Accelerating Business Value with SaaS

October 15, 2008

Today & tomorrow Pat Murphy, VP of Business Development at Jaduka, & I will attend IBM’s Accelerating Business Value Conference in Palisades, New York. The focus of this conference is to bring together business executives, subject matter experts, & Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in an effort to collaborate on making alternative delivery models available for software solutions through IBM’s Blue Business Platform (BPP).

As reported by IBM, the tides of innovation are driving radical changes in the software market. Alternative delivery models are opening up choices for line of business executives & providing new market opportunity for software vendors. Analyst predictions include:

– By 2012, 70% or more of businesses with greater than 100 employees will have deployed at least one Software as a Service (SaaS) application. – Saugatuck Technology, May 2008
– The Cloud opportunity is potentially $95 billion, or roughly 12%, of the total worldwide software market, within five years – Merrill Lynch, May 2008

Just as Pat discussed in a recent blog post, NetworkIP & Jaduka have been doing Software as a Service (SaaS) for many years. In fact, we are doing SasS 20 million times a month & that number continues to increase. Enterprises are quickly realizing the many pros of SaaS which include: affordability, immediate ROI, subscription pricing, quick deployment times, & the elimination of hardware &/or IT maintenance costs.

Going forward we plan to work more closely with ecosystems such as IBM’s Blue Business Platform in an effort to enable more companies to easily leverage the power & cost-savings that Jaduka & NetworkIP’s voice & transaction services software offer.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

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NetworkIP & Jaduka Attending Mobilize 2008

September 18, 2008

Early this morning Trevor Baca, VP of Software Engineering, Karthik Srinivasan, Director of Systems Engineering, & I jumped on planes headed for San Francisco to attend tomorrow’s Mobilize conference. This is the inaugural year for the Mobilize conference & with GigaOM behind this one it is sure to be a success & last for many years to come. This is an exciting time to be in the mobile space & we expect tomorrow’s conference will be just as stimulating & productive as it promotes to be.

The conference has pulled together thought leaders from Google, Nortel, Cisco, Motorolla, Sprint & many others involved in the mobile industry to cover topics that we’ve all been asking & that will enable us all to make informed decisions in this new market. The Mobilize conference also includes a launch pad session so companies like Cumulux, Fonemesh, Fonolo, Fusion Garage, Heysan, LuckyCal, MotionDSP, Pinch Media, placethings, Skyfire Labs, TuneWiki & Zecter can present their new mobile products.

Over the past few months we’ve been talking about how faster mobile data speeds (3G, 4G, & LTE) & open mobile operating systems (Apple, Symbian, & Google’s Android) are making this an exciting & opportunistic market for businesses & application engineers to develop new & innovative applications for the mobile space. As more companies & application engineers enter this space & find themselves supporting mobile consumers & mobile products they are realizing the need for faster, more robust, & more reliable transaction processing services. These companies & application engineers obviously understand the value of transaction processing services; however, they haven’t the time, the money, or the resources to develop them on their own. Their focus is where it should be; on their mobile products & services. So they rely on us & our proven experience in the transaction processing space to ensure their accounts & products are properly managed.

Our transaction processing services allow companies to manage all of their mobile consumer accounts & mobile products via simple API interfaces without having to invest any costs or resources to build a network, deploy hardware, ensure security standards, & manage complex databases. We do the heavy lifting so these companies & application engineers can focus on their existing mobile products, new mobile products, & most importantly their customers.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka


The 2008 Prepaid Leadership Summit

August 11, 2008

We are looking forward to hosting next week’s Prepaid Leadership Summit in Las Vegas at the 2008 Prepaid Press Expo. This will be our third year hosting the Prepaid Leadership Summit. The Summit provides us an opportunity to share our knowledge of the prepaid industry with our customers. We touch on new things that we are developing at NetworkIP, we provide our perspectives on what is happening in the prepaid industry (lot of regulatory items this year), & I have the pleasure this year of discussing new opportunities for our customers. This year’s summit is packed full of great information & is sure to be a HUGE success for all of our customers!

The Summit agenda is as follows:

Date: Wednesday, August 20th
Time: 8:00 to 11:00am
Location: Pisa/Palermo Room at Caesar’s Palace     

8:00 – 8:30am – Attendee Check-In & Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45am – NetworkIP Welcome Address
Speaker: Pete Pattullo, President & CEO

8:45 – 9:30am – NetworkIP Technologies & Features
Speakers: Nichole Janner, Vice President of Prepaid Services
Karthik Srinivasan, Director of Systems Engineering
Wendy Gauthier, Solutions Manager

9:30 – 9:45am – Regulatory Landscape
Speaker: Jennifer Begin, Regulatory Manager

9:45 – 10:15am – Mobile Opportunities
Speaker: Brian Kirk, Vice President of Business Development

10:15  – 10:45am – NetworkIP POSA & Transaction Services
Speakers: Doug Williams, Vice President of Transaction Services
Joslin Sansom, Transaction Services Manager
   

10:45  – 11:00am – Branding Dashboards
Speaker: Pete Pattullo, President & CEO


Proven Database Solutions Are Not So Common

August 11, 2008

I was traveling this past week (on vacation actually) & while waiting in the Dallas/Fort-Worth airport to catch a connecting flight I overheard a pretty sad telephone conversation between two engineers that really made me appreciate what our teams have designed & developed over the past 10-years. The conversation between the two software engineers went something like this…

“We are getting a number of customer complaints that the application keeps crashing their systems. Have you looked at the database queries that are running? You know the database is our Achilles’ heel man. We can’t support all that many simultaneous queries. Maybe we should trying queuing up the queries so they don’t overload the system? Yes, I know if we do that it will take longer for things to run, but better they run then crash all the time, right? You know table joins may be a problem too. The database just can’t handle queries that require table joins. Maybe the queries we are running are just too big… I don’t know man; we’ve got to do something soon to fix this. OK, try some stuff & get back with me. I’ve got to tell our customers something.”

I can’t tell you all how relieved I was that I wasn’t in this company’s position. My jaw about hit the floor when I heard the guy refer to their database as their Achilles’ heel. If there is one thing that our customers don’t need to worry about it is our database solution. Handling large volume database transactions is one of our core competencies to say the least. Our database solution handles millions of transactions daily without skipping a beat. These transactions aren’t from a single source either. We handle database requests coming from over 250 API methods, customer service web sites, reporting traffic, & obviously from systems applications handling call processing.

Transaction processing is just another one of the many solutions & services we offer & stand behind. We aren’t trying something new or untested either. We have a proven solution that continues to provide our customers with the reliability & scalability that enterprise solutions demand.

To conclude, I did consult with this gentleman about Jaduka’s Transaction Services API. He seemed overjoyed to hear that we had made our solutions available via simple Web APIs. His company obviously doesn’t have the time, money, or resources to develop a high volume database solution on their own & we’ve got a call later today to discuss this opportunity in more detail.


Plugging Starbucks in to Telephony

August 5, 2008

Every time I walk into Starbucks I’m hit in the face with a new sales promotion. Howard Shultz & crew are doing all that they can to turn Starbucks around. If successful, their current promotion will have consumers visiting a Starbucks twice a day. The approach with this promotion is that if the consumer returns with their morning receipt after 2:00 PM, they will be offered any grande (that is a ‘medium’ for you folks that have yet to pick up on the Starbucks lingo) iced drink for $2.00 instead of the usual $3.50 & above price tag.

I can’t help but look at a promotion like this & imagine the benefits that Starbucks could achieve if they would simply use communication & transaction based technologies to market & manage this promotion. The problem is that too many companies perceive such an integration to either be impossible, or if possible then too expensive.

My morning coffee was paid for using my Starbucks credit card. Talk about a loyal Starbucks’ customer… I earn Starbucks points with all of my purchases instead of miles or cash back. Since Starbucks has already “signed me up” why not alert me of this promotion via text message or better yet with a phone call rather than catching me only after I’ve walked through their doors? It wasn’t until I purchased my coffee & then asked for my receipt that the clerk even notified me about the promotion. What if I wouldn’t have asked for my receipt? Would the clerk even have told me about the promotion?

Even if I do decide to return later today it is now my responsibility to remember the promotion & I’m also forced to keep track of my receipt for the rest of the day. With the use of communication & transaction based technologies I wouldn’t have to do either. Since I’m already a loyal customer & I’m using a Starbucks card I shouldn’t need to hang on to my receipt. My purchases could be tracked on-line & when I return later in the day my Starbucks card could be scanned to validate that I made a purchase earlier that morning. As for forcing me to remember the promotion, since Starbucks already has my mobile phone number I could be sent a text message or recieve a voice call around 1PM to remind me about the promotion. Both of these solutions could easily be enabled through the use of Jaduka’s Voice & Transaction Services APIs.

Again, it’s obvious that too many companies do not realize how easy & inexpensive it is to add these types of technologies to their applications & promotions. This is especially true for companies wishing to add voice.

The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) for too long now has been inaccessible to companies that do not have huge telephony equipment or deep pockets. With Jaduka’s Voice API we have removed these barriers & we have made it easy & inexpensive to plug in to that telephony network. With our APIs you can make your applications & promotions heard.


Transaction Processing Engine

August 1, 2008

In a post titled, “How Billing can become a Revenue Generator“, the authors of Telco 2.0 cited the many possibilities for a Telco to use their transaction processing and billing capabilities in other verticals to help solve real business problems. The article first pointed to the reliability and security problems recently in the news about the Oyster Card (an electronic ticket system used by Transport for London (TfL). The article suggests that if a Telco had been offering they Oyster Card services such problems would be much less likely to occur because Telcos have developed the infrastructure to handle high volumes of traffic, we understand the importance of reliability of pre-paid systems, and we know all about the importance of security in payment systems too.

The article went on to cite how a Telco’s transaction processing and billing capabilities can provide significant value to other verticals to include Yield Management in the airline industry and another transport system run by the TfL that enforces traffic congestion charges.

We couldn’t agree more with the article and that is why earlier this year we launched our Transaction Services Platform (TSP) which is available through use of Jaduka’s Transaction Services API. We identified that businesses were having significant problems managing huge volumes of transactions in real-time; much like the article described. Rather than these businesses being able to focus on their own product development and services they were caught up trying to manage their transactions and billing for which they really didn’t have the infrastructure or knowledge to fully support.

Over the past 10 years we’ve developed a solution that has stood the test of time and continues to be future-proof. Using our own Transaction Services Platform we successfully process and bill for over 2 million calls a day, we manage transactions for well over 800 million user accounts, and we are processing close to a million API transactions any given day.

At NetworkIP, we understand the value of security and reliability. We have invested the dollars and resources to develop what is now an award winning solution that can manage your transaction processing and billing needs so your company can maintain its focus on its products and services.


Planning For Capacity & Volume

June 17, 2008

Today Mozilla is releasing the final version of its Internet browser Firefox 3. Mozilla was hoping to set a Guinness World Record for the most downloaded software in a 24-hour period. It was reported earlier today by GigaOM that as of 10:00 AM PST when the software was supposed to be made available that all of Mozilla’s download sites were down. Right now I suspect that no one at Mozilla is worried about setting the Guiness World Record & rather they are hoping to simply recover & be able to support some percentage of the requested downloads that are queuing up.

It is unfortunate that Mozilla was not better prepared for today’s influx of download requests. On a day that could have ended with record setting numbers will instead be remembered as the day that Mozilla’s website was down.

Given the nature of our business & the many businesses that rely on us for service we treat capacity & volume planning with the utmost respect. If we are down, our customer’s are down & that’s not something we will let happen. Whether we are adding a carrier to our network, a server, or a new service we calculate & re-calculate the effect such a change will have on our network & platform. Each day we are running analytical measures against our platform to ensure that every moving part of our platform is performing to specifications.

Just this past Father’s day weekend we had another record setting day in terms of call volume & number of transactions processed. Leading up to this Father’s Day weekend our teams invested countless hours planning & preparing for the additional volume of calls & transactions to ensure the highest quality from our platform & carriers. We take these types of steps because our customers & their businesses are dependent upon us delivering reliable services.