers, suppling business communications solutions to more than 50,000 UK companies. The partnership will allow Virgin Media Business to extend its voice and unified communications portfolio, providing public sector, enterprise and SME customers with cloud-based and fully integrated communications tools from 8x8, covering voice, video, chat and contact centre solutions.

And to assist home workers who will lack the hands-on access to IT staff, implementation of such solutions can be done without the challenges that on-premise equipment often presents.

Under the partnership, Virgin Media Business and 8x8 will work together to configure and roll out integrated cloud services and provide 24/7 support for customers. The result, according to 8x8, will be to enable home working staff to collaborate faster and work smarter wherever they are, with businesses able to reduce their capital expenditure and move towards a future-proof communications platform designed to scale with their business.

“This partnership provides our customers with a globally leading cloud communications platform that offers a step change in how businesses communicate with their customers and colleagues,” commented Andrew Halliwell, product director at Virgin Media Business. “8x8 is a truly disruptive business whose relentless customer focus and innovative products make it a natural partner for Virgin Media Business.”

In a similar development, residential and business telecommunications equipment and software provider Blu-Castle and smart home technology management provider Gamgee are teaming up to attempt to bring “high-performing, engaging” personalised smart home and wireless Wi-Fi solutions to broadband service providers.

The companies say that with the increasing proliferation of devices, online content and smart home services, consumers’ demands are growing exponentially yet they feel their needs are met less and less.

The partnership is designed to support broadband service providers in bringing the best smart home and best home Wi-Fi to consumers and enabling revenue and cost-saving opportunities for themselves. The combined solution offers not just Wi-Fi and video and management of the home Wi-Fi network, it also has additional privacy with virtual private networking, chatbot support and an in-app commerce platform.

The combined audience and network of Blu-Castle and Gamgee comprises silicon vendors and manufacturers, broadband service providers, value-added resellers, retailers, software vendors and hardware manufacturers, which the firms say sets a solid ground for their far-reaching impact on the telecoms and high-tech industry.

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