& cplSiteName &

BTE: Service Innovation in the Spotlight

Ray Le Maistre

Is the communications services sector finally unshackling itself from the legacy cultural and operational practices that have been holding it back during the past decade?

There are signs that this is starting to happen, says Heavy Reading Chief Analyst Graham Finnie, who will take to the podium on the first morning of Light Reading's upcoming Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago to examine the ever closer relationship between business and technology within communications service providers, and highlight the emerging signs of service innovation by telcos.

There certainly are signs that the relationship within telcos between marketing and IT/networks is becoming closer, and, believes Finnie, the shift to virtualization should help that. "But what's really important," he adds, "is whether the telcos can look beyond the pure technological gains they can get from virtualization. It's possible they could get more efficiencies from hardware, but what they really want is a more responsive business, one that can react more quickly to changes in customer requirements and connect the technology to the business.".

That shift towards virtualization is one that Finnie and his Heavy Reading team have been analyzing for years. "Heavy Reading has been at the forefront of this trend. As far as I can tell, Caroline Chappell [Heavy Reading Senior Analyst – Service Provider Cloud, SDN/NFV] noted before anyone else that IT was going to transform telecom network technology, and we are now at the start of that transformation. We recognized years ago the importance of SDN and virtualization. And during BTE we'll be talking about the results of a special survey to give us a picture of where we are today with virtualization in telecoms," says Finnie.

But is there any evidence that communications service providers are changing their ways, becoming more innovative and adopting new cultural and operational models?

"I've been cynical about their ability to do that in the past, but what we're starting to see is that the theoretical ideas about new services are starting to be translated into reality -- there's a lot more service innovation going on, especially by mobile operators, where they are creating new plans based on applications, or shared use of data, or buying service promotions on the fly, or sponsored data," says Finnie.

He says he has been "particularly cynical about sponsored data because it has taken operators forever to start building relationships with third parties but that's starting to happen now. Spotify has done lots of deals with service providers, there are a lot of Facebook-based services, and services based on Netflix or some other video service. In the next year or two we should see if that innovation is translating into improving business," which is something the operators need, because "especially in developed markets, they have experienced flat revenues and declining margins. The question is, can they reverse that? At least they have been coming out with new plans and ideas and for me that's a good sign -- maybe we are turning a corner," says Finnie.

Such moves by the operators are just down to new cultures and business plans. "Of course it's all underpinned by technology, so there is some evidence that the marketing people are driving more of the technology decisions than in the past. That couldn't happen without greater collaboration within the telcos. Vendors are saying they have been spending more time with the service provider marketing people than they used to: Sometimes that is driven by the vendors, being proactive about getting them involved, but that's often coming from the telcos themselves, which are becoming more driven by the marketing side that they used to be," notes the analyst.

Finnie will dig deeper into these trends and challenges during his BTE presentation at 9:05 a.m. on Tuesday, June 17. For full details of the event, see the BTE website.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Blogger
6/13/2014 | 6:44:41 AM
Innovation in a bubble
There's no doubt, as Graham notes, that telcos are developing services and offers that they wouldn't have, and couldn't have, a few years ago.

But the big question is -- can they be innovative enough to compete with the OTT players?
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 9, 1:00PM EST
MANO 101
Friday, November 11, 1:00PM EST
Open Source for NFV MANO
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
OneAccess NFV Solutions

10|26|16   |   5:30   |   (0) comments

Antoine Clerget, CTO of OneAccess, discusses how his company has expanded its product line from enterprise-class routers to include a universal virtualized CPE as well as a suite of VNFs to help telco customers evolve to an NFV future.
LRTV Custom TV
The Journey Toward Carrier-Grade WiFi

10|26|16   |   3:39   |   (0) comments

In this Light Reading interview, Dave Sperling, CTO at Smith Micro Software and active participant of the WBA's policy working group, discusses the need for carrier-grade WiFi. Technical and business challenges slowing the fulfillment of this goal are addressed, as well as management strategies that will enable communication service providers to optimize end user ...
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE BBWF Highlights

10|26|16   |     |   (0) comments

At BBWF 2016, ZTE showed a broad range of innovative technologies that are kick-starting an ultrafast broadband journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
Google Fiber Hits Pause Button, Scales Back
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/26/2016
T-Mobile: AT&T & TW Means Ma Bell Not Focused on Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/24/2016
Sprint: Revenue up 3%, Capex Will Rise Again
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
'Oh, Were You Looking for This?' Click Here
'I was just playing some games...'
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.