Telecom Review sat down with Nexign’s CEO, Igor Gorkov, and regional head and vice president of sales MEA, Ahmad Sayed, to discuss the company’s debut in the MEA region, its latest projects and partnerships and its ability to keep a competitive advantage in the BSS market.
What are Nexign’s mission and strategy in the MENA region with regards to digital transformation? How is the company dealing with competitors in this market?
IG: Digital transformation is a common trend around the globe, but I would also say that the transformation from traditional service provider to digital service provider is one of the key pillars of our mission. We are really targeting this project and we are sure that we can accelerate the transition from traditional to digital service provider for local telecom companies and that is why we are here.
AS: In terms of dealing with the competition, I feel that we are appearing in the market as a challenger. Nexign is a brand that has made consistent appearances in a variety of telecom and technology exhibitions over the past few years; we have started to engage with many more customers and partners who are looking for similar interests in digital transformation projects.
We have realized that there is a big thirst and hunger in the market for digital transformation, especially for it to be covered with proper experience and this is where Nexign comes in with its 28-years of experience. We are not the new kid on the block; we are merely a new entrant into this market but not new in terms of experience. I feel that this has given us a competitive advantage. We have received an overwhelming response from customers and have experienced a great deal of engagement in the region.
IG: I think the biggest attributing factor that has made an immensely positive contribution to Nexign’s reputation is our understanding that while having an attractive product is an absolute must, we also know that it is simply not enough to keep the customer happy. We have a proven track-record which demonstrates that we are able to provide our customers with reliable solutions and services.
Since Nexign’s first entry into this market a year ago, what do you think are some of the key digital transformation trends which have taken place since then and what trends do you think will become more prevalent in 2020?
IG: A prominent trend right now is the growth of data which has inherently created new requirements for BSS vendors in the market. It required an entirely new approach to the creation of BSS solutions. This is because solutions should have the ability to establish a strong ecosystem between telecom companies and partner companies in an effort to create a joint proposition for subscribers. I think this trend will remain in the market in the near future.
AS: I echo this sentiment. The buzz for 5G is becoming more real and more GCC countries have already gone live with it. As the networks are upgraded, the BSS which sits at the heart of the service provider has to also be reviewed and that is where the opportunity comes in for companies like Nexign which have already completed similar digital transformation projects with some Tier 1 customers.
Could you provide us with a comment on the current BSS landscape and what is the best approach when it comes to evolving BSS?
AS: The Middle East, especially the GCC, takes pride in leading on the technology front. We have witnessed the testing and rollout of 5G across the GCC countries, which was done relatively early compared to the European market for instance. We also see some of the traditional players in the market, who used to be big players, decide to prioritize their business and pay more attention to other segments which has essentially created opportunities for newcomers and challengers.
This is all good news for us because the market is driven through technology upgrades. We have seen a lot of stir surrounding upgrades previously when there was not such a big demand to upgrade your BSS because there were only small components involved in the upgrades. However, now, unless you transform your BSS, you will no longer be able to support the network side, so this has opened a lot of doors for our business.