Last week I attended Telefónica’s leadership event, which is held annually in Miami, reflecting its very strong basis in the Americas. This year’s event attracted around 700 visitors from 130 countries, comprising Telefónica’s customers, vendor partners, and analysts. There were several external keynote speakers, like the CIO of the US government, futurologist Michio Kaku, and the chief economist of the Economist Intelligence Unit, that outlined the macro context for society and the economy over the coming 10 to 20 years. Presentations by partners like Huawei, Microsoft, Nokia, amdocs, and Samsung highlighted visions of the future from a vendor angle. Telefónica itself used the opportunity to present its own vision of how technological progress will affect society and business — and how it intends to address the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Telefónica stands out from its peer group of incumbent telcos by having revamped its overall organizational structure. The firm had already announced this new structure last fall; it effectively sets up one division that focuses on global internal administration and procurement (Global Resources), one division that focuses on emerging Internet-based solutions (Digital), and two geographically focused go-to-market-facing business lines (Americas and Europe). Telefónica Multinational Solutions is part of Global Resources and is the division dedicated to delivering services to the MNC segment.
Part of my role managing the Business Technology Futures team at Forrester is to keep an eye on "what's next" for CIOs and their business partners.
My team is chartered to create an early-warning radar screen of new technologies, new business models and new demands from customers that will change technology's role and impact on business.
That's where the VERGE conference comes in. I spent two very engaging days at this GreenBiz event earlier in March, soaking in the conVERGEnce of energy, transport, buildings and information.
And what a great event! I am an experienced consumer of industry conferences and this was one of the best I've attended. The mix of topics, speakers, and formats really clicked for me, because the event featured:
Multidisciplinary thinking. Not just across the four big domains, but across three dimensions of convergence taking place within them: technology (analytics meets network meets social), organizational (HR meets marketing meets facilities) and ecosystem (suppliers meet distributors meet customers). Holding this 4 X 3 Rubik's cube in one's head is daunting but also mind-expanding.