Get On With It!

2:15 PM -- Heavy Reading chief analyst Graham Finnie wrote a must-read column this week about how telecom operators need to learn from online services giants like Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) about opening up their networks, exploiting their strengths, and working closely with third-party services and applications developers. (See Amazon's Lessons for Telcos.)

Particularly, check out the very end paragraph of Finnie's column, which provides some very succinct advice to the carriers, urging them to speed up their transformational efforts and become what some might call Telco 2.0 players. But are the operators actually doing anything?

Finnie namechecks a few developments from the likes of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), while other operators, such as BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Danish carrier TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC), and Canada's Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T), have also been picking their way through the Telco 2.0 minefield, though they've hardly been running. (See TDC Commits to Telco 2.0 Strategy, BT Inches Toward Telco 2.0, and Aepona Expands for Telco 2.0 Assault.)

But the process needs to speed up -- a lot.

To try and help push things along, the TM Forum convened a meeting, dubbed T8, in France during the recent Management World event to bring together executives from the telecom, media, and online worlds to discuss how matters could progress. (See OSS Crew Tackles Costs, Service Creation.)

The result of that meeting is the impending creation of a new program within the Forum to address the needs for standardized ways of developing and delivering services such as: cloud (or grid) computing; hosted and managed software; and content (particularly the creation and storage of content).

Phil Dance, CIO at BT and a Forum board member who attended the T8 meeting, tells Light Reading the key thing this industry needs is uniformity: "We don't need everyone creating different ways of doing these things," states Dance.

And he's right. Except, it's likely that's exactly what will happen. The organizations that move quickly will not want to wait for a set of specifications from an industry body or standards group –- they'll soldier on with their own developments to gain a first-mover (or second-mover) advantage in the market.

And while the Forum has the best intentions, and is doing as much as it can to steer its service provider members in the most effective and profitable direction, you have to applaud them for pulling together 30 executives from different sectors to help get the ball rolling. The refrain cited by Finnie at the end of his column is the one that carriers need to heed most: They must act against type and "[expletive] get on with it."

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to OSS 2.0: Driving the Services Revolution, a one-day conference for the service provider looking to adapt and transform its OSS for the emerging world of explosive service delivery. To be staged in London, Oct. 14, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.

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