Etiya, the software vendor for catalogue-driven B/OSS for digital and communications service providers, has grown this past year into Etiya International in order to boost its worldwide reach. The company, established in 2004, is the largest and fastest growing software company in Turkey, and is taking a worldwide approach to meeting global demand for its services, led by its charismatic chief executive, Chun-Ling Woon. Telecom Review caught up with Mr. Woon at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona to discuss the company's international growth.
How does it feel to be showcasing at the largest telecom gathering event in the world? What do you want to achieve by being at MWC?
MWC is probably the largest showing of participation from buyers around the world, with an array of telecom assets and software for companies to enable their operations.
When I talk about assets, I'm talking about networks and handsets. When I talk about software, I'm talking about things that enable businesses to monetize the assets that they have in their network.
This is our fourth or fifth showing at MWC. The company has been around for 10 years, and we are creating an international presence as a leader in telco CRM. We are present in multiple geographies where we have offices, encompassing about 500 employees. MWC is an international event with high representation of buyers from around the world; hence, our participation here.
Tell us about yourself and your work history. What expertise do you bring to Etiya International?
I've been around in the industry for many years - close to three decades altogether. This is the fourth company that I'm rising to establish an international profile. My latest company, ConceptWave, was acquired by Ericsson and has become a global company. The other company I worked for prior to that was acquired by Nortel.
What other countries does Etiya have a presence in? And where do you hope to expand to?
We have sales offices in Singapore, Toronto, London and Istanbul. Our sales presence has been very active around the Middle East, Europe and Asia. We have deployments in North America.
We're conducting several trials in the EU community, and we have recently been selected by a large group company in Asia.
Etiya has won many awards, including "Excellence Award for Customer Centricity" with Telaura Suite. What do awards such as this mean to you?
This was a big award for us! TM Forum (TeleManagement Forum) is perhaps the only place where standardization and reuse happens. We won this award with Tier-1 metrics gains that drove revenue for an incumbent CSP. The award was judged by industry experts, a membership consisting of over 1,000 IT companies.
For the award, we competed with all the 'big boys', including Chinese equipment providers, European equipment providers, as well as the largest billing system providers.
Etiya, a company of 500, implemented proof of value over other contestants, and won. It's great validation for us and credibility that we are innovative.
What does your slogan: "Create. Sell. Monetize. Now!" mean to you?
It's about bringing out the most innovative, most attractive, most valued products. Telecom services are products, and we enable the creation, the selling and the monetization process.
What is your main goal for Etiya International as a company? What market are you hoping to penetrate?
Uniquely, Etiya is the only ISV that offers telco CRM capabilities with a broad understanding of analytics and big data. Recently, we launched two capabilities within our CRM portfolio, and these two capabilities are 'Configure, Price, Quote' (CPQ) and event-driven marketing.
Today, you'll find these systems out there as disparate and 'stand-alone'. These systems are not integrated with CRM, social CRM and big data analytics. With Etiya, you now have a 360 degree view of the customer to recommend the best product, the best pricing and the best utilities for that one customer.
One size does not fit all, so we are moving from mass marketing to one-to-one marketing - making personalized offers a reality.
How does Etiya stand out from various competitors in the region?
We have the most complete CRM offer, designed and implemented for telco verticals.
Can you tell us about Etiya's end-to-end implementation capabilities from consultancy to managed service?
First and foremost, we are a product company. However, in large transformation opportunities, we are called to do advisory work on the solution architecture, and best practice in the implementation. Post-implementation, we are asked to manage the operations for them. This is not just operations for the Etiya implementation, but operations for anything related to the systems that we interface. We have about two-thirds of our company (about 300 people) operating in the managed group.
What are the major challenges you have faced since being CEO of Etiya? Where do you see the company going?
Some of the challenges have been scaling. Not so long ago, our company only consisted of about 100 people, and we grew very quickly to 300, and then to 500.
Most of our staff have experience in local telcos and know the operations of local telcos very well. In certain geographies, these processes need to be adapted.
Therefore, distribution is very important us. We are working with global partners to accelerate our global expansion. We're scaling very quickly with the help of our global partners. We have a plan in three years that we will be a company of 2,000 staff with tier-capabilities of technical resources to be distributed around the world.