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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Succeeding in an IP-based world - Justification for Change

(IMS Insider online survey - "Key Issues in developing IMS-based Converged Services". To participate go to: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=680211758609 It takes 15 minutes. Participants - only - will get a FREE copy of summary results.

IMS Insiders' Future Services workshop, 6th April, Heathrow Airport: "Best Practice Strategies and Tactics for Success in IP-based converged world". For more details, do to www.ims-insider.com)

Are telco operators going the same way as canal owners when the railways came along? Is this just hype, crying 'wolf' when there are no wolves around? Or, are we being ostriches, sticking our heads into the sand? Or maybe a touch of both - "ostriches crying wolf" (...a strange analogy!)?

Our in-depth interviews (see previous posts) and online survey (see above) are showing quite clearly that Operators (across the board) are uncertain and anxious about the opportunities and threats of IP. There is no clear view.


While some have articulated a vision, the practicalities of realising it are proving challenging - particularly in understanding the way market is developing and how to migrate to the future world. As a result, business strategies and tactics, technology investments, organisational structures, customer relationships and service development are not being fully optimised.

The IMS Insider team has been brainstorming these issues with our colleagues at STL Partners for the last few weeks, as part of our preparation for the release of a major market study. We invited Martin Geddes - free radical thinker and one of the best bloggers and 'agent provocateurs' around (www.telepocalypse.com) - to join us earlier this week. Mac Taylor - MD of Moriana Group and someone who's looked deepest under the bonnet of the vendor community recently (see his Operator Guide to IMS v2.0 - www.morianagroup.com) - joined us hot-footed from the IPTV World Forum.

We've dissected what operators have said to us, what they really mean, what the industry stats imply, and what really motivates those senior managment who make decisions about 'Change'. Out of this has come a Draft Framework and Model to help operators 1.) Optimise their current investments and 2.) Migrate towards an IP-based world. We think this is rather new and different.

It looks at issues around a.) "The Strength of Operators' Service Offering and Customer Relationships" (branding, product launch success rates, billing capabilities, % of non-voice revenue, relative price performance, CRM, etc) and b.) "The Levels of Operator Market 'Control' (regulation, distribution, number portability, handset/UI configuration, app development environment, etc). This helps to define more clearly where operators are today relative to subsitution threats from alternative providers, and strategic options are available to them.

The Draft Framework then provides:

- A new way of clarifying the opportunities and threats of IP Convergence in terms that are meaningful to senior commercial management.
- A new stepped approach to migrating towards the new world, covering Commercial, Technical, Operational and Organisational issues.
- A new approach for justifying change and investment internally.

We will be presenting this to kick-start the IMS Insider Future Services Strategy Workshop on 6th April at Heathrow Airport (details at www.ims-insider.com) and we expect it to stimulate a lot of constructive debate.

The workshop will be facilitated as a brainstorm, with stimulus presentations along the way. I think people have really latched on to this format, as the places are being taken up fast (a big thank you to all that are taking time out to participate).

Our stimulus presenters are:

1.) Draft Framework for Optimisation and Migration: Chris Barraclough, Director, STL Converged Services Practice, ex-Marketing Director, Orange Group
2.) Key Market Developments: Mac Taylor, Managing Director, Moriana Group
3.) Migration Tactics: Christophe Gourraud, IMS Strategy, Swisscom Mobile
4.) Product Development Lessons from Internet companies: Product Development, Yahoo!
5.) Most Valuable Future Service Scenarios: Kenn Walters, ex-CEO, O2 Germany

Here's the link to the workshop registration page for those who've missed it:
http://www.stlpartners.com/workshop.php

Martin kindly shared his best links to stimulate 'new thinking':

James Enck's blog (http://eurotelcoblog.blogspot.com/) and the following papers from Andrew Odlyzko listed at http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/networks.html:
- http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue6_2/odlyzko/ - Content is not King -http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/paris.metro.pricing.txt - great example of what telcos could be doing around building an "IP compatible" biz model http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue8_9/odlyzko/index.html http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/broadband.paradox.pdf
http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/pricing.architecture.ps

The Editor, IMS Insider
editor@ims-insider.com

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