Evolution of Active Intelligence platform at the core of delivering value to customers
Mobileum recently announced the acquisition of three technology firms, Developing Solutions, Niometrics, and Convene Networks. Each acquisition brings something unique to the company and its customers. In this interview Bernardo Lucas and Deep Basu, Mobileum Executives, tell us about the rationale behind these acquisitions and why now was the opportune time for expanding the business.
You've announced three acquisitions in the span of just over a week. What is driving this recent buying spree?
Bernardo Lucas: We have been looking for leading technology providers that would contribute towards the growth and development of our Active Intelligence analytics platform, and it just so happened all three deals closed at approximately the same time. In fact, Developing Solutions and Niometrics were partners of ours well before we acquired them. We have already seen the power of joining their technology with ours, as we have taken a series of customers to market through joint deployments.
These acquisitions are very important for us. First, they enable horizontal expansion because we can broaden our offerings and provide more value to a wider audience within the operator environment. Furthermore, they also allow for vertical expansion, which means we can build upon and enrich many of our existing solutions and use cases, providing more value to our current customers.
For our customers, this is great news! Now we'll be able to add even more value than we were able to before. For example, the acquisition of Niometrics and its fleet of network probes will allow us to deliver a more comprehensive customer experience management solution that provides deeper network insights for service performance and data usage, traversing across local and international networks.
Another example is in the risk space. With our own deep packet inspection (DPI) technology engine to analyze complex data patterns, we'll be able to capture more information about how certain applications are being used. This means we can now address more fraud and assurance use cases.
Aside from technology, are there other synergies that come into play when selecting your M&A targets?
Deep Basu: Primarily, it was all about the complementary technologies. Of course, expanding our geographic reach strengthens our capacity to serve our customers, which is also very exciting.
Ultimately, we see that operators are probably experiencing their most significant disruption in years, and it’s not just about 5G. Digital transformation is just in the beginning stages - there are still far too many processes that are done manually. One of the areas where we witness the most significant transformation is inside the operator’s business - in the OSS/BSS sectors. We are uniquely positioned to support this.
At the end of the day, the strategy behind our acquisitions comes down to helping our service provider customers manage these four key tenets:
- enhance and bolster the customer experience,
- increase revenue,
- cut costs and reduce losses, and
- streamline operations.
Can you tell us more about how each acquisition impacts Mobileum and its customers?
Bernardo: Each company brings its own unique set of assets to Mobileum. For example, Niometrics has a high-scale data monitoring platform that will enrich our portfolio with deep network analytics. What this means for our customers is:
- improved roaming analytics and alerts,
- real-time, end-to-end network monitoring and workspace capabilities,
- expanded IoT device analytics,
- enhanced network security, and
- the ability to prevent zero-rating incidents and fight OTT bypass and data fraud.
Additionally, our customers will now be able to employ a complete active-passive testing and monitoring approach for next-gen network quality of service management. Mobileum will leverage this technology to establish a new customer intelligence business unit focused on data discovery and monetization, customer experience and engagement, and privacy and data protection.
Deep: As our service provider customers transition to 5G and next-generation networks, it will be critical for them to perform continuous testing of new services and applications, from the lab to the live environment, to ensure operational efficiency and a stellar customer experience. The Developing Solutions acquisition expands our portfolio in this area with core network testing for load and lab use cases, including 3G/4G/5G functional and compliance testing, as well as IoT testing, and IMS VoLTE testing. Additionally, we’ll be able to provide new offerings for QoS and QoE performance measurements.
Developing Solutions’ dsTest product will be integrated with our Active Intelligence Testing to provide a single, fully integrated solution that is easy to use and delivers results across the entire network and service lifecycle.
Bernardo: Finally, the Convene Networks acquisition strengthens our 5G core network capabilities, accelerating our ability to provide a commercial off the shelf ‘5G-in-a-box’ offering that supports small carriers and private networks. It also extends our critical 5G core authentication, subscription management, and analytics functions, allowing us to provide operators a broader 5G network offering that is scalable and highly efficient.
In relation to 5G, do you see ‘customer experience’ as a key focus?
Deep: Yes. 5G creates a vast, new world of possibilities. The messaging around 5G has created expectations that it is going to be something disruptive. It has certainly raised customer expectations in terms of the user experience. But it is not just about a two-tiered relationship between the service provider and the consumer anymore. It is now about enabling many different actors to work together in an ecosystem that combines various devices for various needs. As these demands evolve and become more diverse and nuanced, operators who want to stay competitive will need to focus on delivering what the market wants.
This will only happen by tightening up the processes for controlling the overall quality of experience in this new ecosystem. This is very important because otherwise, CSPs will not meet customer expectations. Another consideration is what I call the ‘machine experience’. In the future, we need to not only account for customers who can speak up for themselves about their dissatisfaction, but also address a wide range of connected devices. There really are no systems that can track this. Most operators will have to make significant investments to monitor all the different devices and applications. Automation and closed-loop processes will become a requirement with 5G in ensuring all of this.
Your investment partner, Audax, approaches their portfolio companies with the focus on add-on acquisitions. Was this a driving force behind some of this activity?
Bernardo: The driving force behind these acquisitions was really a business imperative to serve our customers better. Over the years, Audax has supported us in both organic and inorganic growth, and it has been a great partnership to get us to where we are. Audax has been the enabler to make it happen.
One last question that I think everybody will want to know - is there a number four acquisition on the horizon, or are you going to pause?
Bernardo: We’re always looking at opportunities in the market. Whatever enhances our ability as a business to deliver the right kind of value to our customers.
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