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Monday, February 18, 2008

Virtuality Squared - IBM has a virtual virtual operator in Finland

I had an interesting meeting with entreprise FMC vendor Telepo in Barcelona last week. They have some interesting innovations around that space - they are trying to occupy the middle ground between operator- and enterprise-controlled approaches to FMC. They don't extol a "bin the PBX" message, but also acknowledge the role of the operator in areas like SMS.

But the thing that really caught my eye was this announcement.

If I'm reading it correctly, it's an IBM-branded and operated corporate UC/FMC service, running on top of GSM Suomi's network. Now my Finnish isn't too hot, but both comments from Telepo's representatives, and posts like this suggest that GSM Suomi is itself an MVNO.

I've been wondering for a while if IBM or other large IT systems integrators would move into the corporate MVNO space. However, my impression has been that they've balked at the depth of negotiations required and the difficulty of constructing a global footprint. Maybe this is the next-best solution - offering a virtual branded service - in this case, via a virtual operator.

I guess I'll be the first to coin the term MVVNO.....

I actually have an analyst briefing with Big Blue tomorrow, so I'll grill them about it....

(Separately, one of Telepo's go-to-market routes is via an OEM deal with Ericsson, which has this morning sold its Enterprise Comms division to Aastra. That doesn't surprise me too much, as Ericsson has long looked a little embarrassed about its non-operator business selling 'legacy' PBXs instead of toeing the company line on IMS and hosted services. I wonder if Alcatel will follow suit).

1 comment:

Rick Hultz said...

Interesting. I've known that Telepo had technology to do away with the corporate PBX. Game-changing.

Nokia is a big partner of Telepo and my guess is future owner.??