60 Seconds with Joe Hogan, Founder and CTO, Openet

May 16, 2016 - Openet

Founded in 1999, Openet provides the systems and expertise to assist Communication Service Providers to grow to become Digital Service Providers. Openet enables this through our real-time monetization, control, and big data preparation systems. Their solutions enable service providers to be more innovative in how they engage with their customers to drive new revenues and increase their share of their customers’ digital spend.

1. As the original founder of Openet, you decided to build a new business from scratch – where did the business idea come from? I was looking at the growth of the mobile communications market in the 1990s along with the introduction of new standards such as GSM. The problem I saw was that all the major telecoms network equipment suppliers had their own interpretation of standards and there was no consistency with how mobile call records were collected from the network and passed to billing systems. Add into this the emergence of data going over the mobile internet that had to be collected and billed. The market was growing, the technology was evolving and I felt this was a perfect storm for me to develop Openet.

2. What motivated you to become involved in the telecom industry? I’ve always been fascinated by science and pushing technology to its limits. In the late 1980s and early 1990s mobile communications and the internet were perhaps the two most interesting pieces of technology around. I could see the point where both would merge and the impact that would have. I wanted to be involved at the start of that technological revolution.

3. How did you grow Openet and what countries did you target first as part your export journey? Openet started off with some very smart engineers and some financial backing to develop a mediation engine. Within months we were getting interest from some of the largest mobile operators in Europe. We were a couple of years away from commercial launches of 3G, but already operators were starting to lay down plans to upgrade their systems to cater for the mobile internet that would be driven by 3G. Although our first export drive was focused on Europe, we also received a lot on interest in North America. So much so that we had signed a major US operator within the first 18 months. Our export strategy was purely market led – the regions and countries that were most likely to roll out 3G services were the places that we pitched our tent and made the sales and marketing investment. 

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