SAP.info: SAP recently launched SAP Rich Communication Services 365, which will be one of the keys to driving 4G/LTE adoption. Can you tell us more about SAP Mobile Services offerings and SAP’s plans for the telecom industry?
John Sims: SAP Mobile Services came to SAP through the Sybase acquisition and was formerly known as Sybase 365. We provide cloud-based services to interconnect the mobile operators – about 1,000 around the world. Today, this is primarily about SMS traffic, but in the future it will be about interconnecting an array of IP-based services.
It’s a high-volume business. For SMS, we process about 1.8 billion messages per day through our hubs and we touch 5.8 billion people with those messages, across 210 countries.
Currently, the mobile industry is undergoing tremendous change. Operators are moving to 4G/LTE and IP-based technologies and need interconnection for these IP-based services. To provide that, we offer our IP Exchange (IPX) Service. At Mobile World Congress in February, we introduced SAP Rich Communication Services (RCS) 365, which runs across the IPX and allows operators to offer the next generation of messaging to compete against the threat of the so-called Over-the-Top players. The IP-based RCS service provides a higher-quality experience for users to be able to experience rich-media interaction – video, voice, and text – and we are one of the first companies to offer this service in the cloud. In addition, we are partnering with WIS Telecom I to provide IP-based on-net voice interconnection services that will enable end-to-end IP voice calls, network to network, with no interruption in the middle. That means the quality of the voice goes up significantly, allowing operators to command a premium price and also offer higher quality solutions for enterprise customers.
Next page: 2013 road map for SAP Mobile Services
What is the 2013 road map for SAP Mobile Services?
Telecom businesses are undergoing a massive change. They’re becoming broad-based communication service providers; using fixed and wireless technology; and in some cases providing TV services and broadband Internet. So the opportunities for SAP in telecom are massive. We have the SAP Mobile Services capabilities, very good convergent billing and CRM solutions, SAP HANA to address big data opportunities, industry leading mobile enterprise management solutions and of course we have our traditional ERP applications presence in telecom companies.
At the moment, SAP Mobile Services has over 100 mobile operators worldwide using our IPX to interconnect their networks. And we expect that by the end of this year that number will double and continue to rise very quickly – commensurate with how quickly the operators themselves roll out their 4G networks. In some parts of the world this is happening quite quickly, and in other parts of the world the regulators haven’t allocated the licenses yet, so the rollout will take a little longer.
Leveraging all of these connections (SMS and IPX) into the operators’ networks, we are also helping enterprises that want to use mobile technology to engage with their customers and employees by using SMS, push notifications, and apps.
A new area where we are planning to introduce a new service later this year is related to Big Data. There is a wealth of information buried in the operators’ networks. Talk about Big Data! The data that exists in these networks is massive, as big as it gets. So we are working with operators on how SAP HANA and our analytics capacities can help them unlock the tremendous value and insight that is in these networks and monetize it to marketing brand agencies, retailers, consumer products companies, and large enterprises on a subscription basis.
Next page: Ericsson M2m partnership
Which industries use SAP Mobile Services? How do they benefit from the services?
Telecom, of course. Beyond that, I think we can touch almost any industry, but financial services, retail, consumer products, and utilities are our main customers today. They use SAP Mobile Services for customer self-service, customer relationship management, transactions, and notifications. Some of the consumer products companies are starting to build a direct relationship with the consumers of their products, via mobile, to build brand loyalty.
What role do partners play?
SAP Mobile Services is working with almost all of the mobile operators as customers, but they are, in many cases, also SAP partners; and this is absolutely an industry where you must leverage partnerships. The Ericsson M2M partnership is one example. We’re also partnering with other, smaller organizations, for example technology partners, like Mavenir Systems.
When operators look at SAP, they expect us to bring them complete solutions. And while we are incredibly innovative, there are still pieces we need to complete the picture, and I think we have that kind of open ecosystem view.
To learn more about SAP Mobile Services, get a copy of the inaugural SAP Mobile Operator Guide.
About SAP Mobile Services
SAP Mobile Services, a division of SAP, is a global leader in mobile interconnection and mobile consumer engagement services. We provide mobile operators with capabilities in global messaging interconnect, data roaming, and an array of IPX-based services, and enable enterprises to engage with their consumers, through innovative mobile marketing and communication solutions. SAP Mobile Services helps businesses process 1.8 billion messages per day reaching more than 980 operators and 5.8 billion subscribers across 210 countries with our mobile solutions and services.