Challenges of creating a multi sided marketplace, Marius Waldum, Working Group Two

The challenges of creating a multi sided marketplace platform for telecom enabled products, Marius Waldum, Head of Product at Working Group Two.

A related presentation is my interview with Erlend Prestgard, CEO and co-founder at Working Group Two. Where we discuss more business and strategy related issues, so you better understand the how and where WG2 gets deployed. Simply, a cloud native, (aaS) as a Service mobile core and services ecosystem.

Another related presentation is Programmable Telecoms inside a TelcoJesus Cruz Manjavacas, VAS Development Expert at PLAY. This shows an nice existence proof of SMB focused services, which could migrate into the WG2 ecosystem.

It’s still early days with WG2’s ecosystem. IdeaMart in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh show such ecosystems do work. We’ve reviewed their success at TADSummit over the years, including TADSummit Asia in 2019 and 2020.

Voicebox was submitted as a showcase for TADHack Global 2020, and in the Norway/Sweden playlist you can also see another showcase from Vimla!

I think the timing of WG2 is interesting. Most of the traditional telco vendors have walked away from service innovation. Its simplified core is a no-brainer for most MVNOs, private network integrators, and IoT service providers. And as an adjunct core to larger telcos who want to iterate faster and at much lower cost.

A focus on a few verticals, e.g. dentist practice communications and security (IoT) services, could create the broader existence proof western markets need. Or it could be a focus on emerging markets in Asia, with an SMB packaged for local market needs. I think there’s a role where the TADS community can help accelerate this experimentation phase. I’m just not quite sure how.

Where to focus the services is not clear, that’s the opportunity. And the timing is interesting as the global cloud providers move into the telco core, and telcos like Rakuten and Jio show they can take control of their core networks. The conditions are favorable for a leap from legacy ways of business.

The presentation covers:

  • Why are Working Group Two pursuing the multisided platform strategy?
  • How are WG2 enabling the different sides of the platforms?
  • What can be built, and how is it taken to market?
  • What is going well, and what is proving hard?

2 thoughts on “Challenges of creating a multi sided marketplace, Marius Waldum, Working Group Two”

  1. You mentioned a number of important challenges you’re working on. Why did you not simply follow the app store model?

  2. The iOS App Store is a two-sided marketplace platform. They got developers on the sell-side and and consumers on the buy-side. In their case the end user is (for the most part) also the customer that pays.

    The wgtwo product ecosystem has another dimension to it. On our platform we have the developer on the sell-side and operators on the buy-side, but the subscribers are the end users of the products. This means that payment from end users (subscribers) is facilitated through the operators.

    So short answer is that our platform needs to work for 3 roles instead of 2. We have made it simple for the developers, the operators and the subscribers – so we’re dealing with the complexity on our side.

    We’re getting some great feedback and we think that the operators that are early on leveraging technology driven products will have an easier time to acquire, monetise and retain subscribers.

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