future communications strategy

Roland Selmer [email protected] Friday, 13 September 13

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How did we get here?

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10,000 years agoFormation of neolithic villages

2,000 years agoRoman empire

20 years agoThe internet becomes available








A quick history lesson

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Connection based Connectionless•Large monolithic systems•Point to point circuit switched communications•Telephone numbers

•Distributed systems•Fully meshed all IP networks•IP addresses (SIP URI’s)

The external environment changes

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My Phone Number My SIP URI

Now IPV6 LTE networks


Identity becomes portable, transmutable

[email protected]

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#1 OTT apps cost operators $13.9bn in lost SMS revenues at YE11. This total will have risen to $54bn by 2016.

#2 By 2020 we expect OTT VoIP will have cost the global telecoms industry $73bn in lost revenues.

Source: Ovum

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Communications Service Provider


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The way we currently build products is linear and homogenous. Like GSM.




Fun friends




But people communicate in a non linear fashion...

speaking to different audiences...

using different tools.Paul Adams

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Social has changed how we communicate

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Everything is commoditised...Co




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Behaviors are changing

First Direct

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Predicting the future and transformation

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“...it is precisely the telecommunications operators that are in a position to meet these expectations, based on transparency and non-discrimination in the context of the new ecosystem...”

COO Telefónica

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“...the history of every dead and dying 'growth' industry shows a self-deceiving cycle of bountiful expansion and undetected decay...”

“...a score of non-utility companies are well advanced toward developing a powerful chemical fuel cell, which could sit in some hidden closet of every home silently ticking off electric power...”

Theodore Levitt

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Petroleum Energy

Exhibit: British Petroleum

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So what business are we in?

Telephone calls ?Comms




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Laplaces Demon "We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed ... for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes."

“The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa.”


Laplace’s Demon

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Willful Ignorance...when it all goes wrong

•Financial instruments e.g. CDO’s grouped into pools

•Pool X is a collection of morgates with varied ratings A, B+ etc.

•Bet is that all default (least probable, safest bet)

•The ratings agencies assumed that mortgage defaults are not

correlated and rate Pool X AAA

Case Study: The 2008 financial crisis

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Willful ignorance

US Smartphone market

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e u OutputInput



Feedback and delay in dynamic systems

Business UnitCustomers

Observations & insights

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"How small? How simple?

We advise startups to launch when they've added a quantum of utility: when there is at least some set of users who would be excited to hear about it, because they can now do something they couldn't do before. "

Paul Graham, Y-Combinator

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•Connectors, are the people in a community who know large numbers of people and who are in the habit of making introductions.

•Mavens are "information specialists", or "people we rely upon to connect us with new information."

•Salesmen are "persuaders", charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills. They tend to have an indefinable trait that goes beyond what they say

The law of the few

Malcom Gladwell

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Crossing the cultural chasm

•Bill Bowerman tinkered with shoes. Phil Knight was the athlete•Initial strategy was to build better mousetraps (innovation through technology)•Appealed to performance athletes; Failed to ignite mass market•Social disruption allowed them to leap the cultural chasm•Combative solo willpower became the innovation ideology (‘Just do it’)•They go back to building better mousetraps and fail (casual trainers)

Case Study: NikeDouglas Holt

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Cultural trickle down

•Started in Seattle by 3 coffee aficionados wanting to shareartisanal cosmopolitan coffee subculture•Go to the Bay area and immerse themselves in the art•Howard Shultz comes along and immediately recognizes the opportunity to scale•Buys out the 3 and the Starbucks name and launches a few more artisanal stores but fail•Launches more culturally accessible versions (e.g. latte’s) packed in artisan sophistication codes (grande/venti, Ethiopian blends)

Case Study: Starbucks

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Cultural CapitalEconomic Capital


l Clas

sEconomic trickle down Cultural trickle down

Cultural Capital

Economic Elite

Cultural Elite

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The Concept Car Paradigm

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To earn the right to call itself a couture house and to use the term haute couture in its advertising and any other way, members of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture must follow these rules:

• Design made-to-order for private clients• Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen

people full-time• Must have twenty full-time technical people in at least one atelier • Each season, present a collection to the Paris press

Rules of engagement

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Information DecisionRights

Motivators Structure

The Secrets to Successful Strategy Executionby Gary L. Neilson, Karla L. Martin, and Elizabeth Powers, HBR 2008

26,0000 people in 31 companies

#1 Everyone has a good idea of the decisions and actions for which he or she is responsible

#2 Important information gets disseminated quickly

#3 Once made, decisions rarely get second guessed

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A polemic is a contentious argument that is intended to establish the truth of a specific understanding and the falsity of the contrary position. Polemics are mostly seen in arguments about very controversial topics.


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Personal mastery – create an environment that encourages personal and organisational goals to be developed and realised in partnership

Mental models – know that a person’s 'internal' picture of their environment will shape their decisions and behaviour

Shared vision – build a sense of group commitment by developing shared images of the future

Team learning – transform conversational and collective thinking skills, so that a group’s capacity to reliably develop intelligence and ability is greater than the sum of its individual member's talents

System thinking – develop the ability to see the 'big picture' within an organisation and understand how changes in one area affect the whole system.

Towards a learning organisation

Peter Senge

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• Reduce the friction between business units through managing knowledge and insight

• Immerse yourselves in your customers’ culture

• Satisfy customer needs by delivering truly useful products and great customer experiences (this is hard)

• Move from a product focus to a customer focus

• Be clear on the problem you are trying to solve

• Solidify your identity and speak a common language

• Encourage learning organisational behaviours

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