I am glad to share that I will be presenting as well as joining a panel discussion at Software Telco Congress. I picked the below two topics because the more we talk about operations and making things happen in the context of NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) the more making the business case as well as understanding behavioral economics happen to be of the essence.
When working on emerging technologies, technological prowess alone might not move the needle close enough to the tipping point. The fact is that “brain-ware” and organizational dynamics can be overlooked and, in turn, become harder to address than just figuring out and debating hardware and software roadmaps.
Presentation: The Impact of NFV on Service Provider Economics.
Tuesday, 08/12/14 10:00-10:45am
“While many of the questions around NFV focus on the roadmap to achieving a virtualized network infrastructure, the ultimate question is how will it impact the service provider from an economic perspective. Without that proof point, it’s difficult to make the case for NFV. What kind of impact should operators expect NFV have on OPEX? What markets will NFV open for SPs to pursue with greater success? Will the introduction of NFV open up the opportunity for new lines of revenue and new service offerings? How will this transition impact end customers in both SMB and Enterprise markets?”
Panel discussion: Making the Transition to Software – Are We Ready?
Wednesday, 08/13/14 10:45-11:30am
“One of the barriers to achieving the software telco is the support of the existing infrastructure, especially at the edge of the network, and while most providers can ill afford to make wholesale network changes for fear of negatively impacting revenues, they also realize the move to software is a necessity. How can new SDN and NFV technologies be deployed? What strategies are being discussed and which make sense and which don’t? There are number of opportunities that do not require service providers to boil the proverbial ocean.”
Looking forward to seeing you at Software Telco Congress, collocated with IT EXPO, which is promoted as the “business technology” event.
“We set out to create something very different with the World’s Most Innovative Companies list, using the wisdom of the crowd. Our method relies on investors’ ability to identify firms they expect to be innovative now and in the future.” – How We Rank The Top World’s Most Innovative Companies 2013 by Jeff Dyer and Hal Gregersen.
Forbes displays a ranking metric known by “innovation premium”,” which is the difference between:
- market capitalization
- net present value of cash flows from existing business
That value is interpreted as a “bonus” that signals investors’ confidence in the company’s prospects. These companies are what we might like to call as “serial innovators” given their endurance: shares publicly traded for seven or more years and market values in excess of $10 billion. Forbes is also screening R&D spending levels as a percentage of sales (2.5% at least) and cash flow and ROI projections for the next two years. That calculation takes advantage of an undisclosed formula created at HOLT/Credit Suisse and estimates from selected analysts. IBES, Institutional Brokers’ Estimate System, database is also leveraged for this exercise.
Forbes’s top 100 most innovative companies can be found on: “innovative companies list”
- 01-10 : Salesforce.com, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, VMware, Regeneron Phasmaceuticals, ARM Holdings, Baidu, Amazon.com, Intuitive Surgical, Rakuten, Natura Cosmeticos
- 11-20 : Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development, Coloplast, Cerner, Unicharm, Estee Lauder Cos, Jeronimo Martins, FMC Technologies, Tencent Holdings, Starbucks, Pernod Ricard
- 21-30 : Bean, Perrigo, Essilor International, Beiersdorf, Grifols, Fanue, Diageo, Hershey, Danone, Procter & Gamble
- 31-40 : Dassault Systemes, Colgate-Palmolive, Ecolab, Monsanto, Reckitt Benckiser Group, Keyence, Kone, Yahoo Japan, BRF-Brasil Foods, Tat Consultancy Services
- 41-50 : Yum! Brands, Teradata, Praxair, CSL, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Kweichow Moutai, Google, L’Oreal, Sherwin-Williams, Citrix Systems
- 51-60 : Smith & Nephew, Mondelez International, Infosys, Kellogg, Ultrapar Participacoes, Intuit, Technip, Pepsico, Schlumberger, Fresenius Medical Care
- 61-70: SMC Corp, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl, Unilever NV, China Oilfield Services, Automatic Data Processing, Covidien, Bajaj Auto, Tyco International, Novo Nordisk
- 71-80 : Johnson Controls, SAP, Amphenol, Sandvik, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Roper Industries, ASML Holding, Assa Abloy, Apple, Air Products & Chemicals
- 81-90 : Tenaris, Precision Castparts, Rockwell Automation, Nintendo, Cameron International, Secom, Schindler Holding, Campbell Soup, Kubota, Mylan
- 91-100 : BG Group, Adidas, Henkel, Atlas Copco, Syngenta, Pentair, Kao, Fidelity National Information Services, MediaTek, Daikin Industries
Forbe’s sources are: “HOLT, a division of Credit Suisse, in collaboration with Innovator’s DNA LLC; Interactive Data, Thomson Reuters Fundamentals and Worldscope via FactSet Research Systems; Bloomberg.”
“Launching a new enterprise (…) has always been a hit or miss proposition (…) 75% of all start-ups fail. But recently an important countervailing force has emerged, one that can make the process of starting a company less risky. It’s a methodology called the “lean start-up,” an it favors experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional “big design up front” development. Although the methodology is just a few years old, its concepts – such as “minimum viable product” and “pivoting” – have quickly taken root in the start-up world.” – “Why the Lean Start-up Changes Everything” by Steve Blank.
“Although the experience of insight is sudden and can seem disconnected from the immediately preceding thought, these studies show that insight is the culmination of a series of brain states and processes operating at different time scales (…) if we want to be creative, we have to be dedicated.” – Adapted from “Creativity Is Really Just Persistence, And Science Can Prove It” by Drake Baer.
In my previous article I outlined 40+ items. All of them have to do with “exploring and experimenting,” which I believe to be corner stones of research and, hence, innovation engines. There is no denying that intuitive, casual and even accidental discoveries happen. Though, business wise, we need to figure out what it takes to engage in serial innovativeness. This is required to “cross the chasm” and to further an enterprise’s relevance and value.
As shared in an earlier article, we need to think and to connect the dots across (a) opportunities to support today’s business and to keep working on (c) creating the future. This makes sense whether we are involved in agile projects prompting short cycles or in long term research and development impacted by moving targets.
In my view, both assignments are clearly interrelated and share the need for analytical skills, devoting research efforts and, therefore, “exploration and experimentation” coupled with unconventional problem solving. This is what develops and nurtures creative thinking to a point at which it becomes an individual talent and an organizational asset.
I would also like to add that it pays to step back every once in a while to intellectualize our thought processes and frameworks we work with. This actually requires a curious and contemplative mind, one that reflects on what happens in context. It helps putting oneself in situations where we need to debrief on lessons learned and workflows. The basic objectives being:
- promoting – raising awareness, gathering feedback and allowing cross-pollination in the process
- propping – leveraging and refining what works well, understanding trade-offs between potential an limitations
- recycling – continuing to improve upon experiences and salvaging good ideas from failures and oblivion
- navigating – assessing contexts, options, directions, and adjusting course and speed to address whether upstream or shifting environments
Moreover, for good ideas to take off persuasive communication skills and marketing tools happen to be of the essence. From an operations management standpoint, innovativeness also has to do with creating an organizational culture, a distinctive work style where guiding principles happen to be more effective than sticking to strict processes alone. The fact is that creativeness and freedom go hand by hand. By the same token, execution and discipline are inseparable.
“A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood.” – Peter Tchaikovsky.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” – Pablo Picasso.
“If we knew what we were doing, we wouldn’t call it research.” – Albert Einstein.