Morning Plenary Day One

TADSummit plenary day oneAfter the keynotes, networking and coffee break (with turkish pastries), the morning plenary focused on case studies, demonstrating successful service innovation with joint presentations between technology vendors and their customers (both telcos and enterprises). The objective was to keep the presentations as practice focused as possible to avoid the usual marketing pitches that plague events and wastes everyone’s time.

We kicked of with Venura Mendis, Head of Innovation, Dialog Axiata and Dinesh Saparamadu, CEO hSenid Mobile presenting on “Dialog’s success story of building a developer ecosystem using hSenid Mobile’s Telco Application Platform.” This followed on nicely from the presentation of Khairil and Amos, and demonstrated impressive transaction and revenue growth. I break out the growth slide as its impressive and shows several important features:

  • It takes time to build the ecosystem, generally 18-24 months;
  • Once the fire is lit, growth comes on rapidly;
  • You can see some of the service examples in this TADHack weblog to understand the services driving growth;
  • All ‘developing / fast market’ as George Held from Etisalat called them should be copying Dialog before its too late.  So they remain relevant as service providers in their home markers before Apple and Google dominate as we’ve seen in developed / slow markets.

IdeaMart Growth, TADSummit morning plenary

IdeaMart now dominates Dialog’s VAS (Value Added Service) revenues, CRBT excepted.  The team is small, it started with a couple of people and is now at only 4. This demonstrates the lean, partnership-focused model telcos must adopt to be successful in service innovation.

Another highlight from the presentation was a very interesting use of “WebRTC templates” to create simple click-to-call services for a variety of businesses, by making them self-service. Check out the WebRTC video shown below to see more. This is one to watch and is a great example of an emerging / fast market application of WebRTC. It even had coverage in the Sri Lankan news site DailyFT. Being self-service this breaks through several of the go-to-market challenges raised by some telcos around such WebRTC-based services.

Next followed another commercial deployment with B.Duo presented by Patrice Crutel, Bouygues and Mark Windle, OpenCloud.  B.Duo is reviewed in this weblog. This was a hybrid in-person / online presentation, so was a good learning exercise on what we need to do next year in making such presentations a success. Mark highlighted the 3 different types of telecom application development from 3rd party through to internal development. B.Duo was built with SI partners, we’re seeing such mini-developer ecosystems being formed in developed / slow markets.  Grzegorz Sikora from T-Mobile in Work Stream 2 went into more detail on such ecosystems, but more on that in a later weblog. B.Duo is an important example of accelerating traditional service innovation that goes through all the internal checks and balances. Its an important first step in demonstrating change can happen within the telco, and highlights the importance of third party developer to innovate fast, even in developed / slow markets.

Adam Kalsey from Tropo gave an important review of the role cloud computing plays in telecom service innovation. Unfortunately Rudolph could not attend due to last minute meetings. But I draw all telcos attention to the TAD Manifesto – publicity support is the ask from technology providers. The message is the same as cloud computing to the enterprise in vastly reducing IT project times, the same is true for telecom service innovations, which Adam eloquently presented.

Mac Taylor from Huawei presented on their service innovation ecosystem, a group of partners running on Huawei’s global cloud which includes companies such as Apidaze,, Tawasol IT, Telestax, Tropo, and many more. The guidance Mac highlighted based on his experiences is:

  • The opportunity is in market proven commercial services, available today
  • Platforms, APIs, standards, developers and ecosystems are distractions
  • Focus on building an effective, independent GO-TO-MARKET team
  • Deliver innovative services to customers and drive new revenue
  • Use Hosting: a quick, low cost way to build a Service Innovation Ecosystem

Telestax go from strength to strength in demonstrating the importance of open source to the telecoms industry. The Axiata announcement on MIFE is also open source. Several Telcos highlighted the importance of open source to their business. Jean Deruelle, Telestax and Wasim Baig, Convergence gave an excellent review of uFone’s success using open source.

And we wrapped up the morning plenary with Karel Bourgeois providing a case study on “Orange Libon (probably) the World’s most Successful Telco IP Communication Service.” Where he shared the approach and success Libon has achieved with a small team using open source where possible. Libon is an OTT service but its unique value is at the Opco level in delivering value to Orange customers and generating significant business results:

  • AUPU 250 minutes
  • €5 / month @ 68 percent gross margin
  • Increase in-bound international by 21%
  • Privacy-friendly business model

Karel’s parting advice was either build apps or partner with Libon. Where international traffic matters to your customers, especially to emerging markets, Libon has a strong value proposition so partnering is worth considering.

At this point everyone involved realized TADSummit is quite special, its showing a side of the industry usually hidden under all the marketing BS. Lunch time conversations were animated given what had been shared through the first half of Day One – that’s 12 presentations from 15 presenters. And the anticipation of the work streams in the afternoon, where everyone gets a chance to roll-up their sleeves and do some work to consolidate the learning from the morning sessions, the weblog on that will be coming soon…

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