Michael Brandenburg - Analyst Profile

Industry Analyst
Frost & Sullivan
Information & Communication Technologies


Michael Brandenburg is an industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan, covering infrastructure and unified communications and collaboration as part of the Information and Communications Technologies group. Prior to Frost & Sullivan, Michael has covered the enterprise networking space in editoral roles at TechTarget and Network Computing, and as an enterprise networking analyst for the competitive analysis firm Current Analysis. Michael’s early technology background comes includes over 15 years of technology experience, serving in developer, system administrator, and IT management roles.


Competitive analysis, IT support, technology management, and the application of technology to drive business processes.

Areas of expertise

Recent items from Michael Brandenburg

Understanding the Diverse Competitors and Business Models in the CPaaS Market is Key to Choosing the Right Partner
Communications Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) is arguably one of the more disruptive innovations to affect the business communications market in the past five years. CPaaS solutions represent a significant departure from the way businesses of any size have become accustomed to purchasing and deploying communications. Their value proposition lies in providing a powerful toolset to make business communications applications richer and more tightly integrated within business workflows. Similar to other cloud-based services, most CPaaS solutions offer businesses a compelling operating expense (OpEx) alternative to costly capital expenditures (CapEx) to deploy the appropriate communications and network infrastructure needed to securely support application programming interface (API)-driven voice, video, and messaging services. Also important, cloud-based CPaaS offerings are priced at published per-API call or per-minute rates, enabling businesses to pay for the exact amount of services they consume. This is a particularly compelling value proposition for organizations with varying levels of demand or seasonal spikes in business activity. The inherent scalability of cloud architectures also benefits CPaaS, enabling businesses to consume as much or as little of a provider’s API-directed services as needed by their application or work process. Beyond flexible consumption pricing, CPaaS allows businesses to utilize communications in a new way. While private branch exchange (PBX) and unified communications solutions focus on the value of a tightly integrated set of collaboration tools, CPaaS breaks voice, video and messaging services down to very simple but useful elements. With CPaaS, an organization only needs to consume the specific communications element(s) they need. For example, an organization may decide that they want to allow their customers to communicate with their employees using SMS on business numbers. While their existing on-premises UC platform does not support SMS messaging, the business can leverage a CPaaS provider to enable text messaging as an integration or overlay of their existing communications tools. In this example, the business maintains the existing relationship with their voice providers and their preferred UC vendor, while leveraging a CPaaS provider to address a gap in customer interactions. Put another way, CPaaS, with its API-driven architecture, affords businesses the opportunity to leverage voice, video, and messaging elements in a very consumable way. Going forward, CPaaS is not likely to entirely replace a business’ existing UC infrastructure or services, but rather build on that foundation and make communications more effective and better integrated into critical workflows. This buyer’s guide defines the CPaaS market and provides an overview of the very diverse competitive offerings available in the market today. In addition, this study provides detailed reviews of select providers and the value proposition they bring to the CPaaS market. Author: Michael Brandenburg
Published: Nov 28 2018 Other
Consolidation Redefines Competitive Landscape as SIP Trunking Finds New Use Cases
The VoIP access and SIP trunking market remains on pace to become the default connection between on-premises customer platforms and the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and will feature prominently in the digital transformation efforts currently being undertaken by many forward-thinking businesses. This study focuses on next-generation voice access services including: • VoIP trunking: Converged access lines connecting with time division multiplexing (TDM) enterprise telephony platforms • Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking: Converged access lines connecting with IP telephony platforms • Basic VoIP access services: Converged access lines connecting with low-end key systems or directly with telephony endpoints, typically through analog telephone adapters (ATAs) This research study discusses market drivers and restraints that are positively or negatively impacting the North American VoIP access and SIP trunking services market, as well as overall market and technology trends. For VoIP access and SIP trunking services, modern on-premises unified communications platforms, including Microsoft Skype for Business and Cisco Unified Call Manager, are already optimized for SIP trunking rather than legacy communications services becomes a significant factor pushing businesses to the service. Likewise, aggressive pricing and feature-rich value-added services encouraging customers to migrate to IP-based voice services. However, passive migration strategies on the part of some providers and the encroachment of alternative services, such as compelling cloud-based UC services, are holding the market back from its fullest potential. This research includes the estimated market size, demand analysis that identifies the popularity of IP-based services across various business sizes, as well as forecasts for future growth, and the potential demand for IP-based voice services when compared to the total addressable market. This research study also provides comprehensive market share analysis, identifying the current leaders in the North American VoIP access and SIP trunking services market, as well as notably highlights the impact of the significant market consolidation that has occurred in recent years. Finally, the study includes 12 growth opportunities that Frost & Sullivan has identified for North American IP-based voice access providers. These opportunities represent areas that Frost & Sullivan believes service providers that are committed to the VoIP access and SIP trunking services market should focus particular emphasis on, including market and product vision, product and competitive strategy, products, services, disruptive new business models, marketing, partnerships, sales, and support initiatives. Through this research, service providers will be able to identity successful growth opportunities within their own organizations as well as we discover new potential opportunities that likely apply to their own business.
Published: Mar 21 2018 Other
Strategic Considerations for Leveraging Embedded Communications Services
Businesses of every size and industry rely on a wide array of technology to enable communication and collaboration among employees, customers, suppliers and partners. Yet, all too often, businesses are compelled to work around the limitations of these tools. Business processes and workflows are sometimes structured around the communications platforms and services’ capabilities, rather than focusing on the most productive ways to complete work tasks. In other words, the platforms and services designed to enhance a business’ productivity are instead an obstacle to seeing those benefits. As businesses place greater focus on digital transformation, IT staff and software providers will feel increasing pressure to tightly integrate enterprise communications platforms with core business applications to achieve more tangible benefits from communications investments. Forward-thinking organizations are also acknowledging the value of communications services embedded within their business or consumer applications. In these cases, the embedded communications and collaboration services are simply a feature of the larger application and, are rarely the primary focus of the application. For example, consumer-focused ride-sharing applications require a means for driver and passenger to connect with one another via short messaging service (SMS) or a voice call. Smartphones and mobile apps have raised customer expectations that all functions, including business interactions, can be accomplished in-app. However, these levels of integration have been a challenge for much of the deployed on-premises private branch exchange (PBX) or unified communications infrastructure, as well as many general-purpose hosted telephony or unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solutions. For on-premises solutions, exposing application programming interfaces (APIs) beyond the corporate network has been a risky proposition, while many UCaaS and hosted services are too generic, unable to allow the customization through APIs. As a result, a new type of cloud-based communications service—the communications platform as a service (CPaaS)—has come to market. Frost & Sullivan defines CPaaS as any cloud-based platform that enables developers to programmatically embed voice, video, chat and messaging services within their business or consumer applications. By leveraging APIs, developers and businesses of all sizes can embed on-demand voice, text messaging and video communications within software applications. Similar to other cloud-based services, CPaaS solutions typically operate on a usage-based model, whereby businesses only pay for what they use. For businesses, CPaaS can provide a critical missing element in their communications strategy by compensating for the existing limitations of on-premises infrastructure, as well as offering a bridge to new in-app and software integrations.
Published: Oct 24 2017 Other
A Diverse Set of Solutions Create New Customer Benefits
Communications platforms as a service (CPaaS) solutions are coming to market to fill an important gap in business communications. CPaaS services offer an alternative for businesses seeking to leverage the latest in communication tools without significant investments in premises-based infrastructure or long-term telecom carrier agreements. This market insight defines the CPaaS market, the competitve landscape, and the diversity of solutions and go to market strategies. It also details some of the early business use cases that CPaaS solutions are uniquely postiioned to support.
Published: May 05 2017 Other
Innovative Providers Leverage Existing SIP Infrastructure for Advanced Voice Services
The VoIP access and SIP trunking market remains on pace to become the default connection between on-premises customer platforms and the public switched telephone network (PSTN).The study discusses market drivers and restraints, as well as market and technology trends. It also provides market share analysis. In addition, Frost & Sullivan has identified 11 growth opportunities for North American IP-based voice access providers. These opportunities span vision, strategy, products, services, business models, marketing, partnerships, sales, and support initiatives. This research enables service providers to review existing growth opportunities and determine which best apply to their own business.
Published: Jan 03 2017 Other
Infrastructure Decisions that Match Business Goals
Unified communications platforms offers many benefits for businesses and their workforce, but often require significant building infrastructure upgrades. As a result, the hospitality veritical market has been slow to adopt these new collaboration tools. This market insight highlights common approaches to addressing the infrastructure dilemma IT decision makers face in the hospitality vertical. It also discusses some of the key benefits and challenges of each approach.
Published: Jul 01 2016 Market Insights
Transformed Business Processes, Vertical Applications and New Options on Horizon
This Frost & Sullivan market insight provides an overview of the content collaboration market, which includes the business-grade tools necessary to support creation, modification, editing, sharing and storage of business content. This study defines the content collaboration market, identifies the current market trends and that drive the current market, as well identifies future trends that will affect end user adoption and the competitive landscape. Along with defining the market itself, this research study provides competitive profiles on a number of the top competitors in the content collaboration market today. Finally, this research suggest that other vendors of collaboration tools could extend their products to compete in the content collaboration the market.
Published: Apr 06 2016 Market Insights
Adoption Grows as New Use Cases Emerge
The VoIP access and SIP trunking market continues to displace legacy telecommunications services as the link between on-premises customer platforms and the public switched telephone network (PSTN). SIP trunking services are being used in a number of new ways, including automated program control and the emerging trend of hybrid cloud communications. The study discusses market drivers, restraints, trends, market share analysis, and competitor assessment. Finally, the study provides a market forecast in terms of users and revenue, covering the North American market for 2014–2021. The analysis can help service providers, technology vendors, resellers, and other market participants identify growth opportunities and develop more sustainable business strategies.
Published: Dec 30 2015 Market Research
Who's Pushing the Envelope
Voice messaging has long been an important component of business communications. However, reliance on voice messaging is declining among business users. This market insight highlights both the opportunities and challenges that exist in the voice messaging market, as well as identifies examples of unified communications suppliers addressing these challenges. It also highlights the evolving voice messaging platforms and their unified communications solutions to meet the needs of new generations of enterprise communications users.
Published: Dec 31 2014 Market Insights
Cloud-style Offerings Accelerate Growth
The VoIP access and SIP trunking market continues its rise as the de-facto communications link from business customers’ premises to service providers’ networks. SIP trunking services will also play heavily in the emerging trend of hybrid cloud communications. The study discusses market drivers, restraints, and trends. It also provides market share analysis and competitor assessment. Finally, the study provides a market forecast in terms of users and revenue. This analysis covers the North American market for the period 2013–2020. The analysis can help service providers, technology vendors, resellers, and other market participants identify growth opportunities and develop more sustainable business strategies.
Published: Sep 26 2014 Market Research
October 15th was the day that Siemens Enterprise Communications retired and Unify was unleashed. The name “Unify” conveys the mission of the company to truly unify communications and collaboration among enterprise users. In a time where tech companies make up words and use mixed capitalizations in their logos with sheer abandon, it is actually refr...
16 Oct 2013 Blog post
“Kids these days, they would rather text than talk on their phones.” As a member of Generation X, I can attest that this sentiment is becoming our generation’s equivalent to “Get off my lawn”. Nonetheless, it’s clear that the rules of personal and business communications are changing. We’ve all seen the stories that have been written about the Mil...
15 Oct 2013 Blog post
After talking to the folks at Sonus about today’s announcement of their SBC SWe (Software edition), I couldn’t help but see that session border controllers are following the same historical path as other technologies that lived on dedicated hardware. Session border controllers, like PBXs and application delivery controllers before them, are example...
09 Oct 2013 Blog post
I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days with the folks from Siemens Enterprise Communications as part of their Analyst Summit. The two day event focused on both where Siemens is today, as well as throwing back the curtain a bit on their vision for the future of enterprise communications. An initiative code named “Project Ansible” was ultim...
20 Jun 2013 Blog post
In my research around the convergence of social media and Big Data techniques that defines social media analytics, I initially deemed this notion of social media data mining both “amazing and frightening”. The amount and types of actionable information that could be divined from social media are actually quite staggering and can serve more than ju...
15 Feb 2013 Blog post
If there was one general theme that presided over my recent research on the voice and unified messaging market, it was that while voicemail usage has been fading over the years, there is still a requirement by most businesses to have a voicemail box associated with every user. In trying to understand the decline, conventional wisdom suggests that o...
06 Feb 2013 Blog post
I have heard this statement made in one form or another by countless traditionally hardware-focused technology vendors over the years, most recently by the players in the unified communications market. It is a simple statement to make, but represents a significant challenge. The migration to a software-based existence has far reaching implications...
18 Oct 2012 Blog post
Sometimes it takes a fire hose event like a trade show to remind those of us that follow the UC&C space where all of these wonderful productivity tools (VoIP, video and web conferencing) live: the enterprise network. All of those rich media streams of audio, video, and data content ride along the same network that carries everything else that keeps...
17 May 2012 Blog post
In a recent conversation with Alcatel-Lucent about their new OpenTouch Conversation app for the iPad, a simple comment was made in passing that has stuck with me for the last several days. The suggestion was made that the iPad was the right platform for their application, providing a “consumer-quality user experience, rather than the typical enterp...
29 Mar 2012 Blog post

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