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Exclusive Speaker Interview with Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, Head BSS Product Management, Comarch
In the lead up to the Digital Services World Congress we spoke to several industry experts, who will also speak at the event. Please read below the interview with Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, Head BSS Product Management, Comarch.
Do you think ecosystem players have found the winning M2M business model yet?
I think many of them are still looking for it. But we can observe some interesting changes. For example, some CSPs find that the main business is not in winning contracts for large number of M2M SIM cards but instead in focusing on services and providing end-to-end solutions for well-targeted verticals. Revenues generated from such an approach have already positively surprised some CSPs. But because they can’t provide these solutions themselves, this approach requires efficient cooperation with many other ecosystem players, including partners with vertical-specific solutions. The number of these partnerships will constantly increase. The ecosystem and its players are shaped by many factors: how these partnerships are established, how common services are built and delivered to the customers, how end-to-end SLAs are guaranteed, and how the flow of revenues between all parties of the value chain is managed. If these aspects are handled in an appropriate way, a better M2M product can be delivered. Ultimately, all ecosystem players will benefit.
What challenges still stand in the way of the value chain when it comes to entering and profiting from new vertical sectors, such as wearables?
If we view the marketplace from the perspective of wearable gadgets, they present an opportunity mainly for big players on the consumer electronics market, such as Apple and Samsung. But in looking at medical devices, which are expected to provide real medical value for doctors (as opposed to being simply wearable gadgets), many challenges are present. The design and production processes, which are strictly regulated to adhere to medical standards, as well as the required certification procedures, are only the tip of the iceberg. To be successful on the medical wearable device market it is necessary to become a part of a very complex and legacy value chain. If a company is seen as a disruptor about to change the ways people are accustomed to following (applies to both patients and doctors), it doesn’t help a company increase its popularity. First of all, a company has to win the people over and clearly show how much the existing ecosystem can benefit from a new product or service. An alternative approach is to go upstream and build your own ecosystem. Both ways are long and bumpy, and require many years to gain a return on investment.
Data monetization, security, and global reach are all key themes on the M2M & IoT agenda; What questions surrounding them still “keep you up at night”?
I would say all of these are important, but there is another important aspect missing –quality of service (QoS). In terms of an IT solutions vendor, who is also producing medical devices and delivering telemedicine services, I see that M2M products delivered by a CSP to verticals still don’t sufficiently address QoS. Technically guaranteed QoS may not be possible now, but delivering efficient QoS monitoring on the device (not network) level, as a part of a comprehensive CSP offering, seems to be a must for some verticals. For example, in the case of telemedicine, information about the fact that the monitored patient is too often out of network coverage must be sent out in advance; in a critical situation, the device may not be able to send an alarm. Therefore, it is QoS I think that should also keep M2M service providers up at night.
How does your company plan to enhance the digital world and consumer experience within it in the next 12 months?
Comarch is a software vendor for multiple market segments including full BSS/OSS for CSPs and solutions such as M2M and Cloud platforms. In the future, we want to focus on providing tools for complete management of the digital service ecosystem because we see many requirements related to managing end-to-end SLAs in multi-cloud environments, digital service fulfillment, settlement management, and partner management. In the digital era, consumers should get consistent service, regardless of how many partners are involved in delivering it. Thus, we focus on supporting digital service providers in establishing partnerships and in managing all multi-cloud aspects in order to enable them to deliver excellent customer experience instead of just applications over connectivity or loosely coupled cloud services.
Why are you speaking at the Digital Services World Congress? What do you hope to take away from your time at the event?
It is very simple. Many things that are happening in the digital services domain are still new and unformed. So I am attending the Digital Services World Congress, as I am curious to see how different companies approach these challenges, look at real experiences and mistakes. As a Comarch employee I’m also an active member of ETIS (a telecom industry IT association) where we say, “sharing knowledge is our strength.” Here I try to share my ideas and knowledge and benefit from listening to what others will have to say.