Mercedes Pastor: EMEA Service Provider Transformation Driven by New Tech, Business Models, Go-to-Market Tactics, and “Thingification”

27 February 2017

  • Mobile World Congress has expanded to embrace communications in the home, new horizontal business models that embrace connectivity and content, and the Internet of Things.
  • The integration of Cisco’s connected home business with Technicolor Connected Home has been well received in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); the combined entity is seen by service providers as financially solid, innovative, agile, and a good partner.
  • As companies that have traditionally provided connectivity expand into supplying content, Technicolor’s long history in supporting the movie industry is a distinct advantage in the connected home market.
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  • Mobile World Congress has expanded to embrace communications in the home, new horizontal business models that embrace connectivity and content, and the Internet of Things.
  • The integration of Cisco’s connected home business with Technicolor Connected Home has been well received in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); the combined entity is seen by service providers as financially solid, innovative, agile, and a good partner.
  • As companies that have traditionally provided connectivity expand into supplying content, Technicolor’s long history in supporting the movie industry is a distinct advantage in the connected home market.

Mercedes Pastor, president of the EMEA region for Technicolor Connected Home

Mercedes Pastor, president of the EMEA region for Technicolor Connected Home

Walking the halls of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mercedes Pastor, president of the EMEA region for Technicolor Connected Home, observes that the event has evolved well beyond mobility to encompass emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and new markets.

She explains how service providers in the EMEA region now see Technicolor Connected Home, boosted by the integration of the Cisco Connected Devices division, as being well placed to address these new markets.

Mercedes, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is coming up soon. The event is now about much more than mobile phones and mobility applications. Can you tell us how you see people experiencing the connected home and what you’re doing to prepare for a new era in 2017?

Pastor: I see transformation accelerating and new trends in the market. There are four main areas where this is happening.

  • The first is how we access different services. To have an always-on service everywhere is becoming mandatory.
  • The second big trend is how the industry brings new services into this environment: Companies have to adapt very quickly and be faster to market.
  • The third trend I see is that business models are changing very quickly. In the past, it was about connectivity. Now we see service providers shifting from a vertical business model to a horizontal business model in which they must be able to deliver the full value chain to differentiate themselves in the market, which means not only connectivity but also producing and distributing content.
  • The fourth trend is related to “thingification” — how the Internet of Things will change the service paradigm not only in the business environment, but also in the home.

At Technicolor, we’ll have to produce the devices and new services in the home that will give consumers a seamless experience, and we must be able to support the new ways they are consuming content.

We’ll see evidence of all these trends at Mobile World Congress and you’ll see how Technicolor will address these trends with new technologies and new services that we’ll bring to market in 2017.

In addition to starting the year with new opportunities to deploy new services and develop new business models that target new consumer behaviors, we are also one year into the integration of the Cisco Connected Devices division with the Technicolor Connected Home business. How has the integration of the two businesses evolved, and what specific impact has that had on the EMEA region?

Pastor: The feedback we’ve been getting from our customers has been quite positive. They sense that Technicolor has taken a step forward to consolidate its position in the market.

They see us as a company with a promising future. We are more solid financially, and we have greater capabilities for innovating. We can achieve a shorter time to market, and we can be a successful company with which to partner for the future.

In 2016, in the first phase of the integration, we focused on ensuring continuity of operations: integrating the teams, aligning the operations of both organizations, and making sure that the talents and the skills we had acquired from Cisco were retained.

Our second step was to develop a strategy for growth so we could reinforce our position in the region, selecting and addressing new customers and trying to change our approach toward those customers.

Now we are focusing more on the business drivers and how we can bring real value to them. As a result, Technicolor is seen as a company that’s reliable and has the required scale to partner with and to innovate in the future.

Apart from the scale, the merger with Cisco has contributed very important reference customers in EMEA, mainly in the set-top box and cable domain. We’ve added service providers such as Liberty Global and Vodafone to our customer base.

We’ve been able to integrate two companies with different cultures that were very complementary in technology and skills without having any impact on our day-to-day operations.

That’s proving very positive for our customers in this region. The size of the new company puts us in an excellent position to discuss the evolution of technologies and to engage in strategic projects with key partners in the sector.

So, in summary, I’d say it has been a positive move in the sector. Technicolor now has an outstanding position in the region. We’re well on the way to becoming No. 1 in terms of market share, and have the capability of building the future for the company and for our customers in the evolution of the technology.

As you look forward, what are some objectives you’re setting for your team that can be better addressed as a result of this integration?

Pastor: The integration gives us more scale, more capabilities and more technologies — enabling us to reach more customers. We can handle any kind of discussion with service providers in terms of connectivity and the services evolution that has to happen in coming years in the home.

That’s allowed us to be more competitive, since efficiency is a key component when service providers choose their partners. The merger also enabled us to develop a clearer vision of how the connected home will look in the coming year.

Most of the service providers in the region are debating their options. We are talking to service providers about virtualization — what the benefits of this model will be in the market. We’re talking about what’s involved in over-the-top (OTT) content and how this is changing the video market.

We’re talking to our customers about the benefits of the big shift to Internet Protocol (IP) technology and how the customer experience is influenced by Wi-Fi technologies. We’re talking about how virtual and mixed reality will make a difference to the experience in the home.

For us in the EMEA region, the main objective is to be able to address these key questions in a fluent dialogue with our service provider customers and to be a trusted adviser as they undergo this evolution.

I have to say that we’ve been quite successful in establishing these dialogues with the key service providers in the region. This is my first priority, and I’m sure it will pay off with significant growth in the coming year.

This also aligns with the vision of Technicolor about our customers’ needs, and we’ll be able to anticipate technologies, products and services to cope with the main business drivers of our customers.

You mentioned earlier that service providers are taking a longer view of the role they play in the value chain, looking for opportunities to deliver not only connectivity but also content.

Do you see Technicolor as having a differentiated role as a trusted adviser in that specific use case, given the heritage of the company? Are they paying attention to the content development history Technicolor has, as well as its expertise in providing connectivity to a service provider market that is going through so much change?

Pastor: This is what differentiates Technicolor from other competitors in the market that are also developing devices and services for the home. Technicolor’s vision covers the whole value chain from the production of services to their delivery into the home, and we’re investing heavily in all the different stages of the value chain in order to anticipate demand.

One example is the heavy investment we’ve made in High Dynamic Range (HDR). We were one of the first companies joining the forums pushing for standardization and trying to bring differentiation to video services.

For other services, such as virtual reality and OTT, Technicolor is investing so we can support service providers across the full value chain and enable them to deliver these services as efficiently as possible.

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