Q&A with Sanjay Kapoor, Nominum: Telcos can extract unique insights

"We see telcos providing higher value to subscribers," says Sanjay Kapoor - Chief Marketing Officer, Nominum, in this interview. "Telcos are unique because they can extract unique insights (that no one else can - even Google) to make the Internet experience for subscribers better."

Nominum has existed for 13 years now. How has the company evolved and what are its main offerings?

DNS is fundamental to all internet activity, turning text queries into numerical IP addresses which allow users to be connected to the correct website address. Nominum's founder Paul Mockapetris is credited with inventing DNS in 1983. Every internet query uses the DNS and Nominum's DNS servers and software process 1.5 trillion queries each day across an installed base of over 140 CSPs worldwide to produce high volumes of rich information and insight.

Nominum provides innovative software that leverages DNS data to deliver a reliable, safe and personalised Internet experience for Communication Service Providers and their subscribers. The company's Vantio DNS Software and N2 applications arm CSP's to avert insider threats that could impact network availability and reputation. Nominum enables CSPs to engage with customers to deliver unique services and revenue opportunities and to build brand loyalty. Nominum is a global organisation headquartered in Redwood City, CA.

Your company is now becoming active in the Asian market. What are you offering here and how are companies responding to your proposition?

Nominum has been active in the APAC market for a while now. Customers include NTT Communications and Telstra.

Nominum is in the process of building up a team locally and is building relationships with influencers here, and increasing its involvement in awareness events reaching out to the likes of SingTel.

In addition to our Vantio Threat Avert solution providing protection against external and internal botnet threats for CSPs, we are now offering our N2 solutions for customer care, customer engagement (including subscriber safety, parental controls and loyalty programs) and subscriber upsell. These solutions have been received very positively by customers in the region. We have received interest to start trials of our N2 solutions by some of the largest CSPs in Asia-Pacific in the short term.

Why are telcos slow in responding to the changing market situation? How can they neutralise the threat from OTT players?

OTT players are becoming more "relevant" than telcos in the eyes of subscribers. This is happening because subscribers perceive that they receive higher value from OTTs. To compete, telcos have to provide better value than just providing speed and reliable access to Internet. Nominum's solutions empower CSPs to provide this higher value. Higher levels of safety, opportunities to personalise the internet experience and receiving relevant offers, and notifications on a real-time basis are some of the services that CSPs can provide with Nominum to start changing that perception.

How do you see telcos evolve in the future? What will they do to increase their profitability?

We see telcos providing higher value to subscribers. Telcos are unique because they can extract unique insights (that no one else can - even Google) to make the Internet experience for subscribers better. We believe that telcos are starting to realize that they should be the providers of value and not just a pipe. Nominum strongly believes that the provision of marketing analytics to drive new monetization opportunities (eg new upsell offers from third parties or 3rd party advertising) will be the main strategic move that telcos should make to drive relevance, brand loyalty and profitability.

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