"We Will Be the 'Brain' of 5G Networks"

Eyal Harari, CEO of Radcom, which provides monitoring solutions for communication networks, talks about the preparations the company is making for the fifth generation (5G) of the mobile industry, about how COVID-19 has restored the pride of the global telecom market, and the ability of a small company based in Israel to be a major player

Radcom HQ in Tel Aviv
Radcom

Radcom: "The company provides monitoring solutions for the largest communication networks in the world. Our goal is to analyze and understand the end user experience, monitor network quality, and alert if problems arise. Monitoring is done in real-time, based on objective metrics, while providing a holistic simulation of the user experience, with various segmentations, for example, by geographic region. We produce a model that predicts the quality of service, allowing for a correct and accurate management of the network. Our objective is to improve the quality of the network and prevent customer churn."

The revolution: "The company was established in 1991 and has been traded on NASDAQ since 1997. In 2015, it moved from providing communications equipment and hardware testing to software and virtual network monitoring, as part of a strategic reorganization. In fact, the company has reinvented itself."

Customers: "The largest communication providers worldwide, such as AT&T (USA), Rakuten (Japan), Globe (Philippines), Telefonica (Brazil), VEON (Russia) and more. These are the world's leading and most advanced customers, with tens of millions of subscribers."

5G: "The transition to 5G (the fifth generation) is the most important trend in the telecom market today. Countries are starting to establish fifth generation networks, which will revolutionize the market. We jumped in with both feet. We recently announced the launch of RADCOM ACE, an automated end-to-end assurance solution for 5G networks. The solution is based on our expertise in cloud-native systems, so that communication operators can manage their networks in more dynamic and flexible ways. The solution was developed to ensure that 5G services are provided with optimal quality and improved operational efficiency."

A new era of openness and accessibility

The effect of COVID-19: "It's a bit strange to say this, but the pandemic restored the pride of the global telecom market and reminded us all how important it is to stay connected. Despite the sharp change in global usage patterns and transition to telework, the level of service was and remains high, which made the industry proud. The need for broadband and the shift to video-based communications, like Zoom and others, created unprecedented demand in the industry. After a brief period of uncertainty and concerns that operators will slow down investment in long-term projects, we are witnessing a return to investment and development of infrastructure. Demand has risen sharply for our company’s services due to the patterns of demand changing and the increase in the need to monitor the quality of communication."

Eyal Harari
Eyal HarariRadcom

Playing alongside large companies: "We are a small company that competes with larger entities. One of the benefits that COVID-19 has created for us is increased access to large customers. Managers who sit at home are more open to inquiries, more available for virtual meetings with small vendors. Potential customers have adopted a new culture of accessibility, openness, and availability. This didn’t exist in the past."

The move to remote work: "We are a global company that among others, also works closely with Asian countries. We received signals of the influence of COVID-19 early on, and acted accordingly. We moved employees to work from home early. To say the truth, we didn’t understand how ready we were, as a cloud-based software company serving global customers, to work remotely at the business level as well."

Striving for a hybrid model: "Not everything is perfect when working remotely, and there is definitely room for a physical encounter and connection to the workplace, to its values and goals. This is difficult to achieve when working remotely, and it creates a certain alienation. Employees want to come to the office and be connected. There is also a social added value to it. Therefore, in my opinion, the solution will be a combined (hybrid) model. We started such a pilot in Israel, and it seems to maximize the benefits. It combines the saving on travel time and traffic, with the benefit of coming to the office when needed, to brainstorm and meet other employees."

Employees are invested in the process

Group synergy: "On one hand, I believe in teamwork. In my experience, employees working in teams work better than individuals. On the other hand, I believe in personal excellence and require all employees to do their utmost to help the company reach its goals. My job is to create connections between employees, which add value and bridge the gap between individualism and teamwork. In this way, we create a group synergy that enables the company to make a quantum leap forward."

Transparency: "I see transparency as a key value. It is important for me that all employees know the company's strategy, but also the reasoning behind the decisions, and are aware of the challenges and difficulties we face. In my view, this is the only way to connect employees to the company and its goals."

Typical employee profile: "People with a high self-learning ability and curiosity, who engage in complex and challenging processes, with an instinctive attachment to their professional pursuits. Communication networks of hundreds of millions of users, such as AT&T, which provides services to 120 million subscribers, are intense with technology. Our service includes not only data collection but also analytics of tremendous amounts of information. This requires employees to be of a high personal and interpersonal level, creativity, and management skills. Large companies are also very demanding, and as a small Israeli firm, you need courage and passion to meet these demands adequately. We are blessed with a team of employees with a passion for technology, who live what they do and maintain direct contact with customers. It’s not self-evident."

Strong connection to customers: "It's part of our corporate culture, and it has enormous value. Our employees feel that their work makes an impact and that they are partners in something big that has a global effect. There are companies where developers have never met a customer. With us it’s different."

We are becoming a key player in the changing telecom world

Vision: "In the age of deployment of 5G networks, I believe we will be the ‘brain’ of the network, and our activities of monitoring and improving the user experience will become ever more essential. The telecom industry is undergoing a dramatic change, from an environment based on manual work and engineering to one of software and automation; from networks of millions of users to tens and hundreds of millions, connecting not only users but also sensors; from static and reactive communication networks to adaptive, virtual, and dynamic ones. The old world is no longer sustainable, something we recognized long ago. It is impossible to manage manually such complex and large networks that provide critical services. The monitoring of the new generation of networks requires innovative technological means such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the use of algorithms. To provide advanced services, the telecom world will have to change, and we will be a key player in this change."

Up close and personal: Eyal Harari

Age and marital status: 44, married + 4.

Education: Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the Open University, Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Tel Aviv University, Master's degree in law for non-practitioners from Bar-Ilan University.

Current position: CEO of Radcom.

Number of employees: about 300.

Management experience: Career officer at the Center for Computing and Information Systems of the IDF; 20 years at Radcom, starting in the management of software development and moving through a series of management positions, including COO and CEO of the US company, until he was appointed CEO.

A historical figure you would like to meet: "Steve Jobs. I connect with his desire to change the world through technology, his belief in the justness of the cause, and his ability to stick with that belief, despite failures, without relenting along the way. Jobs is one of the people who had the greatest influence on humanity. He understood that technology serves the needs of society. All this in addition to him being an amazing speaker."