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Q: Thank you Mr. Heinonen for taking the time to speak with us today. Could you please briefly present your company and solutions to our readers?
A: Tema Networks serves mobile operators by providing tailored solutions and platforms for the most demanding VAS and communication services businesses needs. Tema Networks builds fully customized solutions for each of our customers on top of the proven Tema Telecom Platform. This approach ensures that we are able to provide solutions that match the complete business, functional and technical requirements of the operator, with an accelerated time to market, and without the risks and costs associated with building each solution from scratch.
Q: Tema Network’s management team has a combined professional experience of over 40 years. What would you say are the biggest challenges network operators are facing today?
A: Naturally, the business environment of mobile operators and carriers varies according to local market conditions. However, in general we have recognized the following as frequent strategic business challenges:
Q: How do you think open source software can better help them address those challenges?
A: Open Source as a technology, but also as an approach for new services introduction combined with the model of agile and continuous development (of both the technology and the commercial and marketing dimension) can tremendously reduce the time to market of new services . It helps to solve the always difficult and time consuming integration challenges in a proven, readily available yet completely flexible way.
Q: You chose to embed MySQL in your Home Zone Billing solution, why did you select MySQL?
A: The prior good experience with MySQL, and availability of highly experienced resources mastering the MySQL products were the key drivers. Naturally we tested MySQL for the particular highly distributed, high availability, clustered, high real-time capacity needs for HZB, and based on its great performance the decision was really a no-brainer.
Q: Do you want to tell us a bit more about the HZB system and in particular how the idea came about?
A: In many markets where the mobile penetration is becoming saturated, the operators need to target new segments to sustain the growth of the subscriber base. One of the new opportunities is the replacement of fixed line telephony with mobile subscriptions. However, there is a perception of higher cost of mobile telephony compared to traditional fixed line. HZB allows the mobile operators to overcome this perception, by enabling discounted calls made at home (or equally at the office). For the subscribers it means simplicity and ease of access, just one number for all access, and seamless migration between the home and mobile telephony using the same mobile phone and same number at all times.
Q: Did you or others in your company have any concerns about using open source software or MySQL?
A: Absolutely no concerns. What we have seen in the market over the past few years, is a fundamental attitude shift with respect to open source. A few years ago we faced challenges convincing customers that our open source based products were reliable and could perform in a Telecom carrier-grade environment. All that has changed now, the industry has accepted that open source is not only technically equal to proprietary solutions, but in many cases far ahead. Today, customers having tighter budgets and more stringent dead-lines are seeking solutions, which can quickly meet squarely their business needs. This is exactly the value proposition of Tema Networks, and Open Source products are elementary building blocks in achieving this. It’s a real paradigm shift how new services are introduced.
Q: How do your customers benefit from the fact that the HZB system is powered by MySQL?
A: Compared to some proprietary databases (in configuration, which provides equal performance characteristics) it’s a real cost-saving, easily in the range of hundreds to thousands to a couple of million Euros. And, it also means faster delivery and implementation time, and no compromises in the service.
Q: Do OSS/MySQL offer specific advantages to Small and Medium size businesses such as Tema Networks?
A: Absolutely, at its core, Open Source is a way of thinking, which is reflected in the relevant component and product selections. The real benefits for SMBs such as Tema Networks are advantages in both cost structure and time-to-market. This combined with agile project models brings an order of magnitude improvement in the competitiveness to serve the business needs of the major telecommunication companies in the world.
Thank you Mr Heinonen for taking the time to answer our questions!