Microsoft partner program yields first dividends

With operators struggling to find sustainable differentiators that can boost ARPU, Microsoft is working on a model that enables telcos to bring innovation from outside that can be quickly scaled up and monetized across a range of devices.

The company introduced its Connected Services Accelerator program last June to leverage its developer community assets, and at the same time increase the penetration of Windows Mobile and other Microsoft services.

The first dividends of that program were demonstrated at the GSMA's Mobile Innovation Zone at the Mobile Asia Congress by V3 Teletech and Formotus, which in just three months designed and developed mobile LBS applications for the logistics and transportation sectors.

The two software vendors were winners of a SingTel project organized under Microsoft's program. The companies, jointly selected by SingTel and Microsoft after an RFI was issued, were given technical and commercial guidance as well as access to SingTel's infrastructure and resources for development and testing purposes.

Industry manager of Microsoft's communications sector Smeeta Hirani told in Macau that operators need to go outside their own domain for innovation. "Many operators think they can do it on their own. Understanding that creativity comes from outside is a big shift."

She says the Microsoft program aims to create a tactical methodology that allows applications to quickly customized and used by other industry verticals and operators.