The telecoms industry can’t seem to get enough of partnerships at the moment. And that’s on top of the mega-mergers that characterized the start of the year.
This month has not only seen AsiaInfo announce its own joint-venture business with Reliance in India, but two giant network equipment vendors, Cisco and Ericsson, announce an agreement to partner and work together. Stopping short of a full merger, this appears to be a case of Ericsson instantly boosting its IP networking credentials while Cisco does exactly the same for it wireless capabilities.
Most commentators think this particular move was hastened by Nokia’s merger-come-acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. This should complete early next year and similarly matched a strong wireless portfolio with a powerful fixed and IP networking one. Indeed, the most successful partnerships are built on that premise – matching two strengths to improve the overall offer.
Our own JV with Reliance matches our knowledge of the way that IT software and services can revolutionize business operations with the business strength, innovation and traction that Reliance offers in India and the surrounding regions. Together, we believe we can create a technology powerhouse for India and beyond.
We firmly believe in partnerships and collaborative projects – so much so that we designed that functionality into our Veris suite of BSS services for operators.
We designed a platform for partnering and collaboration we called O2P. The platform enables operators to open up their systems – using APIs but with the right degree of management controls – to allow third parties such as OTT players to design service offers and promotions using information and tools normally only available to the operator.
With O2P, for example, an OTT music player service could work with the operator to target customers with rival music players or who are in a specific location, such as major music festival – with special offers aimed at driving subscriptions and increased revenues, some shared by both partners. This marries the innovation of the OTT players with the wider view and deep insight of customer behavior that only operators possess.
Research we carried out last year estimated that – for European operators – this open-partnership approach could be worth as much as €2.2bn in increased revenues. And it’s revenues of that scale that continue to fuel the interest in telecommunications partnership opportunities.