The Product of The Future: Telecom Cloud Billing
What will the product of the future be like – and how will it be different than today’s products? Generally, all products will become part virtual, part physical. Also, the business model for the telecom billing system will be dramatically different. As we moved forward through history and as technology evolved, our products and devices got more complex.
The supply chain and the number of people and skills involved in production kept growing. It’s hard to see that this trend towards greater telecom business complexity and connectivity should not continue. An old-fashioned pencil doesn’t require much in terms of supporting infrastructure. An eraser and a sharpener are useful additions, but most of the time, the pencil works well on its own. It’s simple and robust, but as a communication device it’s abilities are rather limited. In contrast, an electronic tablet is a very different device. It will not work fully without electricity, software, and an Internet connection. Not only can you write words with, you can record and edit video, and you can send it instantly to someone else – or to everyone.
Even producing a simple pencil requires a complex supply chain of wood, graphite, paint and glue – but that is nothing compared to the number of players involved in delivering the functionality of a tablet. Try to think through how many companies are feeding in to the process – and which consequently need to be coordinated and must adhere to the same standards and conditions in order to cooperate… The network easily extends to thousands of companies and millions of people. Display and chips, electricity, connectivity, various software, GPS signals – plus a whole Internet’s worth of content. It all comes together (almost) seamlessly – and that’s what it takes to produce the next level of utility for users.
The future production of value will take place in increasingly complex telecom cloud billing networks coordinating large numbers of contributors. Closer collaboration is a pre-condition. No one can produce this type of utility alone.