Friday, October 09, 2009

Disruptive business model for telephony

@martingeddes believes that "voice telephony is a market full of potential for the service providers, applications developers and innovators, and full of promise for both end customers and upstream business organisations such as contact centre operations" (New business model aims to bring voice back, BT plc Innovation).

"What would really be disruptive is the complete turning upside down of the telephony business model."

Martin identifies three key challenges, which roughly correspond to the three asymmetries identified by Philip Boxer and myself in Metropolis and SOA Governance (Microsoft Architecture Journal, July 2005).

Martin's first challenge is how users connect. “In the case of contact centres, traditional outbound calling can be unproductive for agents with an average of around fifty per cent of an agent’s time being spent on useful calls.”
The third asymmetry requires separating out the different contexts of use
Martin's second challenge is how upstream business and end-users interact. “This is where we would need to integrate our understanding of the customer with what the upstream organisation wants to do to interact with them. Small, network and applications-based intelligent telephony improvements that enable this to happen could lead to profitable interactions for businesses and better experiences for end-customers.” The second asymmetry requires separating out business models that can organize supply from the solutions that are on offer.
Martin’s final challenge relates to how transactions will work. “The key here is developing and implementing intelligent telephony services.”The first asymmetry involves separating out technology from the supply of specific products.

To become better at capturing asymmetric forms of demand, an organization such as BT needs leadership that will enable it to do two things:
  • Take power to the edge of the organization: The people at the edge of the organization with the relationship to the asymmetric demand must be able to organize the business model they need to capture that demand. 
  • Develop an agile infrastructure: providing business services that can be orchestrated and composed at the edge in response to the particular forms of demand they are targeting. This then allows the supply-side of a business to extract economies of scale or scope when providing support across multiple business models.

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