Compax: Many Telco Processes, One Solution

Leopold Kojeder, Founder & CEO, CompaxLeopold Kojeder, Founder & CEO In the early 1990s, Professor Hermann Simon coined the term “Hidden Champions” to refer to German companies that excelled in global trade despite the lacklustre macroeconomic performance of the nation. At a time when Germany saw an annual economic growth rate of just 2.1 percent (through 1994-2004), its savvy medium-sized companies did the unthinkable as the country emerged as the world’s leading exporter of vehicles, machinery, chemical goods, and electronic products. The fact that most of these SMBs were family-owned, based in small towns, and concealed behind the proverbial curtain, and yet held market shares of up to 90 percent in global market niches, always left Simon and other strategic analysts in awe.

Fast forward to 2019, the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) still boasts of the world’s highest concentration of SMBs dominating their respective industries at a global scale. One such Hidden Champion is Compax, a relatively unknown software company that, for three decades, has been a highly competent partner for some of the leading telcos in Europe.

While making waves in the European telcos circuit, Compax’s approach has been highly unconventional. The high-tech company has scripted success stories for the who’s who in the telecommunications arena without ever hiring a sales or marketing team. For years, Compax has secured new projects and partnerships wholly through “word of mouth” for exhibiting proficiency in use cases. “Recommendations have kept us afloat, and we’ve never had to promote ourselves. Our work speaks for itself,” says a proud Leopold Kojeder, the owner of Compax, a family-owned business that has admittedly never lost an account and has sustained long-lasting customer ties since its foundation in 1994.

At the core of Compax’s solutions is a fully-equipped BSS/CRM stack, running in the cloud with a SaaS business model and full agile deployment. After launching AAX, the first version of its flagship CRM solution, in 1997, Compax rolled out AAX2 for 600 users in 1999. Since then, AAX2 has been refined and enhanced with the latest technologies and fine-tuned to adapt to every telco’s specific requirements. Today, Compax serves its customers through AAX³, the next generation of its solution that includes a cloud-native, state-of-the-art microservices architecture. A comprehensive and fully-integrated solution, AAX³ is offered at an unheard of and almost disruptive price/performance ratio, a far cry when compared to the solutions offered by the biggest players in the market.

The end objective of every Compax solution is to enable the quick and easy implementation of all customer relationship and customer interaction processes together with billing and rating.

A One-Stop Shop for Telcos

The AAX3 platform covers all the BSS functionalities a modern enterprise needs: from e-shop, self-service portals, mobile apps, order entry/management, subscription management, and customer support solutions, to provisioning/ activation and billing/rating. The core ingredients that bind the platform together are its strong product catalogue and workflow engine. “To succeed in the world of telcos, any service provider requires a cutting-edge product catalogue which includes tariffs, plan options, hardware platforms, and so on. It is also a marketing tool for telcos,” stresses Kojeder.

Through the comprehensive enterprise product catalogue, AAX3 users can seamlessly maintain data via a graphical interface before integrating the same into the live system without any development effort. This easy-to-configure management interface also simplifies the process of order entry, provisioning, and billing, and makes it easier to deal with extremely large amounts of data. Regardless of who operates the interface or which company/industry it is used for, the platform can be configured to adapt to a specific business model. Furthermore, all modules and connected systems transfer the data directly from the AAX3 product catalogue, avoiding redundant data or inconsistencies caused by multiple storage points. Since AAX3 is based on an open data model, it is easy to integrate with other systems or link data to external apps.

Other AAX3 features include a shop and customer self-care module which offers companies a webshop for online operations, customer portals for own administration, and partner portals for distribution partners.

As we march forward, we will cater to the growing demands of our existing customers



Additionally, AAX3 is a boon for sales and marketing teams that can leverage the promotions and campaign management module to define customer benefits (discounts and price reductions, perks, supplements, bundles, bonus points) and accordingly link them to any process (new contract, upgrade, option bookings). Like every other AAX3 module, the campaign management module, too, can be easily integrated with a client’s respective portal without any need for programming. It is almost as simple as a drag-and-drop!




Also worth mentioning is the platform’s powerful reporting module. Since all AAX3 data is stored on the cloud, users can export reports and lists in a format of their choosing, and conversely link the data—whether customer history, workflow, or order list—to their data warehouse for further analysis. Another piece of data that telcos can leverage is correspondence history (with their clients), through the AAX3 communication module. In a detailed view, they can trace every email, SMS, phone call, and web chat, and follow-up with customers to serve them better.

Crucially, every AAX3 module is active 24x7 to ensure virtually no downtime during maintenance. The pages are continuously available, and orders in the shop are accepted and buffered.

In developing AAX2 and AAX³, Compax’s team of software developers excelled on the aesthetics front as well. Each component of the platform can be designed as desired: while the colours, arrangement, and functional aspects are flexibly configurable, the base remains stable.

Cooperation All Along the Line

As impressive as the feature sets of AAX2/ AAX³, a key ingredient of Compax’s success is its agile customisation process used to design tailor-made solutions for clients. From the very first meeting to the conclusion of a project, a process that lasts up to nine months, Compax strives to build up the client’s trust. Rather than keeping clients in the dark, Compax leverages Scrum to divide workloads into small packages and focuses on each as a Sprint Goal. At every stage, Compax gathers feedback from the client and accordingly fine-tunes the solution.

This deployment model and commercial concept significantly negate the risk factors for telcos. “We usually start with a PoC, followed by an agile deployment where the customer can see the output once every two weeks. We integrate and configure the product continuously till we go live,” informs Kojeder. Post deployment, Compax maintains the platform, on behalf of the clients, through a SaaS-based model. Conversely, it can also offer a DevOps model on top to support the changing business needs of its customers.

The bulletproof BSS solution, in combination with Compax’s fully-agile deployment approach, is “almost disruptive in the telcos industry in terms of time-to-market and cost,” according to Kojeder. Over the years, there have been several instances when Compax’s clients required quick time-to-market but were saddled with limited IT budgets. On every such occasion, Compax succeeded in deploying a solution within a few months at a competitive price. For example, Compax has a track record of rapidly establishing secondary brands for acclaimed telcos such as T-Mobile.
Thirty-Five Installations and Counting

Compax currently manages 35 product installations across Europe.

Congstar, Germany’s leading 2nd brand cellular network provider, moved to AAX2 in 2009 to better manage its prepaid, postpaid, and DSL services. Since the deployment, up to 160 complex workflows have been implemented, more than 50 unique interfaces have been created, and more than a dozen Mio customer data records have been captured in the system. As of this writing, hundreds of Congstar’s call centre agents are utilising Compax’s tailor-made system on a daily basis.

Just like Congstar, Swisscom, Switzerland’s largest telco, has benefitted immensely through a Compax-engineered solution. Since 2016, Swisscom has used AAX³ to build up flexible, scalable, and cost-efficient platforms for its secondary brands—the likes of M-Budget, Wingo, and Coop Mobile. As part of the project, Compax provides Swisscom with a multi-tenant, multi-language, and fully-managed SaaS platform that includes workflow-based delivery processes, a variety of interfaces, and an integrated billing and collection module.

Swisscom isn’t the only renowned European telco that leverages a Compax-built solution to serve its secondary brands. Since 2012, T-Mobile Germany has been using an in-house wholesale/white-label platform to serve the various needs of a number of its brands—Live Cell, EDEKA mobil, FCB Mobil, BVB mobil, Sparhandy, and Norma. Meanwhile, T-Mobile Germany also relies on AAX2 to streamline its shop/customer self-care support, CRM, order management, and debtor management.

Also worth highlighting is Compax’s highly-rewarding partnership with Deutsche Telekom AG, the largest telco provider in Europe. The project, which began in 2017, truly validates Compax’s expertise due to the sheer volume of legacy systems in the client’s environment pre-deployment. AAX³ was selected to be the core of the new digital BSS solution that will be serving all residential customers (about 40 million), a success story that gave them the confidence to aim higher. Matter of fact, the successful project has opened new doors for Compax. “For years, we have stayed in the background and enjoyed our success. However, since the Deutsche Telekom project, we are eager to show the world our true capabilities,” says Kojeder.

"We usually start with a PoC, followed by an agile deployment where the customer can see the output once every two weeks"

The Road Ahead

This newfound zeal has led to Compax’s shareholders making heavy investments in both people and infrastructure. The results are already palpable. In 2018, Compax grew by approximately 20 percent through its Vienna operations alone, the success that has attracted a number of senior telecom leaders to hitch their wagon to Compax.

From a technology and clientele standpoint, Compax intends to expand beyond clients in the telecommunications sector to other domains such as IoT, road toll technology, and media. Case in point, the value Compax brought to Satellic, a provider of complex truck toll systems. Compax installed its solutions in up to 1 million on-board units, allowing Satellic to streamline the tolling of up to 140,000 vehicles in Germany every day. Since the partnership, Satellic has also been awarded the contract for the construction/operation of the new truck toll collection solution in Belgium.

As for product enhancements, Compax will continue to refine AAX³ with new functionalities. Compax recently made the product available on a demo basis, an initiative that was well-received by several potential customers. According to Kojeder, Compax is “the perfect solution” for a telco looking to chart a flexible, fast, affordable, and easy-to-manage digital BSS future.

On a closing note, Compax is laying the groundwork for global expansion. “The future is bright! Standing still is not an option. As we march forward, we will cater to the growing demands of our existing customers,” concludes Kojeder.
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Compax

Company
Compax

Headquarters
Vienna, Austria

Management
Leopold Kojeder, Founder & CEO

Description
A software company that delivers business support solutions to the biggest telcos across four countries in Europe. One of the top Telecom Solution Providers in Europe, Compax’s solutions enable the quick and easy implementation of all customer relationship and customer interaction processes together with billing and rating. At the core of Compax’s solution is a fully-equipped BSS/CRM stack, running in the cloud with a SaaS business model and full agile deployment. The platform, AAX3, covers BSS functionalities such as e-shop, self-service portals, mobile apps, order entry/management, and customer support solutions, to billing/rating and provisioning/activation