Latest developments in the content and planning of this (hopefully) catalytic event (4-5 Oct, London)

November 9, 2006

Programme for Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm, 27-29 March 2007

Having debated intensely with our organising committee, we’ve now designed the programme and broad agenda for the March 27-29 Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm (see diagram below). The website will be up soon, and we’re now approaching our short-list of top-class stimulus speakers.

If the aim of the October brainstorm was designed to test the hypotheses in our Telco 2.0™ Market Study and create a strong community of interest, the event on 27-29 March 2007 in London is designed to get the industry to consider end-user needs much more clearly and expand this community of interest to others who should be involved. We expect 250-300 leading lights from around the world to participate.

So, as you can see below, we’ll be looking at strategic business model choices in a Digital world. As part of this we’ll be debating if value is primarily in the network or on the edge; if ‘QoS’ as currently defined and defended is an irrelevance; and how to deliver value to/extract value from: 4 key en-user market sectors: Digital Youth, Digital Homes, Digital Towns, Digital Workers. We’ll look at what services and NGN architecture is needed to support the above, with lots of case studies and some demos.


Why bother? The problem facing the industry was starkly articulated when, having heard stimulus presentations from most parts of the value chain - Investment banks, VCs, Incumbent Group Strategy Departments, Regional Mobile Operations, Regional Fixed Operations, ISPs, Media Companies, Internet Players, EU Regulators, Trade Associations - we asked participants in the Telco 2.0 plenary session to vote on their levels of confidence in the ability of operators to create long-term sustainable growth in an increasingly IP-based world. We got this reaction:

Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm, 27-29 March 2007 - Structure:


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October 13, 2006

Telco 2.0 Brainstorm - Next Steps and Feedback

We’ve just sent out details of next steps to the participants from the big brainstorm last week. We’ve been delighted by the initial feedback (see below), and also the flood of ideas of how to develop the concept for next time (we’re aiming for 27-29 March, London).

Delighted also about the multiple orders coming through from around the world for the Telco 2.0 Market Study (the core background to all of this).

The chart below shows our initial thinking on the follow up event in March - slightly bigger, highly interactive of course, more tangible examples of Telco 2.0 activities, and more focused on end-user requirements rather than telcos’ internal issues and/or technology per se. You can see the focus on 4 big market areas - 1.) ‘Digital Youth’ (the 14-30 demographic - music, entertainment, social networking), 2.) ‘Digital Home’ (inc. IPTV, short signal solutions, home hub, etc), 3.) ‘Digital Town’ (FTTH/Wimax/wifi/OPLANs: broadband-based models enabling new approaches to community health, goverment, and education), 4.) Digital Enterprise (solutions for the worker). In each of these areas we will look at telco business models, Voice & Messaging 2.0, Content, Access, and the implications (for telcos) on network design, IT and devices.

We’ll be consulting with the industry over the next few weeks, do let us know your thoughts.


EVENT FEEDBACK (thank you):

It was an exceptional event.

COO, Major Operator

A fabulous event. It is extremely rare that I bother to write to an event organiser, but, in this case, your staff and organization skills have left such a positive memory I wanted to compliment you all.
CEO, Service Provider

This was the highest quality event of its kind I have ever attended.
Vice Chairman, Major Advertising Agency

Refreshingly different from the run of the mill events by the major conference producers.
Director, Major Vendor

Congratulations on a great event - truly different. I met some amazing people.
Chief Telecoms Analyst, Investment Bank

Very stimulating after all those “get-me-out-of-here-fast” conferences.
CTO, Major Operator

The [‘Mindshare’] approach created much better interactive discussions than other conferences I have been to. Also, due to the pre-screening, the speakers were all of a higher standard than most other conferences.
Director, Major Operator.

The interactive nature [‘Mindshare’] was excellent… more intimate than the larger shows, as a result there was an opportunity to have a real conversation with the audience.
Vice President, Major Media Company

The idea of the interactivity with the ‘Mindshare’ technology is fantastic - people have no barriers to asking questions or giving comments.
Marketing Director, Major Vendor

A smart group of relevant people … and much more interactive than any event I’ve attended before.
Senior Vice President, Major Service Provider

The balance of presentation duration (avoiding death by ppt) and the use and quality of the [STL] analysts was excellent.
Director, Major Vendor

A real thought-stimulator and eye-opener that widened my perspective.
Network Architect, Major Operator

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October 8, 2006

In Telco 2.0, nobody “owns” the customer

No doubt there will be lots to say about the successful Telco 2.0 event here over the next few days. Anyone wanting some initial insight into what went on should check out James Enck’s summaries of day 1 and day 2.

One thing that’s worth sharing again is our defintion of Telco 2.0. Put simply, it’s a world where the user drives the selection of connectivity, device, and services. For Enid Blyton fans, users feel it’s more like the Land of Take What You Want than Dame Slap’s School for Naughty Children. (Telco 2.0 network operators are thus advised to stay well away from the slippery slip and also avoid toffee shocks.)

To illustrate the trend, we performed an analysis of 19 “pinch points” in the value chain for mobile network operators. Some of these are small items like whether the user can change the home page in the browser (and who sets the default). Others are larger and more qualitative things like the power of branding over the user. We then looked at the balance of power between the operators and the “edge” as represented by the handset vendors; and the relative power of the users and the vendors collectively. This is what we found:

There’s a sigificant weakening of mobile operator power in progress. The position of handset vendors is strengthening, but it’s the user who is increaingly in control. The locus of power is shifting.

A few words on the methodology. Obviously the value network contains more than just network operators and handset vendors. A more comprehensive analysis would look at the full spectrum of aggregators, retailers, content providers, advertisers, and so on. Profit would be expected to follow where the bottlenecks lie.

The underlying process works as follows. Taking “brand” as an example pinch point, we choose between the following statements (or positions inbetween):

  • To the extent the user takes account of branding, the operator brand is everything: the user will accept any handset they’re given.
  • Likewise, the handset vendor brand is everything: the user will disregard who the operator is in order to get their choice of handset.

This gives us the core/edge balance. Similarly, we look at the following pair of (extreme) statements and choose the appropriate place on the scale to determine the overall balance between users and the vendors:

  • Brand is everything to the user: they will disregard everything else, including function, in order to access the brand of choice.
  • Brand means nothing to the user, who relies on functional properties of the product or service alone in making their purchase selection.

We also did a similar analysis for fixed operators, and it looked even grimmer, with the profit pool evaporating into consumer surplus.

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September 29, 2006

Telco 2.0 Brainstorm - Full to bursting point

The Telco 2.0 team is feverishly preparing for the big brainstorm next week. We’re processing the 60-odd stimulus presentations that will be given (helping to cut them down, make them audience-friendly, keep them to brief, make suggestions to improve) and planning the precise brainstorming process so we can generate some new industry insights and actions. We’re delighted that people have spent a considerable amount of effort preparing special presentations to fit our focus and format. A big thank you to all.

We’ve now exceeded our target participant numbers and will be bursting at the seams on the day. Building the Tower Bridge Hilton in London was only completed in August, so we’re asking them to put on an extension to house the extra people…

With the ‘Mindshare’ brainstorming process, we should be in for some very exciting discussion next week by the Thames.

For those who haven’t been able to make the event, we’ll be producing a number of in-depth Reports (Telco 2.0, Voice & Messaging 2.0, Ad-Funded Content, Broadband Connectivity, and IMS Services) after the event. These will be available from the end of Oct at very reasonable rates. More on this later…

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September 19, 2006

Working with Internet Giants: Google to Speak at Telco 2.0

I met up with Jim Holden, Director of Global Wireless Partnerships at Google last week. Jim is speaking at the Telco 2.0 Brainstorm on how Telco operators can best work with internet players. He will cover some of the partnerships already in place that are delivering trials of Google’s Mobile AdWords in US, UK and Germany as well as the successful partnership with KDDI in Japan.

I put to Jim that there is a lot of fear from operators about Google’s intentions in the Telco space. He is keen to dispel the view that Google is a threat - “we are the solution, not the problem”. For those interested in Ad-Funded Services on Day 2 of the event, Jim points out that Google makes 99% of its revenue from advertising and already shares a substantial chunk of this with operators and ISP’s.

Jim is also keen to educate Telco execs about Google. “I am keen to do interesting events like this to be more transparent about Google so that people do not think of us as some kind of secretive Opus Dei organisation”.

Really looking forward to Jim’s presentation and to see him tighten that cilice!

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August 17, 2006

Gordon Smillie, Group Portfolio Strategy, BT Plc to stimulate Telco 2.0 Brainstorm

We’re delighted to confirm Gordon Smillie, Director, group portfolio strategy, BT Plc, as a stimulus presenter on Day One of the Telco 2.0 brainstorm. We’ll be briefing him in detail next week about what to focus on for the event and how to work with the ‘Mindshare’ process. In the meantime below is a short biog.

We’ve recently updated the event site re agenda, speakers etc: go here to see this.

Gordon is responsible for leading BT’s global portfolio strategy across all customer segments from consumer to large corporate customers. This involves determining what the group sells and the roadmap for services to be offered in the future. In addition, Gordon heads Business Development for Web21C, the group-wide programme to open up BT’s platform for applications and services.

His previous role was MD, ICT for BT group, where he led the corporate initiative to become a global networked IT Services Company. (ICT now accounts for 25% of group turnover). Prior to joining BT in July 2004, Gordon spent ten years with Microsoft (last role UK Group Executive Director), and ten years before that with IBM, leaving as Industry Director, in the Government, Utilities and Telecommunications industry group.

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July 28, 2006

Telco 2.0 Brainstorm - Speakers Update

Delighted to hear from BT that they are making either their CEO of Retail or CEO of Wholesale available to speak at the brainstorm.

In addition, we also have Rainer Deutschland, VP Strategy Development at Deutsche Telekom; Ken Ducatel, Cabinet Member at the European Commission (part of Vivien Reding’s team); and John Watlington from France Telecom, who’s been working with the MIT Comms Futures Prog on the Broadband Incentive problem (ie. problems of making money out of providing b’band when usage skyrockets, as per Korean example).

On the subject of Korea, we’re delighted to have 3G expert Tomi Ahonen as ‘analyst-in-residence’ at the Broadband Connectivity breakout on Day Two of the event. He’s in the middle of a book called ‘Digital Korea’. He’ll be helping the brainstormers work out what those in the West can learn from what’s going on there.

We’ll be interviewing and briefing these gentlemen along with all the other stimulus speakers over the next month, and will make some posts in advance of the event.

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July 7, 2006

Speakers confirmed for Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm

I’m delighted to announce a latest list of confirmed stimulus presenters for the Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm on 4-5 Oct. We are finalising a few others right now, then briefing the speakers and preparing the brainstorming processes over the summer.

Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm - confirmed stimulus presenters (at 7/7/06):

  • James Enck, Chief Telecoms Analyst, Daiwa Securities
  • Group Chief, BT (final name tbc)
  • Kennet Radne, Senior Vice President, Products & Services, TeliaSonera
  • Ole Obermann, VP, European Digital Business Development, Sony BMG Music Entertainment
  • Jim Holden, Director of Global Wireless Partnerships, Google
  • Alessandro Petazzi, Director, IPTV Marketing & Content, Fast Web
  • Craig Forman, EVP and President VAS, Earthlink
  • Norman Lewis, Director of Technology Research, Wanadoo
  • Ignacio Tome Vilanova, Head of Entertainment, Telefonica Moviles Espana
  • Falk von Bornstaedt, Vice President, IP & Carrier Solutions, Deutsche Telekom AG
    • Judy Gibbons, Venture Partner, Accel Partners; Non-Exec Director, O2
  • Patrick Parodi, Chairman, Mobile Entertainment Forum
  • Stuart Collingwood, Vice President Europe, SlingMedia
  • Berit Svendsen, Executive Vice President, Technology and CTO, Telenor
  • Jonathan Jowitt, Head of Enhanced Multimedia Development, Orange
  • Harman Wagter, Managing Director, Amsterdam FTTH initiative (CityNet)
  • Alan Duric, CTO, Telio
  • Tomi Ahonen, Author, 3G expert
  • Matteo Gatta, Group Strategy Director, Belgacom
  • John Riordan, Head of New Product Development, Swisscom
  • Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman & Creative Director, Oglivy One Worldwide

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July 3, 2006

Wi-Fi Alliance endorses Telco 2.0 Brainstorm

We’re delighted to announce the Wi-Fi Alliance as an endorsing partner of the Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm on 4-5 Oct. Members get some nice discounted rates to the event. Clearly, the Broadband Connectivity session is going to be of major interest…

Here’s an intro:

The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global, non-profit industry association of more than 200 member companies devoted to promoting the growth of wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs). With the aim of enhancing the user experience for mobile wireless devices, the Wi-Fi Alliance’s testing and certification programs ensure the interoperability of WLAN products based on the IEEE 802.11 specification. Since the introduction of the Wi-Fi Alliance’s certification program in March 2000, more than 2,500 products have been designated as Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™, encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services across the consumer and enterprise markets.

Wi-Fi®, Wi-Fi Alliance®, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED®, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo, and the Wi-Fi logo are registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance; and the Wi-Fi Alliance logo is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

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June 27, 2006

Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm, 4-5 Oct - Update on stimulus speakers

We’re delighted to announce that we have 12 senior speakers already confirmed to stimulate the Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm. They are CxOs, VPs or Directors at: Amsterdam FTTH initiative, BT Group, Daiwa Securities, Deutsche Telekom, Earthlnk, FastWeb, France Telecom, Google, OglivyOne, Orange, Mobile Entertainment Forum, SonyBMG, Swisscom, Telefonica Moviles, TeliaSonera, Telio.

We’re looking to confirm another 12 speakers plus some major sponsors and event partners in the next week or so.

Our co-located event on IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) Services is going great guns as well. See update on the IMS Insider blog.

The two events promise to be a a pretty exciting gathering of commerical and technical leaders from across the world…as one of the speakers put it: “The event you are organizing seems like a breath of fresh air after all the traditional (and traditionally boring) conferences I am used to attend.”

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June 14, 2006

Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm, 4-5 Oct, London

As we mention in our ‘Welcome’ post, there’s a big Industry Brainstorm on ‘Telco 2.0’ on 4-5 Oct in London, co-located with the IMS Services Forum.

You can link to those to review in detail. However, we thought we’d share some of the features which make it rather different to the normal ‘Death by Random Powerpoint’.

The event uses a process called ‘Mindshare’ to enable a genuine ‘brainstorm’ with over 100 people. This is a structured and facilitated process that combines short, specially briefed stimulus presentations with group interactivity (supported by collaborative technology - wireless laptops linked together by special software that allows anonymous and simultaneous long hand input and voting - much, much more than a keypad) to enable genuine large group issue-clarification and problem-solving.

The process focuses on generating practical industry next step actions on the critical issues of ‘How to make money’ out of Voice/Messaging (vs. Skype/Yahoo), Ad-funded Content, and Broadband Connectivity.

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