Danielle Royston, for one, founder and CEO of TelcoDR, who describes herself as telecom’s leading public cloud evangelist; TelcoDR is her vehicle for encouraging telcos to abandon all reticence and fully embrace the public cloud. And Royston – or DR – is investing in the potential. Her first sizeable move was to take over Hall 2 at Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via, usually the home base of equipment giant Ericsson for the duration of Congress.
“When I saw the news in early March that Ericsson was pulling out of MWC, I knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime,” DR says, of her decision to create Cloud City in the vacant space. “The return on investment is instant and massive,” she says. “Customers who have been visiting the Ericsson booth for over 14 years will return to the space and now see me and my future forward message, instead of the legacy past, and learn about all things public cloud and Open RAN.”
“Telco needs a heavy dose of public cloud innovation, and MWC21 is the time and place to do it,” DR says.
It may well be time for MWC to shake off some of its legacy past and showcase something truly new, but TelcoDR is not about replacing the old guard; its goal is more to show them the new technology that will help them revitalise their organisations.
Telco needs a heavy dose of public cloud innovation, and MWC21 is the time and place to do it
Telcos have been discussing the importance of providing personalised services to customers for years, if not decades. TelcoDR believes that not only do they now need to do this in order to survive, but they also need to embrace the public cloud to help them get there.
“The public cloud has proliferated in every other industry and it’s just a matter of time before it infiltrates telco,” says DR, noting that the recent partnership between US mobile newcomer Dish Network and Amazon Web Services (AWS) suggests that time has now arrived. As a greenfield operator Dish was able to make the decision to build a cloud native network from scratch, but nonetheless it demonstrates that old school thinking is changing and public cloud adoption is starting to happen in the telco space.
While telcos are starting to move parts of their networks and operations to the cloud, TelcoDR urges them to go the whole hog, just like enterprises have done in other sectors. “Any telco that is still adamant on deploying on-premise solutions is wasting their money and wasting their time. They’re squandering the valuable innovation plays that come with leveraging the public cloud,” DR says.
Using the infrastructure and functionality offered by the hyperscalers can help telcos improve customer engagement, and TelcoDR’s role is to help them on that journey – understanding how cloud infrastructure can free up telcos to concentrate on their business objectives, and be more agile in delivering personalised customer experiences. The firm is providing advice and hands-on support to telcos…but it is more than just a consultancy. DR wants to invest in innovation in the space.
TelcoDR recently invested US$100 million into software company Totogi, and DR said on Monday at MWC that her motivation was to give the company the ability to scale its business quickly to meet telco demands. Totogi is building a webscale public cloud billing engine which, amongst other things, promises to be significantly cheaper for telcos than on-premise solutions, as well as offering lower churn, ARPU growth and the ability to attract customers from rivals.
“Make sure Totogi is your first stop when you visit Cloud City and you’ll get to see a couple of never-seen-before-in-telco features,” DR said.