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Deploying a new charger used to take a year. The Totogi Charging System takes hours.

Why is it so freaking hard to deploy a charger? Historically, it’s taken anywhere from six months to more than a year. Not anymore. The Totogi Charging System can do it in hours.

We launched Totogi a year ago at MWC ’21. I’m acting CEO of Totogi, and we wanted to build a charging solution that was affordable and easy to use, even for the smallest telcos operating in the most ARPU-challenged places in the world (India, island nations, small countries), all the way up to the biggest markets (also India, and the US and others). We knew the only way we could do this was to use public cloud tech; bigger, older companies had already tried all the other ways and failed to produce a solution that was both cheap AND scalable. We had to take a different approach, and thankfully, the public cloud tech was ready for us to give it a go.

We thought our biggest challenge would be proving that Totogi could scale, so we spent a couple million bucks showing that it could. We even benchmarked its game-changing performance in this report: the Totogi Charging System can handle one-million transactions per second, or the equivalent of the charging volume of one-billion subscribers. No other provider can match that. Here’s Oracle’s recent benchmark paper and Matrixx’s try; other vendors haven’t provided their performance numbers. If someone wants to test us on this, we’re ready to take the Pepsi Challenge with you anytime, anyplace. Just DM me on Twitter @TelcoDR or message me on LinkedIn, and we’ll set it up.

But as it turns out, proving scalability hasn’t been the issue. The hardest thing has been convincing people that it’s real. When we do demos and pilots, we’re met with honest disbelief. It’s SO easy, SO cheap, SO scalable, and SUCH a massive upgrade over traditional charging systems that people can’t quite believe it’s true. They say, “it’s unbelievable.” Wait, what?

I assure you, it’s the real thing. Allow me to explain.

The dumb old days

First, some history: Chargers from pre-Totogi (PT) times were deployed on premise. The network was running, but for the client-server charger, you had to deploy it the way software was deployed in the last century. You had to order servers, wait for them to arrive, and set them up. That took months. Then, the real work began. You had to fight with the network to get it to connect to your new charger; code up all the tariffs and plans (yes, CODING); and integrate it to a myriad of systems with a series of Change Requests (basically, expensive professional services projects). This work would take several months. Charging deployments lasting more than a year, sometimes two, was not unheard of.

If you’re a charging vendor deploying this way (which is everyone except Totogi, even if others deploy “in the cloud”), you have to do this FOR EVERY SINGLE CUSTOMER, one at a time. There are no economies of scale to take advantage of; every deployment is done customer by customer. That means each installation and upgrade is unique and singular. It requires hordes of people supporting each individual implementation; the bigger the implementation, the more people you will need. If the company produces a new whiz-bang feature that customers are excited about, the company will need to upgrade every single customer, one at a time.

This was the way we used to deliver software in the client-server days, back in the 90s—and it sucked. Sadly, it’s how telco still deploys software today, in the 2020s.

But not Totogi.

Totogi takes hours

Why is Totogi different? Because Totogi is more like Salesforce.com: you just request an instance on the platform. You don’t have to buy any hardware or set anything up. To use it, you just log in, connect your network, and add subscribers and your plans. The work required on your end is minimal. By using the public cloud, we have capacity, scalability, and reliability ready to go. It’s multi-tenant (like Salesforce), and even though multiple customers are sharing the same resources, their data is completely separated from each other. It allows us to offer customers a free tier, and go into the largest charging deployments in the world and slash their spend on charging by 80%.

And Totogi has been tested by the best. As part of our process to achieve AWS Partner Network (APN) status, AWS rigorously vetted the Totogi Charging System, connecting it to a core network and validating its functionality and ease of use. We passed with flying colors.

Telcos: Time to kick Totogi’s tires

Totogi’s deployment time is fast, but that’s not all. You can easily take it for a test drive—and you should. (And skip the lame request for proposal (RFP) process, which is a massive waste of time.) When something takes less than a day to set up, you can take it for a spin anytime. When you can trial something with no obligation, why not check it out for yourself?

Telecom is not used to buying things this way. Test drives, or pilots, which are defined as more than a demo, but less than a deployment, have traditionally been reserved for sales cycles that are fairly advanced to make sure the demo isn’t smoke and mirrors. Done the old way, they can be expensive and time consuming for BOTH the vendor and the telco, requiring teams of people, and taking weeks to months to complete. For example, the private cloud charging pilot I did for Vodafone Idea in 2019 covered 4-million subscribers in a live production environment; it took us six months to do, and at the time that seemed like a world record for speed.

To do a pilot with Totogi, all we need is access to a network connection if you’re planning to charge for network events. This is usually the hardest and most time consuming part of the set up (a few weeks, typically). Once we have access to the network we can connect to it in hours, and by the end of the day we are producing charging logs. We’ve reduced what previously took a team of people up to six months to just one person and eight hours: that’s it.

So now’s the time. Get over to AWS Marketplace and sign up! The Totogi Charging System is generally available in all 26 AWS geographical regions. It takes just a few minutes to sign up and create a test account. We’ll charge you one penny (just one cent!) and set up a trial for you. You can test anything: Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, new users, a down-market brand, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), a private enterprise network (PEN). I’m telling you: one day and BOOM, you’re up and charging.

Ready for your test drive? Give it a try!

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