As the dust settles on Digital Transformation World and thousands arrive home after connecting in Copenhagen, what are the key takeaways from this year’s event?
In the first of a series of posts dedicated to DTW 2022, here are four things we learned during three days of debate and discussion in Denmark.
Telecoms must continue to reinvent itself by re-imagining what’s possible
A defining theme was that communications service providers (CSPs) need, more than ever, to constantly push boundaries and innovate – not only in terms of the products and services they offer their customers, but also when considering their place in the constantly-growing and evolving digital ecosystem.
The search for a new DNA and the transition from telco to ‘tech-co’ and ‘software-co’ was a thread that ran through many presentations and sessions, as was the need to be bold, embrace change and use the power of ‘what if’ to unlock new opportunities.
Now is the time to take big swings as the industry looks to unlock new revenue streams and amazing experiences for consumers. As T-Mobile’s Meg Knauth observed in an on-stage conversation with Amdocs’ Matt Roberts: “Don't be afraid to push cultural boundaries, organizational boundaries, architectural boundaries – all of it is fair game.”
Partnerships are more important than ever
Collaboration, ecosystem and partnership must have been three of the most frequently used words at DTW. Crucially, there was a consensus that it’s time to “move beyond the words” and that, to survive and thrive now and in the future, CSPs will need to continue to forge new and perhaps unlikely relationships, including with companies that may have traditionally been viewed as competition.
It’s of course one thing to talk about dropping the competitor mindset, and another to actually do it. We’re seeing some already make moves here, including T-Mobile teaming up with Space X to integrate satellite connectivity, or Xfinity striking deals with Verizon to offer mobile service to internet subscribers.
Those looking for more evidence of the new spirit of collaboration will have been encouraged by the TM Forum Catalyst Award ceremony that closed DTW. The array of projects on display, bringing together teams of stakeholders (including Amdocs) from across the telecom spectrum, suggests that the desire to build alliances is real.
Summing up the importance of collaboration with another memorable quote from an Amdocs customer, Vodafone Germany’s Ulrich Irnich said:
“We want everyone in our ecosystem to be connected to drive a better future, both for our customers and the planet. We need to open the ecosystem to other industries that have nothing to do with telecom – that’s the key.”
The war for talent shows no sign of ending
Judging by the emphasis placed on it by several speakers from all corners of the globe, the talent war is one of biggest challenges facing the sector – despite signs of global economic headwinds.
DTW delegates heard that there is no silver bullet, no magic wand that can be waved to boost employer brand and gain employee loyalty. Many speakers did, however, agree that in 2022 more and more people want to do something that matters. Something that makes a difference and that makes them proud. So perhaps the answer lies in redefining and rethinking the telecoms industry’s role and mission – and ensuring that the vital economic and social vital role performed by the sector is fully understood and appreciated.
Celebrating the industry’s successes is vital
For all of the talk of the pressing need to evolve, modernize and transform, there was plenty to celebrate when it comes to the sector’s ability to solve real-world problems and improve lives through the power of technology.
Whether it’s bringing connectivity to remote areas or using 5G to provide farmers with critical insights about the health of their crops in real-time, telecoms arguably play a bigger role in daily life than ever before. But is this always recognized?
For Amdocs’ Samit Banerjee, the answer is no. Taking to the headline stage on day two, he argued that the recognition and praise for the new digital experiences being seen in the consumer and enterprise space too often goes elsewhere.
He said: “CSPs are ultimately the main backbone of providing those kinds of services to millions of subscribers...but very often (they) do not get that kind of credit.”
Clearly this needs to change if the telecoms sector is going to occupy the place it deserves in the hearts and minds of consumers, employees and society at large.