Helping customers succeed: BT portfolio continues to evolve
An interview with Beatriz Butsana-Sita, managing director, BT Global Telecom Markets
Q Looking ahead, what are BT Global Telecom Markets’ priorities for its portfolio?
Beatriz: Cost efficiency and innovation. In a rapidly changing world, you need to remain agile. BT Global Telecom Markets (GTM) therefore continues to evolve its portfolio of products and services to help our wholesale customers succeed in the competitive global marketplace.
BT GTM has already introduced several frameworks and propositions to help specific target groups achieve more innovation and cost efficiency.
The BT GTM roadmap helps us lay out the approach for developing our portfolio and drive its evolution.
Q Can you tell us more about the BT GTM roadmap?
Beatriz: Our roadmap shows our commitment both to implementing services to help our customers leverage new wholesale capabilities and to continuing innovation to enhance our portfolio.
Three objectives drive the evolution of the GTM portfolio:
1. First, we aim to offer our customers a best-in-class cost base for traditional services, helping them consolidate their assets and services and maximise cost efficiency. For example, BT can leverage its extensive voice routing capabilities to provide an aggregated single-source solution for national and international calls and SMS messages, reducing total cost of ownership while assuring quality. Customers can then afford to invest in innovation and in targeting new markets.
2. Second, we want to help customers transform towards IP-based next-generation networks with our broad offer of consultancy and professional services. This includes a consideration of their business processes, their portfolio and the operational improvement they can achieve.
3. Finally, GTM looks to offer a comprehensive range of IP-based wholesale services so that our customers can make a full migration towards IP. Enabling innovation and a quick entry into new markets and segments to meet increasing customer demand is a key element of that approach.
Q Managed services see increasing demand as well – what does GTM offer in this area?
About Beatriz Butsana-Sita
Appointed managing director of BT Global Telecom Markets (GTM) in 2010, Beatriz previously worked for BT in consultancy and business development and with major global accounts. She set up BT’s managed hosting business in Germany and the Benelux, and served in senior management positions for BT Retail in the UK. Born in Belgium, Beatriz graduated in Engineering and Economics in that country and holds diplomas from Stanford University and the Tuck Business School in the US.
Beatriz: Operators and service providers are ready to outsource a broad range of their requirements, and managed services are an ideal pathway for many of them. So the demand is indeed on the increase. We are combining our infrastructure capabilities and our professional services expertise to create both individual managed solutions and standard managed services.
This is a key area for us. We can help carriers and operators manage their network footprints, their portfolio and other aspects of service delivery.
Q IP-based communication continues to offer new opportunities to operators. How is BT GTM helping its customers exploit them?
Beatriz: One way we are helping our customers exploit the wealth of new IP-based business opportunities is our interoperability framework. By enhancing connectivity among operators, it enables them to off er more value-added services and to enter new markets.
Our global IPX services enable communication providers to connect to each other, to connect their end users to other operators’ end users, and to pay and get paid for doing it. Because the IPX aims to enable true interworking between providers, the approach is independent of the technology, networks or devices used. Therefore it creates the seamless experience that corporate and end customers want when they use communications services.
Q What about traditional services such as voice - how do you see these developing?
Beatriz: To help businesses extend the functionality of their voice offerings, we’ve introduced Ribbit-based voice applications. Ribbit’s cloud-based Platform-as-a-Service allows carriers to innovate and derive new value from their current networks. Ribbit helps corporate customers drive more of their voice traffic via the web and integrated user experiences, thereby making the most of their voice network investment.
We intend to make Ribbit available to the wholesale market to enable all operators to compete head-on with over-the-top players and social networks.
Q So BT GTM is interested in cloud computing?
Beatriz: Yes, certainly - because cloud computing helps customers who want to cut costs, innovate faster and deploy services flexibly without high up-front investments.
An example of a BT cloud application is our Virtual Data Centre service. VDC is a pre-provisioned, data centre-hosted infrastructure that delivers the next generation of data-centre service. It enables customers to create, deploy, monitor and manage their own Virtual Data Centre infrastructure. Automated provision of storage, computing and access ensure maximum efficiency.
Q BT intends to take its customers beyond the cloud – what does that mean for your portfolio?
Beatriz: Cloud computing suffers from the current hype and the confusing information pushed into the market. We see ourselves as honest information brokers and look to enable our customers to make the right decisions without compromising security, privacy and integrity. This approach includes offering our wholesale customers the right mix of services to integrate cloud into their portfolios. That mix comprises managed services, reseller solutions and white-labelling.
Q Resellers require a particular set of solutions – how do you address that?
Beatriz: Our services for resellers enable them to offer their customers attractive products based on BT infrastructure. One is our Switchless Reseller Service, which enables reseller and brand extender companies to offer voice communication services without setting up their own switches or interconnections to other operators.
With our new wholesale VoIP offerings we allow resellers to migrate to IP when and as they need it. So we can offer them an end-to-end portfolio maximising the potential of traditional and new-wave reseller voice platforms.
Q You mentioned new white labelling…
Beatriz: Yes, we extended our white-labelled portfolio with Global Inbound Services. They help operators and
“We offer our customers the right mix to integrate cloud into their portfolio.”
Beatriz Butsana-Sita, Managing Director, BT Global Telecom Markets
communication providers to serve their corporate customers more efficiently on a more resilient and feature-rich call-centre platform. They also help those corporate customers reduce their costs and meet increasing end-consumer demand for higher-quality service.
By making Global Inbound Services available as a white-labelled reselling solution, GTM helps operators boost their portfolio without the requirement to invest in the time, hardware and global capabilities required to sustain such an offer.
Q With your focus on new services, what is happening to BT GTM’s more traditional portfolio?
Beatriz: We’ve also increased the pace of innovation in our traditional portfolio to offer service extensions such as Sigtrans for RoamConnect, which enables mobile network operators to offer their customers enhanced roaming.
And we offer SMS Hubbing to simplify the delivery of SMS messages, avoiding the need for operators to have agreements with individual network operators around the world. SMS Hubbing also provides ensured delivery of SMS messages, with proof of delivery provided from the called party’s handset. This enhancement is generating a lot of interest; many operators have been waiting for it.
Q Looking ahead, what does 2011 have in store for the wholesale market?
Beatriz: Excitement – and maybe some more dramatic changes in how we do business.
For quite some time we all talked about the evolution of IP in data and in voice. Now we are seeing it happen. The beginning of the roll-out of 4G, the availability of true broadband and a myriad of new application infrastructures will change the requirements again for local access, backhaul and long-haul networks.
I look forward to helping our wholesale customers meet those challenges and become even more successful.
Managing Director, BT Global Telecom Markets
Phone +44 20 7322 3710
BT’s Global IP Exchange
A world-class IP clearing house solution
Interoperability is a business critical consideration for all communication provider customers.
And the BT IP Exchange is an interoperability service that enables fixed, mobile, legacy and next-generation networks to interconnect in a way that minimises the cost of protocol conversion and other aspects of inter-working for operators. Specially developed to meet the growing need for connectivity between VoIP operators, traditional communications providers and converged service providers, it provides essential interoperability between the various communications technologies currently in use. Thus it is urgently important to assuring the continued growth of the IP-based communications market to meet the demands of VoIP operators for simplicity and cost savings.
Creating a sustainable and successful IP-based voice business
With IP Exchange, operators and communication providers are provided with the ability to make calls to PSTN, international and mobile numbers using the IP protocol. It therefore provides the essential gateway between a communications provider’s own soft-switch and traditional and IP networks. The product is a key development in enabling the growth of VoIP services, offering communication providers a simple and robust interoperability solution without the need for a major capital investment. In addition, the IP Exchange offers market-leading financial settlement services for calls terminating on the provider’s network.
For many corporate customers and end users, the advantage that operators and providers can deliver to them through using the IP Exchange, is quality.
For providers on the other hand, it offers quick and easy access to new customer services with minimal investment, making the creation of sustainable business models in the IP space much easier. The IPX is also designed to provide the benefits of scalability as an operator’s or provider’s business expands.
Interoperable connectivity = simplicity + flexibility
IP Exchange customers immediately benefit from having a range of connectivity options to choose from. These include the numbering and routing required for the IP Exchange to allow providers to migrate end users from TDM services to IP. The transactions and clearing capability rationalises billing and settlements for in- and out-payments, handling them as efficiently as in the SS7 Interconnect world.
Beyond the necessary tools that are part of the solution, providers can rely on working with BT as a stable provider in the growing and dynamic world of IP communications.
IP Exchange can uncover opportunities for service providers:
• Generation of revenue streams addressing new customers
• Ability to compete effectively in a converged world
• Access to a scalable solution for a growing business
• Benefits from future IP Exchange developments.