Pivotal role for channel as mobile firmly plants itself at heart of business strategy

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The role that mobile plays has become increasingly central to many organisations. With highly personal and context-aware relationships with customers becoming ever more pivotal to business strategy, and with the worlds of mobile, digital, retail and finance increasingly converging, end users and service providers are having to adapt to these market changes. Piran Consulting Chief Executive Officer, Julian Sawyer, spoke to Comms Business about the birth of Piran and what they are bringing to the mobile market.

Comms Business (CB): What led to the formation of Piran?

Julian Sawyer (JS): The amalgamation in 2013 of Piran Partners LLP and Jam ICT brought together two great mobile consultancies, and with a deep insight into the role of mobile in the payments industry, the newly formed organization was designed to help clients take advantage of this rapidly shifting business landscape, providing a range of services aimed at helping them at various stages of growth, focusing on mobile with: business strategy, customer-centric proposition design, commercial analysis, programme delivery, service improvement and technology scouting.

Simply, Piran enables businesses to capitalise on the revenue streams that can be achieved by placing mobile technology at the heart of business strategy.

CB: What does this mean for the Channel?

JS: For the channel, that means providing partners with a means to developing their customer relationships – exploring opportunities as this mobile-led world develops.

Piran’s influence is at the very highest level, working with the best-known brands, mobile networks, pillars of the banking establishment, as well as government. And that means the business’ sound advice is based on real experience.

The vast majority of businesses, while having added mobile to their mix, have not yet truly capitalised on the far-reaching benefits that mobile services offer when placed at the heart of their business.

As mobile continues to emerge as the key interface, Piran aims to help businesses use mobile technology to solve problems, create deeper relationships with their customers and realise new revenue streams.

CB: So why is mobile so much more important than it was three years ago?

JS: In the same way that the internet-revolutionised business practice and processes, highly personalised and context-aware mobile technologies will enable profound changes in the way companies both embrace the relationship with their customers and organise themselves. Mobile has therefore become strategically important to enterprises – the game has moved on.

CB: What are your clients actually asking you for?

JS: Very often a client engagement with Piran starts with a specific business challenge, such as ‘how can I use new mobile technologies to increase the value gained from a customer relationship?’, or ‘how can I use mobile to improve the efficiency of internal processes, or to maximize the safety and security of the business and its assets?’

CB: How is the Channel helping you solve these challenges?

JS: Piran is already partnering with well-known names in the channel to answer those questions, developing the relationship as a trusted adviser, working with MVNOs such as Manx, Gamma and Viacloud; service suppliers BSG wireless, ECT and Orb-Data; resellers such as Channel Telecom and Teleware; and solutions provider 6 Degrees.

This work varies from independent business reviews to acting as an extension of the reseller’s business, allowing innovation or product development to be outsourced. Whatever the mode, the team identifies the requirements from a client and proposes and develop a specific solution to meet their customer’s needs.

CB: Define the opportunity for resellers?

JS: With the year ahead seeing yet more changes within the converging world of mobile, retail and finance, the opportunity for resellers is vast. So what should the channel be aware of? Two highly significant enabling technologies that will put the mobile at the heart of transactions: Mobile  Payments and Digital Identity

• Mobile payments will reach the mass-market

The “mobile wallet” has been talked about for some time, but hasn’t yet reached the masses. That’s about to change as the banking industry takes mobile banking on to the next stage – mobile payments. The launch of Paym, the Person-to-Person service mobilising up to 30 million current accounts by the end of this year and launched last month from the major retail banks; and Zapp, the mobile point-of-sale payment for retailers, will have far-reaching consequences for everybody.

• Trusted digital identity services will underpin the growth of the online economy

Already announced, the Government’s Identity Assurance Programme (IDAP), enables customers to use approved, highly secure, digital identity providers for their online transactions for the first time. Add into the mix initiatives such as Assure UK, aiming to deliver customer control of their personal data, online attribute exchange, in a trust framework for high-security exchange of personal data, and it’s clear that the next wave of the digital economy is rapidly approaching.