This is an exclusive interview from #CASA23

KPN, while headquartered in the modest-sized country of the Netherlands, has always maintained a commanding presence on the global stage. The recent conversation between Kevin Nethercott of the CPaaS Acceleration Alliance and Ellen Aartsen, KPN’s Manager of Innovation and Partnerships, shed light on the company’s innovation journey, its commitment to CPaaS, and the lessons it offers to other telcos.

KPN: Pioneering Innovation in the Telco Realm

Ellen emphasized the essence of innovation at KPN, describing the company’s forward-leaning approach in the telecom industry. Their Innovation and Partnerships Department isn’t just a title but a commitment to future-proofing the company. Here’s how they have spearheaded change:

  • Focusing on Growth Themes: A dedicated team within KPN zeroes in on potential growth areas, ensuring that they are always a step ahead in meeting market demands and evolving customer needs.
  • External Collaborations: Innovation isn’t about reinventing the wheel. KPN believes in harnessing the best from the market. They work with startups, scale-ups, and large enterprises, demonstrating that strategic collaborations can pave the way for industry-leading solutions.

The Significance of CPaaS for KPN

CPaaS, or Communication Platform as a Service, has emerged as a pivotal area of focus for KPN. Ellen’s insights into KPN’s CPaaS commitment are eye-opening:

  • Early Adoption: KPN was quick to explore the CPaaS domain, initiating their developer community engagement around 2018-2019. This early foray gave them a unique advantage in understanding its nuances.
  • Transcending CPaaS to NPaaS: Ellen believes that the industry is on the brink of evolution, indicating a shift from CPaaS to NPaaS (Network Platform as a Service). This signifies KPN’s vision of leveraging CPaaS’s strengths while also exploring more extensive networking capabilities.
  • Operational Transformation: CPaaS isn’t merely about enhancing external offerings. It has deep-rooted implications for internal operations, fostering cost efficiencies and redefining IT architectures.

Takeaways for Other Telcos from KPN’s Voyage

KPN’s journey is abundant with insights for other telecom operators:

  • Embrace Experimentation: KPN’s endeavor with their developer portal might not have been a massive financial success, but the lessons learned were invaluable. Ellen’s perspective is clear: trying and experimenting leads to learning and growth.
  • Value Interoperability: KPN’s association with CAMARA underscores the importance of interoperability in scaling operations. Telcos need to ensure seamless integrations to truly harness the potential of CPaaS.
  • Identify Real-world Applications: KPN’s focus on tangible use-cases, like identity fraud prevention on platforms like WhatsApp, underscores the need to provide solutions that resonate with genuine market needs.

In conclusion, as the telecom landscape evolves, with CPaaS becoming increasingly central, KPN’s proactive, innovation-centric approach serves as a benchmark. For other telcos, the lessons are evident: embrace change, prioritize innovation, and always focus on creating real-world value.

Want to kick start your CPaaS journey?

We are proud to have an incredible group of global communications companies and business leaders as CPaaSAA members. They are actively working to grow their businesses and grow the industry. As the global Alliance for the CPaaS industry, we are focused on helping them do just that.

Visit our membership page for more information on CPaaSAA and to apply for membership.

Watch the full interview from #CASA23 here:

Ellen Aarsten talks about KPN’s innovation journey with CPaaS


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