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Breaking the rules, Making a difference

How an MVNO used Amdocs solutions for a distinctive digital brand.

Breaking the rules, Making a difference

Brand and service differentiation are increasingly crucial in today's expanding market. Amdocs Sales Director, Mattias Rejman, and Melon Digital CEO, Calvin Collett, shared insights into their partnership to launch a brand that makes a difference and truly stands out. How did they do it?

Let’s start from the beginning: How can a solution provider serve MVNOs better?

Mattias Rejman cited a Gartner study predicting a surge from 1400 to 2000 MVNOs in two years. The market, currently valued at $70 billion, is expected to reach $140 billion in the next 12 years. Recognizing the evolving landscape, Amdocs made a strategic decision to change focus to serve the needs of the MVNO market, aiming to create a second brand within the company dedicated to addressing the unique needs of MVNOs.

Mattias Rejman - Amdocs: "Can we create something with a low entry point? Can we create something that eliminates and simplifies the complexity of launching an MVNO? And can we create a startup inside the company that works differently? Yes, that's what we did, and we accepted the challenge.”

Amdocs aimed to create a distinct entity, the ConnectX, allowing direct engagement for equipment and software procurement. This startup-inspired solution targeted a broad customer spectrum, emphasizing simplicity and scalability. Built on a cloud-native, serverless architecture, it ensures effectiveness in serving smaller subscriber bases while embracing a startup mindset within the larger Amdocs framework.

The change in mindset resulted in a successful collaboration with Melon Mobile, which recently launched in South Africa.

How does Amdocs' unique offering work in practice? A case study of Melon Mobile.

Calvin Collett and collaborators founded Melon Digital to disrupt traditional telecom thinking in South Africa. Inspired by Uber's simplicity, they aimed to transform the telecom user experience. Their goal was to offer a simple interface, challenging how technology is sold, and putting choice in consumers' hands.

Melon Digital's unique offering allows customers the freedom to build plans with control over data, 2G voice, and texts on a month-to-month basis, challenging traditional 24-month contracts. 

A key differentiator is Melon Digital's family plans, which go beyond traditional units, offering multi-SIM or multi-line arrangements.

Calvin Collett - Melon Mobile (CC): “There's a bucket of 1000 minutes, 20 gigs, as an example, and then each line has a soft lock. So that just limits offenses. You don't want your kid using all your data, right? Or maybe your wife using all the minutes. So you try to limit the soft lock, but you can always change that on the app. There's a single bucket for the entire family."

Breaking the status quo in the market to create the desired customer journey

CC: “As a challenger brand, (...), are we a technology company or a marketing company? My view is that we're a marketing company. That's what we have to focus on, especially when you have a technology partner doing the underlying, hard lifting”

Calvin highlighted the strategic partnership with Amdocs, emphasizing the necessity for a flexible, cloud-based Business Support Systems (BSS) provider to support their innovative approach. This collaboration resulted in the immediate development and provision of services aligned with their vision for telecommunications transformation.

He emphasized centralizing services on a mobile app but cautioned against over-digitization. To address potential app malfunctions, he proposed integrating popular messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger behind their call center. In case of app issues, users can access real human assistance, ensuring a personalized and immediate response for the 1-3% of cases where digital solutions might fall short and customers prefer telephone contact.

Melon Mobile achieved a significant milestone by introducing eSIMs in the South African market, streamlining the digital experience. Users can now sign up in under six minutes, eliminating the need for physical SIMs. Over 30% of new activations are coming from eSIM, particularly in the Eastern region of South Africa.

With fully flexible plans, eSIM access, and an all-in-one app, Melon Digital provides a user-friendly service with complete flexibility and visibility. Customers can monitor data usage, top up seamlessly, and access assistance through a simplified chat interface.

How to pitch to your incumbent MNO?

CC: "What does MTN think about you challenging them all the time? The important thing to note is that MTN, in this example, has a 35% market share. When I sold the concept to them, I said it's pretty simple, right? If we acquire 10 customers, I'll take three and a half from you, six and a half from the competition, but I'm gonna give you 10 back. That's ultimately how MNOs need to see this more and more, rather than viewing MVNOs as a challenge or competitor. We're there to add value.”

What next for Melon Mobile?

Calvin announced the November 2023 launch of their venture, targeting Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) and Small to Medium Enterprises. Excited about entering the B2B space, they plan to apply the family plan model to businesses through a web-based platform, allowing customers to tailor plans with a focus on flexibility.

Key takeaways: Dare to challenge the market you operate in, regardless of its maturity stage. Focus on your customers' needs while creating your offering and customer journey. Most of all, find like-minded partners that can help you deliver your visions.

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