Lanetro Zed symposium and Peter Cochrane ..

Last Friday, I spoke at the Zed symposium organized by Lanetro Zed

at Sotogrande in Spain

Besides me, the other speaker in the morning was Professor Peter Cochrane. Peter is a legend in the industry and it was great to meet him for the first time. Also, we discovered that our presentations had remarkably similar themes and messages although independently created – which was very flattering to know

I learnt a lot in the day. The focus of my talk was on Web 2.0, Mobile Web 2.0 and User generated content.

Peter Cochrane talked about the future – but some of what he talked of – was reflected in my talk as well (which pertained to the present). I was followed by Mr Javier Perez (La Netro Zed cofounder) – who talked about the implementation (i.e. how Zed was incorporating these ideas into their product set). And finally, in the afternoon, various Operators and key industry players talked about how they are actually changing (for instance flat rate seems to be coming in many regions).

Thus, I was left with the thought that much of the future is here and now and we have many new and interesting services to look forward to

Many thanks to Ana, Maria and Eduardo for the flawless organization and to Mr Perez and Zed for inviting me over. The lovely Ana especially seemed to defy the laws of physics by being in more than one place at once!

I was especially impressed by Peter’s talk. It was great to meet Peter and his charming wife Jane. Peter was head of Research and CTO at BT and Peter’s PhD was pivotal in BT deciding to go all-digital and all-optical in the 1970′s

There are many things I could pick up – even with casual conversation – for instance: at lunch – someone asked ‘What would be Peter’s advice to Telcos? – (considering he said in his talk that very few would survive in the next few years in their current form)

I think his answer was: As the mobile network mirrors the Internet (and by extension – value shifts to the edge as opposed to the core), the Operator can survive only by leveraging what is in the core (and ONLY in the core). This means (in my view) – Identity, Payment, Location, Customer profiles.

Its little things like that ..

In the presentation itself, there were many cool things for instance 405 the movie - which is the most viewed movie ever I believe.

However, the historical perspective of industries in transformation was even more interesting for me. For example: Supermarkets went through a dropping profit margins (22%, 16%, 8% and ultimately to as low as 2%). Operators may also go through the same – hence the consolidation and the need to rethink the business model.

I look forward to meeting Peter again soon ..

I will also be following Zed more closely. Much of their new strategy is very consistent with Mobile Web 2.0 – and it is great to see content players evolve in the new world of User Generated Content