Here in Nice at the TM Forum’s Management World yesterday, it became clear that long term industrial-scale changes in the back office and elsewhere are out of fashion and pragmatism is the order of the day.
Interestingly, no-one wanted to talk to me about BT reportedly slowing down the build of its 21CN and scrapping converged services though. It was as though it were just too painful to reflect on the fate of such a massive undertaking, which for so long as held in such esteem across the industry. Anyone I asked shied like a mustang.
One executive commented that, “21CN network is not going anywhere, converged services are just not taking off,” while another who also insisted on remaining anonymous said, “Why did they call it 21CN? Because it gave them a century to get it right. The concept was good and valid, but it too long to implement. It got screwed up by two things. Firstly the scope was not defined as well as it should be and there was a lack of sufficient accountability: there were too many partners involved. You have to have a dictator in charge of a project that size.”
Interviews over the last couple of days with companies including Telcordia and Amdocs I detected a shift in their terminology and approach. They talked of how ‘partial visibility’ or ‘incomplete subscriber profile data’ can be used by the operators to help them target ads, content and campaigns without having to get into the depths of the plumbing – as well as do the more routine stuff better, such as customer care.
It comes to something when Michael Lurye, director of product marketing, Amdocs says, “The problem of silo information is very long standing, which has not been resolved and there hasn’t been a whole lot of progress because it’s a very difficult thing to do.
“Turns out you don’t need 100% view of the customer to create a good personal profile, so rather than creating dependency on a problem that is very hard to solve, why not take a more pragmatic approach?”
Why not indeed?