According to a recent study, the Indian MVAS market is set to reach $9.5 billion in 2015. What are some of the key trends to watch out for?
The industry is undergoing a significant change, with its focus shifting from consumer VAS to enterprise VAS. While consumer MVAS has advanced from the traditional SMS-based services (caller ring-back tones, customised ring tones, music and entertainment) to internet-based and application-based services like gaming and mobile browsing, enterprise MVAS is a largely unexplored territory, consisting of large enterprises, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and SOHOs (small offices/home offices).
The need of the hour is to focus on the adoption of mobile technology at the enterprise level for achieving higher business productivity. This, in turn, will be driven by the availability of compatible mobile devices, affordable plans and the increase in the number of internet users.
What is IMImobile doing to support enterprise VAS?
IMImobile has created a secured platform in the form of OpenHouse that offers interactive business tools like SMS broadcast, voice broadcast, short-codes, long-codes, keywords, missed call to SMS, missed call-to-call, SMS to call, click-to-call, polls and virtual IVR(interactive voice response).
It also empowers customers to develop their own campaigns, set up portals, so on, through a cloud-based self-service environment. This opens up new revenue streams for operators, acting as a value-add bridge between telecom networks on one side and businesses, developers and service providers on the other.
What are your thoughts on revenue-sharing agreement between operators and VAS providers?
Telecom operators have traditionally worked with only a handful of large partners for launching MVAS. An open model is the future. Revenue shares that have so far been largely in favour of operators, should change to provide larger incentives for market forces to unleash innovation. In Western markets, operators keep a smaller portion and share the lion’s share with the service and content providers. This is likely to happen in India in the medium term. Some progressive operators have already put in place such models.
Which are the most popular VAS services today from IMImobile’s portfolio?
IMImobile recently announced powering ‘The Kleek’, a new pan-African mobile music streaming service from Universal Music Group. Additionally, telecom operators are strongly positioned to enrich over-the-top (OTT) services and offer a unified bouquet of services to their subscribers – like shopping, browsing, social media and self-care.
Has there been any dent in your revenues after ruling on ‘do not disturb’ service and ‘do not call’ registry?
No. In fact, many smaller players in the market have gone out of business since their business model was based purely on bulk SMSes. Their business has come to players like us, so our messaging volumes have actually gone up since we handle a lot more transactional messaging than promotional messaging.
What unique trends would dominate this year in mobile data services sector?
Mobile technology, along with social media, have become the two main media through which enterprises communicate with stakeholders as well as their employees. With the advent of cloud, an increasing number of enterprises, SMEs and SOHOs are in need of a do-it-yourself platform which would bring together social media, cloud and mobile within one unified platform to reduce dependency on multiple vendors.
Source: DNA India
IMImobile enables organisations of all sizes and sectors to maximise the potential of mobile technologies to improve customer engagement. We believe that mobile will sit at the heart of customer engagement strategies for years to come.
By removing the barriers and complexities to create and deploy mobile-led customer engagement solutions as part of a multichannel framework, we provide software and services that helps organisations to improve customer experience, simplify business processes and enhance operational efficiency.
Our products and solutions built upon the IMIcloud act as an intelligent layer between existing IT systems and business processes to create,manage and launch services across mobile, digital and social communication channels.
Organisations that trust us to deliver smarter customer engagement include Vodafone, O2, Telefonica, Aircel, Airtel, EE, BSNL, AT&T, MTN, France Telecom, Centrica, Universal Music, Tata, the AA, the BBC and major financial institutions.
IMImobile is headquartered in London with offices in Hyderabad, Atlanta and Dubai and has 700 employees worldwide. IMImobile is quoted on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market with the TIDM code IMO.