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Business Transformation

Photos: Operations Transformation Summit, Wuzhen

WUZHEN -- Operations Transformation Forum 2016 -- Communications service providers from all over the world have converged on Wuzhen in China for Huawei's Operations Transformation Forum 2016, where they are discussing their strategies for operations transformation.

Light Reading is on site to find out who is sharing their views and to capture the event in pictures. Click on the shot below to start our slideshow.

Towards a Digital Future
Several of the world's biggest service providers will take to the stage in Wuzhen, China, to talk about their digital transformation strategies.
Several of the world's biggest service providers will take to the stage in Wuzhen, China, to talk about their digital transformation strategies.

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inkstainedwretch 11/9/2016 | 2:01:44 PM
And then what? The goal is not to sell boxes, but to help with transformation. Okay. And when the transformation is mostly accomplished, then...? What?

-- Brian Santo
Kelsey Ziser 11/9/2016 | 9:27:33 AM
Re: Transform @kq4ym That comment stood out to me as well and I agree, that's likely the preference of many companies that were represented at the Summit. I think the big challenge they face is creating strategies that ease the transition from legacy hardware.
iainmorris 11/9/2016 | 6:09:16 AM
Virtualization targets Also interesting to hear details of virtualization targets from some telcos. AT&T of course has been very public about its plans to virtualize 75% of network functions by 2020 but we also heard Vodafone Germany say it was targeting 60% of functions by the same date and China Telecom announce a target of 80% by 2025. These operators are clearly putting a bit of pressure on themselves by committing to those goals, so there is even more urgency for them to address the array of virtualization challenges.
iainmorris 11/9/2016 | 5:56:53 AM
Big challenges Full and frank discussions about the challenges facing operators as they embark on their digital transformation journeys. It was good to hear a number of very big service providers raise some of their key concerns about virtualization and the vendor shift to a software model. Lots for the industry to figure out over the next 12 months. 
kq4ym 11/8/2016 | 3:50:43 PM
Re: Transform Looks like lots of great speakers on important topics during the summit, I espcially like the ""re-architect" the network rather than to rebuild it from scratch" comment by one which seem to carry truth for most of the companies represented.
mendyk 11/8/2016 | 1:30:53 PM
Re: Transform The impetus for digital transformation will come from competitive pressures. That's the horse that will pull the cart. It's the same competitive pressure that is forcing CSPs to move toward digital transformation.
Joe Stanganelli 11/8/2016 | 12:56:14 PM
Rearchitect @Iain: Could you share a little bit on what Liang means by "re-architect[ing]" as opposed to "rebuild[ing] from scratch"?

I ask because, to my mind, "re-architecting" is even more "from scratch" than mere "rebuilding" because you're not just rearranging the pieces; rather, you're going back to the drawing board.

But I imagine Liang's word choice here, in context, reflects more subtle strategizing.  What else did he have to say?
Joe Stanganelli 11/8/2016 | 12:51:17 PM
Re: Transform @KBode: Well, until the next big thing, anyway, once the current transformation obsolesces...

...but you're definitely right.

That said, however, one thing I've observed here and there is a justification for keeping legacy systems precisely because of how quickly systems obsolesce.  The argument is that the law of diminishing returns is at play when it comes to frequent and timely upgrades with every new system/trend, so it's best to wait until you're REALLY obsolete and wait until the right upgrade comes along.

I'd be interested to know your (and others') thoughts there.
Joe Stanganelli 11/8/2016 | 12:45:25 PM
Re: Transform @mendyk: I'm not so sure about that.  Most markets (even B2B) tend to be vendor driven, no?  As Henry Ford apocryphally put it, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."
Joe Stanganelli 11/8/2016 | 12:43:39 PM
Re: Transform yourself to help others transform... One of the takeaways I got from a conference I recently attended is that "digital" is a red herring.  We're talking about new, [potentially] more efficient ways to do cool things at scale.  That's all "digital" is -- and that message resonates with me.  Worse than ignoring or otherwise failing to embrace digital, in my experience, is doing it poorly.

So how does this fit in for CSPs?  Be able to talk both languages.  Translate the new to the old.  Don't sell enterprise customers on "digital".  Sell them on Version 2.0+ of the otherwise legacy solutions that their enterprise customers already have or demand.  Sell the solution.  Sell the answer.  But eschew don't have a conversation about "digital" because "digital" in and of itself means -- and does -- nothing.
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