How collaboration enables successful transformation

Suzy Menneret, market and strategy expert at Deutsche Telekom and i3Forum board member, explains why collaboration is more important than ever for telcos.
Business, Telecommunications, Strategy, Collaboration, Future, Telcos


Across the Middle East and Africa (MEA), carriers are transforming their operations to match new enterprise demands. The pace of change in the region is accelerating and carriers are looking at how they can make their transformation projects a success. 

While there is a tendency to focus on gaining first-mover advantages and beating competitors to the punch, transformation in isolation can be challenging and resource-intense. The industry and new technologies are simply moving too fast to go it alone.

How carriers execute on their transformation roadmaps is what matters as well as ensuring the creation of long-term sustainable businesses. Around the world and not just in the MEA region, there’s an understanding about what businesses need to accomplish but the challenge is to execute.

With transformation front and center of the industry, carriers locally in MEA and across the globe should be looking at how they can use collaboration to enable successful transformation.

Accelerating adoption and innovation

Transformation is no longer just about the Cloud. Carriers are supporting the creation of new efficiencies that are built to adapt to new technologies and demands. As an industry, we are already making active decisions and implementing proof of concepts and use cases. There’re new opportunities for technologies that can streamline our operations, reduce fraud losses and enable the creation of new services:

• Smart Cities & IoT – Data is creating new value. An example of this is the Smart Dubai platform where the Dubai government provides data about the city to innovators to develop solutions that benefit businesses but also the citizens. Sharing data across the industry like numbering plans or network analytics can make our day-to-day business and the way we work together more efficient.

• Blockchain – There’s potential with blockchain to create new efficiencies in billing and settlements and ultimately change how we operate. The challenge is implementing it on an industrywide scale without adding new complexity to operations.

• Software-Defined Networking – Today, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) services are operating in islands. SDN has the potential to support the Cloud, content and next-gen communications that can really drive our long-term innovation. To connect these islands and make it a globally interconnected offering, carriers need to work together at all levels from technical through to commercial.

• The Internet of Things – IoT demands new levels of scalability, reliability and interworking relationships to ensure application development and innovation is supported locally and globally. As IoT matures, capacity demands will grow, and carriers have an opportunity to shape its development and capture new revenue.

Transformation is real, and these technologies have the potential to directly impact our businesses. What really matters is how carriers get involved and work together to make each of these technologies a reality in their businesses.

By collaborating across the ecosystem, we can develop recommendations and best practices that have a positive impact for MEA Carriers and the entire ecosystem. That’s important for creating momentum and driving change in our industry.

Carriers must come together if they want to thrive. They need to be able to take part in the conversation by engaging in online forums, at conferences and collaborating with others to create valuable, meaningful and actionable materials that influence new solutions and technologies within the industry.

Through the i3forum, MEA carriers have an opportunity to bring their voice to the table and share their transformation roadmaps and innovations happening in the region with Carriers from around the globe. They can have a voice in shaping the MEA market and beyond and facilitate change and evolution within our industry.

Future-focused collaboration

It won’t be an option for carriers to work alone. The ones that will be successful in their transformation journeys will be those who join forces to enable innovation. It’s up to us to work together with whoever will stand up and collaborate and make transformation a success.

It’s this collaboration that lies at the heart of i3forum’s work. i3forum brings the international carrier ecosystem together to enable and accelerate transformation. Our members are working together to solve the challenges that face our industry and deliver value across the entire ecosystem.

Collective transformation will be the key to seizing new opportunities and driving change in the industry. By getting players across the ecosystem to work together, we can facilitate real change.

Suzy Menneret is the market and strategy expert of the international wholesale division of the Deutsche Telekom Group. Since 2017, she has also been an active board member of the i3Forum – an industry initiative which aims at boosting the international carrier industry via industry collaboration.

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