Marc Price, CTO for the Americas at BSS vendor Openet, has decided to find out how deep the rabbit-hole goes by defecting to competitor Matrixx Software.
He will get to travel a bit more in his new role at Global CTO for Matrixx and he had been at Openet for 15 years, so it was probably time for a change. The move will also allow Matrixx Founder Dave Labuda to step away from the techie side of things and focus his attention entirely on some serious chief execing.
“Marc is a tremendous addition to Matrixx’s executive leadership team,” said Labuda. “His experience will be invaluable as we continue to scale the company. Marc’s vision and vast experience in the telecommunications market is renowned. He has played a leading role across three key eras in the telco market: the rise of competitive carriers; the establishment of the real time charging model; and the current process of digital transformation and subsequent move to hybrid clouds and IoT.”
“Matrixx is poised to lead the digital commerce revolution being ushered in with the advancement of cloud technology and the advent of 5G,” said Price. “I’m excited to join the team at such an important time to help accelerate Matrixx’s global growth. I am looking forward to working with the Matrixx team to help scale the company, driving Matrixx’s innovation to further accelerate our customers’ digital transformations.”
Openet and Matrixx aren’t just competing BSS vendors, they’re both trying to disrupt the market by presenting a more flexible, cloud-based approach to customer engagement for operators. They’re both fond of buzzwords such as ‘digital transformation’ and like to paint larger BSS competitors as slow and anachronistic. So culturally this should be a straightforward move for Price and, at least until they find his replacement, may mean a fair bit more work for Openet Founder and CTO Joe Hogan.
US digital BSS vendor Matrixx spoke to a bunch of mobile users on both sides of the pond to find out how much value they place on 5G.
It turns out we’re surprisingly optimistic about what it promises and will pay good money to find out. 33% of respondents reckon it will solve their connectivity issues, with 88% of those willing to pay more for a 5G mobile service and 87% of them saying they will upgrade to it. What that remaining 1% will be paying for remains a mystery. On the flip side 70% of respondents aren’t happy with their 4G, citing coverage and speed as pain points (see charts below).
“The feedback from consumers paints a very clear picture for operators: ‘deliver a 5G experience worth the attention, and we’ll gladly pay for the privilege of using it,’” said Dave Labuda, founder, CEO, and CTO of Matrixx. “In an industry fighting to keep customers amidst consolidation and competition from digital MVNOs and OTT players, 5G presents a real opportunity to deliver a powerful value-add to the consumer.”
We spoke to Matrixx co-founder Jennifer Kyriakakis and she was most surprised by the finding that a third of punters are so upbeat about 5G. She concurred that the underlying commercial message is that there is demand for 5G services if operators git it right. We agreed that the industry needs to fight its urges to over-promise on 5G and Kyriakakis stressed that in the short term operators should simply focus on pleasing their customers. They surveyed over 4,000 mobile phone users in the UK and US.
5G will offer improved speed, increased capacity and greater flexibility. But what are the killer use cases that will attract customers, and justify this significant investment?
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A survey conducted by digital commerce vendor Matrixx Software found people would like to buy mobile services from major internet brands.
The apparent aim of the survey was to highlight the consumer relationship challenge operators face in the digital commerce era. In terms of brand recognition and trust it seems the big OTTs are way ahead and could eat even further into operator core business if they fancied it.
As you can see in the first chart below, something like 85% of the 3,077 UK and US mobile users surveyed said they would buy mobile services from Amazon if they could. Even Netflix, which we currently associate solely with video on demand subscriptions, would sorely tempt the majority of respondents if it got into the CSP game.
It seems this isn’t just blind brand loyalty, but also a certain level of customer experience associated with the brand, which punters apparently assume would apply to anything else they served up. In the second chart you can see that what they like most about their favourite apps is transparency of pricing and ease of use – not qualities generally associated with traditional CSPs.
“The survey clearly demonstrates that digital-first brands have set a new baseline of expectation by which every other consumer service is judged,” said Jennifer Kyriakakis, founder and VP of marketing at Matrixx. “Telcos have an opportunity to attract an entirely new crop of customers, ones who are motivated by intuitive engagement that results in a highly personalized, transparent and real-time mobile experience.”
Of course vendors don’t just conduct these kinds of surveys for a laugh. Matrixx positions itself as an enabler of just the kind of fast, agile product development it reckons operators need to keep up with the OTT brigade. But a vested interest doesn’t necessarily discount the underlying findings. Using Amazon or Netflix is a pretty smooth simple process and if CSPs are going to grab some of this digital commerce action they need to move with the times.