Strong foundations

LogicaCMG is probably best known for its significant presence in the wireless messaging solutions space, but as Nabil Khalil, director of global telecoms MEA explains the company is very definitely changing with the times.

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By  Administrator Published  October 31, 2006

COMMSMEA: What would you consider to be amongst LogicaCMG's core competencies?
Nabil Khalil: LogicaCMG has enjoyed continuous presence in the Middle East out of Dubai for the last 10 years or so.

There has been a major focus on messaging, in which we believe we have a majority of traffic and operators in the region.

We are safely talking about more than 15 operators currently active in the region.

So from a business perspective we are growing year after year, and we are of course known for our messaging footprint.

However we also offer many more solutions in value added services.

We are very well known in the payment space, we are known in video mail, voice mail, SMPT Gateways, and cell broadcast.

So although we are known for messaging we really deliver much more.

As far as our competitive edge, I believe that LogicaCMG relies on a major R&D budget to continually update products, and in the Middle East we have local support.

So from Dubai we actually deliver a lot of the support needs for our clients, for operations and maintenance.

We maintain quite a team to cover North Africa, the Gulf, as well as the rest of the Middle East.

So I would say from a competitive perspective, it's not just the products, it is also the fact that we are here and we do not rely on Europe as much as some of our competitors.

As far as where we think we are headed, we definitely follow what is happening competitively and in terms of regulation across the region.

As a market we shall see a lot more competition and fierce competition at that, leading to issues that operators have not yet faced in their entirety in this region yet.

These issues include factors such as churn, the offer of bundled services, and the changing regulatory environment.

So knowing where the market is going, we are now concentrating on ways to help operators understand the behaviour and needs of their clients.

We believe there is a lot to be known about clients from their messaging traffic, which exists at operators' databases.

Thus there is a focus on a new area, which is a very exciting area, and we provide a new suite that we call Smart, which is an area where business intelligence tools are used to mine into customer data and produce customer intelligence.

This is an area that can cover the operational side, customer service, marketing and so on.

CMEA: LogicaCMG is known as a messaging company, and I am interested to know how this position has evolved with the evolution of the messaging market from simple text?
NK: SMS as a portion of value added services for everyone including us is the largest component.

The MMSC and the other pieces are growing for everyone, but not at the same rate.

So from that small portion that is growing, our piece is also growing, but does that mean we are in a commanding position?

We don't really believe that anyone is in a commanding position right now because that area is a bit vague, but our piece is definitely growing.

CMEA: Some operators in the middle east region are taking tremendous technological strides.

How comfortable are you with LogicaCMG's ability to keep abreast with these developments?
NK: We are very comfortable because having a position in the value added services space we are more or less independent from the infrastructure the operators are planning.

Of course some services can be added more efficiently and so on using a more enhanced network.

However for us, this is not a major consideration.

A typical example is that you can do video mail off 3G, but you can also do it off an existing network, it all depends on the economic feasibility and the commercial reality for that particular operator to decide to deliver it over 2G or 3G.

So for us, we are in the fortunate position that we are not dependent on the underlying infrastructure in most cases.

CMEA: What role does advisory services play?
NK: Our clients have made this request in terms of advice per service, and it is increasing all the time because their networks are increasing in complexity.

We are again in the very fortunate position that having been here for a long time, having built this relationship with operators for a long while, and having built the competence on the operational side as well, we believe we are in the best position to offer advice.

This is what led naturally to the formation of a business intelligence area, which can be called customer intelligence.

We have long-standing relationships with most operators dating back from some time ago, we enjoy their trust, and we believe we are in the best position to give advice on how to use customer data in the best interests of the operators.

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