‘We need to nurture startups’: BT’s Neil McRae
- BT’s Chief Architect Neil McRae shared plenty of views at this week’s DSP Leaders World Forum in Windsor, UK
- He is looking for ways to help suitable startups and innovators get their chance to make a mark in the telecoms sector
- McRae cited a new paper from the Telecom Ecosystem Group that suggests ways to boost investment in the ‘telecom innovation ecosystem’
WINDSOR – DSP Leaders World Forum 2022 – BT’s Chief Architect Neil McRae has pledged to find ways to boost support for startups looking for a way to engage with the telco community and recommended the conclusions of a new industry paper that suggests ways to boost investment in the ‘telecom innovation ecosystem’.
Addressing an audience of industry leaders and decision-makers at the DSP Leaders World Forum event in Windsor, UK, McRae said “we need to nurture startups... I’m looking for ways to help and support innovative new companies and we want to find better ways to do that.”
As examples of ways in which BT has recently supported emerging companies, he noted that BT recently invested in Palo Alto, California-based cyber security specialist Safe Security, the developer of SAFE (Security Assessment Framework for Enterprises), and also nurtured alternative CDN player Qwilt as it built out ways to distribute streaming video content in recent years.
Both of those companies developed technology that dovetailed nicely with BT’s service development strategy: “Stick to what is close to your own business so you can understand it,” was McRae’s advice to others that might make similar investments.
The BT exec, who also organised the charity pinball tournament at the Forum (see the picture above), also called out the latest paper published by the Telecom Ecosystem Group, a collective of industry veterans and entrepreneurs (including former BT tech exec Don Clarke and former Deutsche Telekom executive Klaus Martiny). The paper, A Best Practices Framework for the Telecom Ecosystem, provides “consensus recommendations on best practices to boost investment in the telecom innovation ecosystem” based on industry discussions and research that aims to answer four key questions:
• What does innovation mean in the context of the telecom industry?
• How can supply chain diversity be encouraged and supported?
• What are the barriers to innovation, and how can they be overcome?
• How can investment risk be reduced?
Caroline Chappell, a TEG member and Research Director, Cloud and Platform Services, at Analysys Mason, noted in a media release to accompany the paper: “Our research suggests that even the most advanced telcos struggle with the pace of innovation in an increasingly cloud and software-led world. As the TEG Best Practices Framework paper points out, start-ups provide the seed corn for innovation in the telecom sector, most recently around new, disaggregated and cloud-based network architectures. The health of such start-ups is intimately linked to telcos’ ability to harness innovation. So the TEG paper is timely in provoking industry debate around the relationship between telcos and start-up innovators and offers a welcome set of recommendations.”
You can check out the paper here on LinkedIn.
- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV
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