Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Telcos: from cash cow farm to worker bee hive.

Telcos are in a challenging position, they have to change to adapt to the new times and new competition and it is not easy. Traditionally services providers business models were based in a few cash cows under their control or farm, and customers customed to consume milk forever. The life expectancy of a cow is about 20 years. It was quite easy till now, telcos invested in networks and they have milk for years and years to sell to their customers.

Companies using the data connectivity, so called OTTs, had cannibalized the revenues from sacred cash cows and it was a fast process when combined 3G and smartphones rise.

Net neutrality is here, it is here to stay, and it is fair that net neutrality exists. The service providers may not leave the tradidional role of providing "communication services" to become "just pipe" but they may adapt to new times and new ways of creating and offering "communication services" to their customers. It is time to compare cows and worker bees.

- Cows live 20 years and bees live about 100 days.
- Cows tend to live in a closed farm and be a reduced number (tens, hundreds in each farm), worker bees are living thousands in each hive.
- The milk from a cow is measured in litres, the honey produced by each hive just grams.

Business analogies are clear:

- Money will come from honey sweets.
- Each revenue from a worker bee will last a reduced time but new services-sweets will be replacing old ones in a very fast cycle, the same observed in OTT space.
- Big amount of bees can not be in a telco closed environment and fully under control, bees will be also 3rd parties.
- The hive will be the API and the API will keep the produced honey.

What is the new role of the telco, becoming the perfect hive, exposing their enablers (Voice, IMS, RCS/joyn) to be a good home for developer bees and also creating a model were bees also could feed themselves from their honey production.

Telcos may become hive / platforms. The sooner the better.

Friday, March 8, 2013

MWC 2013 Summary: finally joyn is taking off.

One week after MWC we would like to summarize the key topics related with the technology we do.
Finally joyn took off, announcements as America Movil launching in Mexico using the Vodafone hosted core and the brave move from MetroPCS announcing the lauch of joyn as OTT for non-customers in North America were impressive. We were visited by other telcos soon to launch using that shared joyn hosted core asking about our network API exposure and compatibility (yes, it is compatible).

Also the RCS Seminar was very interesting and we could listen from marketers from big consumer brands as CocaCola and L'Oreal talk about the need of a "multimedia" global reach way to interact with customers, and joyn could be this new global reach channel. This is what our API enables :-)

We received many visits, and visitors sent to our booth by previous visitors. We received people from 5 continents, and even were interviewed for an asian TV broadcaster and received a positive mention by a telco leading analyst, Alan Quayle. We also met potential investors and new potential partners.

After 1 week read new annoucements as Zain lauching joyn in the Middle East and Forrester starting to cover joyn and pointing its role for business comms and the API as key element and we know that more telcos are issuing RFI/RFP for RCS core solutions and requiring network API exposure, good to see they got the "as a platform" concept.

Other hot topic was Firefox OS, the new mobile platform based on HTML5 and new telcos and device manufacturers supporting it. We were the first in the world to demonstrate joyn using HTML5 in Firefox OS devices using the developer devices (1st Firefox OS device) by our friends of Geeksphone.

We could also install our joyn client in the stand of ZTE with ist Firefox OS phone, and took 1 pic :-)

As Firefox OS could be the first smartphone for most of people, telcos can leverage it by deploying joyn based on our network API, not telcos protocols, just HTML5, our product matches the Firefox OS philosophy, the backend could be telco stuff, but the front-end could be based on web technologies.

As a summary, we are positive, joyn is a kyte starting to fly, winds in favour now.

Regarding the new venue perhaps it is too big and not so well communicated by public transport, we miss the old venue for MWC.
Our photo-album of the event just here