What is really driving the market?

Feb 24, 2020

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Panel Discussion

The convergence of compute, storage and connect at various points in the ICT chain represents a new battleground for all-comes not just the communications providers.

Some of the key points to come out:

  • How can we leverage the network as part of the overall digital transformation – not simply how can we get a better deal buying the bits and pieces that make up the network – new procurement approach required as well.
  • Partnerships with non-traditional players is a new side to the future of the industry. Having invested so heavily in the network side the industry needs to rebalance and invest more into the IT side if we stand a chance of competing with the Hyperscalers who have a big IT focus. This is a prerequisite for doing well beyond connectivity. We need to take out the hassle and risk of purchasing technology (connectivity in this case). In addition, more investment to make our (telecoms) services more applications and business aware.
  • We are still batting around the horizontal versus vertical approach to business. Furthermore, we are also asking to put the customer at the centre4 and better understand their requirements. This is fine at the high end but can we really use data analytics to understand the SME area?
  • It is true, we have so many sources of information about customers of all types that we just need to nail the analytics angle in order to add value. We need to tie together the supply chain, the marketing departments as well as unifying the technology components.
  • Do customers expect the telecoms industry to invest to just deliver a great connectivity service and let them get on with the rest? Or do they want the telcos to do more for them in terms of applications, content and business services?
  • 5G, Edge and analytics is a revenue positive set of technologies on the horizon. The worry is how slow the telcos traditionally are to move. Others will move more swiftly and leave the telcos behind. Working with new partners, breaking into new verticals and giving people coming to work something exciting to work on.
  • Tremendous opportunity and responsibility for the telecoms industry supporting society as a whole as well as the consumer and business connectivity markets. More importantly, there is a collective responsibility across the industry to work more closely together. Competition is great but inevitably telcos need to work together to deliver the final product, especially in the B2B and B2B2C worlds. This manifests itself in the form of APIs common standards and flexible partnerships.


  • Patrik Svensson Gillstedt, Head of Enterprise Strategy and Planning, Vodafone Business
  • John Vickery, Principal Technology Partner, Enterprise CTIO, BT
  • Franz Seiser, Vice President Core Network & PaaS and Infrastructure Cloud, Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Mirko Voltolini, Head of Network On Demand, Colt

Filmed at: Great Telco Debate, London, December 2019

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