December 8, 2016

Which operator growth strategies will remain viable in 2017 and beyond?

We’ve published a new report. Global telecoms growth has slowed since 2009, but some operators have enjoyed compound annual growth rates of up to 25% over this period. This report examines the financial results of 68 operators over the last seven years, identifies seven successful growth strategies, and evaluates which ones will deliver the best results in 2017 and beyond.

This report is part of the Executive Briefing Service, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

Sample Figure: Aggregate revenue and growth rate for the sixty-eight players, 2009-2016

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December 2, 2016

We’ve published a new report: Amazon: Telcos’ Chameleon-King Ally?

Amazon, Facebook and Google are engaged in a global contest to become the pre-eminent broker of digital commerce between merchants and consumers. Google controls the leading digital platform - the Android smartphone. And Facebook dominates mobile messaging. But new digital platforms are emerging - the growing popularity of smart speakers, which rely on cloud-based artificial intelligence, could help Amazon, the original online chameleon, to bolster its fast-evolving ecosystem at the expense of Google and Facebook. As the digital food chain evolves, opportunities will open up for telcos, but only if the smart home market remains heterogeneous and very competitive.

The report is part of our Dealing With Disruption Stream, and you can read an extract here.

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November 30, 2016

The Open Digital Maturity Model at Open ROADS

10-11 November 2016 saw the second meeting of the Open ROADS Community, at Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire. STL Partners participated in the event, supporting some of the sessions. It was a packed two days, although this post will focus on the work that we shared and developed on the Open Digital Maturity Model (ODMM).

Digital Boot Camp - sharing the Open Digital Maturity Model with attendees

The Digital Boot Camp offered attendees the opportunity to browse through a number of digital initiatives supported by Open ROADS. STL have been working with Open ROADS to develop the Open Digital Maturity Model (ODMM), a structured set of digital metrics that allows organizations to assess themselves against their digital aspirations, and then use the metrics to evaluate where they need to focus their transformation efforts.

The metrics in the ODMM are organized into six cross-functional categories (Strategic Dynamism, Digital Culture & Skills, Optimal Customer Experience, Data Centricity, Service Innovation & Operational Excellence, and Digital Technology Leadership), and then further sub-categories (under Strategic Dynamism, for example, Strategic Vision, Business Agility, and Finance & Investment Model). Each sub-category is scored by 2-5 metrics.

Digital Culture seen as the top transformation challenge… and hardest to define

The Hanbury Manor Digital Boot Camp gave participants the opportunity to explore the ODMM and provide feedback through conversation with the team that have been working on it. Generally, feedback was positive - the cross-functional approach was popular, and participants were keen to dig down into the metrics. We had a number of questions that emphasized the importance of the ‘Digital Culture & Skills’ category. It is clear that this area is regularly identified as a “must” for digital transformation. In other words: operators and vendors alike agree that culture must change, but are less clear on exactly how to effect that change, and how to measure it. Looking forward, this is one area where the ODMM may be able to help.

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Measuring Transformation: Working on the ODMM

On Friday afternoon, we were able to build on the feedback from the Digital Boot Camp further and do some more work on the metrics with the attendees at Open ROADS. We gathered together a small group of operators and analysts to explore the model in some more depth and discuss some categories. We were fortunate to have a lively group, who were happy to provide some forthright opinions on the model!

A strategic vision must be compelling and fundamentally available to customers and employees

We broke into groups - I spent a lively half-hour discussing the question of ‘Strategic Vision’ with a couple of analysts. In many ways, the ODMM may be most valuable when it comes to discussing these more abstract concepts. It is hardly controversial to suggest that an organization pursuing digital transformation must have a clear strategic vision. And while many operators and analysts claim to ‘know it when they see it’ in terms of clear strategic vision, it is harder to understand exactly what they are identifying, and how it can be measured. So this conversation was interesting precisely because we attempted to pin down exactly how one might quantify the level of an organization’s vision. One of the key themes that emerged was the concept that a strategic vision should be compelling and fundamentally available to employees and customers alike. It is one thing for the board to decide on a vision, and quite another for employees and/or customers to grasp that vision completely, unambiguously and perhaps most importantly unequivocally.

The Open ROADS community is committed to making the ODMM available to all members and welcomes operators and vendors to join.   

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November 24, 2016

The Devil’s Advocate: SDN / NFV can never work, and here’s why!

Will SDN / NFV ever deliver on its promises? We present eight sceptical “devil’s advocate” arguments and their counterpoints. Which will prevail?

This latest Telco 2.0 report is part of the Executive Briefing Service, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

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November 16, 2016

Trump’s impact: global TMT scenarios

US President-elect Donald Trump made many statements during the campaign, but now that he has won the election what will his administration do? In this report we look at five key areas for the TMT sector and analyse how we think Trump’s presidency is most likely to impact them.

This report is part of the Executive Briefing Service, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

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November 11, 2016

Telco Transformation: The 20 Metrics That Matter

Metrics are an integral component of telcos’ digital and overall transformation. But what metrics are telcos using, and what metrics should they use, to measure the progress and success of their transformation initiatives? In our latest report, STL Partners has looked at metrics in use by three of the most advanced telcos in the world, including AT&T and Telstra, and identified the 20 that matter most.

You can read an extract here: http://www.telco2research.com/articles/EB_Telco-Transformation-20-Metrics-That-Matter

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November 3, 2016

eSIM: How Much Should Operators Worry?

eSIMs (embedded SIM cards) are a cause of both hope and fear for operators, but is any of it justified? This week’s report looks at the potential impacts and practicalities.

This report is part of the Executive Briefing Service and the Future of the Network Stream, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

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October 27, 2016

The IoT ecosystem and four leading operators’ strategies

The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing fast but has also been the subject of many industry visions. This week we publish our IoT ecosystem report, analysing its structure and development, presenting several real-life operator strategies, and challenging some of the hype.

This report is part of the Executive Briefing Service, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

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October 7, 2016

Understanding Fintech: Why Interest and Investment Has Exploded

Fintech - digital technology that disrupts financial services - is a growing phenomenon that has been the subject of significant media attention. We investigate why it is important in our new research paper: Understanding Fintech: Why Interest and Investment Has Exploded

This report is part of the Executive Briefing Service and Dealing With Disruption Stream, and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

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October 4, 2016

Partnerships now: The Telco Digital Service Partnerships Benchmarking Tool

Why, and how, should telecoms operators partner with businesses that provide digital services? How will the relationships between operators and their potential partners change in the coming years? STL Partners is currently working on a research project to provide operators who take part in our online benchmarking exercise with answers to these questions.

Digital services - from consumer streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify to business productivity services such as Office 365 - are becoming increasingly indispensable for a modern digital life, from both consumer and business perspectives. At the same time, it is essential that these services are fully mobile. A video streaming service (for example) that cannot be accessed from a smartphone app while on the move is simply not viable. Put another way, from the perspective of digital services the mobile network has never been more important.

Yet from the operator’s perspective, finding value in digital service partnerships can be quite complex. Operators used to have a near monopoly on direct access to the mobile customer, and could bring this valuable resource to partnerships. With the rise of smartphones and app stores, this monopoly has been eroded. But this is not to say that operators should not look to partner: it is clearly evident that a wide range of innovative partnerships are being developed by operators all over the globe, as operators look to improve and transform the state of their partnering businesses. STL Partners’ Telco Digital Service Partnerships Benchmarking Tool hopes to capture just some of this range and diversity.

We have covered some of the ways in which operators have partnered successfully in our recent research. To take one example, AT&T have developed the AT&T Drive platform. In our Executive Briefing, “Digital Partnering: Success Factors and AT&T Drive Case Study” we explored how AT&T was able to look beyond short term revenue growth and towards the longer term, transformative possibility of developing a platform that could support an ecosystem of multiple partners. In short, the AT&T Drive platform sought to accelerate the wider opportunity for connected cars, and therefore position AT&T as a talented, advanced player in this ecosystem, and an attractive partner for automobile manufacturers.

Perhaps a more typical - though also successful - telco partnership is found in the ongoing relationship between TeliaSonera and Spotify, discussed in our Executive Briefing “Partnering 2.0 - How TeliaSonera Makes Beautiful Music with Spotify”. While Spotify is now a global giant, its partnership with TeliaSonera began in 2009, just after Spotify was launched in its first market, Sweden. Like AT&T, TeliaSonera was able to look beyond revenue: this partnership allowed the telco to position itself closer to all-important youth markets. Furthermore, the nature of this relationship was allowed to evolve organically: from an agreement for TeliaSonera to market Spotify to its customers, to a close partnership that includes multiple joint initiatives and (in June 2015) direct investment in Spotify by TeliaSonera.

Beyond these two clear success stories, STL Partners is keen to investigate the wider state of digital service partnerships: we have launched the Telco Digital Service Partnerships Benchmarking Tool. If you work for an operator, and would like to compare the state of your partnering business with your competitors, answer the questions now. Every participant will receive a personalised benchmarking report, and all responses will be anonymised and treated with the strictest confidence.

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September 29, 2016

Regulation: A Good Case for Change (at last)

There are signs that policymakers may be prepared to adjust regulation and competition policy to foster telcos’ network investments. What does the new regulatory climate mean for telcos’ strategy? 

We investigate in our new report.

This report is part of our Executive Briefing Service and Dealing with Disruption Stream and you can read an excerpt here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

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September 22, 2016

5G: How Will It Play Out?

We’ve published a new report: 5G: How Will It Play Out?.

There’s a lot at stake in 5G, and many players are understandably pushing their own views and strategies hard. Our latest analysis summarises the story so far, the barriers, players and timelines, and how we see it playing out. 

This report is part of our Executive Briefing Service and Future of the Networks Stream and you can read an excerpt here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

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September 15, 2016

Digital Health: How Can Telcos Compete with Google, Apple and Microsoft?

We’ve published a new report: Digital Health: How Can Telcos Compete with Google, Apple and Microsoft?.

Digital solutions supporting consumer health and wellness are proliferating, driven by the take-up of wearables and a growing supply of data from consumers, advertisers, insurers and healthcare providers. In this report we explore the ecosystem, and discuss the key players and opportunities, the likeliest areas for disruption, and the potential opportunities for telcos, as well as presenting case studies of the digital health strategies of Google, Apple and Microsoft.

This report is part of the Dealing With Disruption Stream and you can read an excerpt of the report here.

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

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September 8, 2016

SDN / NFV: Early Telco Leaders in the Enterprise Market

Which operators are leading in the race to deploy disruptive propositions based on NFV and SDN, and what are they doing?

Our latest report explores these questions. You can read it here.

This report is part of our Enterprise Cloud & ICT stream. 

For more information on any of our services, please email contact@telco2.net or call +44 207 247 5003.

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August 30, 2016

Apple, Regs, 5G, FTTH, Content, Cloud: Telco 2.0 News Review

Apple’s €13bn tax bill; HomeKit as standard; “$1m Dissident” iPhone defies UAE; China ASPs; iRules

The EU inquiry into Apple’s tax affairs is in, and it’s pretty stern news for Apple; the EU wants it to repay €13bn in back tax.

Continue reading "Apple, Regs, 5G, FTTH, Content, Cloud: Telco 2.0 News Review" »

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Telco 2.0 Strategy Report Out Now: Telco Strategy in the Cloud

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