The Tao of Telecoms – A blueprint for a ‘lean’ business transformation

This is my “Tao of Telecoms”, the synthesis of my last decade working with (and learning from) a number of leading practitioners in network and management science. It is a first draft, and thus imperfect, over-long, incomplete and possibly even incomprehensible in places.

Where are all the telecoms performance TICs?

As industries mature they develop quality management systems, and a dedicated sector offering testing, inspection and certification (TIC). Given the importance of user experience and hence service quality in telecoms, why are there apparently few or no TIC organisations for network performance?

Workshop in London

I am co-hosting a private workshop on the impending and overdue revolution in quality in telco and cloud. If you wish to be considered for the invitation list, respond to this email by the end of the week.

The confusion of science, engineering and technology

My experience of working with the innovation arms of many equipment vendors and telcos tells me there is a basic confusion around science, engineering and technology. Understanding the difference, and which is limiting progress, is often a key to future success.

Only the polymaths will thrive

The technological past belonged to specialists. In future, we will increasingly demand people who can bring together science, art, design, ethics, empathy, craft, and more; and synthesise ideas from many domains into solutions to deep and difficult problems.

Are quality systems sexy?

The history commerce is also the story of the development of quality systems and their supporting institutions and conventions. Here I summarise a book that documents this evolutionary process.

How to implement drum-buffer-rope for telecoms networks?

Drum-buffer-rope is a standard quality management technique for manufacturing plants. If you work in telecoms and haven’t heard of it, that tells you a lot about the maturity of quality management in our industry.

“Non-discriminatory” broadband: Just carriage, or miscarriage of justice?

The foundational idea behind “net neutrality” is one of fairness by constraining ISP power over network mechanisms. The theory is this: if there is “non-discriminatory” local traffic management, then you have “fair” global outcomes to both users and application providers. There are thousand of pages of academic books making this assumption, and it is the […]

Measuring Internet quality between Russia and Europe

For gamers located across Eurasia, servers in the wrong place can be matter of virtual life and death. For enterprises, a laggy virtual desktop is a torture instrument for employees. So imagine you are building data centres across Russia and Central Asia, and are working hard to attract business for these applications.

FCC Open Internet Transparency

The US Federal Communications Commission has issued guidance on how ISPs should go about disclosing the performance of their service. (The FCC guidance notes together with my highlights are here.) I have undertaken a quick and informal review of these guidelines to determine if they are fit for purpose.