The telco industry knows that it has a big problem: OTTs have grabbed market share and established fierce brand loyalty. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) know that to stay relevant they need to change their processes and become more agile so that they introduce digital services quickly.
The Telecoms.com Intelligence Industry Survey 2015 said that 50% of operators see OTT competitive pressure as a significant challenge in 2015
OTT players were once considered antagonistic by mobile operators, but are now being viewed from an “if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em” perspective.
So the telco spirit is willing but the industry is complex, fragmented and slow. The primary issue is business process NOT tech. MNOs simply don’t have the internal processes to compete with nimble OTT players and generally believe that they are unable to change fast enough to compete with the OTT’s business agility.
Every single time an OTT or online business wants to partner with an MNO, a new, complex and time-consuming integration has to take place. And so it’s no wonder that the business case often doesn’t stack up – even for the largest brands on the net.
We know that many of those at this year’s TADSummit will already have their own links into telcos. They have already learnt that working with MNOs is a long and tough process – and the opportunity cost is often just too much.. for everyone in the value chain. It’s frustrating for all of us and by the time most deals are done and executed, it’s often too late to be innovative.
And yet it doesn’t have to be this way. Yes MNOs do need to review their core systems and yes their core will need to be transformed to address long term viability as a utility, but digital “transformation” can also happen iteratively. Because by the time the all singing and all dancing solutions are in place it will be way too late for the digital opportunity.
However, a new cost-effective breed of technology is enabling a new business approach.
MNOs now have an opportunity to embrace the digital opportunity at a fraction of the “usual” cost enabling them to concentrate on freeing up internal choke points, optimizing internal processes and increasing speed to market with new services and new partnerships.
WSO2.Telco’s platform is cloud-based which means that with just one more integration MNOs can embrace multiple developers, applications and brands safely and securely. MNOs can rest easy in the knowledge that even if one partnership fails the opportunity costs were not that high and they can simply move on to the next opportunity – with the confidence to be able to start to think and operate like the ecosystem they want to partner with.
At TADSummit WSO2.Telco will be calling on MNOs, service providers, online strategists, marketeers and developers across the API ecosystem to consider partnering with us to help form a loosely coupled interoperable ecosystem in which MNOs, developers and OTTs alike can fast track partnerships and reduce technical and procedural opportunity costs.
Yes, working together in this way will potentially help our competitors but in the end an interoperable Telco API platform will create huge opportunities for all of us – where innovation will still win but without the pain that typically goes with it.
The proof points for all this is easy– name me one OTT that is even considering addressing only one third or less of a given market place. Name me one customer (after they have chosen their device) that would swap app market places for the old proprietary world of proprietary Telco VAS Services.
By Amos Manasseh, CMO of WSO2.Telco
WSO2.Telco is a JV formed by a major Telco group and a visionary technology company – the perfect hybrid with the need and the backbone technology all under one roof.
We understand Telcos, their challenges and consumer trends. We are ready to address the operational and technical issues that MNOs and ecosystem players face.
We look forward to meeting you at the summit.