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Disruptive technology – are platforms the unsung heroes?

Neil Thompson, Sector Specialist at O2’s National Infrastructure Team, discusses disruptive mobile technology, the platforms that underpin mobile devices and O2 Gateway.

You hear the word ‘disruptive’ a great deal at the moment, but I can only think of a handful of mobile products and services that had such an impact that I recognised I was witnessing a radical shift in the marketplace.

I remember the first time I saw a mobile phone. My father was on call over a weekend, and he came home with a phone handset the size of a brick, connected to a battery larger than the one in his car. It wasn’t remotely portable or mobile in today’s terms, but the fact that it worked without being connected to a socket in the wall made it utterly incredible to me at the time.

Only a few years later we saw the launch of the BlackBerry, with fast and secure email and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), its unique messaging application, all in a seemingly indestructible form-factor. And then, of course, came the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad, and similar devices that have influenced and changed the way we work, collaborate and communicate every day.

With foldable screen technology in development to drive the next phase of innovative mobile devices, who knows where innovation will lead us in another few years?

Whilst the devices themselves grabbed most of the headlines, the platforms underpinning them were just as ground-breaking and ahead of their time. For example, iTunes legitimised the purchase and downloading of digital music, whilst app stores transformed the way that software is developed and distributed. When did you last purchase a box containing software disks and a user manual?

Advances in speed, memory and screen resolution have enabled platforms like Spotify, Uber, Airbnb, Netflix and Azure to emerge and disrupt their individual sectors in a very short timescale. Digitisation is changing everything, and penetration is faster every year. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU),it took the telephone 75 years to reach 50 million users. It took Angry Birds just 35 days.

We are more connected than ever before, demanding the same seamless digital experience wherever we are, whenever we want. Yet digital innovation can no longer be achieved through traditional networks and connections. That’s why at O2 we created O2 Gateway, our unique connectivity capability that brings together mobile, traditional WAN and O2 Wifi into one integrated platform.

O2 Gateway may never be as well-known as the consumer platforms like Spotify and Netflix, but as a digital enabler it is a game changer. With O2 Gateway you can underpin your digital transformation and stay one step ahead. It will seamlessly connect your sites and your people to all the services and business applications they need. Built to be future-proof, you can add new technologies and applications quickly, and scale up and down at your own pace as your business demands. It really is the last network a business needs to invest in.

The benefits are overwhelming:

An easy route to becoming a digital enterprise: O2 Gateway provides the infrastructure needed to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Reduced costs: Our end-to-end owned network means smarter network access and more flexible commercial agreements.

Greater workforce mobility: Your IT teams can quickly deploy communication and collaboration tools with reliable and secure access to corporate data. Whether that means unified communications like Skype for Business, or public cloud services like Microsoft Office 365 and more, there’s a range of services to help you run a more efficient organisation.

Better user experiences: Your people benefit from easy access to data regardless of device or connection type.

When we say future proof, we mean it. With 5G set to be the next network game changer, you can be sure that it will be a core component of the O2 Gateway platform.

I love discussing business infrastructure and the opportunities it delivers. So if you have a comment, or would like to talk then please get in touch. You can connect with me on LinkedIn.

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