Posts Tagged ‘Mobile Cloud’

Is Apple still disrupting the Industry?

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Graphic oneI recently attended the CTIA 2014 “Super Mobility Week”, a week-long technology conference in Las Vegas which hosted thousands of mobile professionals and executives, 1,100+ exhibitors, as well as 1,000+ media and analysts from across the globe.

In recent years, both CES and MWC have developed into high profile showcases for the technology industry, and consequently it has become difficult for CTIA to justify the value of the exhibition side of its event. Recognizing the importance of convergence technologies and in an attempt to compete, this year’s event partnered with smaller independent IT and telecom conferences, and wrapped them around the CTIA exhibition to attract greater attention from the industry – and it seemed to work!

What interested me in particular about this year’s conference was that, during the keynote speeches on the second day, time was allocated for beaming Apple’s live announcements directly from Cupertino, California. During this streamed video, there were four highly respected analysts on stage interpreting what these announcements meant for the industry; they included wireless industry expert, Chetan Sharma, and columnist and commentator, Shelly Palmer.graphic two

The much anticipated introduction of the new iPhone 6 brought no surprises: the screen size had been increased, its battery technology had been improved and the device now included NFC. Following these announcements, comments from the analysts on stage were reiterated by a series of ad’s from Samsung and comments in the press, all concurring that none of this was new technology.

graphic threeWith the introduction of its new smart watch, however, Apple demonstrated how it has incorporated fashion and luxury as a key part of its strategy going forward. The Apple Watch comes in two sizes and three different styles, and with changeable straps. More significant was Apple’s user interface design rethink utilizing the traditional watch crown, along with touch to control the screen and displays; the intent is to encourage users to really embrace and engage with this new device. graphic fourSome from the watch industry have dubbed this a “beginner’s step” but nonetheless Apple seems intent to move the bar. If they succeed, the army of developers and the size of early majority users that are Apple fans could result in this becoming the catalyst for change in the smart watch space.

The introduction of the Apple Pay system aroused much attention at the conference and even seemed to trump the excitement over Apple Watch: the utilization of a thumb print, combined with Near Field Communication technology to verify purchases, provides a slick simplification of the payment process. graphic fiveAnother interesting and simple mechanism introduced was the ability to add a credit card to your existing iTunes account. You simply take a photograph of the credit card, and the cloud reads the details from the card and verifies these with your bank, then syncs this with your phone and your iTunes ID account. The whole emphasis is on simplifying the payment process. What was also extremely impressive was the fact that Apple has 220,000 outlets signed up for this already, and that AMEX, Visa and MasterCard are all supporting the process, along with major banks, including Citibank. Supporting retailers include Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Walgreens, Whole Food, Subway and, of course, Apple retail.

The conclusion I came away with from CTIA 2014 was that, while Samsung may be the technology leader in the device space, Apple, with the introduction of Apple Watch and Apple Pay, is continuing to foster business model and value chain transformation. This legacy capability, as demonstrated by Steve Jobs with the introduction of iTunes that subsequently blew up the music industry, appears not to have been lost with his passing, but is seemingly being diligently pursued by the current Apple management team.

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global

Can Innovation Survive in the Telecoms World?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

From an innovation perspective, I have always been convinced that “the language we use defines the horizons of our imagination” and so it struck a chord with me when I read in a recent ITU document that “voice calls are no longer the preferred communication mechanism between people”.

This phraseology implies peril for the telecoms industry and a golden opportunity for the internet world. Voice is, however, still the preferred mechanism of human communication but voice calls via a fixed or mobile telephone system are now not the only option available.

This glass half full, myopic misperception leads me to suggest that the business models of telcos are overly focused on the delivery of “coms”. While this has been a highly successful strategy throughout the 20th century, it is rapidly running out of steam as the internet world and telecoms collide to create the new mobile cloud world of today.

Maybe we should learn from Max Frisch (1911-1991), the Swiss author and critic, who said: “We live in an age of reproduction. Most of what makes up our personal picture of the world we have never seen with our own eyes—or rather we have seen it with our own eyes, but not on the spot: our knowledge comes to us from a distance, we are tele-viewers, tele-hearers, tele-knowers”.

So is it time to pivot this focus? Given the colossal change that convergence has forced within a concatenated time frame, the answer should most definitely be “yes”. The challenge for the telecoms industry is to shift its mindset to focus less on the delivery of “coms” and innovatively focus on “tele”literally meaning “at a distance”.  This demands a focus on innovation that leverages the assets already in place, the layered technology developments of the last 5 years as well as the new ones that are emerging; most importantly, a focus on the evolution of global consumer and business usage needs and patterns. It means combining capabilities and services to “enable engagement over distance”. Now the question to ask is: what is it that tele-consumers and tele-enterprises really need in this 3.0 world?

As an entrepreneur, I have learned much over the past five years about the concepts and practices of lean startups, and I realize that some of the challenges they face are very often closely aligned to those of the telecoms companies: namely, having to pivot and adopt a change in strategy without changing the vision, as well as creating multiple iterations of minimum viable solutions to solve customers’ real problems. In essence, getting back to what mobile operators were doing naturally in the early days of cellular. This may require smaller out-boarded organizations but, more importantly, a return of the visionary leaders and problem solvers to replace the accountants and managers before they succumb to the same fate that awaits many startups – running out of resources!

In conclusion, the panel on innovation that I moderated at last week’s ITU Telecom World 2013 conference in Bangkok was about the need for new mindsets and a reevaluation of the telecoms landscape, chiefly because the current map and strategy no longer accurately represent a territory that has been ripped up by the convergence forces of the last five years. I have no doubt that innovation will thrive in the converged industry but the questions still remain: who will the players be and where will this innovation come from?

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global

What Spawned the New Digital Renaissance 2.0?

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

This article is the first of a trilogy in which we share some of the more intriguing aspects we have uncovered about digital technologies and the dynamic impact they are having on our business and personal lives. This first blog examines the unique origins of the new age Renaissance – what we call Digital Renaissance 2.0™ – and its impact on today’s global economy.

Previously, we identified the four “enabling technologies” (cell phone, PC, Internet, Walkman) that rocked the world and pointed out that they all emerged on the scene around the same time – 1981. We also pinpointed 2010 as a “year of convergence” when 3G, 4G and the Cloud all came together. It was only recently, however, that it became apparent to us that 2007 was the year that the “catalyst technologies” facilitated this convergence and, with it, the advent of the new digital age.

My colleague, Steve Benton, and I coined the expression Digital Renaissance 2.0™ (Ren 2.0™) to capture the concept that a fundamental shift is occurring in the way that information is now being accessed and shared. In the original Renaissance era, the enlightenment of Europe occurred due to the introduction of the printing press which led to the democratization of books.

During Ren 2.0™ the Internet has led to the democratization of information, now freely available to everyone – anywhere, anyhow and anytime – and as a result, the collective knowledge held by society is expanding exponentially, both actively and passively. The Internet has enabled information to become much more “transparent” as silos of data are shared between continents, countries and corporations, and on a significantly broader basis. This in turn has facilitated the global cross-pollination of ideas and concepts on a scale never seen before.

The four enabling technologies referred to above evolved rapidly and converged to facilitate the emergence of the Mobile Internet age. In our paper “Introduction to Digital Life Renaissance” (contact us to obtain a copy) we determine that this change is occurring at an unprecedented pace and show how it is touching all aspects of society, as well as governments and global economies.

The magnitude of these digital world changes in economic terms is captured in a chart we compiled that shows the global economy growing from less than $10 trillion in 1981 and accelerating to over $60 trillion by 2010. In a recent blog article in the Economist it was identified that between May 2011 and 2012 the global economy generated $65 trillion of trade (GDP), and that by September 2013 it will add a further $10 trillion to achieve a global GDP of $75 trillion.

The case can be made that global saturation of cellular and expanding penetration of mobile broadband access are primarily responsible for this rapid, worldwide distribution of information, which in turn is fueling economic growth at an unprecedented rate. Concurrently, this transformation is impacting the lives of individuals in developing and developed countries, and their awareness and expectations are growing as they become more exposed to vast amounts of new, previously inaccessible, information. As human behavioral patterns and methods of interaction change, so do their needs and requirements, which in turn are generating an abundance of new business and service opportunities.

It is our belief that the reinforcing cycle of continued innovation, based on the application of new digital technologies, is facilitating an increasingly interconnected planet which will, in turn, strengthen economic growth and favorably impact our digital lives.

Look out for our next two blogs in this series and find out exactly what the “catalyst technologies” are, what their significance is today and the powerful impact that they are going to have on our business and personal lives going forward.

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global

Mobile Industry Trends and Beyond

Saturday, August 4th, 2012



The mobile industry is a global business that generates $1.5 trillion in revenue every year, approximately 1.5% of the world’s GDP. Throughout its 30 year history the industry has become ever more inextricably intertwined with the global economy. The World Bank estimates that for every 10% increase in mobile penetration the GDP in developed countries increases by 0.6%, in developing countries by 0.8% and for low income countries GDP increases by 1.4 %.

The bottom line is that wireless communications are impacting our personal and business lives because the physical networks are, in the words of President Clinton, “facilitating networks of collaboration and cooperation” that make boundaries transparent between countries, industries, societies and cultures. As the connected world shrinks in a virtual sense, possibility expands in a real sense as boundaries blur and new and previously unforeseen opportunities emerge globally. It is against this background that it becomes critical for industry leaders to make themselves aware of the emerging mobile trends and the implications they have on the global economic landscape, and more specifically on their own businesses.

Emerging Mobile Trends

  1. Mobile technology is disrupting business models and consumer habits, not just within Telecoms but also neighboring industries. The medical, utility, transportation, education and banking industries are all experiencing a shift from simple communication to total connectivity anywhere that mobility facilitates. Some are embracing the opportunities that this brings faster than others, resulting in significant redistribution of wealth along multiple value chains. Industry structures will most likely change as companies look at horizontal and vertical integration to acquire “Super Stacks” of intellectual property in order to exert increased control over their business model.
  2. Over the Top (OTT) Communication Services, easily downloaded from “App Stores”, are encouraging consumers to explore different ways of communicating, wherever they are and with whom they want, across multiple platforms. Voice has become just another bit of data in the new networked world. Consequently there is gradual recognition that mobile operators do not have a monopoly on the provision of voice over their networks; this could ultimately be the end of the existing subsidy model for phones and smartphones.
  3. Network architecture is being rethought to handle the masses of data resulting from the unprecedented growth in uploading and sharing of video from mobile phones. The traditional asymmetric network design has been found wanting and has forced a more symmetric heterogeneous networks (Het-Nets) structure that encompasses multiple technologies, spectrum and access capabilities, including offload to Wi-Fi. This frantic scramble by operators to provide the vision and reality of “anywhere – anytime – anyhow connectivity” has a significant cost implication at a time when the industry economics are in flux.
  4. Clouds of Things” captures the convergence of five rapidly developing vectors of technology: the Internet of Things, Hybrid Clouds, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality. “Clouds of Things” will provide intelligent management, control, utilization and distribution of resources. This convergence of capability will be driven by the needs of smart cities as the increasing flight to urbanization continues. It is forecast that by the year 2016 thirty percent of the global population will be living in cities.
  5. Smart connected homes are becoming a reality as embedded and “black box” connectivity become simple to use and install, or come as part of a home automation package from cable companies, utilities or security firms. This will allow enhanced and remote management of all of the connected consumer electronic devices within a household. Smart home management will be facilitated by personal tablets and smartphones linked to augmented reality and will inevitably result in peoples’ social behaviors adapting and changing.
  6. The Mobile Wallet, utilizing Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, could revolutionize online and offline commerce as it is currently understood. This technology appears to be closer to reality in 2012 than ever before and is being deployed in millions of smartphones by multiple manufacturers.  However, in the developed markets there is need for systems and infrastructure change in order to handle mobile wallet transactions; this requires the agreement of many parties with vested interests, many of which are not yet aligned. Unless the complex industry value chain (retailers, card issuers, banks, mobile operators, internet intermediaries to name but a few) can meet consumers’ expectations for “elegant” mobile solutions (simplicity of use, privacy and security) then adoption by users will be inhibited.
  7. Smart devices, together with consumer adoption of “there’s an app for that”, revealed the enormous power and flexibility of the mobile internet. Beyond web apps, HTML5 is the next evolution of the mobile web. It is a comprehensive app development platform that can be used on multiple browsers and phone operating systems. Businesses providing services and content are attracted to HTML5 to overcome the following issues: the fragmentation of Android across an increasing number of device manufacturers and Apple app store economics that takes 30% of each app transaction while restricting these businesses access to their own subscriber information.
  8. Seamless connections management software, with varying degrees of capability, will soon become common place on devices to meet consumers’ expectations for simple, elegant, lower cost access everywhere across the world. It will also enable operators to load- balance across increasingly complex networks using multiple technologies and spectrum. This software will also help operators address the challenge that IT managers face in aligning Bring Your Own Device (BOYD) requirements with corporate security needs.
  9. Green ownership philosophies and government policy are focusing attention on ecological and energy saving issues. It is forcing a rethink of the total cost of ownership calculation for networks and, by default, the cost of consumer and enterprise services. This calculation becomes more complex now that it has to address an increased number of factors: the traditional economic pressures that are compounded by the exponential rise in data traffic, the increasing expectation of customers for access anywhere, as well as the impact of environmental pollution and concerns about energy efficiency.
  10. Mobile discovery will increasingly become the focus of mobile marketing specialists in the same way that SEO is an integral part of internet marketing today. Addressing the abundance of apps, services and information is a new type of problem. Mobile operators are complicating this situation by starting to mine vast amounts of subscriber data. They are blending this intelligence with offerings from a rich ecosystem of service and content providers, and creating unique personalized propositions for consumers that are targeted by location and context. With this diversity of offering, the challenge for small businesses and app developers is how to stand out in this operator and app store dominated environment? This is the emerging art and science of mobile discovery.

For more information about any of the above contact us at +1847-478-1633 or

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global

We are All Digital Technologists by Osmosis

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Do you feel overwhelmed every time you read about the introduction of new technologies? Do you hear how they’re going to be having a dramatic effect on the way you do business in the future, and panic? You don’t need to fear the coming evolution because the chances are that you’re already a technology expert and actually quite adept at adjusting -although you may not know it!

Technologists with hindsight

Most of us have become digital technologists by “osmosis”. In other words, if we look back dispassionately over the past 30 years, with the benefit of hindsight we can see just how much our life styles have been changed inordinately with the advent of digital technologies. We have a natural inclination to think of ourselves as novices where new technology is concerned. Yet if we step back and look at the way that we’ve embraced and adapted to the changes introduced to us over the decades, we should give ourselves more credit. We have “absorbed” these new technologies and have every reason to be confident about taking advantage of the opportunities they bring for our professional and everyday lives.

At KeySo Global we help our clients recognize that they are far more technology savvy than they realize! We point to the analogy of the frog in a pot: the premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out. If it’s placed in cold water that is slowly heated, however, it will not perceive the surrounding danger and will be cooked to death. In other words, we’re not always cognizant of the fact that we’ve been slowly adapting to the digital world changes occurring around us; we need to become more aware of these changes, and have the confidence to embrace them and incorporate them into our personal and business lives.

Four technologies that rocked our world

In order to put things into perspective, consider four major technology developments in the 1980’s that significantly changed the way we live and work today:  the personal computer; the cellphone; the establishment of a global Internet and the creation of the Sony Walkman. While the impact of the first three may be obvious, the Walkman was the device that pioneered the way for people to access personalized portable entertainment, anywhere and at anytime.

The 1980’s introduced these new technologies and the 1990’s brought about their integration into society. For example, GSM cellphone technology allowed people to roam the world, the development of the World Wide Web and Internet browsers allowed people to access information, and the creation of TiVo gave people the ability to time-shift entertainment. All of these brought technology into the mainstream. Add to these the development of the iPod and iPhone and the rise of social networking in the 2000’s, and it’s clear to see how these technologies have permeated our society and culture, and just how well we’ve all adapted to the changes they’ve brought about.

Convergence opens new opportunities

We believe 2010 was a transitional year that saw the convergence of 3G & 4G technologies with cloud computing, social media, and Wi-Fi. The evolution of smartphones and the introduction of touch screen tablets has built on this convergence and enabled a faster, easier and more compelling interactive consumer experience. Social media in turn is leveraging this interactive access to the mobile network, and uses location and context data to provide personalization of services and information, with particular focus on retail opportunities.

The confluence of technologies and services is changing the way consumers live and work. It is also generating an ecosystem of companies that are creating applications and services which are stimulating the economy locally, nationally and globally. In a recent study it was estimated that 450,000 jobs had been created by companies developing apps.

Shifting business models

Mobility, Internet and computing capable devices are not only impacting their users but also the way in which companies interact with their customers. As a result, large and small companies need to recognize that the business models of their industries, relatively static for many years, are changing around them even if they haven’t yet started to adjust their own. Our advice to any CEO or small business owner is the same: open your eyes and look around; observe the opportunities that technology is now enabling and identify how you could apply these same technologies to enhance your company’s customer offering and business performance.

There is a plethora of opportunities out there to enhance your business model. If you need help identifying these opportunities, we at KeySo Global are here to help and can show you how they can be applied. Contact us at, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global

Virtual Connections in the Digital World!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

The ease of communication made possible today by fast paced advances in converged technologies has affected not only our personal lives but it has also caused the business world to begin to undergo a radical metamorphosis. Because we can now conduct business from almost anywhere, it’s resulted in an unavoidable blurring between our professional and private lives. Some view this as a positive and others as a negative.

Virtual Business

Converged technologies have given people the flexibility to effectively communicate anywhere and at any time. We often hear people talking about their “virtual” or “mobile office” and technically in the today’s digital world your office is wherever you are. More and more companies are now adopting a virtual style of business as teams work remotely – at home, in coffee shops, in hotels, at airports – in fact anywhere that they are dispersed and yet can still remain connected.

Business Benefits

Studies have shown that those businesses that have adopted more flexible work practices and allow their workforce to operate away from the traditional office setting can potentially boost their productivity. A report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers at the 2010 White House Forum for Workplace Flexibility highlighted some of the benefits of remote working which included: “reducing absenteeism, lowering turnover, improving the health of workers and increasing productivity”.

The Pros and Cons

There are advantages as well as disadvantages for companies that choose to operate virtually, and also for their employees who work remotely. Some to be considered are:


Reduction in stress levels by not having to commute to work

  • Time and money saved by not having to commute
  • Environmental benefits from not driving to work
  • Being able to manage your time more effectively and work when you are most productive
  • Healthier life style – opportunity to exercise more easily and eat a better diet
  • Working in a more relaxing work environment
  • Companies can consider a larger pool of employee applications as location isn’t a factor


Lack of support – both administrative and managerial

  • Lack of face-to-face communication can increase the chances of miscommunications or misunderstandings
  • Less camaraderie among workers can result in less cohesive work teams
  • Technical difficulties can hinder communication and/or work progress
  • Problems separating free time from work time as work is always “there”

A Considered Strategy

The transition to a virtual work style can be made without too much disruption. It’s generally considered advisable for a company to approach the change over with a well defined strategy in place in order to take full advantage of the benefits and flexibility that remote working enables. A reevaluation of existing communication protocol may be necessary to adapt to this new way of working, as well as adjustment of the daily routine that’s needed to ensure 24/7 coverage, learning how to use new collaboration tools or services, and expanding the use of existing programs that have moved to the cloud, such as Microsoft Office 365.

Beyond Collaboration

Today’s converged technologies help to bridge the communication gap for businesses and their workforces, regardless of their location. Many businesses have evolved their regular on site team meetings into virtual meetings, making it essential to have the right tools in place to engage a remote work team. Increasingly it’s becoming essential for teams to not only collaborate but to creatively interact in order to find innovative solutions to business problems and customer requirements.

Creative Solutions

We at KeySo Global have been working closely with Bob Dean of Dean Learning & Talent Advisors LLC. Together we have been using ThinkTank, a unique platform that gives “structure to collaboration” and which has enabled us to carry out collaborative virtual consulting through customized brain storming and problem solving sessions with our geographically dispersed clients.

To learn more about ThinkTank and other creative strategic processes that can help your business sustain a dynamic virtual work environment and collaborate better, contact us at, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global

How to Gain 20/20 Foresight in the Digital World

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

“Hindsight is 20/20”. We can always look back and see how past events have contributed to current situations. Hindsight is often used to measure the progression of governments and economies, and in the business world financial reports and assessments are all based on past performance. Yet in today’s fast paced digital world, hindsight alone is no longer sufficient. Knowing where you were, or even where you are, is not enough. Today’s requirement is for 20/20 Foresight – the ability to assimilate hindsight with current insight to define the road ahead.

New converged technologies are forcing digital life behavioral changes in the way we communicate and socialize, and are bringing such dramatic change to the workplace that, for many businesses, planning ahead and preparing for future challenges and opportunities are often seen as overwhelming tasks. 

Digital life is clearly having a massive impact on humanity on both global and personal levels. Through digital world converged technologies, cultural barriers are dropping, industry boundaries are blurring, consumerism is rising, and the attitude and behavior of people are changing faster than “rearview mirror” measurements can hope to keep up with. As a human race we must devise new frames of thinking, new tools for measurement, and new approaches to meeting the needs of us all.

20/20 Foresight provides organizations with valuable perspectives on consumers’, customers’, constituents’ and clients’ needs and wants of tomorrow, rather than those of yesterday or today. The “low hanging fruit” for grabbing quick returns may seem attractive now but it won’t provide a sustainable business strategy in the long term. It is the anticipation and foresight of peoples’ needs and wants of tomorrow that will increasingly determine how sustainable a strategy really is.

By identifying those factors that are contributing to major changes in human behavior – factors such as converging technologies and industries, impending baby boomer retirements, global tribes, and the mobile cloud 3.0 – and forecasting future digital life trends, we at KeySo Global have begun to derive actionable predictions; these, in turn, provide early identifications of both opportunities and threats that will help to ensure the long lasting success of any strategy.

20/20 Foresight has moved from a nice-to-have competitive differentiator to a must-have survival mechanism. To make this transition, companies must adopt a digital mind set and rethink how they can more effectively interact with the collective knowledge base outside of their business, to better understand the shifts in market trends that are occurring across the globe. At the same time they need to learn how to blend these fresh insights with their existing in-house aggregate knowledge in order to reshape out-of-date business models and become a truly “social business”.

If you’re open to change and willing to learn how to create a new digital strategy based on 20/20 Foresight that will lead to sustainable long term growth, we at KeySo Global can show you how. Contact us at, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website

Steve Benton, Principal, KeySo Global

Are New Converging Technologies Challenging Your “Business as Usual”?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

In the emergent new age of advancing and converging technologies – especially those of consumer electronics, mobile devices, wireless, broadband, broadcast, ‘smart technology’ and the Internet (which is subsuming them all) – consumers, customers, & clients are all interacting and sharing knowledge and experiences with one another in near real-time, from nearly anywhere. We live in a Digital World of such advanced and converged technologies that nearly a quarter of the real world’s population is now online.

This places unique pressures on existing business models. To remain relevant, businesses must really listen, learn, and engage with their customers, constituents and partners in order to anticipate and provide for their needs and wants. There is no longer available time to compile deep market research, or push safe development and testing paradigms, with longer sales cycles. The risk of losing out to agile competition or new movers is tremendous as the vigilant and fast moving adapt to more unique opportunities presented in the new landscape than at any other time in the history of humanity.

Events from the past can be seen as influencers of today; many that can be used to identify relevant factors that will drive tomorrow’s possibilities. As the low-hanging fruit of today is consumed, the importance of locating the trees bearing the seeds of tomorrow’s fruit increases.

We at KeySo Global have identified many key patterns of behavior change that support this. No longer is mass-marketing working well; people are trusting the opinions of other like-minded people more than they do salespeople, advertisements, or other marketing efforts. They have the means to communicate with one another in real-time using apps that connect through the Internet, the mobile cloud, and use of social media technologies. They are participating in a converged “physical” and “virtual” world, and living a Digital Life.

In our blogs we focus on what we at KeySo Global see to be happening through the emergence of the increasingly complex, technology-centric, interconnected Digital World. We highlight events that have already happened (or are happening) and identify trends that we see as leading indicators of possibility and threat. We discuss and highlight success stories and lessons learned as enterprises and leaders of all walks struggle to understand and survive the rapidly shifting currents of Digital Life. Finally, we explore options and opportunities, and offer the tools and resources that business leaders need in order to arm themselves and their enterprises for success in the shifting landscape.

As an international hands-on consultancy, we at KeySo Global recognize how complex this rapidly changing landscape can appear and understand the hurdles that businesses have to overcome in order to navigate their way to a successful solution. Let us show you how this can be achieved. Email us at, call us at +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website

Steve Benton, Principal, KeySo Global LLC

Will Wireless Giants Kill Mobile Cloud Innovation in the U.S?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Mobile cloud enabled innovation and entrepreneurial activity, vital to U.S growth, is under threat. The concern is how will future mobile cloud services be delivered and by whom?
The wireless landscape is set to change dramatically following AT&T’s $39bn bid to buy T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom. Many people have difficulty understanding why these two companies would even consider merging their operations. It’s because the cost of competing in the mobile cloud industry can amount to billions of dollars and can be a significant drain on cash flow. The trouble that startup Clearwire is having funding the roll-out of its 4G network and at the same time attracting subscribers to its network is evidence of this.
The issue that Clearwire also has is that of being one small player competing against behemoths. Despite having some substantial investors, including Google, Intel and Sprint and several cable companies, Clearwire has struggled. This raises the question about what happens to the other smaller carriers, such as US Cellular, in a world dominated by two giants? Can they afford to provide the types of mobile cloud services that are key enablers for the economic future of the U.S?
If two major players have 70% control of the overall market, and 80% of the smart phone market, it could pose a dangerous situation for the consumer in terms of pricing, contract and usage restrictions. It could also mean that the opportunity for smaller players to grow and offer new innovative and competing services would be more difficult, and potentially even stymied. This concentration of power also raises the broader issue of being able to enforce a net neutrality policy under these circumstances.
An alternative approach that the FCC could consider is encouraging the creation of a shared wireless broadband network that smaller operators could piggy back on, and which could even stimulate a new breed of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO). This network could be created with Sprint, a possibility that was originally being explored, and give T-Mobile access to the Clearwire spectrum and a network based on WiMAX. Over time, this network could migrate to the same LTE technology as the other operators. This migration is much simpler than most suppose since vendors of the network equipment have been anticipating it, and WiMAX and LTE have about 85% commonality of technology.
The detractors of this proposal would point out that all three companies have different cellular technologies and that this would be a marriage from hell. The reality is that AT& T, Verizon and Sprint have all operated different technologies simultaneously, including Wi-Fi hotspots. With the exploding growth of data traffic driven by video, network operators need to learn to seamlessly manage layered and multi-technology networks across diverse spectrum holdings. The Sprint /T-Mobile/ Clearwire “ménage à trois” could become a world leader, forcing the industry to focus on this issue, and a role model for encouraging the participation of smaller and more innovative players.
The concept of a shared network requires a clear vision, an open mindset and willing participants. T-Mobile, unfortunately, may not be one of them. After spending $32bn to buy a foothold in the US, and years of mismanagement according to Strand Research, Deutsche Telekom appear almost desperate to exit the venture which is probably why they went for the easy option with AT&T. The irony is that, unless the FCC does something radical, Deutsche Telekom’s decision will result in the U.S wireless industry becoming monopolistic. The landscape will be controlled by two cumbersome power houses and history predicts that this could ultimately hinder the full potential of the mobile cloud; this in turn could inhibit the entrepreneurial and innovative growth that the U.S so desperately needs. Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global LLC

Is mobility a product or feature? Neither-it is an adopted way of life!

Monday, March 21st, 2011
Digital Life Renaisance

Digital Life Renaisance

You may wonder about this question – and more significantly the answer! The fact is that, unless you understand that change is occurring, you and your business are overlooking one of the most fundamental shifts occurring in the global market at this time – one that will radically reshape your industry’s business models.

We exist in an unprecedented emergent age of advancing and converging technologies. The Internet appears set to subsume consumer electronics, broadcast, wireline and wireless communications, enabling seamless “anytime anywhere” experiences.

Convergence of technology is also resulting in overlapping business models, which in turn results in blurring boundaries between traditional industries. We see convergence (and the changes in human behavior that accompany it) as an accelerating trend. Consumers, customers and enterprises are embracing this change; they are interacting and sharing knowledge and experiences with one another in new ways – and in near real-time.

At KeySo Global we have been studying the drastic changes brought about by these convergence technologies and have documented these in a research project we call “Digital Life Renaissance” or DLR.

As this convergence grows, a new capability is beginning to emerge as Internet-based cloud services collide with the 24/7, “always on”, high speed, advanced 3G and 4G wireless networks. This phenomenon is the mobile cloud and it is set to be to the Internet what cellular was to telephony; it will liberate consumers and enhance their everyday lives in ways that most of us could not have conceived a few years ago.

At the heart of the mobile cloud is the concept of online services (information & social networking updates for example) going mobile and offering “anywhere-anyhow-anytime” accessibility and availability. Increasingly, as GPS data and social networking are merging, these services will be personalized by location. As a result, consumers continue to rapidly absorb these services into their lives and adjust their behaviors accordingly. In the future, all lifestyle services will be available via the mobile cloud, addressing the mobile needs of businesses and consumers.

Markets, customers and employees of all companies are being shaped by these changes. The issue is that only a few companies recognize and are doing something about the pace and extent of the changes. At KeySo Global we recognize that traditional tools and methodologies do not adapt well to emerging Digital Life opportunities and threats, and that fresh perspectives and frames of thinking are necessary in order to create the new business and economic models required.

In order for businesses to succeed, it is imperative that a holistic, integrated and interconnected view of Digital Life is at the root of all their future enterprise strategies. Business strategies that are developed, without taking such things as mobility as a life style into consideration, will struggle to win against competition that understands how better to digitally adapt.

Based on our DLR research, we at KeySo Global have developed a process for understanding and addressing these changes utilizing unique tools that we have developed specifically for this purpose. We would be delighted to share our understanding of Digital Life with you and help you define strategies that will enable you to take advantage of these exciting new opportunities. To find out more about our research and capability, contact us at +1 847-478-1633 or visit our website at Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global LLC