June 17, 2014 2 years 8 months ago

CANADIAN TELECOM SUMMIT 2014: Telus CTO Gedeon says let’s all work together on next-gen services

TORONTO – Service providers should be working together, collaboratively, to build a truly integrated ecosystem for delivering next-generation, personalized customer services, said Telus CTO Ibrahim Gedeon during his Monday afternoon keynote at the Canadian Telecom Summit.

Admitting that no single service provider will ever own its clients’ end-to-end business, he added: “Not every service is 100% Telus, or CIBC, or Air Canada, or Rogers or Bell.”

He pointed out Telus was able to work with Bell and Rogers in the past on the OneAPI initiative that created a single API for the mobile industry in Canada. “How many people know that Canada is one of the first countries in the world where you have the same APIs nationally from mobile operators? And I have to say kudos to Bell and Rogers that they came in with us on it,” Gedeon said. “So, how do we leverage the same API across multiple networks, across multiple providers, with that same client experience?”

In a hat tip to another Canadian, BlackBerry, Gedeon said he still owns one of its devices, adding that it’s important to support local intellectual property.

“If we’re going to build this mother of all personalized identity integrations, we will need 14 (government) ministries, six telecom providers, 17 banks, and at least two airlines.” – Ibrahim Gedeon, Telus

His vision of an integrated ecosystem would require collaboration among all service providers, including banks, airlines, healthcare providers and government departments and agencies. The end result would be a personalized customer experience that ties together all of an individual’s credentials in one system. “If we’re going to build this mother of all personalized identity integrations, we will need 14 (government) ministries, six telecom providers, 17 banks, and at least two airlines, three with Porter,” Gedeon said, adding industry egos will need to be set aside and new business models will need to be explored.

He also touched on the issue of privacy with respect to personal information being accessible by multiple service providers, noting people are much more willing to share personal details about themselves than they were in the past. “Remember the old days when you were too embarrassed to say you had cancer?” Gedeon asked his audience. “People now actually share stuff.”

He added that he would like his physiotherapist and pharmacist to have access to his medical records, which they don’t currently because they’re not on the same system.

With the telecom industry now moving toward 5G wireless technology, this is the time for service providers to work together on a next-generation ecosystem, Gedeon said.

“This is the big telecom summit… If we can’t do it here, it’s never going to be done.”