Striving for Change

Last week I had the opportunity to do an Ignite presentation that the Phase 2 launch of MEIC where I was talking about Operator Developer Networks.  To most, a talk about developer networks is a pretty dry subject but my goal was to illustrate that there is opportunity to effect a positive change within the Canadian operator community.

I work for Rogers in a strategy role where I have an opportunity to be a change agent and I feel pretty fortunate to be in such a role.

The gist of the presentation was that we as operators must do more to help developers be successful.

  • We must enable access to network capabilities through easy to use abstraction layers.
  • We must stop treating developers like second class citizens and relegating them to the cesspool.
  • We must provide developers with a mechanism that enables easy access to these enablers and not place undue burden on them if they want to explore.
  • We must provide information that helps them understand the services that are available and examples of how to use them.
  • We must provide tools to developers that help them become successful in business and show them ways to create and grow a business.
  • We must provide ways that allow a developer to become a partner in business and empower them to explore new ways of generating income for their business.
  • Operators must work together to enable intercarrier functionality that will help drive uptake of new services and create new opportunities.

The crux of all this is that Operators need to change.  They have traditionally been seen as stodgy, outdated and disconnected from the very subscribers they serve.  Believe me when I say that there is far more concern for the happiness of the consumer than operators get credit for.  Operators don’t make it any easier with the customer ‘experiences’ that are often had during calls to client care but that does not mean they are not trying.  There’s still room for improvement for sure.

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to speak with some developers about the changes that I’m discussing here and the response has been consistent. “Really??!” “You guys??!” “I never thought I’d see that”  Basically developers have been shocked to hear that we are working to effect this change.

I have included the presentation below.

Please let me know your thoughts in Comments.



2 Responses to “Striving for Change”

  1. David Suydam Says:

    Great deck Chris, very “zen-like”.

    I remember discussing this and “network/service abstraction layer” over five years ago when I was at TELUS. It’s taken Apple to make the operators finally wake up. You’re right about the need for inter-carrier connectivity – especially important for operators like those in Canada if they want to build a large developer community. What’s the point of developing an app for one here if I can’t reach the 99% of the market outside of Canada? I suspect there is a long road ahead before ubiquitous global access of network services is a reality for developers. Or at least the end of this recession before IMS surfaces again.

    In the meanwhile, I can’t see developing apps for anything other than iPhone. Yes there is potential on the other platforms, but Apple just makes it so much easier. And where there have been restrictions, such as subscription billing, iPhone 3.0 will open this up.

    At least for smaller firms or independent developers, the iPhone provides most of what you could ask for, and the carriers haven’t yet stepped up to give any reason to reconsider.

  2. John Says:

    Great presentation and post, Chris. Nicely said. I really hope operators can change in the ways you’re describing – I’m looking forward to this device I carry around the whole time doing something a bit more useful than dropping calls!

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