Standing Out in the Cloud How Higher Network Uptime Keeps Novum on Top Down Under

The Opportunity

Novum Networks is a strong believer in the idea that being bigger doesn’t always translate into being better. The Queensland-based telecommunications service provider is not the biggest name in the industry, so they’ve focused on cultivating the best reputation by delivering high-quality, reliable, and innovative business communications services. Since 2013, Novum has become one of Australia’s leading providers of cloud-based unified communications.

In the coming years, more businesses are expected to adopt Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to replace aging PBX systems and feature-light Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions. UCaaS provides a number of benefits to businesses, including reduced cost and complexity, richer features, and better integration between communications and business applications. Cloud-based UCaaS is particularly attractive to businesses as legacy equipment providers continue to disappear from the landscape.

The executive team at Novum is banking on their unified communications solution to differentiate their UCaaS offering. Novum is focused on becoming the UCaaS provider in Australia. But any UC solution is only as good as the platform it runs on, which is why Novum partnered with Ribbon Networks to provide the critical infrastructure to support their cloud offerings. Together, Novum and Ribbon represent a best-of-breed UCaaS platform that features superior performance, security, and reliability for Novum’s business customers.

The Challenge

While affordability is a key driver to the cloud, one thing that businesses cannot afford is disruption in their communications. Latency, less-than-expected service quality, or downtime in their communications networks can have a negative impact on profitability and customer service. For both Novum and its customers, the less they need to think about their network, the more they can focus on revenue-generating activities.

Yet the reality is that networks can, and do, experience performance issues from time to time. In 2015, Novum experienced one such incident that threatened to cause a major disruption to their customers. The Novum engineering team wasted no time in engaging their counterparts at Ribbon, who were able to quickly diagnose and repair the problem: a small glitch caused by a change to Daylight Savings Time. While the incident was quickly resolved before it became a major issue, the experience underscored the fact that Novum needed better internal monitoring capabilities to detect and characterize network issues, and a more robust process to drive quickly to issue resolution in the future.

The Solution

It’s often been said that the road to success is paved with mistakes. Novum quickly recognized that developing a no-tolerance policy for degraded network performance or downtime could be a valuable differentiator in their market. Novum knew they had the right technology for the job; they simply needed the right people. And who better to help Novum manage their Ribbon-based infrastructure than the people who know it best: Ribbon engineers.

Ribbon Incident Management as a Service (IMaaS) allows Novum to get 24/7/365 rapid issue visibility and expert triage of changes needed to quickly resolve issues impacting their customers. With IMaaS, Novum can deliver the network reliability and responsiveness of a much larger provider, without incurring the delay and cost associated with building and maintaining the necessary skills and infrastructure.

More importantly, having Ribbon experts detect, triage, escalate, and help address network issues at any hour of the day allows Novum and its customers to have confidence in the availability and performance of their communications infrastructure. As Simon Latif, chief technology officer at Novum, notes, “Ribbon equipment is critical to our infrastructure, so it’s critical that we have the right expertise behind that technology when things go wrong.”

The Benefits

With IMaaS, Novum feels confident in the rapid detection and response to issues, 24x7. They are able to focus on their customers’ UCaaS needs. Not surprisingly, Novum’s customer base continues to grow as they deliver reliable cloud communications day after day. As Michael Jakubiak, VP of services at Ribbon, sees it, “Our goal is to make sure that Novum isn’t up at night worrying about their network, but dreaming about all of the new customers they’ll be adding to their business.”

As part of the IMaaS offering, Ribbon also provides valuable data and statistics around Novum’s network traffic that help the communications service provider manage its growth more effectively. For example, Novum now has visibility into which parts of their network are experiencing the most traffic, at what times, and this information has allowed them to improve load balancing and capacity planning for the future.

For Novum, having the right partners is what helps them stand out in a competitive cloud communications market.

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