Enghouse Systems Acquires Mobilethink A/S

Acquisition expands Enghouse Networks product portfolio

MARKHAM, ON and AARHUS, DenmarkApril 5, 2018 – Enghouse Systems Limited (TSX:ENGH) announced today it has acquired Mobilethink A/S of Aarhus, Denmark.

Mobilethink A/S is a software business specializing in device management solutions, with two leading brands in the mobile B2B sector.

The principal brand, trademarked Mobilethink, is a comprehensive mobile operator-centric intelligence management suite for device management, customer engagement and smartphone support.  It boosts data uptake, drives greater customer lifetime value and reduces customer care costs. The other brand is Tweakker, now the trusted business partner of over 100 mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) worldwide. Tweakker is a market leader in MVNO connectivity, online customer care, automatic subscriber onboarding and customer engagement automation solutions.

“Mobilethink’s portfolio is highly complementary with the Enghouse Networks portfolio,” said Sunil Diaz, General Manager, Enghouse Networks. “It expands our Mobile Value Added Services, MVNO, Internet of Things and Customer Experience Management solutions with advanced device management, over the air configuration and business intelligence capabilities. We are very pleased to welcome Mobilethink and Tweakker’s customers and employees to the Enghouse Networks organization.”

 

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About Enghouse Systems Limited

Enghouse Systems Limited is a leading global provider of enterprise software solutions serving a variety of vertical markets. Its strategy is to build a more diverse enterprise software company through strategic acquisitions and managed growth within its business sectors: Contact Center, Networks (OSS/BSS) and Transportation/Public Safety. Enghouse shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:ENGH). Further information about Enghouse is available at www.enghouse.com.

 

About Mobilethink A/S

Serving mobile operators for more than a decade, Mobilethink A/S has developed a unique portfolio of device-centric knowledge services. Mobilethink and Tweakker provide operators with customer engagement and smartphone support to boost data uptake, drive greater customer lifetime value and reduce customer care costs.

 

Device Management Tools Top Mobile Operators Wish List for 2018

The year 2018 will be a transformative year for the telecom industry with increased device proliferation, an exponential growth in the BYOD phenomenon and network upgrades. Driven to play to the strength of this tech-dependent generation, the year will see more operators replacing their legacy device management solutions. Embracing next-generation robust solutions will enable new subscriber engagement strategies architected throughout the entire customer lifecycle, successful service activations and better insight at the device level.

Device management systems on most operators’ New Year agendas

Secure a seamless service activation

Automatic provision of certified and tested handset-specific settings

Eliminate fraud from the network

Constant IMEI-checks to black, gray and whitelist handsets entering the network

Drive engagement and retention

Turn each stage of the customer journey into engagement opportunities

Adopting a Next-Generation Device Management solution

Up level onboarding with automatic configuration

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) business model has seen remarkable growth. Network operators understand that giving customers the choice and flexibility to keep their mobile device when joining their network means reduced churn and higher intake. This poses great challenges in supporting customers in configuring their devices with mobile data as a myriad of devices continues to flood their networks.

Knock out counterfeit devices

With as much as one in five mobile handsets shipped internationally being a counterfeit device (OECD, 2017), operators need to fight fraud and eliminate it from their networks. Engaging with these customers and upselling genuine mobile devices to them eliminates the risks from poor components used in fake phones.

Automatic detection powers up real-time engagement

A complete device management solution is ready to go beyond mere device connectivity and will enable customer engagement throughout the entire lifecycle. By automatically detecting customer activity at a device and network level, operators can collect data at each step of the customer journey and use this data in real-time to better engage customers.

Gear up for 2018 with Mobilethink

Prepare today to succeed tomorrow! Achieve operational excellence by keeping support costs down, by better engaging with subscribers at every stage of their life cycle, and better manage each device entering your network with Mobilethink’s Device Management solution.

How smartphone proliferation is creating an ever-increasing burden for customer care

Sub-$100 devices and a growing range of manufacturers will dominate smartphone markets in the future. For mobile operators, the transformation of the smartphone market means a more diversified device base to support.

Today there are over 18,000 distinct Android devices in use globally and that number is growing. In 2014, an average of three new device models were launched every day – just in India. Added to this is the challenge of mobile operating system fragmentation; Android alone has an installed based of 10 different versions. BYOD subscriptions are growing in popularity, too, which further reduces the control operators have over the device fleet.

Operators’ customer care journeys fail to scale for smartphone support

Typical customer care touch points like a call center and store are the most costly touch points for handling device support and also the most inconvenient for the customers. When the help provided by operators’ online self-care is inadequate, or customers simply don’t know about it, Google becomes the de-facto starting point for the device support journey. Unfortunately the Internet often leaves customers without a solution which further generates costly care calls. Today’s customer care journeys fail to scale for smartphone support, which impacts customer care costs, customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score.

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The answer? Online optimized device support

Mobilethink online optimized device support is the most efficient way to reduce the number of smartphone-related problems that end with your human touch points. Proactive care removes the need for customers to search for smartphone help by informing people where to find the best possible smartphone help when they need it. At the same time, it captures users who do choose to search Google for answers due to being optimised for search engines. Customers are directed from Google to your Device Guides self-care portal, providing them with the answers they need. So, not only are they happy with the support, but the load on your human touch points is reduced.

Online optimized device support provides your customers with the best possible device support before they even think about calling your customer care.

With Device Guides, call center specialists help your customers better and faster

50% of customer support calls concern simple device-related questions. These can take a lot of time to solve on the phone if your service specialists don’t have Mobilethink Device Guides to hand. Device Guides enables your staff to solve smartphone questions better and faster.

  • Specialists solve set-up related calls quickly by triggering over-the-air (OTA) configuration while on a call
  • Any call can be converted into a self-care experience through an SMS or email
  • Smartphone-related questions can be solved faster thanks to specialists having all the required information at their fingertips

Management Buyout of Device Intelligence Leaders Mobilethink and Tweakker

New owner believes MNOs and MVNOs need a more agile and highly-specialized business partner
to better serve their forward device intelligence requirements

Aarhus, DK, 20th July 2017: A new era began this month at Mobilethink and Tweakker in Aarhus, Denmark following a management buyout from Spirent Communications by Pierre Hagendorf, previously general manager of the two businesses. Mobilethink Holdings, the parent entity of Mobilethink and Tweakker, is now a sister company of Hagendorf’s other business interest Softil, a V2oIP enabling technologies company also acquired from Spirent.

“The device intelligence requirements of our extensive customer base of mobile network operators (MNOs) and virtual operators (MVNOs) increases year-on-year,” says the new CEO, Pierre Hagendorf. “Operators need deeper intelligence about the network joining experience of their new subscribers and instant analytics about the myriad of devices coming into their networks. Mobilethink and Tweakker now have the agility and focus to meet their challenges.”

Mobilethink and Tweakker help operators to better manage the growing complexities associated with feature phones, smartphones and any other connected mobile device on a network. By gearing up with Mobilethink and Tweakker’s market leading device intelligence solutions, operators will maximize profitability, deliver the best customer experience and drive down costs.

Mobilethink caters for the needs of tier one network operators by offering a fully fledged and robust device intelligence suite. Tweakker cloud solutions feature an ultra-fast deployment, cost-efficient operation and pure pay-as-you-grow monthly fee solution specifically designed to answer the needs of any MVNO.

 

About Mobilethink Holdings A/S

Mobilethink Holdings is the corporate structure behind two leading brands of the mobile B2B industry. Mobilethink presents the most-comprehensive mobile operator-centric device intelligence management suite for device management, customer engagement and smartphone support to boost data uptake, drive greater customer lifetime value and reduce customer care costs. Tweakker, now the trusted business partner of over 100 MVNOs worldwide, is the market leader in MVNO connectivity, online customer care, automatic subscriber onboarding and customer engagement automation solutions.

About Softil

Softil, formerly a division of Radvision Ltd., is the world’s leading provider of enabling technologies for IP communications. Softil pioneered Voice and Video over IP with a range of embedded technologies and testing solutions. Its core technologies are used in today’s Enterprise, IMS/VoLTE, and Mission Critical Communications industry. Over 800 enterprises worldwide use Softil’s solutions as the powerhouse behind their communications

 

 

BYOD – A great profitability driver

Carriers and virtual carriers in most regions have experienced steady erosion in ARPU since 2010 according to analysts Strategy Analytics. Despite a collective $700 billion investment in infrastructure over the past ten years, revenue growth has been almost flat since 2007.

Subscriber acquisition and retention costs (SAC/SRC) take 27% of a Western European operator’s operational expenses (OPEX). Out of that, 69% goes to device subsidies and can take as much as 19% of a typical operator’s OPEX. Forward profitability is therefore threatened due to combined flat revenue and increasing subsidy costs.

Today, when seeking OPEX savings and higher profitability, device subsidies are gradually being replaced with other kinds of customer acquisition tools such as device finance, cashback and extended contract lengths. But the biggest route to profitability growth for carriers is capturing the growing number of BYOD users. For carriers, success in winning this segment of the market is the number one initiative that could ultimately lead to the end for subsidized phones.

Current subscriber acquisition cost (SAC) business models would no longer be applicable by attracting BYOD users into a network, leading to lower SAC per user. If BYOD becomes mainstream, high street network shops would no longer need to have massive stocks of devices at the point-of-sale thereby reducing logistics and warranty handling costs.

Today, the drive towards capturing more BYOD users in a carrier fleet is accelerating. In August 2015, Verizon Wireless introduced a new set of data plans that requires customers to pay for their smartphone in monthly instalments or buy it outright. This represents a radical change in how Verizon operates and signals a broader shift away from smartphone subsidies and service contracts.

Customers are increasingly paying for their devices in exchange for lower service fees – a trend started by T-Mobile two years ago. The change has resulted in heightened awareness of their smartphone and service costs.

Telefonica also decided to remove handset subsidies, but that came with a short term sacrifice. Its revenues from handsets in Spain, for example, halved between January and September 2012 to EUR149 million while its mobile data revenues dropped by EUR13 million over the same period to EUR400 million. Yet, despite this short term hit, the operator’s OIBDA margin increased from 42.8% in Q1 2012 to 47.5% in Q3 2012 as its recurring mobile revenues increased by 4.8% between January and September 2012 to EUR1.4 billion. 

However, attracting BYOD users to a network is not without its problems. The more BYOD users, the less control the operator has over the device fleet. This poses three main challenges to carriers:

  • deteriorated device detection and configuration accuracy
  • longer customer care handling time for calls that relate to device specific questions, which generally form 50% of all customer care calls
  • reduced ability for targeted real-time customer engagement which reduces the effectiveness of promotion and loyalty campaigns

Simply put, a carrier looking to drive profitability through BYOD has to solve the challenges of losing control over the device fleet or the benefits will be offset by slow customer on-boarding, reduced customer satisfaction and increased customer care costs.

With diminishing control over the device fleet, the importance of accurate and up-to-date device intelligence becomes the single most important requirement for device management, customer engagement and device support solutions.

The higher the device detection accuracy in whatever device management solution, the more efficient and smooth on-boarding of highly-profitable BYOD customers becomes.

The benefits of accurate device intelligence extend also to customer care. With BYOD, any operators’ device support solution must offer customers and customer care agents intuitive how-to-use guides for many more devices compared to a non-BYOD scenario.

In BYOD, device intelligence accuracy has the most direct revenue impact in an operators’ real-time customer engagement process. It is of the utmost importance to accurately detect device models and combine that with precise device capability specifications and subscriber profile to increase the relevancy of promotional engagement messages.

According to Lars Houbak, general manager of Mobilethink, “BYOD users bring a breath of fresh air to wireless operators in all regions and every effort must be made to encourage growth in this segment of the market. If the era of subsidized phones can be brought to an end, the benefits for carriers and virtual carriers will be substantial and will significantly lower OPEX costs.”

Answering the BYOD User Challenges

Mobilethink runs a unique in-house device intelligence development process and offers the only solution that answers the BYOD challenges. Mobilethink Device Management solution has the largest database of verified device detection data, device capability specifications with over 150 data points per device and intuitive how-to-use guides for 98% of the devices in actual use.

Through test agreements with over 100 device manufacturers, we develop and certify over the air (OTA) settings for practically all commonly used devices before they are launched. We are on an average adding three devices per day to the device database, providing mobile operator customers the highest device database update frequency on the market.

Mobilethink Device Management solution also contains a unique algorithm for detecting and configuring up to 80% of GSMA unapproved devices – a rapidly growing smartphone segment of the market in many fast growth markets such as Africa and the Middle East.

In a nutshell, due to the growing share of BYOD subscriptions in a network, having accurate and up-to-date device intelligence data and settings are becoming more important than ever before. Once Mobilethink-enabled, MNOs and MVNOs need no longer be concerned about the problems or support costs associated with attracting BYOD users to a network. The user will be online in a handful of seconds generating highly profitable data revenues.

What are your thoughts on the trend toward the BYOD trends in the mobile ecosystem? Share your comments on LinkedIn and join the conversation.

For more about Mobilethink Device Intelligence Suite visit https://mobilethink.com

Tele2 Austria goes for better care experience with Mobilethink

Crawley, UK – December 2, 2015 – Mobilethink Communications’ device intelligence business unit announces today that its long-standing device management contract with the Tele2 Group has been extended with Mobilethink Device Guides to support new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) operations in Austria.

Since October, Tele2 Austria has been offering a modular mobile product with nationwide coverage including LTE data speed at no surcharge, at competitive rates with the highest flexibility in the market. To ensure smooth customer on-boarding and to manage customer care costs, Tele2 Austria decided to adopt Mobilethink Device Guides into its operations. This involved the MVNO seamlessly embedding the guides into its website with a link to Mobilethink’s cloud.

By providing device guides directly on the website, Tele2 Austria’s customers can effortlessly find the best possible help for their smartphone problems whenever needed. Customer care agents also have access to these smartphone guides helping them to solve any device-related issue in seconds.  The guides allow Tele2’s customer care agents to avoid lengthy service discussions over the phone by directing callers to the correct place in the self-care device guide library on the MVNO’s website through a link delivered by SMS or email.

Commenting upon the value of incorporating Mobilethink Device Guides into its care operations, Alfred Pufitsch, CEO Tele2 Austria, said: “Tele2 Austria goes that extra mile in customer acquisition. Having made that investment, it is primordial that customers have the best experience when joining our network and Mobilethink Device Guides will help our care centers to provide just that in the shortest timeframe.”

Lars Houbak, general manager of  Mobilethink unit, adds: “Tele2 Austria has the stature to become one of the most customer-engaged providers in the Austrian telecommunications market. Mobilethink Device Guides will help the MVNO to further build its customer stature and improve productivity at care centers.”

To learn more about Mobilethink Device Guides click here.

 

 

 

Fighting the mobile clones in Africa

Changing market dynamics

How to drive greater customer lifetime value?

Growth in mobile service revenues is proving harder to find as markets become saturated and competition grows.

The opportunity lies in driving greater lifetime value from the existing customer base, by encouraging customers to consume more and to stay longer. However, the challenge is how to engage with customers in a relevant manner when the customer relationship is often a one-way street and operator brand perception and exposure is low.

Earn customers’ loyalty through relevant engagement

Instead of sending out offers that are not relevant to individual users or which do not reflect the capabilities of their devices, mobile operators can easily create personalized offers. For example, relevant service upgrades can be automatically promoted to users of a particular device model on a predefined occasion, such as activation of a new device.

This has real business benefits: it can help to build loyalty, increase customers’ spending and eventually drive greater customer lifetime value.

The Mobilethink solution automates personalized marketing engagement. Predefined customer segments can be built and updated based on real-time device detection. As a result you engage with your customers in a timely and relevant manner and maximise upsell opportunities.

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Segment your customers based on rich data

The starting point for efficient and relevant marketing is customer segmentation based on rich data. For example – device capability, subscription, billing and location data. When the exact device capabilities of a subscriber are combined with his currently subscribed services, it opens up various upsell opportunities. In addition, the more accurate and rich the data is, the higher the chances are for successful upsell.

Deliver the right message at the right moment

Timing is essential for relevant customer engagement and successful sales conversions. Mobilethink Customer Engagement solution provides the ability to deliver messages to your customers at the relevant moments, rather in scheduled batch deliveries. It is based on real-time device detection which triggers the customer engagement process should the subscriber fall in any of the predefined segments.
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Capture all upsell opportunities efficiently

Within your subscriber base there are multiple upsell opportunities at any one time. But capturing them and maximising revenue is impossible without an automated process. That’s where the Mobilethink Customer Engagement solution comes in, allowing you to effectively engage with subscribers automatically.

VoLTE – $1 Billion Invested, Little Return

Heralded as the most disruptive mobile technology yet, more than an estimated one billion dollars has already been invested by operators to make their networks capable of handling Voice over LTE (VoLTE) traffic. But the return to date on those investments so far is minimal. The expected traffic hasn’t happened partly because of device manufacturers failing to upgrade most of their smartphone builds with VoLTE Device Management (DM) support, which is the missing link between the users and an easy and hassle-free VoLTE service.

According to the GSA’s fast fact report of October 2015, of 410 operators worldwide with commercially-launched LTE networks, only 35 operators have launched VoLTE and VoWiFi services and those that have are for a very limited number of smartphones.

Of the few rolled-out VoLTE systems on today’s market, all are based on the PRD-IR.92 deployment model, often referred to as VoLTE Phase 0. However, one of the most critical caveats in IR.92 based VoLTE deployments is that the IP Multimedia System (IMS) and VoLTE devices lack automatic VoLTE DM functionalities.

Missing VoLTE DM functionality means that VoLTE settings are “hard coded” by vendors into the firmware of their devices. In turn, operators have to ensure that their IMS network parameters are aligned with the settings of all the VoLTE device models they support. That requires extensive planning, configuration and testing work, which can occupy operators’ engineering teams for several months. When a new firmware version of a smartphone is launched and contains different VoLTE settings, an operator’s IMS network will likely need to be reconfigured.

Additionally, subscribers are responsible for checking that their device runs the correct VoLTE compatible firmware version. In the event that it doesn’t, they will have to load the correct software version. Bearing in mind the varying “technical” skill levels of the average mobile user, this will just not happen and represents a further barrier to the wholesale deployment of VoLTE services.

The lack of VoLTE DM functionality also prohibits delivery of a fluent roaming service. With investments in IMS likely to grow to over $4 billion by 2017 according to ABI Research, each new VoLTE service provider coming to market will have to test and ensure that their IMS network and the selected VoLTE devices, including firmware versions, are aligned to allow flawless service in all use cases. Without VoLTE DM support, settings can only be updated through firmware updates, potentially causing a need for repeated IMS network configurations and the costly and lengthy process of convincing subscribers to run a firmware update for their devices.

Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) offers another viable solution to the larger challenge of ensuring sufficient indoor coverage and offers a critical service component to combat free OTT services. However, VoWiFi but will require additional call handover capabilities to VoLTE. Ultimately, operators will have to demonstrate to users the improved user experience of this voice service.

Fast call setup time, dramatically improved audio quality and affordable VoWiFi based calls are compelling reasons why consumers will ultimately demand VoLTE and VoWiFi services. But in the meantime, for operators, the continuing lack of automatic VoLTE Device Management support increases operational costs, deteriorates customer satisfaction and further increases the financial “loss” from consumers using free OTT VoIP services instead of revenue-generating VoLTE services.

Mobilethink instant VoLTE fix

Mobilethink business unit has built a customer base of over 100 network operators worldwide over the years and it sees its remit to accelerate the much-heralded VoLTE revolution and offer operators an instant solution for the mainstream roll-out of VoLTE services. Mobilethink has already started VoLTE DM Proof of Concept with its European customers and a handful of pilots in other markets are in the pipeline.

Mobilethink’s VoLTE-friendly Device Management (DM) solution enables this feature on any smartphone. From power-up, the device automatically requests VoLTE, VoWiFi and RCS settings and Mobilethink’s VoLTE DM server then responds immediately to these requests and delivers the correct settings for each device model.

The benefits of Mobilethink’s DM fix are fourfold: operators can minimise costs in IMS deployment and operations, can avoid costly network reconfigurations as a result of changed firmware updates, deliver VoLTE services to massive numbers of smartphones and models in any market at any time, and provide roaming services from day one.

“With over $1 billion invested in making networks capable of handling VoLTE traffic, operators are tired of waiting for device manufacturers to make smartphones VoLTE DM-enabled,” says Lars Houbak, Mobilethink’s general manager. “Whilst Mobilethink has the solution to fix the network side of the VoLTE problem, it is now up to device makers to fix their side of the dilemma. Only then can consumers really enjoy the outstanding benefits of VoLTE and operators can also get a full return on their investments.”

An eBook describing what VoLTE Device Management is all about and pinpointing the benefits of Mobilethink’s VoLTE DM can be downloaded here.

News & Blog

Today there are over 18,000 distinct Android devices in use globally and that number is growing. In 2014, an average of three new device models were launched every day – just in India. Added to this is the challenge of mobile operating system fragmentation; Android alone has an installed based of 10 different versions. BYOD subscriptions are growing in popularity, too, which further reduces the control operators have over the device fleet.

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Operators are increasingly joining the highly profitable BYOD train as subsidized smartphones are too costly in the current no-growth market situation. However, the higher the share of BYOD users on a network, the less control the operator has over the device fleet. So how can operators reap the benefits of BYOD while managing the emerging challenges?

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A lack of automatic device configuration for VoLTE devices has slowed down global VoLTE uptake. Despite years of VoLTE investments, mobile operators haven’t be able to capture any serious revenue from the service. Mobilethink VoLTE Device Management finally brings the long waited automatic device configuration in to VoLTE networks and unlocks the full VoLTE revenue potential.

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