Sanjay Sharma, CEO, Teleonto

16th Dec 2010
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Next Generation Revenue Assurance and Analytics

How would you like to increase profits, revenue and make more money without having to expand your market? It may sound like some sort of overreaching promise but trust me it’s actually achievable. The method one would have to employ is called Revenue assurance and the best company for the job would be “Teleonto”.

They are not some one-trick pony and offer Fraud Management and Revenue Intelligence besides Revenue Assurance. Led by CEO Sanjay Sharma who possesses 20 plus years of experience in Infrastructure Technology Management, Infrastructure Operations Management and Infrastructure Management, the “Teleonto” business idea is poised to deliver each time.

YourStory learnt from Sanjay Sharma how Teleonto employs its SaaS product and what they can do for your business.

1) How would you explain the business idea behind about Teleonto?

Teleonto is the next generation innovative product leader in Revenue Assurance, Fraud Management and Revenue Intelligence. Teleonto has developed a unique purpose-built SaaS (Software as a Service) product that is highly scalable, uses service oriented architecture, massive parallel computing (MPP) and tier 2 commodity hardware for rapid analysis of large size data scaling to petabytes. Teleonto simplifies the Revenue Assurance and Revenue Analytics dramatically by consolidating all the ETL and analytics functions in the appliance directly where data resides.

2) How is Teleonto different from other revenue assurance/analytics service providers?

The competition uses traditional Business Intelligence techniques and consulting methodologies that requires use of high end computing, use of various third party software licenses, frequent hardware upgrades and change request making the solution as high upfront cost and maintenance cost. In contrast, Teleonto has pioneered the SaaS based solution through an appliance strategy, which integrates server, databases, mediation, reconciliation and rating into an easy to manage platform that requires minimal setup and on-going administration cost. This allows us to deliver the solution at a lowest TCO (total cost of ownership), short implementation time and best suited for a mid-sized and small-sized Telco’s.

3) What spark or inspiration led to the business idea for Teleonto?

Sanjay Sharma

The idea of Teleonto came into being when I was running SAS Inc as Managing Director for Singapore Operations. It was realized then that all the BI companies tend to solve the large size data handing through a conventional BI Techniques, which is far more expensive and inefficient for handling large size Telco’s data that runs into petabytes. It will require a unique approach in terms of handling the large data by using massive parallel computing and artificial intelligence techniques including use of LISP that will allow the change of KPIs/reports on the fly without having to remodel the data which is common is a typical BI methodology. I deliberated this idea with few friends who went ahead in co-founding Teleonto about 5 years back with the intent that company will initially focus on developing a product from the scratch for initial 3-4 years before company can be geared for the scale and growth.

4) Could you tell our readers more about your background before Teleonto?

I have overall 22 years of experience specializing in product development, sales, product marketing, consulting and operations across Telecom and IT domain. I started my career with HCL – HP as R&D Engineer responsible to develop X.25 based messaging system based out of Noida, India following which I moved to Canada to work for NEC as Group leader – ISDN switching to develop the first ISDN switching system for European (ETSI) specifications. I further moved on to work for Mitel Corporation, Canada to join their ATM development team based out of Ottawa, which later led to heading their sales operations for South East Asia and Middle East based out of Singapore.

From Mitel, I moved on to work for Alcatel, Singapore to head their product marketing for fiber optics product as Product Manager – Fiber Optics. I was responsible for putting the global strategy for DWDM based products greater than 2 Gb/s. Following Alcatel, I joined Lucent Technologies, Singapore as Regional Director – SEA & Japan heading the professional services and consulting business. Post, Lucent technologies, I joined Sun Microsystems to spearhead their Professional Services and Consulting business before joining SAS Inc, Singapore as Managing Director – Professional Services to head their Singapore Operations.

From SAS Inc, I moved back to India to head an system integration company – Apara as Chief Operating Officer responsible to build the business from a box selling to consulting based selling. From Apara, I moved to Reliance Communications to head their data center business as Executive Vice President where I single handedly transformed the data center landscape from a real estate selling to applications and services sale before joining Telento Technologies as CEO.


5) Tell us about your tie-ups and what that has led to? Does Teleonto have an immediate application?

We have developed tie-up with Franz Inc that provides us collaboration for using their suite of common LISP based enterprise ready development tools with artificial intelligence built in that has helped us to co-develop certain logics and scripts to build the recon-engine which is one of the key component of the overall solution.

Teleonto has spent last one year in acquiring reference clients such as Dialog, Aircel, Nova Telesec and Iperfecta (NTT) where the product has been tested and commercially deployed to the scale and functionality. It has also been established in global RA forums that the RA problem can be best solved by SaaS techniques and product architecture that eliminates the need of frequent change requests, use of third party licenses and huge Capex which is the core philosophy of Teleonto’s product.

6) Where do you see revenue assurance/analytics and Teleonto five years from now?

Revenue Assurance is currently $ 4.6 B market, which is penetrated only up to 36% dominated by Telco’s that are greater then 5 Million subscriber base. Most of the RA players focus on Telco’s greater then 5 M subscribers which represents the market size of US $ 1.28 B whereas the market represented by Telco’s smaller then 5 million subscribers is sized to be about US $ 3.34 B. This market is highly un-penetrated due to high prohibitive cost and frequent change requests thus such Telco’s are using alternative solutions to stem the revenue leakage, which is not most efficient and holistic.

Teleonto has acquired customers in the upward of $ 10 M in the first year of our Sales Operations and expect it to scale to over $ 100 M annually in the next 5 year.

7) What is Teleonto's revenue model? 

Teleonto utilizes the advantage of the SaaS product architecture to position the product as pay-as-you-grow. The customer can exploit our modular architecture, which starts from as low as 100k subscribers with single revenue stream to scaling to over 100 million subscribers with multiple revenue streams. The customer is provided a solution through an appliance at the customer site with integrating the product to their BSS. The customer starts paying monthly charges based on the pay-as-you-use model.

8) What has been your biggest joy as an entrepreneur? What are the key challenges?

The biggest joy as an entrepreneur is to see through the execution of ideas into a customer win and a true product success. The key challenge remains raising the size of investment required to scale a software product company that requires a global focus and bears a ticket price greater then $ 1.5 M per sale.

9) How big is the Teleonto team? How has your team composition been balanced for business success?

Teleonto was engaged in the first 3.5 years in developing the product and last 18 months in creating reference clients across large size and mid size Telco’s. The company has over 60 employees with 60 % team composition in the product development while 30% in service delivery and remaining into the support services. Having acquired product success, the company is gearing for taking the product to the global markets starting from this year.

10) What expansion plans are you planning to execute in the near future.

The company has gone through two rounds of funding with the last round of US $ 8 M with the enterprise valuation of US $ 20 M post-money. Teleonto is planning to go for Series B funding to scale the business across global geographies. Teleonto is planning to establish the presence into the African Continent, Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific through a direct engagement and channel partnerships.

YourStory wishes Sanjay Sharma a productive and eventful tenure as the CEO of Teleonto. We hope to see him lead his company to great heights and more success. Visit them at http://www.teleonto.com/home.html

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