plat.form.i.sat.ion [ plat-fawrm-uh-nahy-zey shuhn ]
March 15, 2022 - David Hovey
“A combined business & technical model that facilitates financial, collaborative, innovative or other forms of connection between potentially extensive ecosystems of producers and consumers, empowered by digital technology infrastructure.”
Platformisation. Not yet a real dictionary nor Scrabble® word, but we thought it’s worth an entry – so there you have our attempt at a definition, what do you think?
The fine art of transforming the way that products or services are presented, ordered, configured, consumed, managed, and paid for .. is tangible all around us.
Physical concepts, customs and habits are changing constantly – just think of the following examples:
- Car ownership – with the Tesla Network, you can simply “consume” a Tesla vehicle as a service, or if you own a Tesla – why not be a “provider” for others by being an ecosystem player with your own vehicle?
- Actually going to a shop to buy something – Amazon, Ocado, Etsy becoming the virtual high streets and supermarkets in our demanding world
- Remember real travel agents and paper boarding cards? – Now a few clicks and a smartphone QR code and you’re off!
The reality behind these examples is a bewildering mix of interconnected technology, simplified to an ace – the very proof is the exponential adoption of the end result. We know that, because we are the consumers of it!
The role of the Mobile Telco, and of relevant vendors themselves is also well due it’s turn for huge change. STL Partners recently made a couple of very insightful comments :
- That “…the [Telco] market’s need is changing to ‘connecting technologies’ rather than ‘connectivity’ ”
They continue with
- “The value has increasingly moved to the players that can make all the stuff work: systems integrators and other technology and software players…”
Viewed from the perspective of a Mobile Telco, it is clear that platformisation changes the game. It is the very essence of ‘connecting technologies’ and removes the barriers of being able to be a key player, an instrumental participant in a bigger ecosystem of technology players. In that mix, someone will stand out and “make all the stuff work” – and that entity may in fact be any of the players. This is the richness of platformisation – sometimes you are king, out in front – other times you will be a hidden part of the complex machinery making someone else’s proposition or business outcome successful.
Writing as a software infrastructure vendor to the Mobile Telco community, I also see things in the same way – that we equally have a role to platformise – making sense of the complexity and interconnecting technologies. Those interconnections are now not just to the network itself, but extend out – into the ecosystem, into innovative ISVs across the world, unifying the collective efforts to leverage and extend the reach and worth of 5G into endless applications and services.
In this way – our peering of platformisation approaches are what can transform this vendor-Telco relationship a delay-free, barrier-free and profitable partnership for each player in the ecosystem.
Platformisation changes the ownership and technology management onus model. Telcos can simply subscribe to the outcomes delivered by the complex knot of Telco core software that makes the network tick. Value-deriving software that creates multi-dimensional trading mechanisms across whole ecosystems can now be consumed – from the platform – allowing Mobile Telcos to focus on business outcomes and strategic positioning.
Let’s learn from incredible transformations of real, long-lived concepts that we experience every day – and let’s apply it to our own long-lived precepts within our own industry.