Working at Sky is a genuinely excellent experience – a business run by people who spend less time on politics and more on doing things. What a breath of fresh air compared to the usual telco nonsense. But one thing that strikes me is that they have a head office in London, base their operations in Scotland and solve the problem of communications by flying people backwards and forwards. The question is: if telcos cannot get their people to telework, who can?
You probably noticed the big news story about the potential economic cost of global warming. Unless you are George W. you will at least be familiar with what global warming is. Exaggerated or not, chances are the costs of flights will be hiked up to put people off. This should be a golden opportunity for telcos – get people to work together remotely using electronic communications, cut the costs of travel, and promote your own products at the same time. It is even socially important: how much should the breakdown of communities be attributed to the increasing trends of both economic migration and of extended commuting?
Perhaps it is a stretch for RA to get involved in arguments like this, but not much of a stretch. At the very least RA should probably be setting a good example in terms of managing costs and challenging the quality of the bleeding-edge services. They also need to help their businesses from getting stuck being just electronic conduits and force them to think about the whole customer experience, which means experiencing it themselves. Selling bandwidth to geeks may seem like great business now, but the big profitable market is all the people who expect to communicate and get content without needing a PhD in setting up their PC (see Apple and Sky as examples of businesses who realise this). RA can do telcos a favour – by showing them how to use their products for work as well as play. So the challenge is, for a training seminar, for a meeting, for an industry event even, can RA find a way to do it without the travel?