Everyone at the TM Forum, as well as service providers from around the world are heading to Nice….as in France….early in May for Management World 2009 to talk about IP transformation and where service providers are going with it, or not. So I checked in with TM Forum President and CTO Martin Creaner as he prepared for Strategies & Tactics for Tough Times.
As we’ve heard since the recession officially began, the telecom industry isn’t getting the worst of the recession’s fallout, but it’s still tough times, Creaner says. He’s right, and to deal with that, ManagementWorld 2009 has scheduled five separate summits talking about business and technology transformation challenges. I hope attendees will be at least be drinking good coffee or sipping wine while wearing berets as they debate the multitude of issues. The five summits pretty much sum up the industry’s pain points: the business transformation, the technology transformation, the digital media value chain, revenue management, managing the customer experience.
One point Creaner made during our discussion is that the industry loves to move on to the next big thing, right as the old big thing has a chance to move from hype into reality. The new big thing is 4G. It’s sexy because it’s off in the distance, he says. What is no longer sexy is the media value chain – because now telecom providers really need to become a valuable part of the chain beyond transporting bits on a wire. Media revenue should be up to 20% of a provider’s revenue, and it’s a tiny fraction of that. There’s a major issue to fix right there, and it’s only one of many.
As always, Creaner’s finger is right on the pulse of the industry, so if you can’t fly to France, you can read our Q&A with him instead. Why aren’t we in Nice again? Oh right, the recession, that pesky problem that’s holding up our personal and technology transformation goals.