Industry Insights

A MaaS-Inspired Approach to Value Added Services

By Eric Lew / Aug 22, 2012

Puzzle  Pieces

When you think about Marketplace-as-a-service (MaaS) and cloud computing, the value-added service portfolio of a telecommunications company might not be the first thing that comes to mind. AppDirect is about to change that.

First, let’s talk about what a value-added service, or VAS, portfolio is. For communication service providers (CSPs), a service sold on top of their core Internet or telephone offerings is a VAS. When a provider offers multiple services—such as hosting, email, backup, or security solutions—it has what’s known as a VAS portfolio. A robust VAS portfolio is an important tool for increasing average profit and revenue per user.

Sounds great so far, except for one thing: The integration of each new VAS can be costly and time consuming. To sell just one VAS, a CSP must integrate the product to a variety of existing systems, including billing, customer service, call center, and single sign-on (SSO).

Without being tied into these systems, a VAS can’t survive. Integrating into billing allows the VAS to be added to a customer’s existing bill. When the VAS is added to the customer service and phone infrastructures, this opens the channels for sales and support. Finally, SSO integration means customers can seamlessly access the VAS while utilizing their core services.

Performing numerous integrations for each individual service can have a limiting effect on a provider’s VAS portfolio, and consequently, on its bottom line. Instead of sourcing new VAS offerings and growing existing ones, a provider is forced to devote valuable resources to complex, time-consuming integrations. Fortunately, platforms such as AppDirect’s are presenting a unique fix for this pain point.

When implementing AppDirect's solutions, CSPs will invariably want to connect their new cloud service marketplace with multiple systems to ensure adoption and retention by customers, such as SMBs. The marketplace then becomes a ready-made integration hub for future VAS products. CSPs can quickly bring new products into the marketplace, and utilize the platform's existing integrations with billing, sales, and other billing.

AppDirect’s platform makes it much easier for CSPs to access the cloud-hungry SMB market, giving them an efficient new approach to VAS portfolio cultivation and magnifying all of the benefits that cloud computing can deliver.