Network ecosystems – no one can do it alone

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We are all beginning to understand how business propositions are changing to match the changing contexts of customers. For example, once Philips thought its business was to make and sell light bulbs. Now they have a contract to supply Schiphol Airport with ‘Light as a Service’.

Today’s network provider must also navigate through these uncertain waters – delivering high service standards while providing the ability for the entire pack of cards to be shuffled and re-dealt. More than ever, telcos need the ability to ride two horses at the same time – providing stable process efficiency and agile disruptive responsiveness.

To achieve this duality, forward looking telcos are seeking flexibility through software – led by the move to VoIP and the software defined network (SDN) – extending the boundaries of who-manages-what by the provision of on-demand portals and APIs. But reaching out via software is not just about co-management of tangible assets, it is also about the pooling of intellectual resources and best practice – creating an ecosystem.

Each provider has a role to play in helping create this network of network organizations – including suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors, government agencies and so on – with all involved in addressing the technical, social and political change involved in the delivery of this new digital market. And we have to recognize it will need both competition and cooperation. This new paradigm where each business in the “ecosystem” affects and is affected by the others, will create a constantly evolving relationship in which only the flexible and adaptable will thrive.

Why are these ecosystems important? In a recent report, EY highlighted that failure to realize new roles in evolving industry ecosystems is the Number 1 risk to telecommunications companies. We must recognize that much of what we learned in our early careers has now been archived. The basic principles are there, somewhere, locked away in deep memory but the context of our daily practice has changed to such an extent that new entrants to our data-driven world would find our ways of working and past concerns entertaining more than instructive.

Nowadays we can already guess that someone somewhere has already cracked a problem and we all have the ability to go online and find the fix. It may not result in much deeper learning – but it keeps the show on the road – and keeps us moving at speed.

Most of what we learned when we set out on our journeys has now been archived. Along the way we have also learned that navigating the uncertain road ahead is far easier if we are part of a wider community. No one can do it alone these days – nor should they.

Over many years, Colt has built up a strong community of partners and is always looking to re-inforce that commitment. So if you are looking for a partner with wide coverage, high-quality, regulatory-compliant services and an attractive cost base – talk to Colt about innovation, SDN, ecosystems and a new collaborative mindset.


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