Juhani Hintikka, president & CEO, Comptel Corporation, a telecoms mediation software solutions company, sees a huge opportunity for regional growth.
CommsMEA How has business been in the past year? Did the Arab Spring affect business?
We’ve actually seen fairly substantial growth in the region and I think it has been both natural market growth of on average 6% in the region in the telco sector, but for us it’s also been a question of acquiring more customers, getting more solutions out there.
There are certain markets where we have a very strong presence, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar namely. During the Arab Spring we didn’t actually see much of an impact, perhaps it was the mix of customers and situations. In many of these markets telecoms has become a basic necessity, and what we’ve seen is that operators have marched on with their plan.
CommsMEA How is OSS faring? What trends do you see in the market?
If you look at the operator IT landscape which can be characterised as saying OSS and BSS. BSS has historically been the area where you are closer to business, so you handle the billing and charging related activities. OSS has been related to making the network do what it has to do and often commands coming in from BSS or the commercial side, but that is changing. There are couple of factors affecting this, there is a mobile broadband uptake and the market has different services, all of a sudden meaning that the ability to produce, activate and deliver services becomes much more of a business thing rather than a technical thing.
CommsMEA What differentiates Comptel from its competitors?
In our industry first of all you need to have first class technology, and it has always been clear to us from the beginning that we seek to be number one in the areas that we invest in. Our people, service excellence, how we work with our customers, how we understand their businesses has been a focus area for us. We are clearly stating a claim that we are close to operators and can handle critical business.
We process 20% of all mobile traffic in the world. We just acquired a customer analytics company which allows us to be essentially able to predict customer behaviour.
CommsMEA Do you have any future plans? What are you doing in terms of growth?
One of the things was that we needed to increase our investment in R&D and bring more things to the market. We think we have exciting products, and we need to increase our business with our existing customers, so as a function of that we decided to go local. Locally, where the customers are, we opened up six new offices last year alone. There is a new team in place, we churned 25% of our workforce last year and about 75% of the leadership team is new from last year. Hence I think we have all the right ingredients in place. The journey is not over, but we’ve got to an exciting beginning.