is this Study about?
been addressing methods for investment analysis, social impacts of ICT, cross-cultural and
user behavioural issues for several years. The work and results produced have not only
been used successfully by Shareholders internally, but have also demonstrated that
"competitive" issues can be addressed by EURESCOM provided the scope and
orientation is clearly defined.
Recognising the increasing importance of
customers and markets related issues to the development of technical systems and networks
and their potential competitiveness, the forming questions for this Study are:
- What themes (or topical areas) are suited for collaborative
research activities and which issues could be addressed in the short to medium term (i.e.
the next 2-3 years) to attract new research sectors to EURESCOM and give competitive
advantages to Shareholders?
- How to ensure, that the needs of appropriate units within
Shareholders organisations, e.g. those dealing with customer research, product and service
development, etc., are addressed?
- How to ensure that EURESCOM Projects in general become more
sensitive to a customer and commercial evaluation of their results?
The Objectives of this Study are to:
- Identify the major challenges facing Telcos in a converged
markets, in particular what this means to their customers.
- Interpret what these changes mean for the development of new
skills and competencies, and ways of working e.g. multidisciplinary teams within Telcos.
Identify the focus of collaborative
research activities in the area of markets and customers and illustrate potential benefits
for network operators and service providers.
- Propose ways that create greater awareness of customers and
markets related issues across technical projects at EURESCOM.
- Scope outline topics, i.e. Projects and Studies, that could
be addressed by future EURESCOM Work Programmes
- Identify those units at EURESCOM Shareholders dealing with
customers and markets related issues that could take profit from collaborative research
and provide proposals on how they can be appropriately addressed
Description of the Study
The EURESCOM Board of Governors at their
June 2000 meeting recognised the increasing importance of customers and markets related
issues to the development of technical systems and networks. The Board proposed to devote
up to 15 % of the resources of the Work Programme 2001 to customers and markets topics
provided sound proposals were submitted.
This objective was only partially achieved
in the Work Programme 2001. It is believed that one reason for the low level of interest
in customers and markets proposals is that EURESCOM is considered primarily as an
organisation for performing technical research.
A key aim of this Study is to explore how
to raise the profile of customer and market research opportunities at EURESCOM and make it
a more attractive as an organisation for non-technical research.
The main reasons why TelCos should pay
greater attention to customers and markets related issues are:
- The whole Telco industry is undergoing a radical shake up;
there are new industry players, new alliances with everyone using virtually the same
underlying technologies. As a result technology alone is not sufficient to differentiate
in the marketplace.
- Customer knowledge and feedback on new technology is
fundamental if future applications and services are to be successful
- The new economy is creating different business
models, value systems and distribution channels that put different requirements on
infrastructures and support systems
The study will address issues that are
affecting the creation and marketing of new services and applications, some examples are:
- Customer empowerment, which has radical Implications for the
design of future applications and services. The new technologies and the environments
created by them will give customers more power to control what they receive and do.
- Whether traditional push marketing and advertising will
survive due to novel technical development and empowerment of customers. An opportunity
might be new types of partnerships across the media space.
- How to exploit within our industry the new types of customer
research that are emerging, for example: need finding, emphatic
design, contextual design, experience prototyping, and
- Whether current customer relationship management
practices are valid in the longer term. An alternative model of establishing and
maintaining a close relationship with customers may have to be found. This might include
new types of customer needs analysis.
- Whether we understand the concept of "need" and
whether Telcos will be creating or fulfilling customer needs? The paradigm may be changing
from Telcos creating applications and services (in a push mode) to customers leading the
process with their requirements (in a pull mode). This has implications for Telcos
R&D cycles and the approach to new service development.
- The move from mass customisation to individual
customisation, what are the implications to Telcos of this change in paradigm.
- The appearance of alternative business models, possibilities
mentioned by Don Tapscott in his book Digital Capital include:
- Agora - buyers and sellers come together to collectively
discover the price
- Aggregation - organise and choreograph the distribution of
goods, services and information
- Value chain/network - focuses on value-added design process
and relationship management
- Alliances comprising collaboration across different
individuals and organisations e.g. Linux
- Distributive networks established by Telcos, courier,
All the above represent challenges to
Telcos since new kinds of skills and competencies will be required, not only in product
and service development, but also in business models, and in the ways the business will be
What are the key results of this
This Study proposes to identify customers and markets
collaborative research activities which give competitive advantages to Shareholders.