Q&A with Larry Hargrove on BPM, SOA, and Cloud at Mobile World Congress 2011
Ryan Boyles 100000UX41 email@example.com | | Tags:  bpm telecom mwc ibmimpact smarter communications soa cloud conference mwc11
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This interview was contributed by Jennifer Dubow @jennifer_dubow.
I was able to catch up with Larry Hargrove, IBM Global Telecom Sales Executive, at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2011 this past week in Barcelona. Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the leading mobile technology event worldwide. Larry spent a few minutes chatting with me about the value that WebSphere software provides to mobile service providers globally and those seeking to build mobile applications.
1) What's IBM showcasing at Mobile World Congress that would interest our readers?
We featured some pretty exciting stuff at MWC this year. The big story is all about Smarter Communications. We showed examples of how we are helping our telecom service provider clients improve their marketing effectiveness by capitalizing on the massive amounts of data they generate every day. We demonstrated how automation can help them use that information as a way to build competitive advantage against new competitors. We highlighted the automation of cell tower management to reduce energy consumption and labor costs, the deployment of self-optimizing network capabilities for LTE network rollouts and our implementation of TMF Frameworx in WebSphere Telecom Content Pack to speed the adoption of industry standards for process transformation.
2) What's hot in the Telecom industry for 2011?
Cloud Computing is a very hot topic across the industry. Our clients are coming to IBM to talk about building Cloud Infrastructures to create new services that help them drive more value from their networks. They want to monetize the massive opportunity they see as computing and communications converge around Cloud. Some of the work we are doing in Cloud Computing was mentioned in a press release from AT&T and in an AT&T keynote at MWC.
Real-time analytics is another very hot topic. Clients want to understand and act on new a deeper understanding of real-time analytics and decision management capabilities to improve the end to end customer experience, improve service quality and increase revenue.
We are also seeing a lot of interest around the Wholesale Application Community (WAC), which provides a new business model for our clients to create, manage and monetize an application ecosystem that accelerates service innovation in the industry. In fact, IBM just made a press announcement on Monday February 14, that it is partnering with WAC To Streamline Creation of Mobile Application Stores leverage WebSphere Commerce.
We're also showed something brand new this year, which is our participation in the Embedded Mobile House. This house inside the show highlights how service providers can participate in Smarter Planet applications to transform people's lives at home, at work and on the go. A very exciting aspect for IBM is that we are highlighting Smarter Planet applications from other industries to help clients create new sources of revenue. Applications from IBM’s work in the banking, health care, transportation, retail and other industries generated lots of new ideas for our clients.
3) I see at the IBM Booth there is a "Transform Operations" demo that focuses on order management. Why is this area so important for service providers? How can IBM help?
Every operator in the world wants to automate their business processes to reduce costs and shorten their time to value. Most of our clients have applications and processes that were built in siloes that were organized around traditional lines of business, like telephony, internet and wireless services. As the competitive intensity increases our clients are responding by introducing new services, blending services together from different lines of business and expanding their application ecosystems.
In this demo, we illustrated how IBM is helping our clients use TMF Frameworx to implement business process management using telecom industry process models to increase process agility and accelerate their business transformation. We've had some great results from our clients who are transforming their business processes. We've seen that the combination of our TM Forum Frameworx accelerators in WebSphere Telecom Content Pack, our implementation of policy- driven SOA and the deep expertise of our delivery teams can help many of our clients reduce the cost and time to value for process transformation by about 50%.
We are also introducing how Sterling Commerce fits into our solutions for the telecom industry in this demo, which is a very exciting addition to our capabilities. You may recall that we purchased Sterling Commerce from AT&T last year and we've moved quickly to exploit their deep telecom industry experience and assets into our solutions.
4) Many clients have grand visions for transforming their operations, but then the rubber meets the road, where do clients begin their implementation of new processes?
Most of our clients are choosing to start their transformation with Order Management. This helps them reduce the time to market for new services and reduce the costs of manual intervention when orders fall out of the automated processes. This seems to be an area with the fastest return on investment for our clients. Within this broad category, we've seen some great projects for order capture, order management and order execution with the WebSphere portfolio including the BPM capabilities and Business Rules Management System.
5) What can our communications industry clients look forward to seeing at IMPACT 2011?
We have a lot of great things planned for our Communications industry clients at IMPACT. Not only are we offering the Forbes Business Leadership Forum again that will feature a business track with three dedicated CSP industry sessions, we also feature dedicated industry session in the Technology track.
In addition, we are hosting the following events at IBM Impact 2011:
1) A Smarter Commerce event integrated into Impact’s curriculum with over 30 dedicated Sterling Commerce sessions in the Technical and Business Program, a networking lounge, a client advisory council, and much more.
2) A major focus on Cloud with a Mini-Main Tent on Day Two led by IBM Senior Vice President, Robert LeBlanc, plus 35 Cloud sessions in the Technical and Business Program, a dedicated Cloud “hands-on lab” at the Product Technology Center and a Cloud Zone at the EXPO.
3) A new dedicated Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Track in the Business Program for marketing professionals. We are also featuring additional sessions for our recent acquisitions including Unica, Sterling Commerce and Coremetrics.
Impact 2011 is shaping up to be a great event for our communications industry clients and I look forward to seeing lots of new and existing clients and partners in Las Vegas.