Monday, April 25, 2011

When the small teams are the only ones who can make the elephants run.

2011 is a very important year for our company, RCS-e is launching, and we are in a good position with 2 ready to market platforms, opening RCS-e and making RCS-e ubiquitous; both interoperated with most core and client vendors, and recognized with the RCS DevChallenge Award as the most innovative RCS solutons.

On the other hand, we are a small team, with limited funding, and facing what the carriers consider "your problem is your size". Obviously it is and egg-and-chicken issue, if customers or potential customers are delaying orders or keeping under NDA the initial references and the company is based in Spain, waiting for VC rounds is basically expect a miracle, and we also gave up trying to actively raise funding (but of course, new business angels or VC's are welcomed on board).

We understood that the "risk avoidance" way of thinking from decision takers is still present coming from decades of inertia, but the timing has changed. The established telecom giant vendors have failed to move the telco elephants but the elephants need to move in the new scenario where they have the OTT's as competitors.

Most of the alternative OTT's are also small team, working fast and with offerings tested and used everyday by zillions of individuals ... their technologies work, are proven to be scalable and their vision is accepted by the users. Of course, Skype is now a relatively big company, but what about WhatsApp? great messaging product by a small focused team.

If telcos need to make feasible their own alternative OTT vision, they need to rely on small companies: motivated teams to help them moving to the next stage. Reluctance to work with small companies means missing opportunities, stay stopped while things happens around you, and new scenarios and business communication models are apearing every day. We are eager to cooperate with telcos & the telco business need some fresh blood, take us in count and elephants will run faster than the Road Runner :-)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review of IMS World Forum 2011

Last week in Barcelona took place the 8th IMS World Forum (by Informa Telecom&Media). It was quite impressive how the number of delegates, speakers and sponsors were up from previous editions and most important, now optimism regarding IMS future was present.
All keynotes and panels were very interesting, and both carriers and suppliers took about present and future strategies and current deployments. Also the analysts have a leading role trying to get the most of possible info to be discussed. As a summary, the key points that in our opinion are the key takeaways are:

  • Finally IMS "is happening".
  • LTE and RCS-e seem to be the key enablers
  • There are appearing simplified IMS "cores" to make easy and affordable the IMS.
  • The business models are converging and at the same way that OTT's are being in some way "telcos", telcos must become soon in some ways "OTT's".  IMS should be the technological base of a Telco-OTT style. This was our point in the 2 panels we participated.
  • Carriers are starting to test some OTT models, Telefonica acquisition of local social network Tuenti, and launching an associated MVNO could be a good example. Still to see how to integrate telco technology to make better the OTT delivery.
  • Very interesting strategies explained by Verizon Wireless (US) & Rogers (Canada).

The exhibitors booths showcase their IMS architecture, and yes, it seems now it is happening. Particulary interesting the SMX product by Acme Packet, a cost-effective IMS architecture to allow whatever type of service provider to enable IMS services as VoIP & RCS-e. RCS-e could be enabled with SMX without the need of Instant Messaging server if the carrier prefers to launch without chat 1-to-many and store&forward features. A good trade off then.

And last, we hope to see IMS and their key enablers launchs very soon in many places, and of course we are eager to participate, remember our RCS Open&Ubiquitous trial as a Service :-)