Note: To support questions from enterprise buyers and private investors that are looking at Telecom Expense Management and the greater Communications Lifecycle Management world, Blue Hill is starting a monthly review of the key announcements made in this space for companies in this space including, but not limited to: Anatole, Asentinel, Avotus, Calero, Cass Information Systems (NASDAQ: CASS), Cimpl (formerly Etelesolv), Comview, EZwim, GSGTelco, IBM Global Services (NYSE: IBM), MDSL, mindWireless, MOBI, Mobile Solutions Services, MobilSense, MTS (NASDAQ: MTSL), Network Control, Tangoe (NASDAQ: TNGO), Telesoft, Valicom, VCom, Visage, Vodafone Global Enterprise (NASDAQ: VOD)
Based on announcements made in the past couple of weeks, the announcements that have gotten Blue Hill’s attention over the past four weeks are:
On February 22nd, Advantix announced that it acquired BlueKloud to support the tracking of devices and relatedInternet of Things (IoT) information. Through this acquisition, Advantix gains the ability to manage computing assets associated with the Internet of Things in real-time and with the geographic context needed to manage complex deployments. BlueKloud seeks to be a multi-structured data system of record for all assets through its own beacons and sought a partner that had experience in making large-scale mobile deployments more inventory-efficient and cost-efficient.
Blue Hill believes that this acquisition represents only the beginning of the integration of the Internet of Things and Mobility Services. CLM-related vendors have a unique capability to optimize large-scale computing deployments that combine physical assets with allocations of data and multiple cost structures. As the Internet of Things, defined as physical objects and equipment with embedded sensors and connectivity, continues to expand and evolve, enterprises will need to manage these deployments to avoid massive cost overruns and operational inefficiencies. The vast majority of platforms focused on the Internet of Things are focused on tactical data streaming or application development concerns rather than the practical aspects of ongoing “Thing” support and cost optimization. As this need appears, large IoT platform players such as Cisco, PTC, IBM, and Intel and big IoT analytics players such as IBM, SAP, Oracle, SAS, and Microstrategy will need to consider who to bring in as a service partner for data and management concerns. With this acquisition, Advantix takes an early step forward towards being an IoT solution.
Stratix has been a fast-growing player in the managed mobility services industry that has grown from its roots as a reseller of printers and point of sale devices of approximately 20 million dollars in revenue in 2003 to a managed mobility services company of approximately 150 million dollars today. In doing so, Stratix has gained three board members associated with Tailwind, including Tailwind Capital Operating Executive Geoffrey Baird who is now the chairman of Stratix.
Blue Hill expects that with this changing of the guard from a financing and funding perspective, Stratix will be more aggressive in seeking partnerships in mobility, field service, and the Internet of Things while taking greater advantage of the massive data that comes from the services that Stratix supports. With this move, Stratix gains a funding partner with strong mobility and Internet of Things experience.
SpikeFli is a telecom expense analytics provider based out of Calgary with pricing starting at $199 per month and was created by Heather Pauls, president of HPCI Telecom Management. By providing a fixed-price software license for telecom expense management (TEM), SpikeFli has a pricing model that should be interesting for organizations seeking to test out TEM without making a big commitment. The full range of SpikeFli functionality is available at $599 per month with additional enterprise-grade pricing based on white-labeling or integration.
In conjunction with Mobilsense’s announcement of Do-It-Yourself wireless expense management last month, the TEM market is quickly commoditizing for trials and simple use cases. Blue Hill believes that, similar to Mobile Device Management, that pure TEM is quickly becoming a commodity and that the margins from TEM will come from complex international deployments, analytics, and strong integration with other enterprise applications. However, the increasingly creative pricing and deployment options for TEM may also serve to be an interesting laboratory for the larger world of enterprise applications to watch, since the complexities of TEM are a harbinger of things to come with the Internet of Things.
On March 7, 2016, Comview announced the latest version of its CLM platform, which integrates fixed and mobile telecom expense management on a single platform.
Blue Hill believes that Comview has been a market leader in terms of the maturity of its TEM technology and ability to integrate with other enterprise applications. This version adds improved reporting, a more intuitive user experience, and improved order management. In launching this new version, Comview continues to be one of the top CLM platforms running on a single code base.