news


Three does a spot of digital transformation

UK MNO Three has completed the first phase of what will be a multi-million investment in digital transformation, and created over 100 jobs to boot.

Three is working with Amdocs, Docusign, Adobe, Tariffcom, and Astute to upgrade its IT infrastructure, with today marking the end of ‘phase one’ of that process. Staffing wise, in addition to the 100 or so new roles announced today, Three says there will be more jobs created in 2022.

The project is described an investment in state-of-the-art business infrastructure, which will allow it to ‘reshape the business connectivity market.’ A new ecosystem will launch in January for all new customers, and existing customers will be migrated over through the next year.

“This year the market response to Three Business has been amazing and we clearly have a significant role to play over the next 5 years and beyond,” said Mike Tomlinson, managing director of business, Three UK. “To support our channel and customer experience we have completed phase one of our digital transformation providing a much improved modern, reliable business infrastructure.”

Three says it is spending a bunch of cash on upgrading its IT systems in order to improve customer experience and ‘create a service model that is flexible and responsive to the changing demands of the business environment.’ This line in particular points to a common thread.

The phrase ‘digital transformation’ comes up in practically every industry – you’d be hard pressed to find a B2B conference anywhere, about anything, that doesn’t in some way mention it. In most cases its essentially just modernisation – utilising the latest services and equipment to be a more efficient or profitable venture.

For MNO’s that often means being more nimble and able to better innovate on tariffs or digital products. It’s strategically bound to the aspiration of being more than custodians of ‘dumb pipes’ – selling connectivity in a way that is hard to achieve large YoY growth, while Silicon Valley startups use the fact the internet is ubiquitous now to very visibly make sums of money larger than the GDP of small nations.

This is a bug bear of many telcos, a gang of which recently went so far as to suggest the EU should force big tech to cough up some cash on principle.

Digital transformation projects highlight this complicated relationship between the network operators and big tech. Sometimes they seem like moves to build a bulwark against encroachment by the former against the latter, or at least to better compete with them on new turf (as with Vodafone’s recent creation of 7000 software engineer roles). At other times, such as when AWS was brought in to entirely host Dish’s 5G service, they look more like a merger.

 


One comment

  1. Avatar Marcus A. Bergagård 15/12/2021 @ 8:53 am

    You are right to day that “The phrase ‘digital transformation’ comes up in practically every industry – you’d be hard pressed to find a B2B conference anywhere, about anything, that doesn’t in some way mention it.”

    Transformation means change and time, average lifecycle is three years. Before you bring this burden on yourself ask yourself: What is it that shall be transformed in the company? What is the digital vision to be achieved and what is the digital strategy to follow? Get these answered first to save yourself “digital activism” for digital sake.

    So what does it mean to MNO/telcos? Well first of all they are “Bit-pipes” (sorry Telcos) securing network connectivity and giving access to these for a monthly charge. But it does not have to remain as such. Building digital services upon these network platforms in the form of their own OTTs such as Start-ups through Intrapreneurship programs can quell the tide of being relegate as mere bit-pipes. But for that you need visionaries and own ‘venture capitalists’ that are willing to invest time and capital to work these out. If that support is not there it will only be “digital innovation theatre” and you will remain on the lowest level of the platform architecture, a bit-pipe.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Events

There are no upcoming events.

Polls

Do you agree public funding should be used to support mobile operators to more broadly deploy Open RAN?

Loading ... Loading ...