Telco 2.0™ Research

The Future Of Telecoms And How To Get There

Faster than Facebook: how to speed up digital transformation and disruptive innovation

Summary: Digital transformation is now impacting every industry, and one of the hardest organisational challenges is developing small-scale innovations fast and managing them in large and mature organisations. Here are our recommendations and key findings from the OnFuture EMEA 2014 cross-industry brainstorm, including a summary of Facebook’s internal recipe for speedy success. (June 2014, Executive Briefing Service, Transformation Stream.)

EMEA 2014 Existing Business remains the biggest obstacle to innovation









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Below is an extract from this 16 page Telco 2.0 Report that can be downloaded in full in PDF format by members of the Executive Briefing service, the Telco 2.0 Transformation stream, and OnFuture EMEA 2014 alumni here. We'll be continuing discussions our at future Brainstorms in Dubai (Onfuture Arabia 10-12 November) and Bali (Digital Asia 2-4 December) 2014  For more on any of these services, please email contact@telco2.net / call +44 (0) 207 247 5003.

 

Introduction

The OnFuture EMEA 2014 Executive Brainstorm took place from 11-12 June in London. The Brainstorm brought together 150 senior executives from across telecoms, technology, media, retail, financial services, and other sectors. It covered:

  • Digital Innovation, Transformation and Disruption
  • Future Communications and Enterprise Mobility
  • The Internet of Things and In-Store Retail
  • Accelerating Innovation in the Telecoms and Technology Sectors
  • Eight Innovation Showcases
  • Mobile Brand Engagement and Mobile Music and Video
  • Digital Identity and Mobile Data Analytics
  • The Future of Mobile Marketing

This document is a high-level summary of our main take-outs from the events, and includes some headline outcomes from the participants’ votes. Full details of votes and presentations are available to participants and subscribers to the Telco 2.0 Executive Briefing Service 

Our thanks to our event sponsors:

EMEA 2014 Sponsors

A growing sense of urgency and activity

Whereas even 2 years ago, we felt as if we were still talking to a telecoms industry largely seeming in denial of the massive threat to its existing business, at the OnFuture EMEA 2014 Brainstorm there was a clear shift towards people and companies working on real activities to change their businesses, innovate, and find new sources of growth.

Urgency: but as a result of lateness?

Nonetheless, following a string of painful results announcements from European telcos (see Telco 1.0: Death Slide Starts in Europe), it was perhaps unsurprising to see that most of the execs felt that their companies were generally significantly ‘behind the curve’ of adapting to the digital era (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: 78% said their companies were ‘behind the curve’ – or worse

EMEA 2014 Existing Business remains the biggest obstacle to innovation

Source: Participant Vote, OnFuture EMEA 2014 Executive Brainstorm 

Some positive signs

On a slightly more optimistic note, we were pleasantly surprised by the number of participants saying their companies had specific programmes to drive change and innovation, and our research and indeed discussions with the audience showed that this included a number of major European telcos (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Some progress on specific actions on disruptive innovation

Some progress on specific actions on disruptive innovation 

Source: Participant Vote, OnFuture EMEA 2014 Executive Brainstorm

However, as we’ve seen in detail in the Telco 2.0 Transformation Index research, the degree of progress that has been made even by some of the leading telcos still lags what we would prescribe (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Analysis of transformation progress of leading telcos

 Telco 2 Transformation Index - Analysis of transformation progress of leading telcos

Source: Telco 2.0 Transformation Index and STL Partners’ presentation to OnFuture EMEA 2014

The enemy within

On a day that London’s black cab drivers went on strike against the entry of the Uber app in the UK, it wasn’t a huge surprise to see that ‘existing business’ was cited as the biggest obstacle to change (see Figure 4)

Figure 4: ‘Existing Business’ remains the biggest obstacle to innovation

 EMEA 2014 Existing Business remains the biggest obstacle to innovation

Source: Participant Vote, OnFuture EMEA 2014 Executive Brainstorm

In the brainstorming session following the initial presentations (and including these votes), participants chose an industry to consider, and then brainstormed the key issues they faced, and the priority actions to resolve them. A slight majority of the tables chose the telecoms industry, or a telco within it, and the others chose Retail, Airlines, Taxis, Netflix, and Insurance.

A common theme was addressing how to create a culture and environment for change. The use of appropriate management incentives, KPIs and metrics were discussed at some length (for more on this, see What can be learned and done? page 11). 

Other issues discussed included achieving a balance between creating innovation and running the core business, building successful partnerships, and how to ‘compete against free’ in content oriented industries such as Pay TV.

To access the rest of this 16 page Telco 2.0 Report in full, including...

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • A growing sense of urgency and activity
  • Urgency: but as a result of lateness?
  • Some positive signs
  • The enemy within
  • Facebook’s internal recipe for speed
  • What can be learned and done?
  • How to be a bit more Facebook
  • How to be a bit more Telco 2.0
  • Key lesson from Cisco: integration is critical
  • Highlights from other votes
  • Software Defined Networking (SDN)
  • Future Communications Services
  • Enterprise Mobility
  • Connected Homes
  • Mobile Payments / Commerce
  • Mobile Brand Engagement
  • Digital / Mobile Entertainment
  • Data and Identity Services

...and the following report figures...

  • Figure 1: 78% said their companies were ‘behind the curve’ – or worse
  • Figure 2: Some progress on specific actions on disruptive innovation
  • Figure 3: Analysis of transformation progress of leading telcos
  • Figure 4: ‘Existing Business’ remains the biggest obstacle to innovation
  • Figure 5: Facebook’s impressive mobile transformation
  • Figure 6: How to (realistically) be more Facebook-ish
  • Figure 7: STL Partners’ recommendations to accelerate transformation
  • Figure 8: Cisco regards integration ‘as important as the deal itself’

...Members of the Telco 2.0 Executive Briefing Subscription Service, the Telco 2.0 Transformation Stream, and OnFuture EMEA 2014 alumni can download the full 16 page report in PDF format here. Non-Members, please subscribe here. For other enquiries, please email contact@telco2.net / call +44 (0) 207 247 5003.

Technologies and industry terms referenced include: Innovation, disruption, transformation, Facebook, OnFuture, EMEA, 2014, telecom, strategy, strategies, Telco 2.0.