Posts Tagged ‘TELCO’

The Convergence of IT, Telecommunications and Electricity

October 14, 2015


This is a time of great opportunity and also great risk of disruption, for businesses working in the fields of IT services, Telephony and Electricity.  Each of these three industries on their own are under increasing margin-pressure, because each industry can be seen to lack a great deal of differentiation.  All can now be classified as on-line infrastructure services. Phones are computers, computers can be phones – all require a network and electricity to operate.  Increasingly, all must work together to provide a working platform for the common customer.

The needs of the market, the customers, will ultimately drive the outcome of who wins and who loses.  The market favours those who are efficient, those that have the best understanding of the customer’s needs, those who adapt, those who offer the best service, those who are easiest and least costly to deal with.

Increasingly we are seeing the rise of businesses who offer combined IT and telephony services. These are now intertwined services, where phones and computers share the same networks, Internet connections and infrastructure,  They are now very much one and the same.  The technology of both has converged.  Furthermore, the sales process and the customer relationship are now the same. It no longer makes sense for the customer to source telephony and IT from different suppliers.

Now add the supply of electricity to the mix of IT and Telephony.  It’s a logical addition – another on-line service. It can leverage the same sales process and the same customer relationship as IT and Telephony. Companies that provide all three of these services to their customers, can offer a better, more complete offering, while at the same time getting maximum return on their sales and on-going relationship effort.

This convergence of on-line services, is the reason why I’m so convinced that my new company Datagate is on the right path.  Datagate is a white-label, Cloud-based billing engine and customer service portal for companies that sell services including Telephony, Electricity, Hosting, IT services and other utility services.  Datagate produces a single unified bill for the end customer that includes all subscribed services and lets them review and analyse their bills and consumption of services in their own private on-line portal.

Datagate is rapidly building a base of on-line service re-sellers, covering IT, Telephony, Electricity and other services, enabling these businesses to pick and choose the services they want to sell and allow them to create their own bundles and pricing plans.

Convergence is a great creator of business opportunities …and also a great disruptor.




CEO changes at Enprise and Datagate

September 11, 2015


There is a lot happening at Enprise this week!

After almost thirteen years as the CEO of Enprise, I have decided to change my focus at this time to become the full-time CEO of our high-growth Cloud-Subscription Billing Engine subsidiary, Datagate Innovation.

Datagate is a new business with a compelling value proposition to the global “Cloud Economy”, in particular to resellers of Telco, Utility and on-line services. It has an exciting growth path ahead of it, which is going to involve serving businesses, large and small, all over the world.

Enprise Group has a new CEO – Elliot Cooper, who is no stranger to the business as an Enprise co-founder and CFO for almost thirteen years. In addition to his financial expertise, Elliot has extensive experience in the financial software business and was a designer of popular software products including Enprise Job and Exonet.

I will stay on board as a non-executive director of Enprise and retain a significant shareholding in the business.

We believe these changes will maximize Enprise Group’s shareholder value and better fulfill the potential of each Enprise business.

Enprise Group will retain a significant shareholding in Datagate and a director on the Datagate board, whilst allowing other investors, including myself, to invest directly in to the business.

As a high-growth Cloud company, we will raise direct investor capital to build Datagate through its formative years, before crossing over to profitability through its build-up of recurring SaaS revenues.

Why Datagate? Why Now?

October 9, 2014


People ask me what the logic is behind Enprise Group acquiring Cloud Portal provider, Datagate Innovation Ltd. Here is the background;

Datagate Innovation Ltd is an early-stage, cloud-software developer that is building a product called “Datagate” which is a Cloud Portal for Telco and Utility Resellers to offer on-line rating, billing and usage analysis to their customers.

Datagate is a browser-based Cloud Application which is built on the latest Microsoft technology and is deployed on the highly-scalable Microsoft Azure global platform. It has data feeds coming in from major Telcos and Utility Providers from where it collects the raw data upon which it’s billing and analytical reports are based.

Go-to-Market Strategy

Datagate is building and demonstrating the value of the Datagate product within the New Zealand Telco and Utility markets, before expanding into larger countries with much larger sales potential. New Zealand is considered an ideal test market because it is a small-scale representation of the Telco and Utility markets of larger economies.

When Datagate reaches the stage of targeting markets outside of New Zealand, it will have access to Enprise’s SAP Business One reseller channel, with nearly 100 established reseller relationships in USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. To these partners, Datagate is a vertical industry solution for SAP accounting software that will open opportunities in the Telco and Utility space. This channel will give Datagate an immediate effective international sales and implementation workforce.

Datagate’s sales strategy is to partner with major Telco’s and Utility companies in order that they promote Datagate to their wholesale channels. This is a win-win partnership because Datagate gets the qualified referrals to potential customers and the Telco or Utility Company gets a more efficient and effective reseller channel with tighter integration and lock-in to their own services.

Convergence of Telcos and Utilities

Datagate enables Telco resellers to sell Utility Services such as electricity and likewise, enables Utility resellers to sell Telco services, such as broadband, Cell phone services, SIP trunks etc.

Datagate’s Value Proposition to the Channel Owner

Channel Owners are Telcos and Utility companies who typically have reseller channels through which they wholesale their offerings. Datagate removes a major obstacle for small to medium sized resellers of Telco and/or Utility services – by automatically handling the complex tasks of on-line rating, billing and analytic reporting. This enables the Channel Owners to expand their reseller channels faster and wider than previously possible and for the resellers to operate more quickly and efficiently. Datagate’s agility also enables Telco’s and Utility companies to bring new products and services to market potentially faster through their wholesale channel than through their direct channel in many cases, given that their own systems are not as flexible as Datagate.

Datagate Value Proposition to Retail Resellers (Datagate’s customers)

Rating and billing of Telco services is very complicated, with high volumes of billing lines, complex pricing formulae and relatively low values per line – all typically on a monthly recurring basis. Standard, off-the-shelf accounting software cannot handle this complexity, so specialized billing and analytical systems, such as Datagate are required. Some resellers have attempted to create their own in-house software at large development and on-going support cost. Datagate lowers this barrier and is cheaper to maintain as it is spread across multiple resellers.

Datagate enters the market at a time when hugely scalable host platforms are now available, such as Microsoft Azure that can handle “big data” at relatively low cost. Datagate makes the complex job of Telco billing easy and is charged on a friendly monthly subscription basis, with relatively low up-front costs.

Datagate Value Proposition – End Customer

End customers have now come to expect on-demand access to their Telco and Utility billing accounts on-line in a similar manner to which the large players such as Spark, Vodafone and the large power companies provide their billing and usage analysis reporting. End customers of the smaller resellers who use Datagate will get all the advantages of data immediacy that they would have in dealing with a large corporate supplier (thanks to Datagate billing and analytic services) with the added advantage of dealing with a smaller, more flexible supplier. This expectation will continue to grow; something that many resellers are unable to economically provide.

Datagate will continue to raise these end-user expectations in the market, whilst giving resellers an effective way of delivering to this expectation.

Optimum Time

Datagate is entering the market at an optimum time when global Telcos and Utility Companies are under increasing price and margin pressure and are seeking to expand their reach through wholesale reseller channels (on the basis that smaller business customers are best served by smaller, more agile resellers). A major barrier to smaller resellers operating in this space is the complexity of Telco and Utility billing. It is not economically viable for smaller resellers to develop their own specialized systems and standard off-the-shelf accounting systems will not handle this billing complexity (nor be able to automatically process the Telco & Utility data-feeds).

From a technology perspective, Datagate’s timing is perfect, as Cloud software and mobile computing have reached widespread acceptance and massively-scalable yet relatively low-cost global deployment platforms such as Microsoft Azure have emerged.

The technology answer to the needs of large Telco’s & Utility companies and their reseller channels, is a common Cloud-based solution charged on a subscription (per end-customer) basis, with relatively low up-front costs. This is Datagate.

The need is there, the technology and the low-cost scalable hosting platform is there. The time is right for Datagate.

TELUS of Canada sees growth in hosted services double with Cortex

December 22, 2010

“Cortex typically supports new Microsoft releases within 90 days – which is twice as fast as our previous control panel vendor.”

TELUS hosted service customers are embracing the self-service capability provided by Cortex software. TELUS Customer Solutions is using the Cortex cloud control panel to support hosted Exchange, SharePoint, Microsoft Office Communications Server, and Blackberry Enterprise Server.

“Cortex is supporting TELUS’ strategy of differentiating itself in the market by giving customers the tools to combine new products with existing ones,” says Renaldo Scalabrino, Marketing Director TELUS Customer Solutions.

“We offer our customers the ability to add hosted Exchange to business Internet or Blackberry services, for example,” he says. “With Cortex self service,TELUS customers can add or remove users and select the services and service levels they want for each of their employees. These changes are automatically reflected in their monthly bill. Customers can try things on a smaller scale because it is so easy for them to self provision. Blackberry add-ons to email is one example: people are adding the Blackberry service to their existing email account. It’s a very good growth path.”

TELUS Case Study