Company Competitive Landscapes: NUSO

Part
01
of six
Part
01

NUSO, Part 1

NUSO is a cloud services provider focused on communication solutions with annual revenue of around $3.8 million. Its main product offerings include unified communications (UCaaS), contact center (CCaaS), VoIP, SIP trunking, and cloud services.

Description of Business

  • NUSO is a communication-focused cloud service provider of cost-effective and reliable solutions.
  • The company develops real-world communication tools for business for seamless connectivity "across all platforms including desktop, desk phone, and mobile devices".
  • The VoIP/cloud services of Sotel Systems were transferred to NUSO in December 2018.

Annual Revenue

Number of Employees

Main product offerings

  • The main product offerings of NUSO are unified communications (UCaaS), contact center (CCaaS), VoIP, SIP trunking, and cloud services.
  • NUSO's SIP trunking provides integration with legacy phone networks to enable every business to benefit from its advanced features and speed.
  • NUSO UCaaS offers an enterprise-grade, "all-in-one business solution that combines voice, mobility, messaging, presence, conferencing, and collaboration". It empowers businesses with the ease of working from anywhere with internet access.

Number of Paying Clients

  • There is no publicly available information on NUSO's number of paying clients.

Key Business or Technology Partners

Research Strategy

In the course of our research, we found that Sotel Systems transferred control of their VoIP/cloud services to NUSO in December 2018 and the FCC approved the transfer in February 2019. Also, the NUSO trademark was only registered in late October 2019.

To search for NUSO's number of paying clients, we started by searching through company information sites like Enlyft, and databases of the SEC and the Cloud Communications Alliance. Enlyft provides information on the number of clients using the services of profiled companies. However, NUSO is not featured in the database of Enlyft. The profile of NUSO on the Cloud Communications Alliance database did not include the number of their clients. We repeated the same search for Sotel Systems to check if the number of their VoIP/cloud services clients would be provided. But the profile of Sotel Systems on Enlyft does not include the number of its clients. The profile of Sotel Systems on the Cloud Communications Alliance database did not also include the number of their clients. There is no record of any SEC filling by NUSO or Sotel Systems.

Next, we searched for news articles about NUSO. We hoped to find articles that included information about NUSO's clients. We scoured through media sites like Business Wire, Market Watch, New Haven Register, Channel Partners, and Cloud Communications Alliance. This did not yield any result as NUSO was not mentioned in any news report. This is probably due to the fact that they are a newly established company. The same search was repeated for Sotel Systems to find out if there is any news report that discussed the transfer of control. However, we could only find information about the partnerships of Sotel Systems with other companies.

We proceeded to look for interviews granted by NUSO's executives to check if they revealed the number of their paying clients. Since NUSO and Sotel Systems have the same executives, we hoped to find interviews where they talked about the transfer of control as well as the number of their clients. This did not yield any relevant result as there is no publicly available record of interviews with executives of NUSO/Sotel Systems.





Part
02
of six
Part
02

NUSO, Part 2

NUSO has not announced any changes in its leadership since its establishment in 2019. The company helps its clients to reduce complexity and cost while maximizing their communication capabilities by offering all-inclusive cloud-based communication solutions that enable its clients to connect seamlessly to their team members, vendors, and customers across multiple platforms. These clients include small and medium scale enterprises, government agencies, and large businesses, medical facilities and municipalities, and universities and schools in the US and Canada that require traditional and mission-critical communication capabilities.

Strategy/Business Actions

Value Proposition

  • CIOReview magazine listed NUSO as one of the top 20 most promising collaboration providers in 2019. The recognition indicates that NUSO is "at the forefront of providing collaboration solutions and transforming businesses."
  • NUSO offers all-inclusive cloud-based communication solutions that enable its clients to connect seamlessly to their team members, vendors, and customers across multiple platforms, thereby, helping its clients to reduce complexity and cost while maximizing their communication capabilities.
  • The monthly fee of its SIP trunking is lower than those of its competitors.
  • In addition to email and chat support, which other solutions providers only provide, NUSO customers get support from the company's channel partners.
  • Through its customer concierge department, NUSO offers tailor-made services to each of its customers. It configures each solution to fit the existing infrastructure of its customers, thereby enhancing the customer experience.

Distribution Channels & How it Works with Customers

  • It offers its services exclusively through channel partners, which include managed service providers and resellers who deliver its services to the end-customers.
  • NUSO's channel partners, who are themselves, product and service experts, serve as trusted advisors to the company's customers.
  • NUSO also provides its customers with access to 24/7 live support, in addition to the support its customers get from its channel partners.

Customer Segment

  • NUSO serves small and medium scale enterprises, government agencies, and large businesses, medical facilities and municipalities, and universities and schools that require traditional and mission-critical communication capabilities.
  • It currently operates from the US and Canada but has plans to expand to Europe by the end of 2019.

Key Innovations/IT Developments

  • Although it can be a challenge for some of its competitors, NUSO offers integrated services, which include unified communications as a service (UCaaS), collaboration software, SIP trunking, contact center as a service (CCaaS), communication platform as a service (CPaaS), among others. The company has been able to integrate all these services by adopting a proprietary deep service orchestration approach that enables customers (of any size) to run their communications infrastructure in a single integrated interface.

Research Strategy

For information about changes in the company's top-level personnel, we searched for the company's press releases. Based on our search through sources like PR Newswire, as well as general searches, NUSO has not put out any press releases since its establishment in 2019. The assumption is, therefore, that the company has not made any changes in its leadership as yet.

Part
03
of six
Part
03

NUSO, Part 3

There was no information on the revenue stream figure of NUSO, and the findings on the list of customers and target industries were limited. The limitation and unavailability of this information are based mainly on the newness (founded 2018) of the company. Other findings covering company cost structure, revenue stream, pricing model, list of customers, and target industries are provided in the findings below.

Company Cost Structure

  • NUSO's cost structure is less dependent on fixed costs, but more on variable costs because it outsources its distribution and sales channels to third parties (channel partners).
  • The company operates only a suite office at University City, Missouri, but serves customers in the US and Canada through its authorized partners.
  • NUSO's unique business tools are developed natively, so homegrown talents are harnessed. More so, these unique business tools are "made for partners to deploy, manage, and monitor their customer’s services in real-time."
  • The company uses a system that enables the "selling of their services with or without co-branding in private label, white-label, or wholesale formats. "
  • NUSO has between 51 to 200 employees, suggesting a moderate weigh on fixed cost.
  • The company's cost structure suggests fixed costs such as rent, insurance, and salaries are downsized, while variable expenses such as sales commissions, labor, and business tools natively developed (raw materials) are prioritized.
  • Consequently, NUSO is likely to break even with a lower fixed cost quickly.

Revenue Stream

Pricing Model

  • The pricing model for NUSO SIP trunking comes in three plans, namely, Unlimited plan, Metered plans, and Service bundles. NUSO's Unlimited plan is pay per SIP line at $19.95/month. It has unlimited call services; designed for businesses that are okay with 1 to 3 SIP lines.
  • Metered plans come in two categories, namely, US48 Minute plans at 5000 minutes for $72.50 and Toll-free minute plans at 5000 minutes for $95.00. There are also add-on options that require a one-year subscription or more. Metered plans get cheaper on the requirements of four and more SIP lines.
  • Service bundles are broken down into four packages, which are Bundle 6 ($119/month), Bundle 12 ($209/month), Bundle 23 ($399/month), and Bundle 46 ($699/month). This plan is designed for businesses, like companies with contact centers, that make voluminous calls per day.
  • NUSO UCAAS is an "enterprise-grade, all-in-one business solution that combines Voice, Mobility, Messaging, Presence, Conferencing, and Collaboration." The pricing model for this service is structured in three plans, namely Office, Professional, and Executive plans.
  • Although the plans are meant for all business sizes, each plan is packaged in four variations, namely, 'without phone plan,' '1 tier phone plan,' '2 tier phone plan,' and '3 tier phone plan.'
  • Office plans start at $9.95/month (without phone), $15.95/month (1 tier phone), $18.95/month (2 tier phone), and $20.95/month (3 tier phone).
  • Professional plans start at $14.95/month (without phone), $20.95/month (1 tier phone), $23.95/month (2 tier phone), and $25.95/month (3 tier phone).
  • Executive plans start at $19.95/month (without phone), $25.95/month (1 tier phone), $28.95/month (2 tier phone), and $30.95/month (3 tier phone).
  • Add-ons that are available for these plans include business voice mobile app, additional phone numbers, toll-free numbers, other E911 instances, and collaboration.

List of Customers

Target Industries

Research Strategy

After concise research across many platforms that include Cloud Communications Alliance, Intercs, Links Communications, UpCounsel, and LinkedIn, we were able to determine some findings needed for this research, except for the company's revenue stream in figures, more customers and more target industries.

Our first attempt was targeted at corporate profiling platforms such as Glassdoor, PitchBook, Crunchbase, and Bloomberg. The intent was to find a breakdown of the company analysis in terms of yearly revenue and customers. We had hoped we would use the latter to streamline the target industries. Unfortunately, none of this information was available on these platforms. Only Glassdoor and PitchBook had something to say about the company, and it was not relevant to our findings. We concluded that the unavailability of this information is because NUSO is a new company, founded in 2018, although PitchBook claimed it was founded in 2019.

Secondly, we looked through other IT, tech, software, and cloud industry platforms such as Enlyft and Feature Customers. These platforms provide a comprehensive overview of cloud-service companies like NUSO in areas like revenues, market share in industries, and customer case studies. Unfortunately, again, NUSO was not available on these platforms. We assumed the reason for this is not far from our earlier conclusion that the company was recently founded.

Finally, we checked news platforms like Forbes, USA Today, and tech marketplace platforms like G2 Crowd. We had hoped to find any news on NUSO in topic discussions such as new contracts with customers, company valuation as a startup or market disruption. After a prolonged search, we realized the reference point to the company's website, and social media links were in the majority. Other news on NUSO that came from independent sites were its membership of the Cloud Communications Alliance and the posted job vacancy for System Engineer at the company. We also couldn't find anything more on the company's social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter that could help our findings.

Because NUSO is about a year old, there was no financial statement on the company available in the public space.
Part
04
of six
Part
04

NUSO, Part 4

NUSO's competitive advantage appears to center primarily around its unique and convenient product offering, as well as its sales partnerships with third-party vendors. Meanwhile, the company devotes significant attention to online marketing through social media channels, as well as offline marketing through major industry events.

Competitive Advantage

  • Despite the dearth of credible or sufficiently representative public information on NUSO, a recent interview with NUSO CEO Matt Siemen in enterprise technology publication CIO Review highlights several of the company's key competitive advantages.
  • First and foremost, Mr. Siemen asserts that the company's product is its primary differentiator, in that NUSO provides a wide variety of cloud-based communication solutions that collectively allow customers to "seamlessly connect" through a well-integrated and customizable series of modalities.
  • Secondly, NUSO is somewhat unique in the cloud communications industry in that it provides its services "exclusively" through authorized service partners, which offer NUSO a competitive advantage in recommending the company's products while acting as a "trusted adviser" for their clients.
  • Moreover, from a broader enterprise communications content, NUSO has a distinct advantage over more traditional competitors in that its cloud-based approach allows the company and its clients to avoid high setup costs, expensive maintenance investments and the need for substantial on-site hardware.
  • Meanwhile, NUSO intends to expand its competitive advantage by becoming a larger player with a more diverse global footprint, including plans to offer services outside of its current US and Canadian operations to include Europe by the end of 2019.

Online and Offline Marketing

Part
05
of six
Part
05

NUSO SWOT

NUSO Cloud is a new player in the explosive Cloud Communications market. The cost-effective, customized solutions it offers and the ability to integrate new technology with legacy systems, has seen the company gain traction in the North American market. The relative infancy of the Cloud Communications market means the services they offer are often not completely understood. Ongoing concerns regarding security and competing technology, have the potential to impact on the opportunities available to companies like NUSO Cloud.

Strengths

  • NUSO Cloud has used innovative communication technology, based on cloud services, to develop a niche in the US and Canadian markets. The technology employed by NUSO Cloud can integrate easily into businesses of all sizes.
  • The model of distribution relies on partners that include technology resellers, service providers, and solution providers. The use of partners to distribute services is a strong business model, with each of the partners responsible for the part of the supply chain falling within their specialist area. NUSO Cloud's strength, is the provision of the cloud services, while the resellers' and providers' strength, is the sale and distribution of those services.
  • NUSO Cloud offers customized solutions, tailored to meet clients' needs, rather than a standardized product. The solutions are customized across three areas, functionality, security, and application. Public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions are provided.
  • The services are reliable and cost-effective. They offer all in one communication solutions. The mobile solutions provide clients the flexibility and convenience of working from anywhere.
  • Their technology allows for the integration of legacy phone systems. Clients can access the speed and flexibility, NUSO Cloud offers, without the added cost of upgrading older technology.
  • NUSO Cloud was nominated in the Best Service Platform category at the 2019 UC Awards.

Weaknesses

  • While NUSO Cloud provides a fast and innovative service, the market is still in its infancy, and the technology not completely understood by the end-user. This can create a reluctance from the end-user to move away from the stability and well understood traditional communication solutions.
  • There are additional costs related to educating the market about the solutions offered by this innovative technology. This is needed to create sales opportunities, with end-users. In its simplest form, companies need to understand the services before they will buy them. Alliances, like the Cloud Communications Alliance, can assist in sharing the burden of this education.

Opportunities

  • A survey of businesses in North America, found 35% are currently utilizing Cloud Communications Services. 49% are in the process of deploying Cloud Communication Services. The predicted rate of adoption of Cloud Communication Services in North America is 21%. This illustrates the potential opportunity available in the market for NUSO Cloud.
  • The global cloud communications platforms market niche is new and developing. It is currently worth $5.7 billion and expected to grow, with a CAGR of 8% over the next five years. This means there is plenty of opportunities for a new player, like NUSO Cloud, to establish themselves as a key player.
  • Due to the relative infancy of the market, the potential has not yet been fully recognized. It is largely unexplored territory, with a range of possibilities for future expansion, by NUSO Cloud.
  • Although NUSO Cloud is currently operating in the US and Canadian markets, the nature of the technology means that expansion globally is not cost-prohibitive. The technology that NUSO Cloud is employing can be readily adapted for a global market.

Threats

  • There is still not global adoption of Cloud Communications technology. Although there is strong market penetration in North America, the UK, and the Netherlands, other European countries such as Italy, Germany, and Spain, have seen low adoption rates. New technology has the potential to disrupt the Clear Communications market, especially if there are high rates of adoption.
  • The distinct customer drivers of the end-users are often unique and specific to the vertical industry they are operating in. This has caused market analysts to raise concerns, especially around service providers offering a one size fits all approach.
  • SD-WAN and MPLS represent competing technologies within the market. Each presents a threat to service providers using the opposite technology. There is still no clear indication from the market, which technology will become the industry standard.
  • Issues around cyber security present a major threat. The ongoing and increasing number of cyber-attacks has the potential to disrupt the market. There is a significant amount of media attention around cyber-attacks, which creates negative publicity, that has the potential to disrupt the adoption of the technology and market growth.

Research Strategy

We initially reviewed a range of industry databases, media articles, and industry reports, to determine the strengths and weaknesses of NUSO Cloud. We were also able to find a range of different information generated by the company itself, competitors, and partnership companies, which assisted in this process. To determine the opportunities and threats, we expanded our search and reviewed a variety of industry-specific publications, expert market analysis articles, and media publications. We were able to identify several opportunities and threats. Some are specific to NUSO Cloud, while others are equally relevant to all players in the market.
Part
06
of six
Part
06

NUSO Executive Summary

NUSO is a provider of reliable and cost-effective cloud service solutions. By using a proprietary, in-depth service orchestration approach, NUSO has been able to integrate its product offerings, thus enabling its clients to manage their communication infrastructure in a single integrated interface. Below is a comprehensive overview of NUSO.

Company Overview

  • NUSO is a cloud service provider of reliable and cost-effective solutions. The company creates real-world communication tools for businesses for seamless connectivity across all platforms. Their current market is the United States and Canada, but they have plans to expand to Europe before the end of 2019
  • With an annual revenue of about $3.8 million, NUSO's main product offerings are cloud services, unified communications (UCaaS), SIP trunking, and contact center (CCaaS). Its employee size is 51 to 200.
  • NUSO's key business partners are Rimrock Telecom Services, DigiCom North Texas, Telesys, and Type B Consulting.

Business Action

  • Sotel Systems, NUSO's sister company, filed a notification of transfer of all its VoIP/Cloud Services assets to NUSO in January 2019.
  • On 1 st of February 2019, the company received its early-stage venture capital funding.
  • The company mark's status changed to "Registered" on October 22nd, 2019. They have been filed in the category of computer and software services, communication services, and scientific services.

Value Proposition

  • NUSO helps its clients to maximize their communication capabilities and minimize complexity and cost through their all-inclusive cloud-based solution, which they can seamlessly connect to their customers, team members, and vendors.
  • In addition to offering tailor-made solutions, the company also uses its channel partners to provide support to their clients.

Customers and Distribution Channel

  • NUSO serves small and medium scale enterprises, government agencies, and large businesses, medical facilities and municipalities, and universities and schools that require traditional and mission-critical communication capabilities.
  • Their services are exclusively rendered through channel partners, who are product and service experts. The partners, who also serve as trusted advisors, deliver their services to end-customers. Their natively developed business tools are made for their partners who use them to monitor, manage, and deploy real-time customer services.
  • Also, clients have access to 24/7 live support.

Cost Structure

  • The cost structure of NUSO is more dependent on variable cost than fixed cost because it outsources its sales and distribution channels to channel partners. Their cost structure suggests fixed costs such as rent, insurance, and salaries are downsized, while variable expenses such as sales commissions, labor, and business tools natively developed (raw materials) are prioritized. The company is also more likely to break even with a lower fixed cost quickly

Pricing Model

  • The pricing model for the SIP trunking model is in three plans, which are the unlimited plan, metered plan, and service bundle.
  • The unlimited plan is pay per SIP at $19.95 per month, while the metered plan is $72.50 for US48 Minute plans at 5000 minutes and $95 for toll-free minute plans at 5000 minutes. Service bundle is available at $119 per month for Bundle 6, $209 per month for Bundle 12, $399 per month for Bundle 23, and $699 per month for Bundle 46.
  • The pricing model for UCAAS is in three plans, namely Office, Professional, and Executive plans. Office plans is available at $9.95/month (without phone), $15.95/month (1 tier phone), $18.95/month (2 tier phone), and $20.95/month (3 tier phone). Professional plan is available at $14.95/month (without phone), $20.95/month (1 tier phone), $23.95/month (2 tier phone), and $25.95/month (3 tier phone), while the executive plan is available at $19.95/month (without phone), $25.95/month (1 tier phone), $28.95/month (2 tier phone), and $30.95/month (3 tier phone).

Competitive Advantage

  • NUSO offers a wide variety of cloud-based products which allows their customers to seamlessly connect to their customers, team members, and vendors, through a well-integrated and customizable series of modalities.
  • Their services are offered exclusively through their service partners, who, in turn, recommend the company's services while acting as a "trusted advisers" for their clients.
  • The company and its clients are also able to avoid high-cost maintenance investments, high cost of set up, and the need for substantial on-site hardware through their cloud-based approach.

Online and Offline Marketing

  • NUSO's online marketing includes the regular posting of feel-good messaging ranging from celebratory messages, and sharing of interesting articles and quotes to fun corporate news and thank you messages to clients. Messaging specifically related to NUSO products is irregular through its social media accounts.
  • NUSO also focuses its offline marketing efforts through its web posts, including the company's regular participation at conferences, including this year's ASCII Toronto, ASCII Boston, and Channel Partners Conference & Expo. The company also uses corporate sponsorship and other less prominent methods to market itself.

Strengths

  • The innovative communication technology used by NUSO Cloud can easily integrate into businesses of all sizes. In addition to providing all in one communication solutions that are cost-effective and reliable, they also offer customized solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of their customers. Their technology also allows for the integration of the legacy phone systems.
  • The company was nominated in the Best Service Platform category at the 2019 UC Awards.

Weakness

Opportunities

  • The global cloud communications market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8% in five years. This is an indication that NUSO has a great opportunity to establish itself as a critical player in the market.
  • According to a survey conducted in North America, the predicted adoption rate of Cloud Communication Services is 21%. This shows that there potential opportunities in the region for NUSO. Notably, the technology that NUSO is using can be quickly adopted in the global market.

Threats


Sources
Sources

From Part 03
Quotes
  • "authorized channel partners serving the small to medium business (SMB) and enterprise markets."
Quotes
  • "made for partners to deploy, manage, and monitor their customer’s services in real time."
  • "selling of their services with or without co-branding in private label, white-label, or wholesale formats. ""
  • "established businesses, start-ups, hospitals, municipalities, and enterprises."
Quotes
  • "enterprise-grade, all-in-one business solution that combines Voice, Mobility, Messaging, Presence, Conferencing, and Collaboration."
From Part 04
From Part 06