Dinosaur business support systems (BSS) vendors are tripping over themselves to get to the public cloud so they can be part of the cool cloud club and say they’re “cloud native.” But the benefits of the public cloud won’t just magically appear because an application has been moved up and into the cloud. When a vendor lifts and shifts its on-premise product to the public cloud, it’s often just using the cloud for the infrastructure, which will likely lead to you spending MORE money to run the same software vs. on premise. Seriously.
At Totogi, where I’m acting CEO, we’re taking a different approach. We’re bringing the public cloud to BSS on the ground. Why? Because BSS capabilities are what’s important—not necessarily where it’s running.
I bet you’re thinking that I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth. Let me explain.
Bring public cloud benefits to your on-prem BSS
BSS solutions are unbelievably sticky installations with massive gravity where they are today: on-premises. Switching them out is hard. Who wants to rip out their ten-year-old system that’s been customized, integrated, and battle-tested while its tentacles have wrapped themselves into all parts of the organization? Your BSS is inextricable. It’s not a system you can rip and replace; not without taking on a large amount of risk.
But telco execs are DYING to use all the goodness of the public cloud: the AI capabilities, prediction models that machine learning can provide, and powerful insights from world-class analytical products that the hyperscalers provide via open API-based services, conveniently priced by the use. So, how are we going to solve this problem?
By bringing the cloud to your BSS.
At Totogi, we know ripping out BSS solutions is CRAZY HARD, and we expect them to remain on-prem for years into the future. That’s why we’re building a BSS enhancement platform that brings the cloud to you. We’re designing tools like Totogi’s Charging-as-a-Service that you can add to your current system to rev it up, giving it the speed it needs to monetize networks, capture market share, and delight customers.
Soon, we will be announcing our ML model that predicts a subscriber’s propensity to churn, provided as an open-API service that’s charged by the use. Totogi customers will be able to use one line of code to dynamically request the likelihood of a subscriber churning, and put that line of code anywhere—in a call-center app, a mobile app, a chatbot on a website, anywhere. Imagine what you could do with near real-time, continuously updated churn probability? It’s mind blowing! We’re not asking you to rip and replace your entire BSS; we want you to keep investing in it, and make it even better by using Totogi with your current BSS.
Case in point: telco software assets from STL
If you didn’t hear our recent news, TelcoDR affiliate Skyvera is acquiring the business support, monetization, and analytics solutions business from Sterlite Technologies Limited (STL). The divestiture includes telecommunication software capabilities that support more than 60 customers across Asia, Europe, India, Africa, and the Middle East. The product suite and customer base are a great fit for Skyvera. But STL has been running the business like every other telco enterprise software company runs its business: it has happily let CSPs customize THE SHIT out of its products. And as a result, every single customer is on a product roadmap of one: their own. There are no two customers alike in the entire install base! This means when our R&D group develops a new capability for a module or component, getting that new awesome feature to customers takes years because customers can’t just upgrade their implementation.
While we can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and dig in on the STL install base, refactoring and modernizing the software for use with the public cloud will be incredibly difficult work for us. So, it’s going to be a big healthy portion of eating our own dog food: in order to help Sterlite’s current customers—and all CSPs—on their journey to the public cloud, we’re going to bring the cloud to them.
Don’t fall for cloud-washing
While we’re hard at work making the power of the public cloud available for your current BSS, the dinosaur vendors are running their same old products through the cloud-washer. They’re using all the buzzwords and telling you to install their “cloud-native” products that don’t do anything differently than the old versions, except now they’re running AT a hyperscaler data center. Why bother with that? There’s no additional benefit.
I would say the legacy players are missing the point, but I don’t think they are. They want you entrenched in their offerings and are happy to take those big money CR orders from you—to keep you trapped on your roadmap of one. While they’re thinking about how keep you in #BSSJail, we’re thinking about how to empower you to bring more value to your subscribers and grow your ARPU in the process.
Totogi has taken the message around the world, and it’s starting to resonate with telco executives. Last week I spoke to an executive in Asia Pacific who not only got the charging vision, he got the hyperpersonalized-plan vision, AND the BSS vision. His words to me were, “Telco needs this. Someone has to do it. Glad Totogi is doing it right.”
Music to my ears.
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