Open standards development at the heart of disruptive telco service

MyRepublic is a multinational Internet company headquartered in Singapore, which was formed in 2011 to leverage the island republic’s next generation broadband network. It has since, expanded into Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.

In 2015, its CEO Malcolm Rodrigues had expressed his wish to disrupt the Malaysian telco market, by offering 100Mbps service offerings at less than RM70. The report also concluded by saying that the CEO was waiting for Malaysian regulation to allow MyRepublic to enter the country, something that would take place latest by 2018.

Well, it’s 2019 now, and there is still no sign of MyRepublic coming to Malaysia, although other connectivity technologies have debuted, via existing local players. For example, Facebook’s Terragraph appeared in Penang via YTL Communications, and there is nationwide Sigfox technology via Xperanti, a Malaysian IoT network provider.

But enough about telco regulations and the Internet service portion of the business that everyone sees. There is a software development organisation within MyRepublic that enables business in the different countries it operates in.

The COO of this software development organisation, David Robinson, was formerly the CTO of STT Connect which is a certified Open Stack cloud provider in Singapore. This speaks to Robinson’s experience and love of building cost-effective, horizontally scalable and fully automated fault-tolerant systems.

These traits are in high-demand in the mission-critical world of telecommunications.

EITN: Please share a little bit more about your software development organisation within MyRepublic

David: The MyRepublic  Software Development team has 2 developments centres, one here in Singapore, and the other in Indonesia. The team is responsible for the development, maintenance and evolution of our next-generation B/OSS (business and operations support systems) platform for each of our markets.

What has impressed me most since joining the company is the aligned vision and drive of the members of the team.  I am a strong believer that autonomy, mastery and purpose are what ultimately drives success.

For us to achieve our vision of disrupting the industry, the key focus areas for me is in hiring and retaining the best talents, removing barriers to productivity, automation and an “everything as code” mindset, whilst continuing the “fail, but fail fast” philosophy and culture. 

This will allow us to become a more innovative, experimental and versatile organisation that can adapt quickly to the changing markets.

EITN: How important is software development to a broadband company like MyRepublic?

David: I would like to clarify, that although MyRepublic offers telecommunication services in the market, the core of our foundations is built upon strong technology and software development expertise.

We have built our own B/OSS platform that allows us to take advantage of things such as ML and AI as we don’t have siloed or proprietary systems that would require us to engage vendors or SI’s which would limit our ability to respond to changes in the market.

EITN: What are the top 3 business (and/or tech) objectives that your software development division, will help your organisation achieve?

David: MyRepublic has a common vision in which the business and technology divisions are completely aligned.  Some of the objectives we have, which are similar to many other companies are:

  • How do we enhance customer service and its experiences
  • Increase the speed of user acquisition efficiently and ensure timely delivery of products and services to the customer
  • Reduce internal lag and increase efficiency across the organization to drive the optimization of many business processes

There are a few key initiatives which we are working on that are very exciting and game-changing; however, at this stage are confidential and I am not able to disclose publicly.

EITN: You are a close Red Hat partner for many, many years. What are your views about its acquisition by IBM?

David: At first glance, IBM and Red Hat as companies appear to be polar opposites. So when the news was first announced, I – like many others in the industry – was very surprised.

But when you consider the size of the acquisition and its implications, you can only conclude that it has the potential to reshape the open source and cloud platform market for years to come. IBM and Red Hat as a combined company will have the leading Kubernetes and cloud-native development platform, a broader open source middleware and developer tools portfolio than any other company with the reach into the largest of Government and Enterprise accounts globally.

EITN: How will your diverse background in open source, proprietary software and with different companies, help you achieve your business and technology goals at MyRepublic?

David: MyRepublic is a data-driven company that embraces Open Source and Open Standards which is something that I am very passionate about.  Being able to apply the skills and knowledge that I have acquired over the years from various industries and roles gives me a unique perspective to the challenges that we will face as we strive to transform the industry.