Attending industry conferences can become tedious if you go to as many as I do each year. I classify events as daunting (when many thousands turning up); boring (when the content and speakers don’t hit home); informative (when I learn something new) and enjoyable (when I meet new and interesting people).
This year’s WeMeet Americas hosted by WeDo Technologies and held at the famous Fountainebleau Hotel in Miami ticked the last two boxes and, like most WeDo events around the globe, felt more like a family get together than a conference. What makes them different is that the company invites not only its customers but also its prospects, including potential customers and partners - and that takes courage!
This eclectic mix means that transparency becomes the key element and attendees soon take advantage of the relaxed atmosphere to share their stories and experiences around revenue assurance and fraud management.
The presentations and panels that included staff, customers and industry experts covered the main areas of concern as we move into a fully digital world spearheaded by 5G and the inevitable deluge of IoT devices. Whilst management may be transfixed with the 5G network rollouts and marketing the business opportunities 5G brings, the RA and fraud teams are trying to ascertain how and where revenues will be compromised – and they will be.
This was also the first event since the acquisition of WeDo Technologies by Mobileum and the opening ‘fireside chat’ that included Mobileum CEO, Bobby Srinivasan: Rui Paiva (now Chief Revenue Assurance & Fraud Management Business Unit & CMSO) and Bernardo Lucas (CMO) outlined what the new merged entity would look like and the effect it would have on customers of both companies. It was comforting to hear that the product sets were not only complementary but that customers will be able to take advantage of them very quickly, especially the combination of Mobileum’s analytics tools and WeDo’s RAID with the masses of data it extracts and processes.
This was followed by a panel of customers from Telus, Comcast, Telefonica and Liberty discussing how they were utilizing RAID to assure the business in an agile fashion. The talk highlighted how important tools were to keep up with the changes 5G is bringing but also the need to work closely with partners to ensure two-way lines of communication and prompt reactions.
WeDo CTO, Alvaro Ribeiro, followed with a detailed insight of the company’s product strategy, again with emphasis on working closely with customers via the WeDo Labs concept addressing particular case studies. Alvaro also outlined the advances being made with machine learning and AI to enhance the product set in becoming more predictive rather than simply reactive.
Guest speakers from Ericsson and Amazon Web Services outlined just how quickly 5G take up was occurring and what effect IoT devices were having on networks. The volume numbers were quite frightening but manageable if CSPs are prepared for the data onslaught they will generate.
Roaming took center stage in another panel because it also offered new opportunities but could also be the target of fraudsters keen to capitalize on any weakness they might find. 5G and device roaming will also add pressure to revenue management, as will the opening up of networks to new partners with the potential of exploding growth of the wholesale model.
One immediate outcome of the combination of Mobileum and WeDo know-how is an integrated and security solution offering a joint approach to safeguard networks and subscribers. Another presentation by Raul Azevedo, VP Product Management included a live demonstration on how to leverage distributed edge clouds to optimize revenues.
Subscription fraud continues to be a concern but an end-to-end approach mooted by panelists from Comcast and Virgin Mobile shed light on what they were doing to address it.
The event ended on a high note with a keynote presentation by David Shing entitled “Is imagination really more important than knowledge”. Shingy, as he is better known, is an Australian futurist, speaker, creative director, strategic digital consultant, and entrepreneur best known for his performative persona and his bold and polarizing moniker. And he did not let anybody down. His mind-boggling overview of what the digital world is doing to us all was an eye-opener and very though provoking.
From the feedback garnered, attendees came away enlightened and emboldened and with a positive opinion about the Mobileum acquisition and the enhanced product set and new services the bigger entity is offering.