From Surviving to Thriving – The Power of Digital Transformation

By now, we’re all familiar with the phrase “digital transformation.” It’s a business buzzword to describe a company’s transition from pen and paper operations to digital systems, such as the cloud. As CTO at Somos, I often describe my role to people as “Looking around the corner and seeing what comes next.” So I, of course, am a big proponent of digital transformation. In fact, I would go so far as to say that proactive digital transformation is essential to the modern company’s survival: If you’re late to the technology game, others will come along and disrupt you out of business.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

While digital transformation strategies are often designed around individual businesses or companies, we take a different approach here at Somos. We’re undergoing an aggressive digital transformation strategy not only for our own benefit, but because we understand that transforming Somos into a company at the forefront of technology can in turn make digital transformation easier for our customers, and their customers, too. Through this ripple effect, our entire industry has more freedom to innovate and thrive into the future. 

The importance of Digital Transformation

When I take a holistic look at what Digital Transformation means, I break it into three benefits: efficiency, agility, and competition. Converting any process to digital is done with the goal of removing human inefficiencies. The efficiency gains in those areas always lead first to lower operating costs. The same efficiency makes your organization agile, with the ability to move fast and gain greater speed to market, speed to innovation, and speed to value. All of that adds up to one thing - your company is more competitive when new players and new trends enter the scene. 

Of course, digital transformation is not as simple as flipping a switch. You need to have your people, process, and tools in place. Among these, people are the trickiest factor. Even with the most cutting-edge tech-tools and the smartest processes to use them, your company will fail if the digital environment is not embraced by your employees. Bringing your team along with you into the future requires a real shift in mindset and an investment from the top. 

Modernizing the Toll-Free Ecosystem

When I joined Somos in 2020, I was lucky to join a company that already placed a premium on digital transformation. The modernization of the SMS/800 TFN Registry is the most prominent example today of our journey towards digital transformation in our company. 

For a long time, our legacy system operated largely unchanged due to a “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” mindset. But, as I’ve stated above, this way of thinking isn’t viable in the 2020s.  (It’s also not viable for logistical reasons: To continue with our legacy systems would mean hiring engineers out of retirement for maintenance and support!) By modernizing the SMS/800 TFN Registry, we as a company become more agile, open the door to innovation, and position ourselves to scale quickly to meet any demand fluctuation without interruptions in service (often called web scale). 

While this is all great for Somos, we see it also as a way to serve our customers and the industry at large. For example, all of our new technologies have been and will continue to be designed with an  API-first approach. The objective is to help our customers overcome their own digital transformation challenges of integrating new tools into existing processes and limiting the amount of required people training to use the tools and benefit. With our new, API-first system, our customers can now work in a modern native environment that’s faster, more efficient, and more agile. 

Why is this important? Because when our customers have the tools they need to undergo digital transformation, it creates space in our industry for technological progress and innovation. This will create better solutions for our customers, their customers, and our industry at large.

The modernization of the SMS/800 TFN Registry is just one of many initiatives on Somos’ digital transformation roadmap. Between the internet of things, digital identity management, blockchain, machine learning, and more, there is no shortage of opportunity in the future. We look forward to our customers joining us for the ride. 



Sri Ramachandran
Sri Ramachandran
SVP & Chief Technology Officer

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