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Platform for open innovation and integrated solutions: the\ud case of BT and its Next Generation Network (NGN)

By Carlos Sato

Abstract

This paper analyzes how innovation in services is being organised in the telecommunication industry after the bubble burst in the beginning of the 2000’s and how BT is applying the concept of ‘open innovation’ in order to sustain its competitiveness. After the bubble burst in the beginning of the 2000’s, the telecommunications industry is trying to find its way to growth. Internet services and broadband have changed the way customers perceive communication services. Traditional telecommunication companies, like BT, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom have been urging to change in order to survive and sustain its competitiveness. One outcome of the industry was that the traditional PSTN (Public Switched Telecommunications Network) technology was not suitable anymore to deliver the multimedia services demanded by customers. The IP (Internet Protocol) has become an unprecedented agreement in the telecommunications industry and the traditional telecommunications companies started to transform its infrastructure based on this Internet-based technology. While this infrastructure transformation is under way, another huge challenge is to change the way these traditional telecommunications companies create, integrate and deliver new services. Service innovation on top of the IP platform is the ultimate challenge. The research was conducted through interviews and analysis of documents such as reports, newspaper articles and official Internet websites. The reports included annual reports of suppliers and incumbent service providers, and documents of regulators. The interviews were conducted with senior managers, managers and other practitioners of incumbent telecommunications service providers and suppliers, regulators, consultants and market research analysts. Initial findings suggest that incumbent telecommunications firms will be increasingly extracting value from platform and software sharing, exposing its ‘capabilities’ to third parties and developing business models to interoperate with other companies, co-creating new services. Thus, the ability to expose their capabilities in services, not to hide them, will be determinant of its success. Also important is the ability to offer integrated solutions to large firms as part of the service portfolio. And, in this context, the concept of open innovation and value innovation also find a fertile ground to be applied in services in the communication industry. Important dynamic capabilities identified in this context are strategic planning, project management, new product/service development (especially software development), supported by systems integration

Topics: HD28
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:sro.sussex.ac.uk:39579

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