Martin Geddes

Head of Strategy, BT

Martin Geddes

Sensing that revenue for voice and messaging is peaking or starting to decline, BT Group changed priority to take advantage of the fascination with broadband. Martin Geddes believes this is a good move because we will soon see the development of new innovation in the communications industry business model. Geddes believes the era of minute-based telephony will be replaced by "Moments." The need for this, according to Geddes, comes from two problematic realities requiring companies to seek new revenue streams: 1. The public has acquired an expectation that services should be free or at least feel like free, even when they pay. 2. Value based on minutes is a waste of time, therefore money. Measuring service via time on the phone with a customer or client is undesirable because the labor of call center representatives is not highly valued.

Geddes asserts that successful reinvention of telecom companies must involve commercial conversations migrating to social media that offer the best combination of reach, efficiency, and effectiveness. In order to accomplish this a global communication platform featuring more efficient, profitable, and attractive characteristics may be on the horizon and he thinks there will soon be a race among telecom companies to be the platform that enables this expansive moment-by-moment, service-by-service, interactive, cloud-computing, billing system.

The first stage of telephony enterprise consisted of postal and telegraph technologies that required gatekeepers, such as Morse coders and the Pony Express system. The second stage included democratizing postal and telegraph via telephone and related technologies. Data was the third stage, going beyond voice, and including things like email. The fourth stage was media, and other products of data presented in a profitable way. The fifth stage according to Geddes will probably be “moments” when telephony enterprises expand their connections and transactions with customers to profit from real-time, moment-based business models.

Martin Geddes is Head of Strategy at BT Design, a division of BT Group. He is acknowledged as one of the leading thinkers and analysts on the future of the communications industry. He has a specialist interest in the future of voice and personal communications, as well as the application of two-sided market structures to the telecoms industry.

Until the close of 2008 he was Chief Analyst at STL Partners, where he co-founded the Telco 2.0 Initiative. This is designed to catalyse business model innovation and collaboration across the telecoms-media-technology ecosystem. He has consulted to many multi-national network operators and equipment vendors on strategic issues, as well as being a key contributor to Telco 2.0 research and conferences.

Martin Geddes also writes a popular telecom strategy weblog. He has been cited by Business Week, Forbes, and BBC News Online, as well as many industry journals. He is a popular presenter at many leading industry conferences.

Before becoming an independent consultant, he was a technology specialist and product strategy manager at Sprint in Overland Park, KS, and is named on 8 granted US patents. Prior to entering telecoms, his early career was as an IT consultant, specialising in high availability and scalability database design at Oracle Corporation, as well as financial transaction processing systems at BancTec Inc.


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