It seems that Huawei is putting good ideas – and money – where its mouth is. At the Operations Transformation Forum (OTF) in Munich on Tuesday, the company announced the opening of its Digital Transformation Practice Center, based in Hong Kong, in collaboration with incumbent telco HKT.
The mantra at OTF this week has been “think big, start small, scale fast” and as long as you do not scale mistakes, this now seems to be the consensus on how to go digital successfully.
While many messages came from the keynote day of the event (more to follow soon), this message is central to the DTPC.
How operators reduce time to market is an issue that has amused and aggravated the industry in equal measure for several years. According to Huawei, the trick to not only addressing this specific problem, but also achieving real digital transformation (rather than simply digitizing processes), is to think ‘DIY’. At every point, the focus must be: “How can we enable the customer to do it themselves, simply?”
Huawei has put a lot of thought into the DTPC (which was first announced at MWC earlier this year). It is not a training program, nor anything to do with legacy working modes. Nor is it an exhibition center, although clearly things are exhibited. It is “hands on and joint practice”. It is cross functional and agile, and it is designed to be an accelerator and incubator.
There are three levels of access to the center. Operators can go for a strategic visit, which will last half a day or a whole day. After that, the execution team will go for ‘applied immersion’ which typically is one or two weeks. Following that, the team will attend for anywhere between four and eight weeks. The themes for the next few months are best practices from HKT’s own transformation experience, IoT and 5G business.
Huawei says the key to the success of the DTPC is people – in transformation as in life. The difference is that the chemistry between different people with different skills has long been underestimated.
The old ways dictated that marketing be kept as far away from product people or engineers (particularly engineers) as possible. Now, the realization is that if you put a software engineer together with a marketer (and add coffee), great things can happen.
The old saying “of course it can be done, it’s only software” is now truer than ever. The difference is that ideas really can rapidly become executable products, and it truly seems that at least some operators have not only grasped this, but have picked it up, brushed it off and are running with it.
Huawei is to be congratulated on taking what is a good idea – and actually doing it. It will be fascinating to see some documented results at next year’s OTF.