The most highly voted speaker on the day was Peter Cochrane. The combination of years of experience, vast technical knowledge and his passion for smart future trends revealed to the partners a new world of possibilities and an alternative point of view.
“When one technology stands another one climbs on its shoulders.”
Peter Cochrane, Futurist and Former CTO of BT
During the panel discussion, Peter Cochrane shared the stage with Peter Rodriguez, Vodafone, Howard Jones, EE, and Ant Morse, O2 – the masterminds, whose job is to essentially live in the future and apply the new technology to the present market. They revealed how the leading carriers expect 5G to change the industry.
According to EE’s representative, 5G, at the moment, doesn’t necessarily matter to the UK economy or operators from a serious commercial perspective. Instead, it could be considered as a “vanity play.”
The hunger for more connectivity is a key priority for the carriers. They work on expanding and improving the existing network in parallel to building the 5G infrastructure, to avoid any disruptions to business operations and the British economy.
“We are at the beginning of the journey with 5G now, and it will be a game changer.”
Peter Rodriguez, Senior Manager at Vodafone’s 5G Programme Delivery
Video calls used to be considered awkward, whereas now they are the norm. New technology inspires a cultural change, and the networks will converge.
“You should be connected or choosing not to be, the only two states you should be in”
Howard Jones, Head of Technology Communications at EE
Ant’s keynote illustrated this digital convergence. The Head of Digital at Telefonica revealed how O2 became a data-driven business, in which technology enables collaboration, while also reducing costs. He spoke about the uses of MS Teams and other similar applications and highlighted the changing demand of the consumers nowadays.
Everything becomes as-a-Service, including technology and communications. This change is driven by the younger generation of digital natives whose work methodology requires everything to be on the cloud and accessible from different data points. Hence, Ant highlighted that what Partners should focus on is educating themselves about cybersecurity and digital applications. According to him, customers will be looking for a trusted advisor to get them secure and get them collaborating differently, and right now they are turning to Google.
Linking to this, the people who can support you in this digital journey would be the Chess Partner leadership team. Unusual for the industry, we have three women heading this division – Kerri Lendon, Customer Service Director, Helen Booker, Operations Director, and Anita Wosket, Head of Sales.
During their Q&A, they discussed how Connectivity is the underlying issue and what can facilitate the growth of other telecom subdivisions such as the digital applications and cloud. At the same time, they stressed maintaining high CSI and providing exceptional customer service as a key selling point.
“Service is why customers go to Partners and not to the big carriers.”
Kerri Lendon, Customer Service Director at Chess Partner
Finally, they revealed the plans for our updated billing proposition - a basic entry level system to enable partners to join the billing arena for less, while also remaining flexible to expand with the added value that it is all secure on the cloud, managed by us.
In the afternoon, Adrian Webster delivered an entertaining yet motivating speech how our partners can improve their sales game. He took delegates on an emotional rollercoaster within the 45 minutes he spent on stage.
“There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”
Zig Ziglar, quoted by Adrian Webster, Motivational Speaker and Author
Adrian’s revolutionary ideas aligned with the strategy of our own company. Kate Wood, Director of Culture at Chess Group, explained how making small changes in your culture can make significant improvements in your business. The two most important things to achieve this being accepting and actively seeking feedback from your team and documenting your company’s vision.
One of the highlights of the day was that our partners got to hold an Olympic Gold Medal. Ben Hunt Davis, an Olympic Gold Medallist and performance expert, revealed the secret behind a high- performing team and how this can be applied to the business world.
The conference slides and brochure are available to view and download online.