What technologies do you see changing / shaping the industry and how?
Numerous technology changes are occurring within our industry which will shape the way in which telecommunication services are provided over the long term. Two technologies which we believe will greatly impact our industry are the advent of blockchain technology and the practical use of artificial intelligence (AI). Both of these technology trends promise to change the very nature of our industry and the way in which carriers have historically operated and provided services to customers. Blockchain presents an opportunity to bring a level of clarity and immediate insight to inter-relationships the likes of which no one has ever seen. Whether this is to solve settlement and inter-carrier relationships or to lower fraud and enhance revenue assurance across the industry, blockchain technologies present a set of unique capabilities to enable telecommunications services in the future. AI presents another unique opportunity to redefine our capabilities stack. Historically, network and customer insight was based on specific views of information gathered by business intelligence tools answering pre-defined questions. AI promises to change the ways in which carriers gain insight…and make decisions…about their networks, users and priorities. Because of the global nature of our business, and the continued investment in network technologies and investments, both Blockchain and AI promise to be defining technologies greatly enhancing the carrier experience and ability to manage networks. For an industry that is widely perceived as legacy and “old school” we are in fact, on the leading edge of technology change.
Are you seeing Artificial Intelligence and/or Machine Learning deployed (or planning to deploy) in your business - and how?
Yes… As I mentioned above, AI presents an entirely new way to make sense out of the massive cloud of data that is inherent to operating a telecom network. While we will continue to utilize various pre-defined reports to answer specific questions, and modern BI tools are incredibly useful to handle complex data sets and drill into data, AI presents an entirely different capability to understand, operationalize, and execute against our business needs and the needs of our clients.
As for our business, we are currently assessing the best way in which AI technologies should be utilized in support of our carrier customers. One piece of feedback we often hear is how to utilize our unique position and industry-wide insight to provide specific guidance to carriers on actions they should be proactively taking. Given the global nature of the industry, and the fact that each carrier’s business is unique, these types of decisions are difficult to make and well-suited to advanced insight technologies such as AI. We’ve already experimented with some interesting use cases, and in 2018 we expect to leverage new technologies to implement solve these types of problems.
What broad trends do you see in telecoms in the next 12 months?
Our industry continues to experience enormous change and the next 12 months promise to continue that trend. It sounds cliché, but voice remains the “killer app” in telecom, and will be the key service for industry for the foreseeable future.
From a trends standpoint, we see numerous technology and business changes, with three in particular standing out.
- Wholesale voice trading more explicitly tied to retail channel enablement (usually mobile). Obviously, wholesale has long supported retail, but as margins decrease and the market needs evolve, up to and including carriers exiting the wholesale business altogether, we are seeing greater demand for retail-aware solutions support carrier retail changes or carrier-to-business (C2B) business requirements. This is both for international voice as well as, SMS.
- Convergence of Roaming and International voice decision-making and management. Historically, roaming and international voice were managed completely separately. Even to the point of separate “governing” bodies for mobile vs. international voice. We are seeking clear change among the carriers to combine their decision-making and buying behaviors into one decision and negotiation practice. No carrier does this exactly the same, but the there is clear movement to combine these concepts. This is a sea-change from the way in which the industry acts…and in particular, the suppliers that server these markets.
- Regulatory-driven industry changes start to take hold. Where to begin? 2018 (and 2019) will be the first time we truly understand the impacts of regulatory changes and actions from 2017 and earlier. Roam-like-home changed the concept of roaming in Europe. GDPR changes the expectation and obligations regarding end-user privacy. Industry adoption of origin-based routing and handling changes the basic billing model among carriers. These activities change the very nature of how carriers inter-operate among each other and with their customers and will continue to resonate through the next 12 months.
What are new developments and initiatives that are exciting for your company in 2018?
2018 will be a great year for Telarix. This is an industry in flux, and Telarix seeks to continue to be a key partner in solving the needs of global carriers international voice and SMS business lines.
We have already announced a number of recent wins with leading carriers, and expect to continue the momentum as our solutions are utilized to solve challenging market conditions. We are also continue to invest in our platform by developing new solutions aimed at meeting the challenges that carriers face.
Finally, as we previously shared publicly, Telarix announced the results of a 3rd party detailed study undertaken to better understand and measure the value being driven by our two latest solutions. – Origin Based Handling (OBH) and SMS Routing. This study helped to validate the ROI associated with our how solutions directly benefit carriers bottom line.
2018 should be a very good year!
Why is ITW such an important industry event for you and your company?
ITW is unquestionably one of the most important events we participate in. Our industry is truly global in nature and it can be hard to meet with our customers, partners and suppliers face-to-face. ITW provides one of those excellent opportunities for all of us to come together and discuss the most critical issues impacting our industry. In an industry where the foundation is based on trust, nothing beats seeing someone in person and working with them to solve the specific challenges that they face in their market or business. I look forward to this event every year and can’t wait until we meet!