TMW 2009 – Day One, Part Two – Including TM Awards!

More updates on the key-note speakers at Tele Management World 2009…

To give the ceremony a larger audience, this year the TM Excellence Awards were presented during the key-note session on Wednesday morning. With no fan-fare, here are the winners!

Supplier or System Integrator


Service Provider

Chunghwa Telecom

Distinguished Fellows

Tom Forsyth (Telcordia) and Willy *Somone* (Vodafone)

UPDATE: Sorry, I still can’t find the name of the second Fellow. The guys were rushed on and off stage, no speeches or anything. Nor have TMF updated their Fellows page.

Kevin Peters (ATT) then took to the stage to evangelize the need for everyone in the industry to step up their efforts to solve operational problems.

above. Kevin Peters

Problem arise from the complexity of many devices, many apps/services and different networks, as I expect you’re quite familiar with. His solution: A call to action to address this in all areas from hardware vendor to CSP, to open up systems to allow effective flow of performance and quality data to enable end-to-end service management.

Network operations is legacy: Service operations is the future.

The second audience question followed: How effective are current transformation efforts in this industry? 56% said ‘Not Very Effective’.

above. A Pessimistic response from the audience

Next up, Werner Vogels (Amazon), presenting his customer centric view of service and Amazon’s impressive platformization (my word, not his) of their business infrastructure.

above. Werner Vogels

Werner believes that an organization should build ‘fly-wheels’ for core requirements or services that will be needed in the long term. This means that, in companies like his and in CSPs, transformation must focus on platforms and applications to enable and encourage customers and partners to do business with you and each other. For Amazon, the following business functions were heavily invested in:

  • Merchant – Enabling other merchants to sell through Amazon.
  • Affiliates – Using other content providers to drive traffic to Amazon, and rewarding them  with a cut of the revenue.
  • Platform – Allowing Amazon’s technology to be used by other retailers, such as Marks & Spencer.
  • Fulfillment Centers – Allowing other retailers to use Amazon’s distribution and returns capabilities.
  • Intelligence – Building infrastructure to integrate human intelligence in to routine tasks (i.e. their Mechanical Turk platform).
  • Infrastructure – Creating a reusable platform of processing and storage resources for internal and third-party computation requirements.

Investment in these areas by Amazon meant more than fulfilling requirements in the traditional way a retailer might. Instead they considered how creating an open platform would make internal change more effective while also encouraging third-parties to push their business through Amazon too. The cost to other businesses was kept low, the result being that Amazon was able to build on its own business and the third-parties to become the largest catalog of products while also offering excellent customer experience.

Amazon’s approach means they are far more like a ‘Telco 2.0’ business than any CSP currently is. Their platform drives their brand and business but also allows them to generate revenue from upstream businesses. The technical barrier to entry in telco is very high, but for Amazon, ‘All you need is and a credit card’.

With this in mind the audience where asked: What is the chance of the communications industry developing a successful platform strategy like Amazon’s? Low – 32%. Medium – 48%. High – 20%.

I’d suggest there won’t be much of a comms industry if they don’t…

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