Ask Niall Norton about telcos as platforms and whether they are ready to take on that role and he is remarkably upbeat. It is, says Norton, about evolution, about reacting to change and an evolving and complex environment.
You can see the evolution publicly, in the annual reports and investor meetings of major telcos around the world. Telcos really do understand that they need to be part of an ecosystem because solutions are now so vertically specific that no one can do it alone. Telcos understand that, as platforms, they can enable so many more solutions, from Fintech to Smart Cities. And connectivity is not just connectivity anymore, certainly not in a 5G world. It is about security and adaptability to the solution that is needed.
Part of the move to telcos as platforms means that telcos and vendors are on much friendlier terms and a key part of being a team is around charging. Some might remember the days when delivering a charging solution took months, more recently weeks, then days.
Now Norton can roll out a charging solution in 41 minutes from the moment he is given the green light, and that is a game-changer.
So is 5G. 5G may be a radio network, says Norton, but it has also turned out to be a rallying cry, a call for innovation, new models and the introduction of new technologies such as AI into those models.
Ask Niall Norton about Openet being acquired by Amdocs and he is equally frank. It was not a natural marriage and it happened very fast, says Norton. The point was that the two companies were working side by side in very large telcos and it turned out that their vision of 5G and the future overlapped hugely. Amdocs gives Openet strength in the networks side and Openet gives Amdocs an extra and powerful tool in its charging locker.
It is, says Norton, working remarkably well. And while there is still ‘loads to do,’ both companies love being part of the telecoms story, particularly as they work together to recreate telcos as platforms.
The telecoms story continues to be a fascinating one.
Watch the second interview with Niall Norton, together with the initial one on 5G charging and the AWS announcement.