[Interview] Ahmad Sayed, Regional Director, Nexign, Middle East and Africa
Ahmad Sayed is Regional Director, Middle East and Africa at Nexign, a business support systems provider company currently planning its entry into the African market.
Could you introduce your company?
Nexign, formerly Peter-Service, is a business support systems provider that has been delivering pragmatic, business-driven innovation and change since 1992. As communications service providers become digital service providers, Nexign accelerates their transformation through engineering excellence, customized products and services and a relentless focus on their total cost of ownership and revenue stream diversification. Nexign takes pride in a partner-centric mentality with customers that is built on 26 years of gaining trust, providing value and delivering on promises, while ensuring our customer’s investments are future-proof and support long-term growth.
Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Russia, Nexign employs more than 1,800 people in offices throughout Russia & Commonwealth of Independent States, Southeast Asia, and Middle East & Africa. The company has delivered more than 120 projects across 14 countries and had revenue of $123 million in 2017.
What are the USPs of Nexign as a company?
During the last 26 years, Nexign has established a reputation for being a strong and reliable vendor with a track record of executing successful BSS transformation projects for more than 50 telecom operators - across all tiers - at a significantly lower total cost of ownership than the market average.
Our customers are leading communication service provides in Russia and CIS/ Tier 1&2 telecom operators in Middle East & Africa, and Southeast Asia. Over 200 million mobile and fixed-line subscribers in 14 countries use Nexign solutions on a daily basis. Nexign products have been used by some of the largest fixed and mobile operators, national and backbone network operators, traditional and alternative operators, IP telephony and digital TV operators, including MegaFon, Rostelecom, Gazprom telecom, MTS, Yota, МТТ, Turkcell Northern Cyprus.
Why the decision now to establish a presence in Africa?
In 2017 we adopted a new corporate development strategy focused on expanding our global presence and becoming a global player offering advanced technological solutions to communication service providers looking to address the challenges of the digital economy. As part of our new strategy, we announced the details of our rebranding program to transform from Peter-Service to Nexign at World Mobile Congress 2018 in Barcelona.
Since the beginning of 2018, we have been actively expanding our market presence and growing regional workforces in the MEA and SEA regions. Africa has seen significant activity in recent years with major telecommunications operators working to modernise their networks and IT systems such as BSS. We believe that there is huge potential for Nexign in this exciting market and we are ready to share our knowledge and experience with our customers and partners in Africa.
What part of Africa would you first be establishing your presence?
We are currently targeting a number of large opportunities in Africa which could allow us to establish our footprint in several large-medium size African countries. In Africa, there are number of large Telecom Groups with wide spread presence, and this where we are looking an entry.
What is Nexign bringing to the African ICT/Telecom sector that isn’t present at the moment?
The business support systems (BSS) market is evolving: now it’s not enough for BSS providers to differentiate on the product functionality. You need to compete on non-functional business aspects and drive better customer experiences in order to stay competitive.
We would like to enable telecom operators to transform their business models and to become digital service providers. The classical portfolio of telecom operators has started to stagnate due to the influence of Over-The-Top services (OTTs). Most operators (including in Africa) are asking us how we can help them offset this stagnation.
Business model differentiation which we enable for our clients through products, services, personalization and optimal customer experience that goes further than the omni-channel is what differentiates us from our competitors.
Combining our technical expertise and future-proof portfolio of products with flexibility around pricing, Nexign provides the African market with a strong package as it looks to embrace the shift in digital transformation. When it comes to total cost of ownership, our experience indicate that we are 25% better off than any of our competitors.
What kind of collaboration do you expect and need for Nexign to succeed in Africa?
Initially we are looking to collaborate with local ICT & system implementation companies to develop strong partnerships. For the implementation of BSS system, we would like to use local talent and this can only be achieved through good partnerships with local systems integrator (SI) companies. We strongly believe that local technical resources can play a significant role in the success of our projects in Africa.
Furthermore, we are witnessing great interest from the telecom operators in the BSS segment and we would like to secure entry in a number of large groups to give us a strong presence in the next five years.
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