Days after Airtel announced its Apps store, Infosys, India’s 2nd largest IT services company announced its plan to roll out mobile application stores for 9 mobile operators across the globe. Infosys is already partnering with Aircel to build Aircel Pocket Apps. Infosys is working with 2 more Indian Carriers and has other operator partnerships in West Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. Infosys claims that it can deliver a full fledged apps store within 6-8 weeks, with its applications platform, Flypp. The Flypp platform allows Infosys to develop utility-based apps that can be used across mobile devices, regardless of the operating systems or hardware constraints. The apps featured include apps developed in-house as well as those developed by Apps Developers.
As part of Infosys’s new engagement models (NEMs), Flypp is offered to operators on a revenue-share basis. Flypp hosts 2,000 apps that can be directly deployed by mobile operators into an app store and we will grow the number to about 10,000 by mid-2010,
NEM strategy and its mobile application implementation at Infosys, is a critical business unit for the company. Flypp is able to provide operators a host of localized mobile apps that can differentiate one app store from another and drive data consumption at the customer end. Flypp provides independent software vendors a viable and attractive channel to showcase and monetize their proprietary applications across multiple geographies and service providers. App developers are not charged to host their apps; only when an app is downloaded by customers does the operator pay for the download and revenue is shared with the developer.
Infosys only began targeting the domestic telecom market during the past 12 months, having previously targeted its efforts towards North America and the UK. Already the mobile platform has helped the company to report good numbers from the telecom industry that contributes nearly 16 per cent to its revenues. For Infosys, Flypp allows it to price its services based on business level outcome against input based pricing or fixed price projects. Expected to be a critical focus area for the company, nearly 1/3rd of the company’s revenues are estimated to come from NEMs in the next 5-7 years. Currently, the non-linear initiatives contribute about 5 per cent to its revenues and the pie is expected to grow going forward. The Indian market’s contribution to Infosys’s revenue is a mere 1.2 per cent, and with initiatives such as these, the company wants to increase its domestic revenues.
Infosys with its global presence and IT experience should be able to re-define Mobile Virtual Network Enablers and Aggregators (MVNA/MVNE) in its true sense. With its platform approach, Infosys becomes the enabler for Mobile companies to leverage on Infosys’s IT development strengths. This also helps Operators to focus on their core business and leave the IT led apps development processes to the IT specialist.With its ability to pull the pool of Apps developers and giving them a larger canvas/market, Infosys could soon evolve into an aggregator as well. There are challenges in managing a eco-system, but Infosys has a formidable reputation to back it up. What goes unsaid is this move allows Infosys to have a very sound stepping stone into the Mobile Industry through the Apps route.
Bottomlines: The Flypp powered App store may be a success or failure for consumers or Telecom Carriers, but in the long run, it will be an ideal stepping stone and learning experience for Infosys in terms of Consumption of mobile apps and internet. The Insights could be leveraged in other ventures for Infosys