Executive Q&A – Building On Experience
Bart Weijermars is Pareteum’s chief strategy officer. He joined Pareteum through the acquisition of Artilium, which closed in October 2018. A former mobile operator chief executive, Bart explains here how the market opportunity for Pareteum is unfolding and why the company is perfectly poised to successfully address it.
You were previously CEO at T-Mobile Netherlands. What shifts in the market convinced you of the opportunity for Artilium, which was focused on enabling new mobile brands to launch?
We had a thriving market in the Netherlands for third-party mobile brands offering services over the traditional mobile networks, and it was clear to me that there was still great potential for growth of these new mobile brands in other markets. It was also apparent that network operators themselves did not always have the level of flexibility in their legacy IT systems to make the most of this opportunity.
These two factors combined created a compelling opening in the market for a company which developed software specifically to enable these new mobile brands to launch. And this has only become more interesting in light of the explosive growth in IoT services. The key is software which acts as the intelligent intermediary between these new brands and offerings, and the established network operators.
How has that opportunity evolved, and how is Pareteum better positioned now to attack it?
First there is the combination of highly complementary capabilities which has been enabled by bringing four companies – Pareteum, Artilium, iPass, and Devicescape – together. That has allowed us to create a single platform which can drive a huge range of powerful mobile experiences for our customers and their customers. Second, because this is a cloud-based platform, we are positioned to be able to serve the global market for the opportunities I mentioned earlier. We’re highly scalable and flexible, and it is extremely easy for new brands and service providers and developers to leverage our platform, wherever they are in the world.
How do you see the market for new mobile and IoT service brands evolving into 2020?
In the B2C market what we expect is growth and success from those brands that focus on adding value to their customer experience by offering highly differentiated or tailored solutions and services. The opportunity is in effective market segmentation and excellent customer engagement.
The same is true in the enterprise market and, in particular, in the IoT space. Specialist players will be best placed to address vertical markets for IoT services, so we expect to see a proliferation of these very focused providers, all of which we are positioned to enable with the Experience Cloud platform.
Why are mobile operators embracing third party platforms, rather than viewing them as competition?
Network operators realize the market is changing. They continue to have heavy investment burdens, particularly as 5G begins to come to market, which also presents a huge technical and operational challenge. By partnering to use a platform like Experience Cloud they are reducing investment required to enable new brands directly. Beyond that, partnering gives them that very powerful ability to scale internationally very quickly, expanding their reach and their ability to maximize the global opportunities.
For IoT this is hugely important. There are so many use cases developing, and so many more to come, that platforms which enable open access to developers and enterprises to build and innovate for the IoT are a perfect match for their networks. Platforms enable mobile operators to expose the great power of their networks to a wide array of new customers.
What makes the IoT segment so rich in potential for Pareteum?
That goes back to the strengths I mentioned earlier. We have a global proposition, and many IoT players require that level of reach. We free customers from dependence on a single network provider because our Smart Network, which combines both global cellular and Wi-Fi capacity delivers reach that no single operator offers.
What do you see as Pareteum’s most powerful point of differentiation, both in terms of product and market position?
Our platform offers customers the ability to bring services to market rapidly without requirement for significant Capex investment. It provides the flexibility to create services and experiences which are differentiated and offer highly targeted value. And it has that essential global reach through the unique combination of cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity enabled by our Smart Network.