Enterprises are Now Driving the Bulk of Telecoms Innovation

telecoms innovationApidaze, Nexmo, Flowroute, Telestax, Tropo, Twilio and many more are leading the way in telecoms innovation. That is easily embeddable in applications, services and business processes. We’ve seen many early adopters of this trend achieve phenomenal success, for example:

  • Leaders of the on-demand services movement like Uber and Airbnb in connecting customers to their back-end systems and connecting customers together as soon as possible;
  • All the IP communications apps like Viber, Whatsapp, etc. using SMS for authentication of their users;
  • In fact, the broad rise of on two factor authentication using SMS or voice as the back channel. Intuit being one of the the early adopters, giving them a significant competitive advantage.

I’ve been running a survey of case studies on the application of telecom APIs, open source telecom software, WebRTC and all the other telecom services available in the cloud. The shift in the past year has been amazing, we’re now seeing large businesses drive the market, not just tech-saavy start-ups and cash-strapped small companies. The market is in the process of taking off as large enterprises ‘get-it’ and are achieving business success.

Banks are using click to call and generating tens of thousands of calls per month, and expanding the scope of their projects. Some household brands have turned their back on traditional call center / IVR / PBX industry and taken the future into their own hands.  Controlling their customers’ experiences, as its become integral with their business processes and competitive advantage. There is an emerging category of companies that are filling a gap in packaging together programmable telecom capabilities with vertical focused backends, to deliver enterprise-specific on-demand capabilities globally. You’ll be able to meet many of these companies and the leaders driving this change at TADSummit on the 17 and 18 November in Lisbon.

Even entrenched internal enterprise communications, the preserve of Avaya, Microsoft and Cisco is now being ‘complemented’ by cloud based communication services. Cisco’s purchase of Tropo is now very timely to address this emerging challenge.

In examining the many enterprise use cases they fall into 3 broad categories:

  • Cost savings on traditional comms as the legacy vendors remain trapped in old-school pricing;
  • Efficiency gains in business process (lower cost / more sales); and
  • Competitive advantage to drive more sales.

What is also interesting is the change in selection criteria enterprises are using for the APIs and platforms, its maturing and is now focused on:

  • Reliability;
  • Support (including local support – hence the rise of regional providers, and an active community in open source); and
  • Price.

What this means is claiming a premium on the core API service, because you’re some how better is not viable. Its all about supporting the customer. Also the rise in awareness of what some tech-savvy adopters refer to as ‘arbitrage players’, enterprises are beginning to understand the API provider’s bank-end is more important than an easy to use REST API – which today is table stakes. You’ll hear all about this at TADSummit.

There are also some nice human interest use cases emerging. We’re seeing communication enabled small businesses (for example enterprise focused services through to managed voice services) with a limited geographic scope, carve their niche and keep customers happy. They’re making good money, they are unlikely to see an ‘exit’, but to be their own boss and keep customers happy is all they want from life.

Telcos have an important role in this emerging telecom app development ecosystem, wholesale connectivity to their networks in one. But the money is in the services, and here the picture is mixed, some telcos are building a solid services business, while most are not. TADSummit will be a chance to meet and understand this broad and rapidly emerging telecoms innovation market. To meet the enterprises, comms-enabled service providers, developers, telcos, API providers, and technology vendors all staking their claims to this exciting and rapidly developing market. After reviewing all the new enterprise use cases that have emerged in the last 12 months, the market is in the process of taking off. There is no other place on the planet where you can see the reality of what is happening. Don’t waste your time at MWC or at all the weak-minded ‘digital events’, TADSummit is the only one to be at!

1 thought on “Enterprises are Now Driving the Bulk of Telecoms Innovation

  1. Ivelin Ivanov

    Excellent summary. We are seeing enterprise customers building very high value high margin contextual RTC apps fuzed with data analytics. Completely over the top of regular telco pipelines and legacy equipment. Measured in relation to the traditional ways of per-minute or per-month rates for a phone call, these new apps command market prices up to 200x (two hundred times) . Of course they are not sold based on the value of a dial tone, but based on the value of contextual awareness and ability to cross reference with Big Data analytics available from many other sources in the organization.


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