For those telecoms firms that have ambitions to become a digital operator, it's crucial that they carve out a digital culture within their organisation. That was the key piece of advice given by the experts at a panel session at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week.
The speakers acknowledged that the transition to digital culture was anything but straight forward, but stressed that it's impossible to get the most out of digital talent without doing so.
Shelly Swanback, group operating officer for Accenture Digital, described what creating a digital culture entails.
"We built new workspaces – digital studios that were picked out by the people who were going to use them," Swanback is quoted by telecomasia.net. "We developed a new voice that was more personal and fun. We changed the recruiting process – digital talent not only needed the right skills, but also needed to be a good cultural fit to strengthen the digital culture."
The good news is that once a digital culture has been built, the technological aspect of going digital is easy in comparison, she added.
Michael Duncan, CEO of Consumer at Telefónica, told how Telefónica created a separate digital unit to develop digital services, which operated outside of the core business for two years before being re-integrated into its B2B and B2C segments.
His advice for telcos was to "create a culture of innovation that can accept failures as well as successes", and to get the priorities right.
Telefónica's current priorities include outstanding connectivity, integrated offers and value customer engagement, and big data innovation, Duncan revealed.
Meanwhile, Accenture Digital Group's CEO, Mike Sutcliffe, pointed out that telcos can only begin to help their customers carry out a digital transformation of their own once they've made the transition themselves.