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 Projects and Studies

 

P1144
The future CAMERA - Customers And Markets EURESCOM Research Activities
closed
For further information please contact:

Harald Johansen
Senior Programme Manager
EURESCOM
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany

Project Information
What is this Study about?

EURESCOM has 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 ‘contextual inquiry’.
  • 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, banks, etc.

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 done.

What are the key results of this Project?

This Study proposes to identify customers and markets collaborative research activities which give competitive advantages to Shareholders.

Project Results
Deliverable Title  No Planned issue date
The future CAMERA - Customers and Markets EURESCOM Research Activities  D1 Published October 2001
PowerPoint Presentation   31 August 2001