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Telecom launches Digital Ventures

Hot on the heels of recent announcements around its contracting workforce, Telecom has announced the formation of a new Digital Ventures team. Its purpose? To focus on high potential growth opportunities in a controlled ‘incubator’ type setting. The initiative, says Telecom, is part of efforts to ‘reshape the business around the realities of fast changing industry and consumer dynamics’.

Or, in (Telecom’s) other words: “The Digital Ventures team will be focused on developing and growing new businesses and services to add value to existing offerings, build new revenue streams and generate commercial returns from them.”

Simon Moutter, Telecom CE says the company is making a strategic shift to a future oriented, competitive provider of communications, entertainment and IT services. “It won’t be enough for us to become just cost competitive, we also need to identify future revenue generating opportunities that are arising in a rapidly changing world.”

That’s where Telecom Digital Ventures comes into play, apparently.

The division is headed by Rod Snodgrass, who has held the position of Chief Product Officer at Telecom for the last two years.

Those hoping that this division will substantially offset the 1200+ jobs which are going down the gurgler can check their enthusiasm: the new entity is “structured to be relatively small scale, agile, highly innovative and with a greater propensity for partnering and forming alliances to address new markets and opportunities and build new businesses and services.”

Read between the lines, that means Digital Ventures is likely to produce the muscle (financial and otherwise) associated with a large telecoms company, while clever partners can come with the ideas.

“This will allow potential new businesses and products to be tested and developed with modest levels of investment and risk,” says Telecom.

It’s press release adds that “In keeping with the incubator-style philosophy, as successful new activities developed in the Digital Ventures team grow and mature they will most likely rejoin Telecom’s core business units or may become businesses in their own right.”

Snodgrass reckons that as a digital life becomes a reality, challenges and business growth opportunities will emerge. “While we are still in the early stages of developing the Digital Venture plan of attack it is already clear where we need to focus. These include some product initiatives we have underway, such as Financial Services including our existing NFC and m-Wallet initiatives, Big Data and Advertising, OTT Services including Entertainment and Home Management as examples, e-verticals such as e-health and e-learning and applications development.”