Seven years on from its launch it may no longer be appropriate to call MyRepublic a startup, but in comparison with most telecom operators, its rocket ship logo is quite apropos.
Headquartered in Singapore, the company has expanded beyond its home market to serve customers in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. MyRepublic has garnered over 200,000 subscribers with its offer of fixed broadband services. In June 2018 the company raised US$60 million in funds from institutional investors and announced plans for a Hong Kong IPO of its TelcoTech platform at some point over the following 18 to 24 months.
MyRepublic built its TelcoTech platform, a cloud-based BSS/OSS, using the TM Forum's Frameworx (now called Open Digital Framework) principles. As this TMForum article explains, MyRepublic developed a single omnichannel interface to manage orders, an automated order-to-cash processing flow, and an automated order closure system. As well as using it internally, the company provides its TelcoTech platform as a service to other telecom operators currently with plans to become the Salesforce of OSS/BSS (or at least a part of it).
On a recent visit to Singapore to attend TechXLR8 Asia, Heavy Reading met with David Robinson, CTO, and Jay Shah, chief data and AI officer, from MyRepublic. "As a young company that didn't have hundreds of millions of dollars behind it, we had to think differently and build the systems in-house," notes Shah. "We developed our own OSS/BSS including customer lifecycle management, billing and collections, product and service catalog and product and service orchestration. This allowed us to deploy in multiple different countries quickly. In Australia we had a full deployment in 60 days, something that would normally take 12 months."
MyRepublic is continually enhancing its cloud-based platform in an iterative, Agile manner. "By doing this we can redefine the economics of telco," notes Robinson. "By building this in-house and controlling all the datasets, we have been able to accumulate an immense amount of data that gives us valuable insights into customer behavior. We use these insights to shape the products and services we offer to our customers."
While many traditional telcos also collect masses of data, it is often trapped within silos such as CRM, billing, call center systems, clickstream or log data. MyRepublic has created a massive central data lake from which every division within the organization can pull different queries in real-time. "We leverage this data for network optimization, customer service efficiency, marketing optimization, managing churn and increasing retention," notes Shah. "But many other telcos are able to do this too. Where we go a step further is by creating an open data platform that combines internal sources with external sources of data, such as social media, credit scoring, and others. Through the use of open APIs we are able to collaborate with other owners of datasets to glean new insights into our customer base."
Prior to joining MyRepublic, Shah had for a number of years been designing a new way of building customer psychographic profiles and understanding customer intent. He built his profiling model on eight key factors that contribute to how customers make decisions in any given circumstance. These are interests, connections, values, time, location, weather, financial status and health.
"By knowing our customer better, we can get an advantage over our competitors by understanding what products and services to offer and when," notes Shah. "That's not just telecom services; it could be travel, insurance, other financial products, smart home services -- the possibilities are endless."
Cognizant of the concerns over data privacy, Shah argues that GDPR has been a positive development for consumer protection (even though it only pertains to services offered to EU subjects). "Data needs to belong to the user," he observes. "The telco should not own it. The consumer needs to control the data and see how it is being used."
Shah notes that a lot of companies are applying data science and AI, but what MyRepublic does differently is incorporate an understanding of human psychology into the analysis. "To understand consumers, you need to understand their psychology. Otherwise, you are just building stuff that doesn't make any sense." Underpinning all this is the TelcoTech platform, which MyRepublic built itself. "We built our own OSS/BSS, it's one platform, one common data source. And with it we can make decisions more quickly," adds Robinson.
Jah Shah from MyRepublic will be participating in the panel From Virtualization to Containerization at Light Reading's Software-Driven Operations event on November 5 in London. Join us to find out how operators are preparing to rearchitect their OSS to take advantage of cloud-native technology.
For more about MyRepublic, see:
— James Crawshaw, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading