A pivot back from the future

People are hitting me up on LinkedIn asking “..so from google and deep tech startups to….. a phone company?!”

It’s the 2nd of November, and at the end of August I wrote about making the cloud promise real. It was prompted by the stark realization I was solving a data pipelines, data sharing and AI problem mostly faced by cloud native companies. Realizing how many older businesses were stuck — like chained elephants — actively not adopting cloud in 2020 — made me pivot back from the future to business transformation.

With my background and network I could help these businesses adopt cloud native technologies and get sharp on letting software work for their customers without the barriers of culture and hiring that traditionally get in the way when you try to transform yourself.

So, I drew up a list of businesses who I considered large, stuck-on-prem elephants and asked: How do they buy?

  1. RFPs to big vendors
  2. Direct from 2 clouds — a combo of AWS & Azure, sometimes GCP
  3. Big brand Managed Service Providers (MSPs)
  4. Try to go it alone and fail

So joining someone was going to be smarter than building my own business.

Who to join was simply a question of who had the biggest pain. And that is Telco. With 5G a reality soon, and massive edge compute needed to serve data hungry consumers at low latency, spending precious capital to over provision on-prem compute, to sit idle until a spike, would be prohibitively expensive.

I researched the different Telco operators, how they work and how they buy. These businesses have complex problems, a massive aversion to downtime and deal with large global powerhouse providers. The job ahead seemed a simple one: Find a global innovator, able to substantially move the needle for Telcos around the world and find a way to build a cutting edge service business inside. Enter NTT Data UK where I’m delighted to have started last Monday doing exactly this. Their expertise and R&D capacity in this space is truly off the charts.

The job now is to package the last 4 years, helping hundreds of startups at google, taking deep tech startups to market, to listen and focus on the problem and love that problem. There is a massive opportunity ahead to help break those chains.

If you feel you have valuable insight into the problem or have an opinion please do connect on twitter. I would love to hear from you.