Digital Britain 2.0 Comms Vision 2019 highlights

Digital Britain 2.0 Comms Vision 2019 highlights

Richard Thompson, Director of Partners

Richard Thompson, Director of Partners

Building on last years’ Digital Britain theme, Comms Vision 2019 explored the challenges and opportunities facing the channel today. Over the course of three days, TalkTalk Business and experts from the industry came together to listen, learn and share best practice and innovation.

For TalkTalk Business, Comms Vision is one of the most significant events in the channel calendar. It provides the opportunity to catch up with our Partners and share ideas with some of the brightest thinkers in the channel community. I’d like to thank the organisers for producing such an insightful event and to all the contributors who made it one to remember. I’d also like to give a special thanks to all our Partners who took the time to meet with us in the 121 sessions.

Throughout the two days of the conference agenda, it was remarkable to me how our industry is currently navigating through an unprecedented shift in technology. The spotlight was well and truly focused on full fibre and the message was very clear; the channel must leverage the opportunity that disruption brings.

Uniting new and disruptive technologies 

Gary Steen, TalkTalk’s Managing Director for Technology, Change and Security, kicked off the opening panel on day one. The discussion centred around what will form the long-term strategy and vision behind building Digital Britain. Gary advised that a high performing network was critical to meet the growing bandwidth demands, which will only continue to grow, and that providers must prepare for this outcome before it is too late. People on stage doing a presentation

He also advised that collaboration is the key to success as the new world is more complex. "We see, especially among the altnets, a tapestry of capability emerging across the UK footprint. Therefore, the customer has far more choice, but with that choice comes the complexity of putting it all together. We're moving away from a single party approach towards an ecosystem based on collaboration."

At no other time has the industry come together in this way, but Digital Britain is about uniting new and disruptive technologies and understanding the practicalities that drive digital transformation in UK businesses. Channel partners must grasp the opportunity of leading Digital Britain and act in their own and the nation’s interest.

Disruptors usually win

Guy Miller, TalkTalk’s Fibre for Everyone Programme Director, delivered a rousing keynote speech to the attendees of Comms Vision on day two. He discussed TalkTalk’s successful full fibre trials in York and how the experience has put TalkTalk Business in pole position to deliver FTTP to its Partners. Man standing on stage doing presentation

The learnings could be split into 4 key areas which were fundamental to the success of the rollout:

1) Education - clearing up any misconceptions about what full fibre is, as many consumers believed they already had full fibre (when they really had FTTC).

2) Disruption – digging up the streets and disturbing traffic was an annoyance to locals, but it also helped TalkTalk to raise awareness of what we were doing in the area.

3) The local community – We didn’t want to appear like another big telco, so we offered supportive sponsorships and worked with locals. This in turn raised positive word of mouth and increased sales.

4) Go all in with fibre – We don’t sell copper products in York, our NPS score is in the 40s and we are expecting less than a 4% churn.

Guy also urged channel partners to embrace disruption, grasp opportunities, gain confidence and elevate industry performance. As he put it, “Disrupters usually win, and those who work with disrupters also win," echoing that now is the time to collaborate and put your money where your mouth is.

TalkTalk Business will help Partners access FTTP is a simple way, reducing the headache of working with multiple access providers and providing one easy customer experience. "We will work with other access providers and become the 'enabler'’” he said. "We are not going to create a world of pain for the channel. We'll work with providers to bring the same set of standards, APIs, billing etc, and be transparent, meaning that partners can choose their preferred access provider."

“Everything must fundamentally change in seven years," he continued. "This is a challenge for the comms channel which is accustomed to acquiring fully packaged and polished products from suppliers. That's not yet the case with full fibre, but this is the biggest land grab the comms industry has ever seen and whoever sells first to the customer will be in there for years. Act now - this is a land grab opportunity - first in will win."

To read the full write up of Guy Miller’s talk, please visit Comms Dealer.