There is a new ‘magic quadrant’ being created: monetisation platforms as a service (MPaaS), which bring together once disparate telemedia services such as messaging and engagement, content, aggregation and distribution, with billing and payments and offering all or part as a service to operators, brands and others in the digital world to create orchestrate services on demand.
So believe many key players in the telemedia industry, who all see the surge in demand for digital services explode during lockdown and many businesses wanting to tap into it at short notice.
Pioneering the move is Centili, which has shifted from being an aggregator to using all the services, contacts and tools it has developed in the past 10 years to create a platform that, it says, can help brands, MNOs, aggregators and even FinTechs create, market and monetise digital services rapidly.
And with covid making more consumers than ever look for digital entertainment and services, the move is timely.
“The old view of being a gaming company, or a content company and linking to an operator has evolved, especially as operators have figured out that, unless they have a platform strategy they won’t remain relevant,” explains
Zoran Vasiljev, Group CEO, Centili, speaking in a webinar on Telemedia 8.1. “Companies like ours that have built an easy to manage and easy to scale platform that works in the cloud, allows operators to create services and roll them out really quickly.”
He adds: “We see it as important to connect merchants and operators but also having the platforms to let them run all these things and we then manage it. This was niche but is now starting to be accepted more and more and is getting demand across a variety of companies.”
Centili’s view is that MNOs can pick and choose the elements they need, in any given region, to roll out services. But why stop at operators? Aggregators, brands and even FinTech and other businesses that want to tap into digital can do the same.
“Part of the value proposition is that the platform comes preloaded with all the relationships that [our]company has created over the last 10 years. That’s 200-plus integrated digital merchants, all the services from user acquisition tools to digital ID to a rich monetisation API – that goes above and beyond PSMS and DCB that also virtual currencies and push messages – and we have bundled it all into one platform that can be used to drive service creation and monetisation as a service.”
According to Vasiljev, the platform has been widely recognised by disruptive merchants who can create services in 80 countries and roll them out really quickly, even down to legal contracts reviews and engineering.
He says: “We have spent 10 years building this, but have also seen the problems our customers, partners and users have also experienced and we have used this to let them switch on and off what bits they do and don’t want to rapidly create services.”
“We are excited to see take up this year,” he adds. “It is less about tech and much more about how to orchestrate experiences and the relationships between ecosystem partners – and accelerating this and monetising quickly is vital currently.”
The time is ripe
Centili’s approach comes just as the industry needs to push harder into the mainstream to capitalise on digital opportunities created by the pandemic.
Speaking on a separate webinar on Telemedia 8.1, Léon Dijksman, Director of PR & Communications, Sam Media, says that in such a competitive market, the key to making services stand out is to make them as easy to use and as engaging as possible.
“I think the result is to make customers engaged and to reduce churn if you want to make margin,” he says. “Being on top of experience is just the most important thing.”
Anthony Baladi, Commercial Director, Fonix – taking part in the same session – agrees. “Quality of service is paramount. Putting DCB into things that have existing payment types like Apple Pay etc… often works well, but the key is to not cannibalise other payment streams. This poses interesting question to MNOs because you see all the data showing consumers want to use DCB and that is huge. For VAS there is the opportunity to partner with big brands to link these with DCB and MNOs… Brands that have rights and are doing great digital marketing can team up with DCB and MNOs providers to build these interesting services.”
Creating services around monetisation platform may just be the answer that brands and MNOs alike are looking for to achieve this. Bringing DCB as part of a wider pick and mix of services that can leverage all that telemedia can offer is a powerful one.
It also helps brands, MNOs and anyone else readily update what they do with new products and services as they come to market. For instance, adding RCS can be done more simply if it is part of a choice of services from a monetisation platform.
As Centili’s Vasiljev says, it is about moving from a throughput, aggregation model to being the companies that orchestrate how brands and MNOs make money from VAS.