The latest start-up activity cycle represents not only an accelerated disruption to existing business models but also serves as a renewed opportunity for telecom operators to tap into growth and innovation. At the same time, operators are currently far from being the partners of choice for start-ups, but are rather seen as slow-moving, inefficient, non-decision making and ultimately non-value creating partners.
Amidst increasing corporate venture capital participation in the start-up economy, our report focuses on how to engage with start-ups and advocates fundamental shifts in the engagement models.
To be able to benefit from start-up collaboration, operators need to fundamentally change their mindset, operations and governance. Specifically this requires (a) a shift from a procurement mindset to actively pitching for innovation partners and (b) commit to enabling governance that incentivizes innovation or at the very least, provides independence to those who are tasked to drive this within the organization. This would help operators change from simple facilitators of access to customer, billing and technology platforms to partners that actively seek out collaboration and commit to co-creating value by driving internal change.