Telcos should stop complaining about the playing field not being level and start create a winning team instead. Fact is, we all play in the same telecoms arena and we all play by the same rules laid down by the same referee or regulator. We all play for the same public, but while some teams – the telcos – get their money from providing tickets to the game, other teams are capitalising on building a great stadium, playing attractive football, catering, advertising or merchandising revenues.
Telcos are doubly frustrated because they see how other teams play a better game on a playing field that the telcos themselves have helped to build. As a result they do not only want to charge the public for a ticket to the game, but also charge the competing teams for a ticket to the playing field.
But rather than complain and feel frustrated, telcos should embrace changing customer behaviour and value chain shifts and make sure they have the right team to fight the battle. In order to stay relevant, team telecom should field an infrastructure defence, a platform midfield, and a service striker team. The infrastructure team is all about reliability and staying power. The platform team is about interplay and creative passing. The service team is about innovative dribblers and strikers.
Some large operators have seen the light and are now (re) structuring the business into infrastructure, platform and service units. They realize that approaching the modern telecom arena primarily with an infrastructure reliability attitude while in reality it should be also approached with an open platform and service innovation attitude is a strategy that is doomed to fail. The time that catenaccio payed off has long since gone. Or, to paraphrase Cruyff “if you don’t shoot you can’t score”
But with most operators the real problem is the people as always. In general, team telecom has too many tired, fat, old, overpaid defence players, and lacks agile midfield and hungry attackers.
Telco transformation is not about all-IP, but about fielding the right team. Do you have the right team to win the match? Let us know!