Zephyrtel goes Cloud Forward into the future for itself and all its customers

Martyn Warwick
By Martyn Warwick

Jan 28, 2020

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Mike Shinya, CEO, ZephyrTel

Zephyrtel is a very fast-growing software company serving the global telecoms industry with an extensive portfolio of telco cloud solutions. The company's CEO, Mike Shinya. explains that Zephyrtel's Cloud Forward programme is the central vision and strategy via which it and its customers will enter a cloud world. The Zephytel promise is to build, with its chosen partner AWS, an end-to-end telco suite comprising both OSS and BSS in the cloud.

As Mike Shinya explains, the benefits to customers from adopting the Cloud Forward approach are many. They include the ability to achieve reductions in the total cost of ownership in the 50 per cent to 70 per cent range whilst simultaneously moving into in a far more agile and adaptable environment that will actually be funded from OPEX rather than CAPEX. This will free-up capital expenditure to pay for the very significant structural changes that all carriers will have to make if they are to transform their networks and fully embrace the cloud.

Zephyrtel's strategic collaboration agreement with AWS is essential to the company's drive forward and is already very successful. The partnership has only been in place for a few months but already 29 Zephyrtel customers are fully in the AWS cloud while about another 300 carriers are using some elements of AWS functionality. Zephyrtel's intent is to take all its customers and all its solutions into the AWS cloud in due course. Mike Shinya fully accepts that it will be at least a medium-term journey that will take about four years to complete but is one that must be and has to be undertaken.

Mike Shinya says the most pressing and immediate items on carrier boardroom agendas are 5G and the transmutation of communications service providers into digital service providers. They are challenges that apply to each and every carrier. He adds that, meanwhile, the momentum that has gathered behind IT is now unstoppable and points out that by 2022 connections between M2M will be more significant than the connection from human to human on the Internet.

At the same time the use of AI, Machine Learning and Predictive Analysis will become increasingly widespread. These attributes used to be the exclusive preserve of large enterprises but times are changing and now small- to medium-sized enterprises are also embracing the technologies to achieve competitive advantage. The result is that what used to be "would be nice to have" in an SME has now become a "must have" requirement and the ramifications of that change on the industry will be profound.

Interestingly, Mike Shinya says the biggest challenge that telco carriers are increasingly concerned about is Customer Experience Management (CEM). Consider the day-to-day problems faced by them; they include churn reduction, how to increase ARP, how to provide customers with more choice, how to determine attractive rate-planning options, the list goes on.

CEM is now utterly vital because telcos not only want to know what their customers are doing and what they are likely to do, they absolutely need to know if they are to remain competitive. That's why Mike Shinya believes CEM will be the biggest single problem and challenge that telco CEOs, CIOs, CTOs and CMOs will be focusing on in 2020. That's because the issue is common to all players and, if CEM solutions are well-executed, telco carriers will emerge far more competitive. The trick will be to pick the right solution and fully carry it through.

Filmed at: TelecomTV Studios, London, December 2019

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