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TM Forum’s Digital Life Survey Reveals Keys to Success in Open Digital Economy

Consumer lifestyles and enterprises are becoming increasingly digital; buoyed by the proliferation of smart devices, cloud technology and vibrant software innovation. As the next wave of this digital revolution opens up new growth possibilities for communications service providers, a new TM Forum survey of over 150+ executives at global service providers on digital service challenges suggests that in order to take advantage of these opportunities, service providers need flexible IT and operations platforms to support multiple business models, complex multi-partner arrangements, and the agility to quickly respond to market changes and unique customer demands.

TM Forum is unveiling the survey, its results and analysis in a new publication, Digital Life, available at Management World Americas on Dec. 4th. With a foreword by Matthew Key, chairman and CEO, Telefónica Digital, Digital Life centers on analysis of an exclusive e-survey of over 150 service provider respondents and phone interviews with 10 senior executives from communications service providers from around the world.

Digital Life reveals their perspectives on digital services and the need for radical change in the marketplace. It also offers an unprecedented view into how service providers view the digital services revolution, the internal and external barriers they face in delivering digital services, and confirms the need for open, agreed best practices and collaboration to accelerate the necessary change in creating an open and vibrant ecosystem—all part of TM Forum’s Digital Services Initiative’s mission.

Highlights from the survey reveal:

  • 55.3 percent of respondents believe that their legacy systems are too complex or expensive to integrate with when developing new products
  • 25.2 percent of respondents said that necessary partnerships are difficult to establish
  • 34 percent of respondents said that corporate culture or process prohibits innovation

“Digital technology does not recognize physical boundaries or respect companies that have been successful in the past. The low barriers to entry, the minimal cost of innovation, and the speed with which customers adopt new products, and abandon products they have grown up with, have given the digital revolution an unstoppable momentum,” says Key in the report’s foreword. “In order to seize on this opportunity, we need to behave and act differently. We should learn from the Internet/software sector which is more entrepreneurial and has risk-taking at its core. It’s agile and iterative; it’s not afraid to scrap things that aren’t working and it sacrifices process for speed. Most of all, it’s about innovation and putting a premium on doing things differently.”

“These survey results offer real world proof-points on the need for drastic change in the industry if service providers are going to be successful in the complex world of managing end-to-end digital services,” said Nik Willetts, chief strategy officer, TM Forum. “Clearly, the current supply chain does not meet the needs of the digital services marketplace and a fresh approach is needed. TM Forum remains committed to helping develop those new approaches to achieve maximum efficiency and optimization of their business processes and success in the multi-cloud, multi-partner future brought about by the digital revolution.”

A printed version of Digital Life will be available on Dec. 4th at Management World Americas, held Dec. 3-6, at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla. A digital version of the report will be available the week of Nov. 26th. Follow this link to sign up to receive notification when the digital version is available.

About TM Forum:

TM Forum is a global, non-profit industry association focused on enabling service provider agility and innovation. As an established thought-leader in service creation, management and delivery, the Forum serves as a unifying force across industries, enabling more than 900 member companies worldwide to solve critical business issues through access to a wealth of knowledge, intellectual capital and standards.

The Forum provides a unique, fair and safe environment for the entire value-chain to collaborate and overcome the barriers to a vibrant, open digital economy, helping member companies of all sizes gain a competitive edge by enabling efficiency and agility in their IT and operations. For more information about TM Forum, visit

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