Open Banking…Energy…Telecom, Miles Cheetham

Open Banking…Energy…Telecom, Miles Cheetham, Developing the data infrastructure to help deliver a net-zero future.

Last year Miles gave an excellent presentation at TADSummit EMEA 2019 on challenges and opportunities facing the banking industry, while he was Head of Propositions at OPEN BANKING. In this presentation he reviews the success of open banking, with 273 new providers (think 3rd party developers) with over 2 million customers. I’m a fan of what Miles has achieved in Open Banking as a template for open telecoms.

It’s enabled an explosion of innovation, focused around understanding personal and small business customers. The new providers understand their customers far better than the big banks ever did. And as a result are creating new and better banking services at a rate of iteration never thought possible within the traditional banking industry.

Its a model for innovation that the telecoms industry should seriously consider. And it’s quite relevant to the model WG2 is creating as discussed in:

Miles focus has now moved onto open / shared data and open energy, which is quite relevant to the presentation Dave Curran gives at TADSummit EMEA Americas 2020 on Getting started with data visualization. Seeing patterns in telecom data. From data visualization comes insights.

Miles also shared with winners of the OpenUp Challenge, which included Updaft, who presented at TADSummit EMEA 2019, sung the praises of serverless and called all the telecom innovators ‘yak shavers‘ for still building their own infrastructure. We had a great panel on Serverless and RTC to address that one. Yes, we’re Yak shavers, but only where it’s absolutely necessary.

Miles then runs through the impact of UK’s smart data initiative across Open Energy, Open Transport, Open Telecoms, and Open Supply Chain.

Through Open Banking they’ve understood the limitations of GDPR, and where additional protections are required. Particularly around consent with your data. An interesting concept Miles brings up are provisioning chains. How customer data can be used across multiple parties in delivering a service.

He also mentioned joined up thinking across customer data silos using mental health as an example. But that could equally apply to security / reputation, which we discussed in the interview with Amandine Le Pape and Matthew Hodgson, The Matrix.org Foundation, as the UK government tries to break end to end encryption again…

Some may question why we’re talking about open banking, energy, data in the programmable telecoms event. They’re very much connected as its all centered on the customer and their data.

Shared data has the potential for huge economic, societal and environmental benefits. Open Banking has shown the way, and now the opportunities for other sectors are becoming clearer. With governments and regulators seeking to stimulate innovation, there are common issues becoming clearer.

So what has been learned in the banking and energy sector? And how can we apply this to telecom?

Miles Cheetham, former Head of Propositions at Open Banking – with a deep telco background – reviews what has been learned, explores the opportunities and asks what this means for Open Telecom.

2 thoughts on “Open Banking…Energy…Telecom, Miles Cheetham”

  1. Thank you Miles for another excellent TADSummit presentation. My questions are:

    AQ1) The big banks are very similar to incumbent telcos in my opinion. The banking regulator did something I doubt OFCOM ever would. Is Open Telecoms ever possible?

    AQ2) Provisioning chains is a great concept, enabling an ecosystem to work together on behalf of the customer. How is trust shared across the parties?

    AQ3) The joined up thinking across customer data silos has massive societal benefits. Communications are fundamental to the human condition, so could be an immensely important data silo. But as we mentioned before, Open Telecom may not be possible. Is joined up thinking possible including Telecoms data silos possible without ‘full’ Open Telecoms?

    1. AQ1) The big banks are very similar to incumbent telcos in my opinion. The banking regulator did something I doubt OFCOM ever would. Is Open Telecoms ever possible?

      Yes – principles are the same, although the Telcos have been enablers for apps and have been providing wholesale access to services for many years. However, this takes the personal data and allows customers to take control in a way they never have before. The UK’s Smart Data Initiative which is being developed is looking at how personal data can be put to work for its owners (you and I) so it’s effectively democratising this and shifting the balance of power away from the corporate to the individual. So, GDPR is the enabler for this and I expect this trend to pick up pace. So the answer to the question is yes, I completely expect Ofcom to regulate for this, and also expect to see a cross-sector regulatory body that oversees these sector led initiatives.

      AQ2) Provisioning chains is a great concept, enabling an ecosystem to work together on behalf of the customer. How is trust shared across the parties?

      When consent is granted, the consumer will agree to do this on a GDPR lawful basis, usually consent, performance of contract or legitimate interest. The parties in the provisioning chain must adhere to this and the parameters of the consent that has been granted. In due course I expect to see this created as a Standard (it is under active consideration at BEIS). So the regulatory framework is pretty strict and is, I think, going to get stricter about the way data is handled across provisioning chains with greater visibility for the consumer about how their data is handled, who has access, for what purpose, for how long.

      AQ3) The joined up thinking across customer data silos has massive societal benefits. Communications are fundamental to the human condition, so could be an immensely important data silo. But as we mentioned before, Open Telecom may not be possible. Is joined up thinking possible including Telecoms data silos possible without ‘full’ Open Telecoms?

      Yes I absolutely believe these barriers will be broken down over the next 5-10 years. True there will be resistance but the societal, economic and environmental benefits to be gained from opening up data across sectors (finance, telco, transport, energy particularly) will be huge. In my view you can’;t consider one sector on its own, but have to approach with “systems thinking”. There is a positive reinforcement cycle in play here so expect to see this gain momentum.

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