IIT RTC 2016 Telecoms is now Democratized

highlighting that the words Telco and Telecoms are different. I gave lots of examples of how the democratization of telecoms is enabling a DIY movement across enterprises and services providers in solving problems in their businesses. All based on telecom app development. I then highlighted the challenges Telcos (network operators) have faced in harnessing this movement.
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  • 1. Improving Business Operations •  Aeris – Global M2M/IoT MVNO using open source telecom app server and APIs for enterprise use cases •  Banque Casino – Global bank using click to call to increase customer engagement •  Criteo – global marketing company using telecom APIs / platforms to improve internal communications • – online food ordering, using telecom APIs in process with local stores •  Evaneos – online custom travel planning using WebRTC to improve communications and lower costs •  HireIQ – call center recruitment using telecom APIs to improve multi-lingual hiring and retention •  Home Depot – online trade-person portal for home owners – improve call center operations •  Hulu – IP video service, deliver unique call center experience on telecom APIs •  Intuit – one of the first 2FA services using APIs giving an 18 month lead in SMB payroll services •  Jamko Force Networks – SIP trucking that enables small businesses to offer hosted voice services •  Liveperson – Adding contextual based calling to better route customer communications •  Pinig – Amazon Mayday like service upgrade to their easy to use tablets
  • 2. Improving Business Operations •  Protivit – Using telecom APIs for corporate compliance •  Questar – Using telecom APIs for sales receipt feedback •  UK City Transfers – using telecom APIs for local phone numbers and connecting travellers and local car services •  USA Contact Point - SIP trucking to support a call center’s specific needs •  Viber – SMS support for two factor authentication •  Zanox – Voice API (cloud voice services) to support call tracking for advertising
  • 3. Made Possible….. •  BetterVoice – re-inventing business class phone system using open source and telecom APIs •  BlueLight – enhanced security and emergency calling using telecom APIs •  Burner – using telecom APIs to make money out of all the unused phone numbers •  Extrogene / OfferHut – business focused on creating telecom API enabled services • – moving the SMB phone system into the browwer using open source and telecom APIs •  KISST – SMS based CRM using telecom APIs •  Mercury Flight – broadcast messaging using telecom APIs •  Mobisec - business focused on creating telecom API enabled services •  RogerVoice – enabling deaf people to use the phone with VoIP redirect and speech to text •  Speak2Leads – lead response management using telecom APIs •  Textizen – citizen engagement using SMS •  TimeForge – employee scheduling using telecom APIs
  • 4. Description: provides a simple online service: see who delivers in your neighborhood. Across food, alcohol, groceries and laundry. They are based in the US with 150 employees and revenues$50M-$100M. Application: A customer places their order online at The order is faxed to the merchant, and then the merchant is auto- dialed to confirm the order is OK and that it will be ready or delivered on time using the confirmation code on the fax, and hence the credit card payment can be made. Awareness: We’d seen vendors like Voxeo and the recently funded Twilio talking about Telecom APIs. We needed a network partner with 24 by 7 up-time, that had control over their infrastructure. We also talked with their larger customers. Impact: Moving to a telecom API removed a major headache in our growth. We can scale instantaneously, from 50 to 100 calls per minute. Our operating costs are about 50% lower, but the big gain is in management focus, its focused on core operations not telecoms. Why: They had 8 voice servers with primary rate PSTN network connections. They used Asterisk and Dialogic cards. It required significant support, when problems arose they were dependent on either the Asterisk community or themselves to solve problems. When a line card failed it took time (weeks) to replace. Their business had reached a size that every minute of lost service resulted in hundreds if not thousands of dollars of lost revenue. Plans: Many of these stores are not online, but SMS is amazingly powerful. We can confirm orders not by the fixed phone line in the store, but by SMS to the store owner’s mobile phone. We maintain a ‘connection’ between the customer and the merchant. Say an order is going to be delayed by 10 minutes, the merchant lets us know by SMS and we let the customer know.”
  • 5. Evanos Description: Evaneos is a custom travel agency, founded in 2009, employing roughly 100 people, with revenues of about $20-50M. Application: Customers can review available vacations / destinations, then customize and discuss the itinerary with the local agent. Monitoring the quality of these connections was critical using the trial phase. We found they were rated better than traditional PSTN calls. Awareness: We met Apidaze at a developer event in Paris, and from that meeting we were able to trial and build out our agent communications using WebRTC to avoid international call charges and more importantly improve the quality of the calls with local agents around the world Impact: Apart from the cost savings from all the international calls, it’s the improvement in sales from the higher quality voice. People communicating drive our business, and making that experience as good as possible has a significant (>10%) impact sales. Why: English tends to be the language used on the calls, and often both parties are using English as a second language. The quality of that call is essential to a successful deal. International PSTN calls are often expensive as well as low quality. Using WebRTC from Apidaze has transformed our business in lowering cost of operations and improving sales. Plans: We are expanding the using of Apidaze communication services and features across all our communications (both internal and external).
  • 6. HireIQ Description: HireIQ’s SaaS-based on demand interviewing and assessment solutions improve hiring efficiency, lower attrition, and improve workforce performance. Founded in 2009, based in the US, employs about 20 people, revenues of $5-10M. Application: We automates the initial interviews. The potential recruit simply clicks on a link or makes a call to answer some prerecorded standard questions whenever and wherever is convenient for them. The answers are recorded and sent to the recruiter for review. This is all provided by Tropo. Awareness: Our CTO had worked with Tropo in the past and was confident on their ability to deliver a reliable platform with first class support. Telecom APIs make it so easy to automate many tasks in business. We avoid the costs of running a call center, dealing with carriers, and other operational distractions. We’re at about 15 to 20% of the cost of running it ourselves. Impact: We reduce hiring effort by 80%, hiring time by 40%, retention by 60-100% and agent performance by 35-60%. This is saving our customers between $100k to well over $1M per year. Some of out customers employ over 35k agents. Simply through automating the front-end recruitment process. Why: We need a trusted partner to run our business on. I can not stress this more highly. Trust and reliability of your API provider are mission critical. If their service fails we are loosing revenue, our business credibility is impacted. Problems do happen, and this is where immediate open communications are critical to help us manage situations. Plans: Our focus remains on greater automation and accuracy of candidate selection, through further tests and assessments. This focus would not be possible without all the backend technology being outsourced thanks to telecom APIs.
  • 7. Home Depot Description: Redbeacon (owned by Home Depot) connects qualified pros with homeowners who are looking for a pro to help with their home-service projects. Since the acquisition in 2012 no details are publicly available, team is estimated at 50 people with $50 M in revenues. Application: The IVR is the crux of our business, we have vetted professionals, we gather the home owner project details, then informing the professionals, and then connect the selected professional and home owner. Our process is tightly bound to our systems and IVR, no off the shelf commercial system could deliver. Awareness: Became aware of Telecom APIs through efforts of Twilio, Tropo, Plivo and Programmable Web. The problem we faced was scaling our CRM to serve Home Depots 2200 stores in 2 months, on a limited budget. We were now a P&L center within a big corporation, cash was as tight as being a start- up. Impact: Could communications is the only cost option. It avoids scaling risks, it converts a multiple million dollar investment into about $50k per month. We can customize and refine, we have control. All the traditional IVR solutions resulted in expensive platform and SI lock-in. Why: ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) centers come in at $1k-$2k per agent. CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) can cost $2k to $5k per seat. IVR can cost up to $1M. And adding simple features like quality monitoring or voice recording were $500 per seat. Using Twilio meant we could meet the goal with minimal upfront and month fee of about $50k per month (almost same opex as other options). Plans: Would not share plans as confidential
  • 8. DIY
  • 9. Telco Developer Engagement History Revolution
  • 10. Food for Thought •  Telecoms is becoming democratized, open / closed source platforms and APIs o  Telecoms and the web continue to merge and evolve o  DIY is on the rise – your customers are doing it themselves o  Discovery comes from people talking to people and publishing vertical industry solutions •  Channels are on the rise as Apple/Android app stores pass their peak. Within platforms (A2P), at the edge of networks, and on devices other than smartphones. •  Technology is moving fast – watch the decentralized web •  Innovation is everywhere – the skill is in finding your role in the emerging landscape – it is localized o  Focus on where you can create and/or deliver unique value within your country’s ecosystem •  Now let’s discussion North America….
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