The traditional telecom industry stands at a fascinating crossroads. Driven by digital transformation, many telcos are now innovating and branching out from their traditional roles to adapt to this shifting landscape. In a recent panel discussion hosted by the CPaaS Acceleration Alliance, industry thought leaders discussed this critical topic, providing valuable insights into telcos’ transition towards becoming more digital.

Embracing the Transformation

Tim Otto and Yesmean Luk (STL Partners), Danielle Royston (TelcoDR and Totogi), and Carlos DaSilva (Console Connect) convened with Evan Kirstel (TechFluencer) to dissect the role of Cloud, APIs and Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) in the industry’s digital transformation. In a lively exchange, marked by active participation and enriching insights, they emphasized the need for telcos to shift from a technology-centered approach to a customer-focused one, recognizing the importance of ecosystem collaboration in achieving this transition.

Harnessing the Power of APIs and CPaaS

APIs have emerged as the linchpin of digital transformation in telecoms, enabling seamless interaction between diverse software components and forming the backbone of CPaaS systems. Danielle Royston pointed out that the future of telco hinges on building robust relationships with enterprise IT developers, who are pivotal in leveraging these technologies.

The panelists noted that while many telcos have adopted a ‘me too’ approach, this strategy rarely yields the desired results. Instead, they advocate for a shift towards a partnership model that leverages APIs and cloud connections, fostering an environment conducive to innovation and value creation, which are crucial to monetize 5G networks for example.

The Importance of Ecosystems and Collaboration

Ecosystem collaboration is no longer a nice-to-have but an essential component of a successful digital transformation strategy. The panelists observed that the ecosystem approach promotes agility, a crucial trait for thriving in today’s fast-paced tech landscape.

In the words of Yesmean Luk, “The future of telcos lies in thinking about agility first, not necessarily just trying to build in redundancies and have a network that works 100% of the time”. Telcos must be willing to establish partnerships with competitors and other players in the market, exploiting APIs to expose themselves to the cloud and facilitate digital transformation.

Royston made a pertinent comparison with airlines, who shifted from focusing on aircraft technology to developing loyalty programs and customer experience enhancement. In a similar vein, telcos should move away from concentrating on their technology and networks and shift focus towards customer experience, while partnering with specialized vendors to provide the necessary tools and solutions.

Challenges and The Way Forward

While the promise of digital transformation is exciting, telcos must acknowledge and overcome various challenges. The panelists acknowledged that the transformation journey is complex and requires both organizational and mindset shifts. Carlos DaSilva shared his experiences with Console Connect, remarking on their journey into a software-defined world and the transformative impact this had on their operations.

Furthermore, telcos must also consider geographical and regional limitations and work towards standardization across the industry. Achieving global scale and consistency is paramount for telcos to attract and retain developers, and by extension, drive innovation. Danielle Royston’s TelcoDR, after acquiring Kandy last year, is poised to shake up the telco CPaaS landscape with a new product launching on September 5th, underscoring the company’s commitment to aiding telecoms in their Cloud and CPaaS adoption journey.


As the telecoms industry evolves, so must the telcos that drive it. This panel discussion offered invaluable insights into the transformational journey, emphasizing the role of Cloud, APIs, CPaaS, and ecosystem collaboration. These themes are critical for telcos to navigate the path to digital transformation successfully.

The lively discussion illuminated the opportunities, challenges, and strategies for telcos. It’s an exciting time to be part of the telco industry, and it’s clear that embracing digital transformation is the way forward.

Please watch the full video of the panel discussion below to gain a deeper understanding of these insights and to stay abreast of the changes shaping the future of telecoms.

As the telecommunications industry leans towards a digital-first approach, collaboration and learning have never been more critical. The CPaaS Acceleration Summit in Amsterdam this September offers the ideal venue for such vital exchanges. We invite you to join thought leaders, innovators, and peers who are spearheading this transformative era. Be part of shaping the future of telecommunications – join us in Amsterdam this September. See you there!

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