One dictionary definition of “monetize” is: to utilize (something of value) as a source of profit. Given the amount of time most people spend monetizing their time - i.e., working at a profession to earn money - one would guess that monetization is top-of-mind for most. However, examples abound of newly formed companies that put their primary emphasis on creating something new, perhaps an interesting piece of technology, and then focus on making money later. Many such startups have shorter lifespans than their founders envisioned.
The Stratecast Operations, Orchestration, Data Analytics & Monetization (ODAM) practice focuses primarily on the communications industry, and, in particular, on the support systems that enable global communications service providers (CSPs) to provide products and services to consumers, to business and enterprise, and to government. The mature communications industry understands how to monetize its services; but still, a problem exists. For a number of years, the profit margins of CSPs have been squeezed as the costs of operations increased faster than the revenue generated.
The reasons for this margin tightening are many and well known, including the continued exponential rise in data traffic and the associated costs to support that traffic. However, cost is not the focus of this report. This SPIE will focus on the revenue generation side of the margin equation. Generating revenue is of utmost importance to CSPs, and is a key focus of the support systems utilized by providers; ODAM is literally anchored by monetization.
One way CSPs can increase revenue is to simply raise the prices for services offered. In the competitive communications market, where multiple CSPs and over-the-top providers are competing for every customer, this avenue is not really an option. In fact, competitive pressures often work to push prices down, exacerbating the margin squeeze. Therefore, finding new sources of revenue - offering new products and services, tapping into new markets, and expanding in existing markets - is the only viable alternative. Service providers, aided by their ODAM supplier partners, are doing just that. The monetization processes are essential in the pursuit of new revenue. This report will examine some of the monetization innovation that is enabling new revenue possibilities today.
With a sharp focus both on the revenue coming in the door, and on the costs of doing business, CSPs tend to move forward with caution. To a supplier of ODAM functionality, this means long sales cycles and considerable effort to close deals. This environment tends to favor larger suppliers: those with larger geographic reach and with more financial and personnel resources at their disposal. The old axiom “no one ever got fired for buying IBM” comes to mind.
However, smaller ODAM suppliers are still finding success. Stratecast recently identified over 100 active suppliers within the global CSP monetization market; roughly 80 of those suppliers could be classified as “smaller.” To stand out, these suppliers need to be even more innovative than their larger counterparts, to offer new ideas that catch the interest of their potential CSP customers. Many of these suppliers have also found a receptive audience for their monetization innovations in industries outside of the communications sector. This SPIE will conclude with a look at one of those monetization suppliers, FTS, and how it is innovating for both CSP customers, and for customers in other industries.
2. Utilizing Monetization Innovations to Enable New Service Offerings
3. Monetization and New or Expanding Markets
4. The Flipside: ODAM Suppliers Explore New Markets
5. Innovation Enabled by Monetization; Real-World Examples
6. Stratecast - The Last Word
7. About ODAM