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Analysis Paralysis and Privacy – Carrier Barriers to Dealing with OTT Situation




At Mobile World Congress 2013 last week, carriers admitted the need to stop the tension between themselves and the Over The Top (OTT) providers. In a Day 2 Keynote session including Manoj Kohli, CEO and Joint Managing Director, Bharti Airtel and Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Qtel expressed an understanding of the need to change. OTT providers are delivering something important for consumer. The OTT has been good at this,” Marafih said. Kohli added, “OTT players are our partners. We can lift the level of our services if we collaborate, as opposed to continue, this level of tension.”


Carriers need to connect their services and network to consumer behaviors and interests like some of the OTT providers have. Dave Sliter, General Manager of Communications, Media and Entertainment, HP Enterprise Services, shared his views on the situation while in Barcelona.


Here’s a snapshot of our conversation.


What is the barrier? For Carriers to really figure out how to deal with the OTT problem? Are any of them figuring it out?


Barrier 1 is analysis paralysis. Service providers don’t always work at same speed as OTT players. Some are moving and driving good business results in an iterative fashion, while others are waiting for the perfect answer.


Barrier 2 is privacy. Given much of the opportunity is created by leveraging detailed subscriber data, there are some legitimate concerns around privacy, which are causing some service providers to slow down or even stop. There are proven ways of moving forward, despite the privacy concerns. However, it does tend to contribute to the analysis paralysis aspect.


What about the network? Is it just a commodity? Should they look at leasing a network instead of maintaining it, while trying to compete with OTT?


The most successful OTT players have all achieved this success by tightly managing the end-to-end experience — for example, the device, the services, and all the pieces in-between. The network is the most important in-between piece. So the network is definitely not a commodity. In fact, it is the single most important aspect in this co-opetition scenario where the services providers successfully join the ecosystem. Successful service providers are leveraging detailed subscriber data and closely optimizing subscriber experiences to join the ecosystem and drive strong business results. (read about Rogers Communications.)


Where have you seen partnership between a carrier/OTT to drive a new business/revenue opportunity?


Numerous cases all around the world. We are seeing service providers embed real-time, subscriber demographic data (age, gender, location, purchasing habits, and etc.) in web searches such that the search provider gets the extra demographic data at the same time they get the search query. They then can return much improved and much more valuable results. We are seeing service providerd monetize this today. Another example is we are seeing service providers build bundles of services, bundles which include classical Telco assets like voice and data access, but bundles which also include classical OTT services like cloud email, apps, and etc. — all in a bundle that subscribers can pay for in a consumption model with one stop shopping at the service provider.


For video of more Dave Sliter had to say at MWC about OTT,  Click here

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About the Author


Julia Ochinero is a seasoned, but not “old school” marketing profes-sional who continues to be excited by the dramatic changes in the communications industry. Julia joined HP in 2009 as Director of Marketing in Communications & Media Solutions (CMS), and she has maintained Telco marketing leadership roles in Enterprise Ser-vices (ES) and Enterprise Group (EG). In her current role as World-wide Marketing Lead for the Communications Solutions Business (CSB) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Julia is directing initiatives focused on positioning HPE as the organization that can facilitate the communications service provider’s (CSP’s) transition to sustainable, profitable business models. Julia’s Telco and networking experience started in Chicago, IL, working for AT Kearney, Andersen Consulting, BT and Ameritech  where she launched the first consumer voice mail rollout in the Unit-ed States. Andersen Consulting relocated her to Silicon Valley to launch its presence in region during early days of the Internet. While in the Valley, she has served in leadership and consulting roles with companies including Adobe, OpenWave, Novell, Nuance Communi-cations, Pixo and RealNetworks. Previous to HP, she was a consult-ant at Accel Partners, the world’s largest venture capital firm headquar-tered in Palo Alto, CA. Julia’s experience enables her to support marketing needs for both early-stage companies and more mature organizations requiring efficient go-to-market strategies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Creative Advertis-ing (Communications) from Bradley University in Peoria, IL. Julia is married and has two children.

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