TADSummit 2016 Review and 2017 Plans

TADSummit is a unique blend of world-class telecom thought-leadership and deep practical experience in both technology and business. Most of the people attending are actively building or selling the technology and services underlying the democratization of telecoms. Often at ‘professional events’ trite corporately approved marketing messages are shared on why X (e.g. NFV, 5G, IoT, Cloud, IoT, SDN, other random technology or software consolidation play) is the answer to your Digital Transformation needs. Digital and Transformation are weak-minded marketing words, which when combined mean very little other than, “buy our stuff, but we do not really have a compelling reason.” Well, TADSummit frankly shows where you should be investing your time and money. Check out the above video as testimonial of what TADSummit is all about.

We make everything in TADSummit public, the agenda, the presentations (videos and slides), we review all the content, and live stream the event. No other event makes the content as widely available or accessible.

TADSummit may not be a hackathon like TADHack; but people are still hacking (prototyping) late into the night for the Dangerous Demo. This is where we show how the time from ‘idea to realization’ can be as short as a few hours, though generally a few days. And the ‘hack / prototype’ can be scaled-up and tested into a real service in again a few hours to a few days. These are not new ideas, the web also shows us this potential. Technology has changed telecom app development, and we’re only just beginning to see its impact across a range of industries. Its starting from the industry insiders, e.g. MVNOs like NAKA Mobile, that understand the need to differentiate on services. And we’re starting to see enterprise verticals understand this change. Check out the 24 inspiring hacks created by for Carrefour at TADHack Global over one weekend, some of which are being taken commercial.

You can review the whole of TADSummit 2016 through this summary weblog. The TADSummit YouTube channel is at 110,000 minutes of viewing from 20,000 views. Yes, small numbers compared to popular YouTube channels, but for this geeky niche of telecom app development, we’re proud of that interest in spreading the insights, ideas, and best practices. The whole TADSummit agenda is my list of great presenters. However, I would just like to highlight a few that I greatly enjoyed:

  • A little French Recipe for Successful Internal Innovation in the Large Enterprise by Telecoms Philippe Vayssac, CIO Groupama. If you’re a large established business you must listen to Philippe, he has realized a formula that works for innovation using telecom app development.
  • IdeaMart: Case Study in Service Innovation Success, from Shafraz Rahim, Developer Relations and Platform Evangelist at Dialog Axiata. I remain shocked at the lack of adoption of what Dialog Axiata has achieved, even across the Axiata group. I lay some of the blame on the big vendors of telcos, and the technology bias of that relationship. They claim they can do this with their API Management / SDP. They can not, have not, and will continue to fail in creating a localized version of what Dialog Axiata has achieved. Technology is 20% of the solution, its the 80% they are missing.
  • Together John Zannos of Canonical and Vish Nandlall (who’s starting a new venture) showed the future of telecoms beyond the NFV hype.
  • The most entertaining presentation for me was Here Come the Bots by Adam Kalsey of Cisco, not because he was funny, which he is (btw he was a professional clown). Rather his past experience of messaging bots from over a decade ago is directly relevant to the silly hype we’re seeing today, which made for many humorous insights. History really can teach us so much, if only we’d listen.
  • Liveperson brought 3 people to TADSummit, their presentations are can not miss for anyone interested in CRM, Telecom API, RTC, and bots. They bring vast practical experience and a refreshingly frank style that educates and provides great insights: Building realtime APIs at Liveperson, Eitan Yarden, Architect; Real Time Communication APIs workshop: agent bot. Elyran Kogan, Technical Leader; Best Practices in Building Websockets APIs, Elad Wertzberger, Technical Leader; and the LivePerson Dangerous Demo.
  • We had a great line up of innovators including: RogerVoiceFonolo, Fone.do, Greenbot, Voxist, Ottspott, Lime Microsystems, Locatrix, and many more. I feel guilty for not listing everyone in the agenda.
  • And last but not least the Dangerous Demo. It shows to the industry what is actually possible at scale using a range of off-the shelf, open source, and new technologies. If you want to see the latest in network and service infrastructure 6-24 months before any other event, this stream delivers.

TADSummit 2017 will be in Lisbon on 14-15 November. We choose Lisbon as its relatively cheap and easy to get to from around Europe, Middle East, Africa and the US. Some of the changes we plan are:

  • Dangerous Demo moves to the plenary given its importance.
  • We’ll also add an Innovation Showcase, world-first showcases that are ready to go into deployment.
  • More focus on MVNOs given the many interesting service deployments discussed by the MVNOs in the audience.
  • Increasing enterprise focus as they adopt telecom app development.
  • And we have lots more being planned. TADSummit is different, its a community effort driven by practitioners.

And we’ll be maintaining all the good stuff of TADSummit 2016, such as:

  • Broad focus across all telecom app development areas, with a balance between business and technology
  • Lots of innovators, and hopefully a few more showing TADHacks going commercial.
  • A fresh agenda demonstrating TADSummit is the telecom service innovation event.

TADSummit is becoming widely recognized as the event for telecoms thought-leadership and best practices in technology and business. Since TADSummit’s inception we’ve had requests to do more in Asia and North America. We’re examining ways to take TADSummit and perhaps TADHack in some form, to a broader audience in those regions. We’re currently discussing options, so if you have ideas just contact me. We’re trying to reach as broad an audience as possible across all regions.

Finally, a thank you to everyone who took part and supported TADSummit through 2016. The event runs for 2 days in November, but it takes a large community one year of preparation to make it happen.