Programmable Telecoms is Hard - The immmr Story

Programmable Telecoms is Hard - The immmr Story

Programmable Telecoms is hard - Working on the toughest transformations in Telecoms

- immmr’s achievements
- immmr’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as
a Telco funded start-up
- immmr’s journey, what we’ve learned over the past 2 years, what we would do differently
- The TADS story continues...

Presented 2018-11-14 at TADSummit in Lisbon, Portugal

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Sebastian Schumann

November 14, 2018
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Transcript

  1. Programmable Telecoms is hard SEBASTIAN SCHUMANN November 2018

  2. Programmable Telecoms is hard1 Working on the toughest transformations in

    Telecoms § immmr’s achievements § immmr’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as a Telco funded start-up § immmr’s journey, what we’ve learned over the past 2 years, what we would do differently § The TADS story continues… 1 i.e. trying to change Telecoms yet again from within 2
  3. About me § 10y core network design, dev & innovation

    @ Slovak Telekom § 2.5y VP Engineering @ immmr § 2m Network Production Development @ Deutsche Telekom § https://twitter.com/s_schumann § https://linkedin.com/in/sschumann § https://stackshare.io/immmr/immmr (immmr tech stack) 3
  4. immmr § A Deutsche Telekom funded “start-up” as strategic invest,

    shut down in August 2018 § immmr mashed up traditional carrier voice with 21st century voice and video for new communication experiences § Combination of traditional and IP based voice and video within a single service § Virtualization of the mobile number to remove it from physical constraints by making the SS7 stack programmable § Differentiation by control over user touchpoint and offered features independent from GSMA, suppliers, vendors, or OEMs § Long-time participant at TADHack & TADSummit J 4
  5. immmr’s achievements § Own branded service immmr integrated with carrier

    network infrastructure (Slovak Telekom MSC, HLR, STP) launched in 2016 § Transformation from immmr to the DT branded service MagentaTalk (mapping IT customer lifecycle, end-to-end monitoring) relaunched in 2017 § “Best of both worlds” proven to work in staging environment (e.g. VoLTE integration for fast call setup time & HD calling, RCS extension) § Own stand-alone service Orbit trialed in UK § Use-case driven multi-numbering proposition § In-house replacement of CPaaS with open-source components § Compliant production of a Telco service in public cloud 5
  6. So what happened? 6

  7. immmr – SWOT as Telco startup § Solid technology concept

    with strong expertise (inhouse, nearshore, partnering) § Good strategic partnership with DT as base for “evolution from within” § Solid financing § Many market learnings due to late start § High interest in working with “the new kid on the block” § MagentaTalk was integrated in DT strategy Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats § Wrong expectation management towards (too many) stakeholders § No proper adjustment of targets & mission when given tasks changed over time § Fluctuation of stakeholders led to wide span of contradicting company targets § Touching legacy core business is not trivial, even if everyone knows that it is the mission immmr 7
  8. So what happened? § immmr mainly failed to manage its

    stakeholders expectations § Adjustment of concept from funding phase vs. evolved mission missing § Catch-22: The product should work like comparable apps, but also exactly as telephony does – fitting both market/commercial models § Perceived insufficient quality of the app shed bad light on overall service § MagentaTalk did not meet users expectations § Legacy service behaving differently needed clear explanation and reasoning § Activation complexity – usual “app flow” vs. Telco “IT flow” § Mix of minute vs. data pricing drove complexity § Budget/Time allocation not really leveled § Company cost vs. local test/marketing resources 8
  9. Learnings over the past 2 years § 2016 Status: https://youtu.be/qoarL3Bv-cA

    § 2017 Status: https://youtu.be/0I8yeJ7WIIQ § Today is about lessons learned in the course of 2018 9 Recap – TADSummit 2016 6 5 Recap – TADSummit 2017 7 Telco Evolution Towards A Hybrid Communication Service 4 Technology Stack Telco-centric Dependencies Internet-based Green-field Product Development Standardized & Interoperable Agile & Flexible Service Delivery Universal & Carrier grade Feature rich & Best effort Best Of Both Worlds “Orbit” – UK Trial Overview 8 Trial Goals § Social Media marketing insights § Commercial viability and in-market experiences for multi- numbering § Get insights for future features based on customer feedback Trial Product § Try additional number (max 90 days) § 30 free minutes for calling and SMS § Minute/SMS packages via in-app purchases Launch: This Week More Information: www.orbit-app.com Platform Evolution & New Partnerships 11 Testing Automated testing, CI/CD, code quality From PoC To A Scalable Production Telco Stack Extension “Make vs Buy”, Differentiating Unique Proposition Improvements Tariff integration, IT system streamlining, fast TTM for long term propositions Optimization Audio & video quality optimization for specific scenarios DevOps Automation, Kubernetes, Helm/Jenkins Partnering Maintain and develop strategic “like-minded” partnerships Touch Point Evolution From “UE” to QoE and UI/UX differentiation for legacy services White-labeling immmr To Magenta 6 6
  10. Long story short... ¡ E2E test automation Segron ¡ RCS

    integration PoC with WIT ¡ VoLTE/Prepaid integration concept ¡ Strategy realignment by DT management ¡ MT in SK raises issues ¡ De-integration of SK ¡ CPaaS PoC stable with open-source solution ¡ Last TADSummit ¡ MagentaTalk Beta SK ¡ Orbit Trial UK ¡ Product concept realignment Slovakia ¡ MWC announcement ¡ Yet another realignment ¡ CPaaS replacement PoC ¡ Decision to withdraw MT ¡ Attempt of alternative strategy failed ¡ Letters of termination 11/2017 01/2018 03/2018 04/2018 05/2018 06/2018 07/2018 10
  11. Long story short... ¡ E2E test automation Segron ¡ RCS

    integration PoC with WIT ¡ VoLTE/Prepaid integration concept ¡ Strategy realignment by DT management ¡ MT in SK raises issues ¡ De-integration of SK ¡ CPaaS PoC stable with open-source solution ¡ Last TADSummit ¡ MagentaTalk Beta SK ¡ Orbit Trial UK ¡ Product concept realignment Slovakia ¡ MWC announcement ¡ Yet another realignment ¡ CPaaS replacement PoC ¡ Decision to withdraw MT ¡ Attempt of alternative strategy failed ¡ Letters of termination 11/2017 01/2018 03/2018 04/2018 05/2018 06/2018 07/2018 Within the context of a carrier as strategic investor, immmr is a showcase to “fail fast” if purpose is longer given. 11
  12. immmr 2018 – lessons learned § For carrier services it

    really matters if you touch legacy core business or new business areas § Telephony multi-device/non-phone access is very hard when main device behaves differently all of a sudden (even if you explain it) § Edge case behavior needs to be managed technically and with users (handover, moving, no Internet connection) § Addressing the “millennial target segment” requires also a revised business model for communication services User View 12
  13. immmr 2018 – lessons learned § Your stakeholders are not

    ‘friendly users’ as soon as you “tamper” with how their phone behaves § But a good insight of what is important in the market § A balanced set of stakeholders is key to lasting success § Technical vs. non-technical management § Corporate vs. non-corporate representation with clear interests § Clear roles & responsibility (advisor vs. customer vs. investor) Governance View 13
  14. immmr 2018 – lessons learned § When guidance is missing,

    look for something meaningful for you and your team to do § It is foreseeable that project/company termination can be a crisis outcome. Turning it into opportunity needs an aligned management and team § Successful counterpart: Orange Libon § Do not rely on previous stakeholders for future scenarios Crisis View 14
  15. immmr 2018 – lessons learned § Finding individual alternative jobs

    turned out to be easy1, team alternatives not at all despite need for expertise § Despite lack of investor press announcement, the best way forward is to spread the word even if you are the only one § Frustration and negativity can haunt you – learn to separate individuals from processes & necessary decisions Post-immmr View 1 at least for the tech-savvy employees Thank you @DT for the opportunity! 15
  16. immmr 2018 – lessons learned § This community was of

    great help looking for jobs on both LinkedIn as well as connecting in person § Alan provided a few introductions directly § Like/Comment LinkedIn posts for people in similar situations. It really does matter! TADSummit View Thank you @here for your support! 16
  17. Not just yet another carrier failing1 § immmr connected the

    “old world” of a real carrier with a modern cloud- native application stack and development pipelining § immmr did manage people’s phone calls and messages completely on the backend – decoupled from all GSMA complexity and dependencies § Not just a compromise: The integration of MagentaTalk and the Telco stack delivered the best of both worlds by removing the drawbacks caused by both of their inherent approaches. § The Telco stack could keep the promises of interoperability and universal reach by native integration § MagentaTalk could keep the promise of agile and innovative delivery of a differentiating communications service experience. § Huge individual personal & professional growth within many areas 17 1 A certain bias is admitted
  18. Retrospective Summary § Don’t make generalizations! Corporate organizations are manifold.

    Disappointments in one area can still mean opportunity & satisfaction in another. § The (only) lasting stale taste: Brain drain for Deutsche Telekom. § All things considered: An experience I would not have wanted to miss – from the beginning until the end. 18
  19. Thank you.