Telemanagement World Dublin (Part 1)

This year the Telemanagement World Conference moved for the first time from Nice, France, where it used to be held in the previous years to Dublin. Although it is somewhat cooler here in Ireland the weather does its best to compare to Nice being sunny all day. The Telemanagement World is the major annual event of the telco industry consortium TeleManagement Group, known mainly as the creator of the eTOM standard process model and SID standard information model for the telecommunications industry. The TeleManagement Group being a major player with 775 member companies from 195 countries has attracted more than 2000 participants (own estimate) from all over the world to the conference.

Telemanagement World Dublin (Part 1)

This year the Telemanagement World is held in Dublin

Cirquent is represented on the TelemanagementWorld by me. I am giving a presentation together with EPT Luxembourg on opportunities and challenges in the M2M domain for telco operators and software companies at light. I blog about impressions overall directions of the industry discussed on the conference from a personal perspective to convey the inspiring atmosphere on this great international event.

Keynote perspectives

The conference was opened by Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, who welcomed all the participants, visibly proud of the importance of Dublin in the last few days due to the visits of Queen Elizabeth II. and Barack Obama. The latter – in cooperation with the ash cloud – was indirectly responsible for many participants – including me – getting to Dublin only during the night. Pat Rabbitte spoke about the major programs Ireland has undertaken to create a broadband infrastructure. He took this as a reason to request investments from the communications industry companies in Ireland – well done, given the current financial situation of Ireland.

A video message by Alcatel-Lucent’s CEO Ben Verwaayen and a presentation of  CEO Stephen Shurrock of Telefónica O2 Ireland dwelled on the importance of service innovation in mobile business. Specifically O2 proudly announced cooperation with payment providers and believes in the future of mobile payment, mobile wallet and generally a fully mobilized world. In a second series of keynotes, the issues of the industry became visible on a more down-to-earth level when discussing the challenges of turning current organizations and technologies into agile service providers.

First, Olivier Baujard, CTO of Deutsche Telekom, and Steffen Roehn, CIO of Deutsche Telekom in a joint presentation (as a symbol for the close cooperation at Deutsche Telekom) described challenges and approach of Deutsche Telekom to overcome the complexity and change-resistance of their legacy networks and IT systems by means of consolidation, standardization and simplification.

KPN International’s Member of the Board Erik Hoving had similar conclusions from the IT transformation within his group, from different products, processes and systems in each and every single operating company to a more aligned infrastructure. He made a remark that I appreciated very much because it reflected experience from strategic transformation consulting projects performed for multiple customers: Erik Hoving recommended to throw away all technology roadmaps as a basis for transformation. Instead, decision roadmaps should describe, when central decisions for business and IT need to be taken. The optimal IT-transformation step can then be taken based on the most accurate and concrete transformation requirements.

TM Forum Excellence Awards

At conferences like this there are usually some excellence awards for outstanding achievements in the industry. The presentation of the finalists and winners in wanna-be Oscar-style was so formal and devoid of any content that neither the achievements of the contestants nor a laudatio for the winners was shown. As far as I remember Telstra, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks received some awards, and some people from the inner circle of the forum were honored for their outstanding work. Maybe during the conference there will be a chance to understand what this all was about.

Conference Summits

The main bulk of the conference is organized according to three so-called forums and six summits within these addressing

  • Strategy and Implementation aspects to deliver agile IT and operational excellence
  • Business innovation in cloud services and telco service innovation aspects
  • Optimizing Customer Experience and End-to-End revenue management

Skimming through the conference program already it seems obvious that the focus of the conference – in line with its origin in network management and OSS standardization – is really on the operational, network and IT-side. This was obvious in the forum on delivering agile IT and operations that I visited. There Verizon, Telstra and Deutsche Telekom described experiences in there large-scale transformation programs.

There was almost no mention of “agile” in any of the presentation and the panel discussion. Instead, large-scale transformation programmes were described required to get out of the claws of the legacy IT infrastructure. It sounded more like healing the open wounds of the IT landscapes via a major operation just enough to get out of the wheelchair instead of getting ready for a competition with the agile players out there.

Also, the importance of getting business buy-in to these transformation projects was stressed. But again, it sounded more like the approach is more directed towards managing the risk associated with the business stakeholder by getting him out of the way. The option of making business innovation a vital driver of IT transformation was not evaluated in any detail. Well, maybe a good dose of  “Integrated Solution Architecture” by Cirquent might be helpful here…

The cloud services summit is heavily handled by IT and cloud providers as well as analysts trying to convince telco service providers to embark on the cloud boat to go to the future there.

The service innovation summit started with a session called “Future of the Telecom provider” which however saw only presentations of success stories in optimizing supporting processes and systems, especially in the domain of prepaid and online charging. A complete vision of the industry on innovation could not be identified. This used to be different on several previous events when the great promises such as IMS and Service Delivery Platforms were discussed. It is not clear whether this reflects the fact that many service providers already have established solutions in that space (which remains doubtful – there should be success stories if there are) or whether the approaches have failed to deliver on innovation premises.

Hopefully in the subsequent days of the conferences new ideas will arise as to where the industry should be heading. There are interesting aspects on the agenda, including digital life, ubiquitous mobility and M2M.

More impressions about the Telemanagement World tomorrow on this blog.

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