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Ericsson MWC 2024 Barcelona Executive Q&A - Niklas Heuveldop

At Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona, we’re speaking to some Ericsson Executive Team members about key issues and hot topics. Niklas Heuveldop is the newly appointed Head of Business Area Global Communications Platform and CEO of Ericsson-owned enterprise cloud communications company Vonage.

Niklas Heuveldop

Heuveldop took up the US-based role on February 1 this year, having previously served as Head of Ericsson Market Area North America since 2017.

Prior to that Heuveldop was Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Technology & Emerging Business - which combined the Corporate Strategy and Technology functions, Ericsson Research, Business Innovation, Mergers & Acquisitions and Emerging Business - focused on the Internet of Things, Information Technology and Ericsson’s Digital Transformation.

He previously served in international assignments across the Americas and Europe, including as Head of Ericsson's Global Customer Unit AT&T and Head of Market Unit Central America & Caribbean.

1. What are your priorities for the year ahead as the new head of Vonage and Business Area Global Communications Platform?

Over the past month, I’ve spent time listening and learning from our team members as well as from our enterprise customers and partners, who really value Vonage’s solutions and are excited to leverage network capabilities for better ways to connect and engage with their customers. Initially, my priorities are to continue developing the Vonage core business across Unified Communications, Contact Center and Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS), while accelerating our global network platform business.

2. Several major collaborations and partnerships were announced recently including Verizon, Amazon Web Services and AT&T. Why are these so important and do you expect this momentum to continue?

One of the biggest challenges in our industry is the network has been closed to developers, making it a commodity. Opening up the network and exposing its capabilities in an intuitive and programmable way will drive exponential innovation, network monetization and more network investment. A powerful cycle (or flywheel effect) that continues to build and grow across the ecosystem.

That is why these collaborations are so important – they demonstrate that the ecosystem for open innovation is building momentum. We expect that momentum to continue, and we are in discussions with numerous additional partners.   

3. What are you hearing from other potential customers about Ericsson’s global network platform capabilities and ambitions?

We are talking with enterprise customers across every industry, every geography, every day. Like all businesses, our customers are struggling with a challenging macroeconomic environment and concerned about remaining productive and efficient, while still delivering a great customer experience.

They are looking to us to create new solutions for more personalized engagement and differentiated experiences for their customers. They are beginning to understand that we can help them create new ways of communicating and engaging that haven’t even been thought of yet though advanced network capabilities.

4. What is Vonage/Business Area Global Communications Platform hoping to achieve at MWC 2024?

Our objective is to accelerate ecosystem adoption for exponential innovation. At MWC, we are showcasing new network APIs and services that will help accomplish this.

For example, the Vonage Network Registry (VNR) is an industry-first registry service designed to accelerate developer adoption and access to network APIs to deliver business solutions to market - faster. VNR will help communications service providers (CSPs) effectively scale the use of network APIs by simplifying and standardizing access.

We launched the new CAMARA-based Vonage Number Verification API and SIM Swap API (in developer preview) at MWC in conjunction with GSMA, and operators in Germany and Spain - Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone.

These network APIs will help tackle online fraud and protect the digital identities of mobile customers. Vonage is already working our customer, Vinted, Europe’s leading international online C2C marketplace dedicated to second-hand fashion, to integrate these new APIs.

We want our stakeholders to come away from the show knowing that there is so much more that can be done with the network when we put it in the hands of developers. We want them to be excited about new innovation that is happening right now, and to recognize that this is just the beginning – the possibilities are limitless. We want them to Imagine Possible with us. 

Feel welcome to join the #ericssonmwc conversation at #mwc24