There are three areas where Comviva is engaged to mitigate the revenue drop risk for operators: Tanveer Mahmood

Comviva helps operators in business operations

As telecom operators struggle to boost their revenue numbers, companies like Comviva take backstage operations quite seriously to mitigate revenue drop risks and also aid end-to-end digital transformation. Playing a very critical role in the business of communication operations is Comviva. In an insightful interaction, Tanveer Mahmood, VP and Market Unit Head for the SAARC region at Comviva, reveals the answers to the several queries.

Few excerpts:

Voice&Data: To begin with, can you highlight Comviva’s role in the telecommunications industry?

Tanveer: Comviva has been one of the distinctive success stories of India based technology product companies that have made a profound global impact. Comviva has kept itself relevant over the years by constantly transforming itself from a VAS company to a global leader in mobility solutions with a focus on messaging, electronic recharge, digital payments, digital content, data monetization, consumer value management, and Business Support Systems (BSS).

Comviva today is a global company with over 130 customers across over 90 countries. Seven of the top 10 telecom providers globally leverage our solutions. In the SAARC region, we work with all the major telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi, Sri Lanka Telecom and Nepal Telecom.

Comviva has transformed its business successfully as compared to its traditional rivals and is betting big on the growth levers of Data Analytics, Digital Payments, Digital Engagement, and Enterprise Messaging.

Voice&Data: How has Comviva’s telecom solutions business been critical to the company’s growth and development since its inception?

Tanveer: When we started off 20 years back, we were only in the telecom solution business and for many years the contribution to our business from telecom solutions was 100 percent. As we evolved, we started diversifying our business. Our ability to stay relevant in the market has been crucial. We were a strong messaging player 15 years back. We then grew to recharge business. Then we took our recharge business into mobile money. And today we are in the top 3 leadership positions globally in these businesses.

We started an analytics business, which is growing healthily. In the past few years, we also ventured into the enterprise space and now have over 20 large BFSI customers. Even as of date larger chunk of our business comes from telcos but there is a steady growth in non-telco revenues.

Comviva has transformed its business successfully as compared to its traditional rivals and is betting big on the growth levers of Data Analytics, Digital Payments, Digital Engagement, and Enterprise Messaging.

New businesses and OTT players are coming up and they need to send OTPs and service notifications to their consumers, this brings tremendous opportunity for SMS business.

Voice&Data: It is widely regarded that the telecom industry is prone to several risks. How does your company help telecom companies mitigate risk?

Tanveer: I would say it is not only telecom operators which are at risk but the whole ecosystem including telecom solution providers like us are also at risk at times.

Firstly, on the telecom operators’ side, there are three areas where we are engaged to mitigate the revenue drop. If you see the person-to-person SMS revenue has greatly impacted due to WhatsApp and other OTT services, but we are helping operators to compensate this revenue drop with additional revenue from A2P (application to person) SMS Monetization solution and grey route blocking. New businesses and OTT players are coming up and they need to send OTPs and service notifications to their consumers, this brings tremendous opportunity for SMS business.

We are also working on an asset monetization piece where using Comviva’s platform capabilities telcos can monetize the behavioral and usage data-keeping with the security and privacy guidelines. This is a gold mine for an operator – there are enterprises that are looking for concrete, segmented and actionable data and they are ready to pay handsomely.

Last but not the least, we are creating a complete ecosystem of Digital Engagement for enterprises where on one side there are digital assets and supplies like airtime, data bundles, international roaming packs, cashback, etc., and on another side, there are enterprises who want to bundle these digital assets into their product offerings either for promotion, retention or gratification. It’s a win-win game for the operator, enterprises, and consumers as well.

Our current R&D spend is 7% of the overall company revenues and expected to reach 15% in the next 3 years.

Voice&Data: Comviva’s mobile solution has gained a lot of traction in recent years. To what would this be attributed to and how is Comviva perfectly placed in this segment? How can differentiated mobile solutions offer an edge to beat the competition? 

Tanveer: I would say our philosophy of investing in the ‘business of tomorrow’ is the key to our growth in the mobility solutions business. We have been at the forefront of technology and innovations right from our inception. The company’s solutions and services are aligned with strategic technology trends to enable telecom operators and Financial Institutions to provide value-added services to their customers. We are making mobile payments easier, entertainment better and internet and broadband solutions faster by enhancing the overall experience.

Internally, there is an obsession for a continuous drive and hunger for improvement, new use cases and enhancing the scalability of our solutions. Our current R&D spend is 7% of the overall company revenues and expected to reach 15% in the next 3 years.

Comviva, given its global reach, continuous innovation, thought leadership and sheer scale of operations are at an advantage as Telcos adapt to a new wave of digital transformation and provide an edge over our competition.

In the South Asia region, we’ve transitioned several telcos into the digital front office and digital back office.

Voice&Data: In today’s scenario, there is urgency for telecom operators to undergo rapid digital transformation. How do you see Comviva aiding this transformation for the operators?

Tanveer: Doubtlessly, digital transformation presents an ideal opportunity for operators to rebuild lost (or crumbling) market positions, innovate and prepare for the future. However, this is easier said than done. Merely planning to monetize next-generation technologies isn’t enough. Operators ought to have a plan to leverage these to best suit all aspects of their business.

We are confident that our robust suite of digital offerings along with our industry experts will continue to resonate with telcos having a digital transformation on the top of their agendas. In the South Asia region, we’ve transitioned several telcos into the digital front office and digital back office with Sales and Distribution transformation.

One of the leading operators in Sri Lanka selected Comviva as its transformation partner to upgrade its legacy BSS stack while creating digital capabilities. This was done on the basis of our capability to support prepaid and post-paid platforms through the Digital BSS suite (iPACS).

As telcos continue to transition into the digital space, we hope for many such successful transformation initiatives in the future. Similarly, we have launched a new-age digital platform, which will help telcos to manage their digital services end-to-end. We expect major developments on this front in the region, as telcos take incremental steps to cater to the increasing demand for digitization from their customers as well as enterprise customers. Similarly, in digital payments, we’ve identified new technologies that help us in reinforcing our leadership position in the continent.

In digital payments, we’ve identified new technologies that help us in reinforcing our leadership position in the continent.

Voice&Data: It is also believed that cloud-based BSS solutions for operators is cost-effective and also cuts operating time. How does Comviva support the operator’s needs and help them achieve an effective BSS operation? 

Tanveer: Comviva’s Digital BSS solution is designed to seamlessly adapt to the fast-changing digital-only telecom space. It ensures operators stay clear of likely bottlenecks (both current and in the future), thus paving the way for the player to transition into a digital services provider.

Comviva’s Digital BSS platform comes with a suite of pre-integrated solutions like CRM, billing, dunning, credit management, roaming, interconnect running in the background. It offers flexibility and supports any network, payment method, and delivery model ensuring faster time to market. These will permit operators to lay the roadmap for driving digital services at scalable levels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *