.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Telco 2.0 Report - How to succeed in an IP based world

(LAST DAY TODAY! 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. Survey closes tonight at midnight GMT).

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

We're in the last phase of analysing and synthesising a mountain of data and ideas that we've been collecting since January.

This will go into the IMS Insider/STL/Moriana Market Study entitled 'Telco 2.0 - How to succeed in an IP-based converged world' - the most comprehensive and, hopefully, most practically useful study on the planet today. (We will be presenting a summary of this at our 'insiders' workshop on 6th April at Heathrow - see www.ims-insider.com).

To create it we undertook the following activity between Jan and March 2006:

- Online surveys with 500 respondents
- 20 depth interviews with Operators
- 20 depth interviews with vendors
- Review of 30 industry white papers
- Synthesis of 20 market forecasts
- Review of 50 conference presentations
- Review of 15 key blogs
- Analysis of 50 announcements and press releases
- Review of 50 exhibitors at 3GSM

The final report (which goes on sale in April) will be over 150 pages long, with over 50 diagrams and charts. We've worked hard to make it valuable to operators and vendors alike, as follows:

1.) Analysis by senior practitioners, not journalists or researchers. Our analysis team includes an ex-CEO of O2, an ex-Marketing Director of Orange, an ex-Strategy Director of MCI, ex-Product Development Manager at Sprint, and ex-Product Strategy Manager of Ericsson, who have also worked at major consulting organisations. They've got over 70 years of in-house experience in telcos around the world. Our editors are senior analysts - editor of IMS Insider and MD of Moriana Group.

2.) Comprehensive synthesis, not just one aspect of IP Convergence. We've analysed all the commentaries and forecasts that touch on TMT Convergence, interrogated them, and condensed them into the 'killer stats' that senior execs at telcos should know. The value, hopefully, is that these are all now in one single comprehensive document.

3.) Up-to-date attitudes and insight from leading practitioners from 100 companies. Primary research has included interviews with over 45 leaders in the field and a survey of over 500 others since January. We know what people in over 100 different companies are thinking TODAY.

4.) Useable format, not pages of long-hand. The report will be in a slide format in PDF (not long hand). Stuffed full of charts, diagrams and graphics for more powerful communication. People have asked us for this format because I think nowadays people find that this way it's easier to a.) read, b.) navigate around and c.) use to discuss with colleagues (in meetings etc).

But the biggest value, we feel, will be its focus on...

5.) Practical next steps, not just forecasts and commentary. The meat of the report describes a NEW MODEL we've created to help operators create effective plans to a.) optimise their current activities and investments AND b.) migrate effectively towards a very different IP-based converged world.

While the report can be bought alone, most value will be derived from the accompanying workshop, which we've specially designed to help companies process the opportunities for them specifically.

Those coming to the IMS Insider Strategy Workshop on 6th April will get a summary of the report for free.

The (draft) contents structure is below. Details of costs and publication dates will be posted soon. Please do let me know if you have any queries/comments: editor@ims-insider.com.

CONTENTS:

1.TMT (Telco, Media, Technology) - How the market is transitioning
- Scope & Definitions
- Frameworks for Industry Analysis: Market Forces & Operator SWOT
- Changing Industries: Web 2.0, Media 2.0, Telco 2.0
- Examples of Disruption: New competitors, partnerships, products & services, business models
- Implications for Operators


2. Market Change – A Compendium of Killer Stats on IP Convergence:
- User attitudes to IP Services and Convergence
- Network capability: Investments in IP
- Access Technologies: Growth in Pervasive Bandwidth
- Service adoption: What services are going to be Big
- Devices: How customers will access Services


3.Operator Responses to IP Convergence (from IMS Insider Surveys & Interviews):
- Introduction and Background to Surveys & Interviews
- Attitudes to Convergence
- Key Technology Enablers (Standards and Standard Architectures)
- IMS – attitudes to and status of
- Operator Preparations for Convergence & Timeframes for Adoption of IP/IMS
- Market Leaders in IMS (including the IMS Insider Deployment Register)
- Services and Service Development
- Strategic Implications of Convergence
- Barriers to Future Success
- Implications for Operators


4.Profitable Future Service Scenarios – Examples:
- Movie Rental with Federated Identity
- Advanced Communications for business
- Implications for Operators


5. Operator Key Challenges

6.Operator Stepping Stones for Success:
- Introducing the STL’s 3-step approach
Step 1 – Build understanding
- STL’s IP Situation and Strategy Analysis (IPSASA) tool
- Measuring industry and company changes
Step 2 – Re-define the corporate, service and technology strategies:
- Corporate Strategy Options for Operators
- Prioritising service strategies: STL’s Service Prioritisation Matrix (SPM)
- Technical Architecture best-practice
Step 3 – Embark on low-risk migration:
- Migration steps and goals: The critical 8 steps
- STL’s ‘Scorecard’ for managing change
- Migration priorities for different operator segments


7.Industry Best-Practice: Case Studies and Learnings
- Operator: BT
- Operator: Swisscom
- Operator: Rogers Telecom
- Evaluating Vendors: Criteria for operators
- Lessons from Internet companies: Yahoo and Google


8.Conclusions

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

IMS confusion

(8 DAYS TO GO! 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. Survey closes on 23rd March.)

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

We're delighted to have Christophe Gourraud from Swisscom Mobile presenting a stimulus piece at the IMS Insider/Moriana strategy workshop on 6th April where he'll cover migration strategies and tactics. I've just edited a superb article by Christophe for the 'Soapbox' section of the IMS Insider monthly Report (available to subscribers next week. See www.ims-insider.com) on Creating an Effective IMS Application Layer.

He describes how to apply the 3GPP IMS specifications effectively to enable a concept he describes as 'User Profile-based Service Routing'. This essentially delivers many of the promises that IMS has been built up for. However, few are adopting it at present, mainly due to confusion of how to do so. Christophe will explain how (and why) at our workshop!

I asked him to describe a bit more the cause of the confusion around IMS today. Here's what he said:

"The confusion around 'early IMS' is partly natural as it's new thing but also partly artificial. The artificial part revolves around the huge hype surrounding IMS, and the impact of this hype on the industry.

Confusion No. 1: The first confusion that arose surrounded the actual definition of what an IMS core network is, and its differences with a non-IMS SIP solution. Some NEPS and key VoIP players who did not see IMS coming fueled this confusion to 'spike' their competitors who were ahead of them. One high profile vendor even publicly questioned the relevance of IMS, compared to a simpler IETF [Internet Engineering Task Force]-based implementation. I think we are mostly past this phase, but some fixed operators having selected a VoIP solution might have surprises when aiming at eventual IMS compliance.

Confusion No. 2: The second confusion relates to the application layer, and the desire of some vendors to position their pre-IMS products into the IMS sphere. There are two main groups there: suppliers of SDPs who are mainly circuit-switched and voice centric, and suppliers of early VoIP services. Both groups contributed a voice-centric vision of IMS. Participations to conferences, white papers, the first major reports on IMS, and some tutorials on IMS were used to get their messages across.

This voice-centric vision of IMS is part of the story, but it should not eclipse a more progressive perception of IMS. I think (hope) that the zenith of this phase is past us, as it was the source of a lot of (irrelevant and misleading) IMS questioning, such as that voiced by the proponents of pre-IMS SDPs ("Can IMS really provide as good voice services as circuit switched?") or by the first journalists/analysts who swallowed the objections of the OSA/Parlay supporters and questioned the relevance of IMS.

Confusion 3: Another threat is related to IMS suppliers (some NEPs) who are starting to see the extent of the danger IMS will eventually pose to their application layer product portfolio (not only around IN and OSA/Parlay, but also messaging, PoC, and the whole service layer business, which may open to new IT-centric entrants). Such players have an interest in further "telecomizing" the IMS application layer the same way the IMS core network has been."

More on this anon...

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


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

92% of Telco Professionals say 'Strategic Re-Think' a Key Priority

(NINE DAYS TO GO! 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. Survey closes on 23rd March.)

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

IMS Insider is working flat out with STL, Moriana Group and friends on analysing the output from the current online survey and our depth interviews as preparation for the 'Insiders' workshop on 6th April at London Heathrow Airport. (The Venue is now confirmed as the Thistle Hotel).

We've had great response to the workshop, with particular interest in the new FRAMEWORK we're creating to help operators plan better their strategies for success in an IP-based Converged world. Also, a great pleasure to have the FOKUS team from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute supporting the event. (www.ims-insider.com for full details).

The online survey has 9 days to go until it's stopped, but I asked my colleague Chris Barraclough from STL's Converged Services Practice to give us a sneak preview.

Below is a (very) brief summary of one of the key outputs from the survey (180 telco professionals, 42% Europe, 50:50 Commercial:Technical).

60% say 'Strategic Re-Think' is THE top priority for telcos; 92% say it's a Key priority.


"So far the survey is showing a clear belief in need for strategic rethink of the role of the operator in a Converged TMT world.

The Survey and the market study also show that uncertainty is the predominant feeling amongst senior execs. This stems from (a) a lack of clarity about where industry is moving; (b) no clear framework for analysing industry events and changes - partnerships, product launches; (c) concern that current strategies and metrics are becoming irrelevant , but difficulty in developing new ones; (d) an inability to see a clear migration path to a future IP-world that is low-risk and minimises capital requirements (and maximises use of current investments)."

Chris says that STL has invested heavily in developing a methodology that is designed to: (a) build real understanding of the changes that are currently taking place in the industry; (b) provide a framework for quantifiable strategic decision-making and (c) optimise the execution of strategies for the IP-World through a step-by-step migration path.

STL will be show-casing ('road-testing') the methodology at the 'Insiders' workshop and in a Market Study report based on 40 industry interviews and online surveys with over 500 telco professionals around the world. (For those who can't make the workshop, the Market Study report will be made available from early April).

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

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

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?