DOCOMO adopts Beyond Now digital business platform for SME marketplace

Ecosystem orchestration company’s digital business platform will support Japanese operator’s goal to onboard hundreds of partners into its marketplace for small and mid-sized enterprises

Japanese operator DOCOMO has engaged Beyond Now for a partner orchestration hub as part of its newly launched small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) marketplace.

The firms believe SME demand for digital transformation has grown exponentially in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to support the shift to flexible working and deliver increased business efficiency. But they say SMEs still face challenges, such as knowing which service to choose from the many options available, as well as overcoming budget limitations.

With the support of Beyond Now, DOCOMO is said to be able to give SME customers access to a growing number of partners, especially when, said Beyond Now citing Omdia research, 93% of SMEs think it is important for communications service providers to collaborate with an ecosystem of partners to build solutions that better fit their needs.

NTT Group, Japan’s largest fixed-line and mobile communications carrier, began working with Beyond Now in 2019, through its systems subsidiary NTT Comware. By modernising and simplifying NTT’s business support system, Beyond Now aimed to improve customer service and operational efficiency, and generate new revenue.

Two years later, both companies worked together to install a new IT programme that can be used not only by all of NTT Group’s Japanese subsidiaries, but also external partners. As a result, DOCOMO is creating a “marketplace” where SMEs can access the digital services they need at an affordable price.

The new partnership will see the digital platform provider’s Infonova Digital Business Platform’s ecosystem orchestration and monetisation capabilities deployed to make it simple for DOCOMO’s partners, including NewsPicks + d, Relo Club and Meet In, to onboard and sell their solutions through the marketplace.

This should enable the operator’s SME customers to gain access to a range of services such as remote sales, telecommunications, labour management and subsidy support, which will help them improve their efficiency and productivity.

Through the Infonova Digital Business Platform, Beyond Now believes DOCOMO will be able to: grow revenue and scale with an ecosystem of partners; empower its partners to self-onboard and manage the sale of their services in the marketplace; automate partners’ services, including ordering and fulfilment processes; and support the monetisation of partners’ solutions, covering any partnership model, any commercial model and any settlement agreement.

“We are proud to continue cementing a strong relationship with a pioneering organisation like NTT Group,” said Beyond Now CEO Angus Ward. “It began as a shared vision for how NTT needed to transform to support new business models, 5G monetisation, B2B2X models and the launch of digital marketplaces.

“Now, with digitisation and Covid-19 transforming the needs of SMEs, this vision has become a reality with NTT subsidiaries like DOCOMO configuring and monetising their networks and services in ways that were not previously possible. We commend NTT for recognising the importance of building partner ecosystems to create real customer value.”

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