Light Reading
There are signs that telcos are delivering more innovative service packages, a trend driven by their marketing teams, says Heavy Reading's chief analyst.

BTE: Service Innovation in the Spotlight

Ray Le Maistre
6/13/2014
50%
50%

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
Ray@LR
100%
0%
Ray@LR,
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?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed