Data is Money. Not like money, or as good as money. It is money.

(reminder and disclaimer – I work for IBM, but these are personal comments)

Almost three years ago, in Febraury 2010 (yeah, I know – three years!) the Economist ran a supplement called “The Data Deluge“, about Big Data and how it was transforming businesses all over the world.  In the middle of the supplement was an article called ‘Clicking for Gold‘, in which there’s a quote from Tim O’Reilly, who says that companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook ‘…are uncomfortable bringing so much attention to this because it is at the heart of their competitive advantage. Data are the coin of the realm. They have a big lead over other companies that do not ‘get’ this.’  For the intervening time, I’ve been quoting this to telcos all over the world, and they nod their heads, and – for the most part – don’t do much about it.

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It is almost the December forecast season

With the Christmas paraphernalia taking over the retail stores, it must be time for 2010 predictions.

One of the first out of the gate is with their 2010 top ten consumer trends.

2010 consumer trends

Taking each of the ten in turn and how they apply to Telcos.

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“Welcome to the Future”


I don’t have many C&W (country and western) songs on my iPOD but last night I caught Brad Paisley singing “Welcome to the Future” on the 2009 CMA awards. It is a catchy tune with lyrics that sum up the “understanding gap” between the young and old.

And I’d have given anything
To have my own Pac-Man game at home
I used to have to get a ride down to the arcade
Now I’ve got it on my phone


Hey, everyday is a revolution
Welcome to the future
Hey, so many things I never thought I’d see
Happening right in front of me

One of the challenges facing society is not only the absorption of all this technology by folks but also an understanding of how far life has changed.

The mantra used to be that “knowledge is power” but if knowledge is widely shared and accessible where does the advantage come from, perhaps to it should be rephrased to “timeliness is power”.   Think real estate. Agents/brokers used to use their ‘knowledge’ of the housing market as a key competitive advantage, but now that knowledge is widely available (see Zillow) and their value is much more about negotiating skills and  speed of action to  ‘close the deal’.

Telcos need to recognize that ‘timeliness’ is where they can bring significant value add and be paid for it !!

Why real-time is important

Im late!

I'm late!

Telecommunications has long been straddled with file based integrations, batch processes, massive data and turgid reports. The trawl through irrelevant material, the delays in getting information, and the compromises to integrity that silos impose on information are legendary. When files go missing, revenue gets lost – that’s the best we can hope for. In these days when partners are everywhere in the service value network, when Government and regulators get to decide how parts of business process work, and where the old one-to-one service-provider-to-consumer relationship is the stuff of nostalgia events at the Christmas party, the implications are far greater.

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