Where is the Money in Communications Platform as a Service

Suzanne Bowen : Monetizing IP Communications
Suzanne Bowen
37 yrs in telecom, teaching, blog & grant writing, biz development, marketing, & PR. Favorite moments in life involve time w/ family & friends, networking, IP communications industry verticals & horizontals, running, traveling, foreign languages
| 1. "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition..." Barack Obama ..... 2. "One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain." By Thomas Sowell

Where is the Money in Communications Platform as a Service

How can today's wholesale carriers, operators and service providers meet the needs of those hanging on to PSTN and such while at the same time, meet the needs of those who have let go?

CPaaS is an acronym that is trending as big as "blockchain." Trends make us a little crazy wanting to get involved without really understanding how they work and what we can get out of them for ourselves and for our customers and other VIP.

We have to keep in mind the security matters for special customers like governments and medical institutions, the red tape in huge organizations and also the nimbleness of new mash-ups (as old as that word feels already today). How do you change the way your current and potential customer sees you... from fighting you on the prices you charge to "no problem, I'm willing to pay for this because I can see where I am getting a lot more out of this than before!" 

Two ways to continue to play a necessary part in the business of communications are to take part in a wholesale DID phone number marketplace and also to either offer cloud communications platforms as a service (CPaaS) or to use one to serve your own company and/or your customers. Integrate the two together!

Businesses like my company DIDX Inc and also Voxbone, DIDww, VoIP Innovations and DIDXL do a pretty good job on the first, offering anywhere from DID numbers of 60 nations to 140 nations in one place. The second can programmatically make and receive phone calls and send and receive text messages using a variety of really cool web service APIs.

How do you make money from the second because it is easy to understand how you make money with the first (with the first as non-recurring, recurring, per minute or per channel or per 5000 or so minutes and so on)? With the second, the earliest known methods include monthly recurring charges (MRCs) and pay-as-you-go usage charges. Doesn't sound much different, right? 

1. Provide an upgraded support plan which would include not just email support but also phone support and guaranteed response times. 
2. Calls Per Second (CPS) and Short Code throughput increases: Outbound Call and Short Code SMS throughput increases can be offered via a special monthly fee. 
3.  Short Codes charge monthly, based on the nation of origin. The charge is different depending upon if the DID is vanity versus "nothing special." (But then, one person's vanity is another person's "what's the big deal?" Like ... beauty and trash.)
4. Drag and drop via your business's CPaaS platform can include features like chat bots, interactive voice response (IVR) systems, and notification workflows. These exciting, attractive features will bring more users to your DID number business which is a part of the CPaaS. That's indirect revenue. That's customer retention. Customer churn is one of the worst enemies of communications companies.

The above may be common knowledge for many readers. It doesn't hurt, once in a while, to see a summary from a person like me with twenty years' experience in IP communications. I am not a developer or engineer, but I talk to and read/research from hundreds of technical, marketing, operations, HR and sales experts who work in the communications industry. 

We cannot expect that how we are doing business today is how we will do business in ten years. We have to read, discuss, learn, research, teach and share experiences.

I remember, for example, in 1999 when we started Super Technologies, Inc. and DIDX was a beta project. We sold a device called Super Phone. Our biggest markets were in South Vietnam, Pakistan, India, Oman and Mexico. For example, in South Vietnam, it cost $5 per minute to dial with PSTN to a USA phone numbr to talk. With the Super Phone, it cost 5 cents per minute, so people didn't mind paying $1400 per device.

Within, five years, we stopped selling Super Phones because its value had decreased to no more than $100 per device and also PSTN per minute calling dropped significantly, and people didn't need Super Phones anymore. DIDX was released to the web and 100s of carriers and service providers "joined," and it is still has a strong future, but needs of our customers and your customers are changing. CPaaS type business is one of the most popular ways to expand. 

Communication methods such as voice, video, and SMS text messaging can be integrated into other systems via APIs on the Front End that take advantage of a CPaaS platform, I've learned. Application programmer interfaces enable organizations to build upon their current offerings with no new hardware or software. How flexible is that? Organizations who are your current or potential customers can finally have power to set up their communications processes to much more effectively meet their current and future needs. 

Once again, where's the money? Where's the value? These really cool APIs in CPaaS enable your company's billing software to integrate with your customer relations management or to enable your Roku TV to connect with your lighting system. Both of these examples free you up to get the important things done at work and in life like...

If any of this sounds like I don't know what I'm talking about, join the conversation. I am not afraid to be wrong. I'm learning in the fast-paced-turnover-world of evolving technologies and business needs. See you at OpenSIPS Summit, ITW, Kamailio World, Comm Com, CommunicAsia and Cluecon between now and May -July 2018 to learn more and develop business together now. Our events schedule is available at http://www.didx.net/events.

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