|Issue:||Asia-Pacific I 2011|
|Topic:||Growing with mobile in the cloud|
|Title:||VP for Communications sector|
Tim Greisinger is the Vice President of the Communications Sector for the IBM Growth Markets Unit; he leads IBM’s client and solution teams, market investments and growth strategies for the energy and utility, telecommunications and media industries in over 140 countries worldwide. Previously, Mr Greisinger spent seven years in IBM’s Software Group leading the global industry solution business for these same three industries. He drove IBM’s software investments to address industry-specific initiatives such as Service Innovation & Delivery, Media-enabled Services, Optimized Industry Processes and Analytics. Tim Greisinger earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree from the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.
The network was the core of the telecom business, but the focus is shifting from connectivity to the consumer experience. Telcos hope mobile communications and services – including from the ‘cloud’ – will drive the earnings to replace falling voice revenues. Cloud delivered services – web conferencing, VOIP, location based services, integrated social networking and analytics to exploit mobile information, interactive multiplayer gaming, and such – plus mobility, will provide constantly accessible services, empower users and build new markets for telcos.
Growing with mobile in the cloud by Tim Greisinger, Vice President, Communications Sector, IBM, Growth Markets Unit The telecommunications industry has experienced more change in the last decade than in its entire history. In 1999, only 15 per cent of the world’s population had access to a telephone; by 2009, nearly 70 per cent had mobile phone subscriptions. The past decade also brought steep declines in public switched telephone network (PSTN) voice revenues, an explosion of over-the-top (OTT) communication services, phenomenal growth in mobile communications, global industry consolidation and even groundbreaking decisions by telcos to outsource their networks. Communications service providers are well aware of the potential that connectivity, computation and cognition present. Rapid increases in broadband deployment and throughput capacity will further amplify this potential. Fuelled by recent rapid adoption in developing countries, mobile communications have propped up the industry’s top line. Although increases in mobile Internet usage offer a glimmer of hope, the telecom industry faces some serious questions: Where will future growth come from? How will the industry evolve? Telco CEOs are acutely aware of the need for change, but unsure how to make change work. How can they replace falling voice telephony revenues and fend off new rivals? According to a survey by the IBM Institute of Business Value, 87 per cent of telecom CEOs expect significant changes through 2012, compared with 83 per cent of the total CEOs surveyed. Two-thirds of telecom respondents still worry about market factors, technological challenges and regulatory issues. Advanced business offerings, such as cloud computing and managed services provide new growth areas. Cloud-based services are emerging as an important new business model for the communications industry. Public cloud computing services will likely grow to US$89 billion by 2015, and many communications service providers (CSPs) want to capitalize on that growing market opportunity. Worldwide, telcos view cloud computing as a new way to generate revenue and grow their business. Specifically, they are looking first to deliver new cloud services to customers; and then find new ways to sell their cloud to other businesses. For example, some telcos want to build their own cloud and deliver new services to existing customers such as web conferencing, VOIP, or even location based services like search, maps and navigation. Other telcos want to drive more value using their existing clouds; they are asking for help to sell these clouds as a service to new customers. For example, they can sell cloud capabilities such as networking optimization, scaling, and performance tools to help customers supercharge their clouds. A return to strong growth requires the telecom industry to act collectively to create the necessary conditions for the emergence of profitable scenarios. They can do so by focusing their strategic priorities on those capabilities required to deliver the critical success attributes for growth scenarios, including: • Global industry collaboration on common capabilities, enablers and platforms to facilitate innovation and improve competitiveness with global OTT providers. Enhancing the role of the service provider to enable new business models in adjacent vertical markets such as e-health, smart grids, transportation, retail and banking. • Pervasive and open access connectivity for any person, object and a multitude of devices, optimized to cost-effectively deliver large volumes of data. • Value propositions for third-party application and asset-light service providers with a range of coarse to granular wholesale connectivity offers, open interfaces to network capabilities and services enablers, and infrastructure support for common business process services (e.g., billing, CRM), along with a viable commercial model. • Harnessing information and business insights to reduce complexity and costs and to deliver new customer experiences that enable new business models. Forward-looking telecom operators should examine information management and the use of analytics in this age of exploding mobile information. A study of 1,900 CFOs worldwide found that organizations that use analytics as part of their business model had 33 per cent more revenue growth and 32 per cent greater return on capital invested. There will be nearly ten billion mobile devices in use by 2015, according to Morgan Stanley. In two years, the mobile workforce should reach about 1.19 billion worldwide. New software brings together the power of social collaboration and analytics to gain real-time intelligence in a single, user-friendly interface, online or through mobile devices such as an iPad, iPhone or BlackBerry. This new software provides business users with an integrated view of historical information with real-time updates to give users a complete picture of their business. Now, business users can benefit from accessing information with a range of views from simple real-time information to advanced predictive ‘what if’ analysis. Integrating social networking capabilities with analytics allow the employees to interact with each other in real time in communities, wikis and blogs. This combination fuels the exchange of ideas and knowledge that naturally occurs in the decision-making process, but is typically lost in meeting notes, manual processes and emails. Users can now initiate activities, engage others with their expertise, post messages, files, links, and discuss or review opinions – all in real time for faster, more accurate decision making. Because of the explosive growth of data it is more critical now than ever before that businesses have high-performance, cost-effective, information management systems. Database software can deliver 40 per cent performance improvements while providing ten times more scalability to allow for future growth. Content analytics software is designed to help organizations more easily access and analyze structured and unstructured data such as documents, customer correspondence, web forms, email, and case notes to drive smarter decisions based on external and internal insights. Businesses that use content analytics get an integrated view of all the information that is relevant in order to reach better and faster decisions, turning their content into trusted information and sources of business insight. By leveraging information as a strategic asset, businesses can now derive new intelligence and gain competitive advantage in a rapidly evolving marketplace. A telecommunications company, for example, can analyze call scripts to identify early customer satisfaction trends about a new product or service and adjust marketing efforts. With more than 56 million customers in Japan, NTT DOCOMO is Japan’s premier provider of leading-edge mobile voice, data and multimedia services and is one of the world’s largest mobile communications operators. The company uses content analytics to transform its customer service operations by using unstructured data to improve customer churn detection and customer voice analysis. NTT DOCOMO uses the software to identify trends and patterns from customer voices across our organization and provide better customer service, providing an integrated view of all information regardless of where it’s stored. At one time, the core component of any telecom provider’s business was its network. Now, however, the focus is shifting from connectivity to the consumer experience. So telecom CEOs are looking beyond the development of new products and services, and investing in enabling their consumers to do more, more easily and enjoyably. There are three ways in which telecom carriers can do this. They can extend the scope of the services they offer, such as offering integrated services like interactive multiplayer gaming and bringing the ‘long tail’ of otherwise unviable commercial content within popular reach; create a more convenient experience by making services accessible anywhere at any time via any device and providing more flexible payment processes or other capabilities, and; empower users by enabling them to control what they access and delivering services that are highly personalized. Such enhancements may not generate substantial returns immediately but given the way in which the market is evolving, early movers will be in a much better position to capitalize on demand for new consumer experiences as economic recovery takes place.