Telecom Lead America: Nominum is a provider of integrated DNS-based solution
applications for service providers. The company claims that it has evolved DNS
to become a necessary strategic tool for service providers to help address some
the most pressing challenges they face today.
Nominum’s DNS-based solution applications support more
than 500 million Internet users worldwide. The company said that its DNS-based
three-tiered architecture of applications allows service providers to provide
differentiated services while meeting their needs for security, network
performance and low latency with cost efficiency and agility.
Doug Miller, general manager of Mobile Solutions at
Nominum talks about the company’s expansion plans and discusses market
challenges along with their go-to market strategy and upcoming products and
What are the new challenges in the market?
The greatest challenges for mobile operators revolve
around their ability to cope with the technical and business changes in today’s
mobile market. Mobile providers are facing a perfect storm of challenges that
begin with the massive growth of the market. Mobile data expansion is rivaling
and often surpassing the growth of broadband data from the late 1990’s. At the
same time, mobile providers have to deal with a bandwidth and spectrum crunch
that broadband operators never had to deal with due to the massive amounts of
capacity they had at their disposal. Wireless networks are spectrum-constrained
and although many operators are transitioning to a more spectrally efficient 4G
technology, that change will not take place overnight. Additionally, any
efficiency gained by the new technology will be short-lived as bandwidth
demands are increasing at an even faster pace than 4G technology alone will be
able to sustain.
At the same time bandwidth and consumption becomes more
of an issue, the threat associated with malware and criminal activity over
mobile networks is also picking up. Research shows that what took the broadband
market 15 years to get to in terms of online threats, mobile networks will
reach in only two years. The simple fact is that mobile networks now represent
the growth market not only for legitimate usage, but also for the criminal
element. Higher growth and consumer demand leads to a more valuable market for
all types of activity, legal and otherwise.
To deal with these and many other challenges, mobile
providers must be more efficient with their resources in order to manage the
costs associated with running a mobile network. At the same time they are
facing downward pressure on costs, they are also looking to differentiate their
services to generate new revenue in the face of increasing competition. While
addressing this need for efficiency and differentiation, they also need to move
with agility to launch new services and make required network changes in a much
faster time. Although the value of providing mobile data services is unlimited,
this represents a very difficult time to realize the potential of such a
What are your future investments and expansion plans
globally, and specifically for the Asia Pacific market?
Nominum already has over 100 carrier and service provider
customers from around the world. Over the past 10+ years, Nominum has worked
closely with some of the biggest brands in telecom, including Comcast,
Telefonica/Movistar, BT, NTT, Vodafone, Telstra, and more. Our plans are to
continue that expansion and to leverage the markets we’re already strong in. As
we continue to focus on the leading providers in the world, we have also recently
announced plans to deliver our solutions (both mobile and fixed) to emerging
service providers who we have not focused on historically, but have the same
needs as the top Tier-1 providers. Specifically for Asia Pacific, this will
have a significant impact by opening markets that were previously underserved.
Our mobile solutions have been packaged in a way that smaller, but high growth,
carriers around the region can leverage for increasing profitability,
decreasing operational costs, and doing so in a way that can enable these
providers to continue their ability to make quick decisions.
What are your current products and offerings? What
products are in the pipeline?
Nominum recently announced the launch of our Nominum
Mobile Suite which has solutions built to cover the specific needs of mobile
providers. When we announced the launch at Mobile World Congress only a few
months ago, we included solutions around Spectrum Efficiency, Network and
Service Visibility, Subscriber Loyalty, and Mobile Packet Core. Each of these
solutions were designed and built to deliver on the promise of greater
efficiency, increased differentiation, and the highest possible agility. They
were built using input from mobile providers Nominum has been working with for
the past five years.
Last week, Nominum announced a new solution for Network
and User Security to cover the comprehensive security needs of mobile
providers. This was an exciting launch since it represented direct input from
existing customers and a timely solution for something that is fast becoming
one of the greatest threats to mobile profitability. Security spans multiple
groups within a mobile provider and this new solution covers a broad set of
The mobile product pipeline will include continued development
around new application areas mobile providers are looking to address. That
could be something as simple as basic reporting or something as complex as
protecting end users from unknown zero-day malware threats. If it involves the
mobile business, Nominum is looking for ways to use a three-tiered architecture
to solve business and technical needs across the organization.
What is your go-to market strategy?
The first step in any good strategy is to have a good
product and to ensure a direct line of communications with customers. That is
what Nominum is doing. The product is in place with a series of solutions that
have already been deemed both valuable and necessary for addressing a variety
of mobile needs. As stated, that process is ongoing. Additionally, Nominum is
regularly in communication with customers to get feedback and direction and to
build new capabilities based on real and stated needs.
With this as a basis for the GTM strategy, Nominum then
seeks out customers who are looking to address the same type of needs as the
leading providers in the world who are already counted as customers. This list
is long as all mobile providers today have a similar set of needs, but to
varying degrees. Using a combination of the Emerging Markets Program and the
Marketing around that along with directed efforts at the leading providers,
Nominum will continue to build on the success from the past 10 years and more
specifically, the past five years working in the mobile space.
What is your business model? Kindly highlight your
partnerships and alliances with mobile service providers.
As a company, Nominum sells either directly to end
customers or through channels such as system integrators. As a purely software
solution, licensing structures are flexible and designed to meet the business
needs of customers. These customers include some of the largest mobile provider
brands in the world such as Vodafone, TIM, Telefonica, China Mobile, China
Telecom, Claro, and Telstra.
What is the uniqueness of your products that makes you
different from your competition? What are your strengths?
We have evolved the DNS to do so much more than just
direct people to the correct websites. DNS is the underlying language of
all the Internet networks we use, whether it is checking email, live streaming
a movie, or handling bank transactions from our smart phone – DNS surrounds
us. Consider this: the volume of mobile data traffic doubled from 2010 to
2011, and I bet you will it be just as high when we close 2012.
As you can see, people are doing A LOT on computer
networks these days, and they want their Internet experiences to be safe, easy,
and efficient. This also means A LOT of data is being used and Internet
service providers have to keep up with giving their customers the best Internet
experience while also keeping an eye on rising costs of maintaining busy
networks. At my company, Nominum, we focus on this need. We have evolved
DNS from a technical protocol” to a business tool for Internet service
providers that help them provide higher performance and security to Internet
Nominum’s three-tiered software architecture enables us
to build business solutions as opposed to simply offering core DNS and DHCP
engines. While Nominum engines are arguably the most scalable, secure, and reliable
on the market, the more interesting discussion is how these can be used to
build platforms and applications to solve specific business needs.
For example, the recently announced Network User and
Security Solution built for mobile networks is unique. No other security
solutions are leveraging an embedded component such as the DNS to build
comprehensive security for everything from the network assets themselves all
the way to the end user. While other solutions can be built using a variety of
vendors and technology, Nominum uses the DNS components that have to be in the
network simply to make it run. Other offerings layer on appliances,
technologies, software, etc. that are only in place to secure components and
provide no other function.