Ecosystems, Lego and another award to add to the collection

Ecosystems, Lego and another award to add to the collection
Dominic Smith looks back on another successful catalyst project and an award-winning week at the TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World event in Nice.

Much is made of the opportunities for telcos to expand their reach into other verticals, but the partnerships to achieve this seem as elusive as ever for the majority of CSPs. The problem most face is not knowing where to focus without the industry-specific expertise or established partners that can help. That’s one of the reasons why the TM Forum has expanded its very successful catalyst program to involve a range of “ecosystem” partners.

So following our successful Sponsored Data Catalyst in 2018, this year the opportunity to engage in an ecosystem catalyst proved to be a great fit for Cerillion as we embarked on a new project with Nokia, Salesforce and TechSee, under the direction of luxury automobile maker Jaguar Land Rover.

The challenge was set – how to create an integrated and personalised connected driver journey incorporating proactive diagnostics, mobility services, vehicle telematics and predictive intelligence to ensure a seamless vehicle usage experience?

Clearly, the advantage of working with an automotive industry expert is that the use cases to be addressed were very real:
  • How to ensure customer delight during new vehicle handover
  • Providing concierge-level service during roadside assistance
  • Minimising ‘range anxiety’ for electric vehicle owners
You can read the full details of our catalyst use cases here, however what is striking is that at no point was the discussion about ‘digital transformation’, despite this catalyst being showcased at Digital Transformation World! Of course the problem with CSPs and digital transformation is that digital transformation is too often seen as the goal, rather than the means to get there. So it was refreshing to work as a team with clear goals that were purely focused on transforming the customer experience:
  • Nokia bringing their expertise in IoT device management to streamline over-the-air provisioning of services;
  • Salesforce creating the 360 degree view of the customer with order management, orchestration and predictive intelligence;
  • TechSee providing the ‘visual assistance’ platform using augmented reality to improve the sales and service experience;
  • and Cerillion doing what we do best – monetising new services with our subscription billing platform, Cerillion Skyline.
The remarkable thing about catalyst projects is how separate companies can come together in such a short space of time to solve real world problems, and this is only possible using cloud native technology and TM Forum Open APIs. But whilst the integration team created the ‘driver connect’ platform in just 6 weeks, the secret sauce of this project came in the physical representation of the use cases, with all kudos to Salesforce for building a Lego smart city, fully equipped with smart car, electric vehicle charging stations and roadside assistance vehicle.  
The Driver Connect catalyst provided a great opportunity for us to demonstrate how industry-specific challenges can be solved through ecosystem collaboration – and we were delighted to become award winners once again, with our catalyst team picking up the prize for Outstanding CurateFx ecosystem design. The irony was that this was all done without any CSP involvement! CSPs have all the tools to play in industry verticals, the big question is do they have the culture and appetite to do so?