Showing CSPs the Art of the Possible

This month we talked with our Technical Sales and Delivery Manager, Daniel, who shared his experiences working in the telecom industry and at LotusFlare.

Daniel, thank you for joining us today. Can you tell us more about your background and your current role in LotusFlare?

I come from the traditional telco OSS/BSS world. I started my career at Ericsson and scoped and delivered system integration projects in North and South America. Everything was deployed on-prem back then.

At LotusFlare, I’m responsible for sales engineering and work closely with others in the business development organization on new sales opportunities. I collaborate frequently with marketing, commercial sales, product, ops and delivery teams.

As a Technical Sales and Delivery Manager at LotusFlare, what are your main responsibilities?

I’m responsible for the technical sales activities, also known as “pre-sales”. These activities take place when communications service providers (CSPs) evaluate vendor offerings (like LotusFlare DNO™ Cloud) to determine whether they should purchase new products to deliver a business outcome for the CSP. 

I present and demonstrate LotusFlare DNO Cloud features to prospective customers, write proposals in response to their RFPs, lead “deep-dive” workshops on customer pain points, customer experience, and BSS architectures, and plan project scope including requirements, journeys, integrations, team structure, organizational roles and responsibilities, and implementation timelines. I do a lot, basically whatever it takes to help advance our offering on the technical and functional aspects of a potential sale of LotusFlare DNO Cloud.

We know that working with big CSPs can be challenging. What’s the hardest, and the most exciting part?

Two things are generally challenging. First, I have to work to convince some CSPs that, when changing systems, they should also change the way they do things (internal processes) so they don’t end up replicating legacy, “as is” processes. In other words, I try to get them to embrace cloud-native, digital-first SaaS platforms, but also the processes that will maximize the improved technology. Second, being diplomatic yet prescriptive on the best way to implement a commerce and monetization SaaS, focusing first on the 20% of system requirements that cover 80% of the customer experience and taking an incremental, iterative approach to add more features. In other words, it is a challenge to get CSPs to utilize standard functionality before defaulting to their customized development option.

But even with these challenges, the most exciting part of working with CSPs is the international aspect of communication networks: I love working with people from diverse backgrounds and learning about different countries, cultures and markets. I speak Spanish so it’s great when I get a chance to practice it in a business context and the customers seem to appreciate it.

Do you have any guiding principles that you follow while working with operators?

Listen more, talk less. Try to understand the CSP perspective, their pain points with their legacy systems and processes, and their vision of what they want to achieve in their market. Everything we present must be relevant to them.

What is the best work advice you received about your role and which advice would you give to your co-workers?

The role is about exploring the art of the possible. Having an imagination to present a significantly better future state for the client. In part LotusFlare DNO Cloud but also grounded in the reality of system and organizational capabilities and time/resource constraints.

How would you describe LotusFlare to someone considering joining our team and which advice would you have for them?

LotusFlare brings the best of Silicon Valley software innovation to the world of CSP commerce and monetization. It’s really exciting to see how cloud-native paradigms and SaaS best practices lead to successful outcomes for our clients.