The future is about the combination of digital and analogue, says THINQUE founder

Creative director and founder at THINQUE, Anders Sorman-Nilsson, told telcos at Capacity Asia 2014 in Bangkok this morning that in order to move forward, they must find a way to combine both digital and analogue technologies.

“The future is not about just going digital, or just remaining in the analogue world; it’s a combination of the two,” Sorman-Nilsson said. “As a futurist I love the idea of the virtual, the cyber, the cloud, the digital, but I also have some misgivings about that world because it can be extremely disruptive if as a business leader, you have not adapted.”

Sorman-Nilsson noted the emotional attachment consumers have to analogue technology, and said that telcos must strive to reach both the “digital minds and analogue hearts” of their customers.

Through a variety of thought-provoking examples – such as smart metering technology that monitors when a customer wakes up in the morning and switches on heating accordingly – Sorman-Nilsson moved on to discuss the importance of making the right cross-industry partnerships.

He highlighted the deal between SingTel and Standard Chartered Bank in July this year, which created "Dash" – an app that offers a range of innovative mobile money solutions – as a successful example of two ideally matched companies.

“Banks realise that they must partner with telcos to ensure they are in the back pocket of the consumer,” Sorman-Nilsson said, adding that in turn, it is the telco responsibility to find similarly constructive partnerships.

Sorman-Nilsson said telcos must decide whether to fight or partner with their OTT counterparts.

With players such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook holding a huge slice of the market, Sorman-Nilsson asked the audience: “Who here is still making money from SMS?”

A single audience member raised their hand.

Sorman-Nilsson concluded that rather than seeing these types of players as disruptive, telcos should view it as an enormous opportunity.

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