Building a User-Centric Mobile Ecosystem

Timothy Allen

Mobile has become an interconnected global marketplace featuring multiple stakeholders vying for supremacy. A race for the biggest increase in the number of users, to create innovative ways to showcase, sell and curate consumer content have simultaneously started a drag race, a marathon and codependency – the one unplanned variable stemming from all of this.

Today’s users value convenience above anything else, because it’s on offer. Pivoting towards this user-centric experience wasn’t unexpected since people didn’t refuse having running water or other commodities we take for granted, either. However, the big news here is that the shift to mobile due to more convenience impacted the evolution of content consumption.

User-fueled evolution

As users, we inevitably find web experiences less and less engaging. Today, we want our services instantly accessible. This is why Netflix is making video piracy obsolete. In turn, the niche aspect of services themselves, solving one particular problem as a starting point for the initial growth phase, means utilizing other platforms to launch different aspects of their business. Instead of building their own user base, services are now starting to use messaging apps to instantly reach out to the widest possible audience. Similarly, Google-based service authorization makes it easier for users to access non-Google services and apps.

This new evolution is based around the user, and regardless of the end goal of creating additional revenue inside the ecosystem, it’s all happening because users have limited digital attention spans that they are willing to spend on their experiences.

With this, mobile has become the new desktop, only one available on the go, and users are bombarded with constant information that capture their attention immediately. Saturated app stores and innovative services mean there’s much more out there, and everyone is competing for slivers of that attention. Because it’s all mobile, because users are given constant input on the go, businesses need to create engaging, unique content, seamlessly integrated into everyday activities of their users. Otherwise they leave. User attention is king, making convenience its queen. This is also why a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship is preferable to a lack of convenience for many service providers.

Still, this is just convergence inside one branch of the entire mobile ecosystem. How could we elevate this experience to a global level and include all the stakeholders who, when empowered, can bring forth a new era within the mobile space?

Connecting the ecosystem

Primarily, it’s a challenge of going global. How can enterprises continue this symbiotic relationship with one another and offer converged services to a global user audience over a mobile medium which is already heavily focused on providing everything their users need at just the right time?

To solve this, we need to re-examine the process which wasn’t exactly inclusive throughout this shift to mobile. Major stakeholders, such as mobile operators, didn’t fully feature in this equation which led to the disruption of the ecosystem and the decrease in user satisfaction. Enterprises, startup companies and established innovative platforms need a way to deliver their services to their users who, by definition, were also users of local mobile operators. MNOs, in turn, needed to monetize and control the data and GSM-based traffic going through their network. At the start, instead of going hand in hand, these goals created friction. In time, specialized platforms emerged, bringing trusted enterprise partnerships to the table and empowering operator networks with trusted security layers, minimizing spam and fraud. These expert companies added value to both sides of the ecosystem by bridging technological barriers between telco and enterprise technologies. Now, mobile felt truly connected.

BaaS – Operator co-op model that could bridge the gap between telcos and enterprises

However, the creation of the technological bridge between these two stakeholders was only the first step. To create never-before seen opportunities inside the ecosystem, this threefold cooperation will also have to form a co-dependent bond. Why? Simply making the connection doesn’t alleviate all the pain points of all stakeholders.

For operators, developing and maintaining consumer-oriented services is a time and resource-heavy undertaking, which has traditionally been outside the usual scope of their business. Additionally, leveraging consumer portfolios and providing top-level support for these kinds of services puts additional strain on operator resources. On the other side, guaranteeing service delivery and having a truly global platform for enterprises to reach their users is a problem most modern companies are dying to solve.

Through years of experience and investment in R&D, specialist tech companies have blended in-house development and built on existing relationships with mobile operators around the world to satisfy the requirements of today’s businesses, providing high-quality services with worldwide coverage. Now, through the Business-as-a-Service model, companies like Infobip are becoming modular, perfecting the way to act as an intermediary by handling the majority of operator and enterprise pain points, which include everything from A2P SMS traffic generation and in-depth consultancy for leveraging market opportunities to meeting modern enterprise requirements when it comes to IT systems and integration issues.

Such an evolution not only enhances the mobile distribution system but allows both ends of the spectrum to focus on building innovative services for end-users.

Powering the ecosystem with powerful architecture

Fueling the entire ecosystem with a vast connectivity platform isn’t an easy undertaking. It means building a scalable, high-performance architecture solving the most challenging communication needs. It also means powering enormous traffic volumes, while supporting hundreds of new features that empower enterprises with the ability to build engaging experiences. Infused with operator offerings, this will likely mean a quantum leap in terms of mobile interconnectedness.

In an age where the user rules above all else, the greatest of mobile communication platforms is built on top of the entire ecosystem working together. And, we’ll all do this in order to build new, engaging services which elevate user experience, fuel consumer demand and universally touch the world’s population.

Feb 26th, 2016
5 min read

Timothy Allen