People have been telling stories with pictures since early man painted scenes of animal hunts on cave walls. These stories often recorded military victories, such as in Egyptian hieroglyphs and battle tableaus featuring chariot riding pharaohs, Assyrian palace bas-reliefs depicting monumental sieges, and the war columns of the Roman emperors Trajan and Marcus Aurelius. These were the YouTubes of their day.
Probably more than any other industry sector, the telecommunications market has the habit of jumping from one hype cycle to the next, with only short phases of realism and depression in between. As opposed to other industries, both vendors and customers seem to be participating in this vicious circle - ‘full steam’. Neither side wants to be woken up, let alone stopped.
Some of us may remember the time when long distance calls across the ocean were often accompanied by an annoying delay between the time we finished a sentence and the other party replying. We would say, “We're probably connected via a satellite. I like it better when these calls are routed through an undersea cable.”
In the telecom industry perhaps more than most, change is the only constant. That’s why in this post, I’d like to take a look at the various dynamics in the telecom value chain – and some of the associated trends.
Let’s first look at the telecom ecosystem. In this ecosystem, there are several types of players who hold the various assets:
I am in the market for a new car. I am looking at all the possibilities (and boy, are there possibilities – how am I supposed to make a decision?), weighing the pros and cons of each brand and model, and taking into consideration my budget.
Okay, I’ll admit it – the sight of yet another ‘demo’ at a trade show doesn’t really excite me. And it probably doesn’t excite most attendees either.
But they are sort of a necessary evil. You see, for us solutions vendors, there’s really no better way to demonstrate new functionality or how to do things like provision a service. That’s why we make the investment in resources and time to create something that we hope those in the industry will find, well, at least marginally interesting. (Actually, we’d like you to be really thrilled by them, but hey – we’re realists!)
I never thought I would think of telecom in religious terms, but two discussions I had recently with analysts got me thinking. Analysts make a business of qualifying and quantifying stuff – they define a market, they analyze that market, they measure it, and then forecast it.
System architecture is about theory and practice. If anyone thinks differently, the end result will be an ill-planed system or worse.
I’d like to take a brief departure from the usual technical blog post and delve into a topic that we don’t often address with you directly: marketing. Now I know what you’re thinking, but please keep reading. I think you’ll be surprised.