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Monday, July 05, 2010

Please participate in 2 surveys on Developers & SDPs, and the EU Digital Agenda

A couple of surveys running at the moment from friends & collaborators - Ajit Jaokar from Futuretext, and Mac Taylor of Moriana.

First, Mac's survey on developers:

Exposure of operators' network capabilities to third-party developers is something that I've long discussed, through my work with Telco 2.0 and more general business model innovation in telecoms. I probably don't use the term SDP (Service Delivery Platform) regularly enough on this blog, but it's clearly relevant here.

Service exposure long been part of the SDP promise. But what do operators really think about the opportunity? And will they ever be able to support and meet developers needs and demands? And what do developers think about operators? Mac Taylor of Moriana is running a survey on Service Delivery Platforms and operators' relationships with developers, which seeks to explore these issues.

The survey is *only* aimed at operators and developers - not vendors or SIs. It's been running for 2-3 weeks already and has generated some good responses. Mac claims that the replies and data are very interesting - providing a good insight into the future of telecom application development and service delivery. The survey closes later this week on July 7th.

All developers and operators get a Free summary of results, along with some other incentives like a chance to win a netbook.

OPERATORS click here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CGNDZW6

DEVELOPERS click here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CGGMPY7

Secondly, Ajit Jaokar is running a survey for questions to be asked to European Commission Neelie Kroes at an upcoming event about European policy.

Ajit's blog OpenGardens is here - a background piece and a link to the survey is here

I must admit I'd been pretty unaware of the contents of the latest round of proposed EU rule-making - the "Digital Agenda". Having had a quick scan of this, and some news coverage around it, it seems like a mixture of the worthy and the warped. Some of the things that the Commission does are definitely worthy of applause - such as action on distorted and egregious roaming wholesale rates for mobile data. Despite the operators' lobbying efforts, the reality is that nobody in the industry thinks they're fair and reasonable. I'm also certainly a fan of combating cybercrim, and extending broadband - although I'm wary about making blanket committments at a continent-wide level rather than nationally.

But I have doubts about the realism of other European Commission policies and concepts. In particular, it seems that the EU has become infected with the interoperability meme - the notion that closed and proprietary technological platforms are inherently worse, and less valuable to consumers, than open and fully-interoperable ones. Never mind the fact that consumers actually seem to *like* the fact that such platforms work well (iTunes, for example) - there is a view that standards and openness, set centrally and ideally by European bodies, must always be a good thing.

To my mind, this smacks of the EU still crowing about its success with the GSM Directive - and conveniently ignoring contrary debacles and failures, such as the ridiculous focus on DVB-H mobile TV in recent years.

Anyway, make up your own minds & fill in the survey. My suggested question is:
Despite the benefits of "openness" in technology, there has also been huge value and innovation from the speed and flexibility of "closed" or "silo" technologies in the past. How can you ensure that Openness rhetoric is kept in perspective?

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