29th November 2022
The Innovative Operators (IO) Executive Board had their third board meeting this November in Dubai, hosted by MTN Globalconnect. The board came together to review major initiatives and its progress, as approved in the last meeting, held two months prior.
The IO Executive Board continues to develop programmes based on the Roaming Development Goals (RDGs), which was established at the 1st Board meeting. The RDG’s were created to set objectives for IO and to drive support for the industry in terms of innovation, digital transformation, quality of service, roaming footprint, knowledge sharing, and generating unity within the roaming community. Read more about the RDGs here.
During the meeting, the board approved a new Accreditation Programme IO.30 for Vendors. IO.30 is a certification which ensures that Vendors invited to present at IO Labs and Plenaries are qualified to do so. Following the IO.6 Content Guidelines documentation prepared prior, the Board looks to ensure the content the IO Community has access to is well-founded and the Vendors IO invites to support Lab initiatives are qualified in the solutions they exhibit. Vendors being accredited must meet a series of over 20 KPIs including an ethics policy, endorsements by clients and several operational expectations required by the IO community.
The Accreditation Programme also provides an extensive list of benefits to Vendors who meet the criteria. IO.30 will be the start of a detailed auditing programme of market solutions requested by the IO community to ensure MNOs are investing in solutions which deliver value and support their development goals.
Director General of IO Jason Bryan said of the Accreditation :“The Board sought an accreditation programme which required vendors to provide a deeper understanding of their business direction and outlook. A self-certification scheme was not the right fit here, the aim of the programme is to ensure Vendors meets the specific requirements the IO community has set”. The Accreditation Programme IO.30 will be launched in January 2023. Vendors interested in becoming Accredited by IO should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Focused on work regarding the RDG’s, the board agreed on the formation of an Advisory Board for IO. The main objective of the Advisory Board is to provide strategic guidance and review of new initiatives, proposed by the IO Plenary, to drive value and efficiency in the roaming space.
Frédéric Schepens, CEO of MTN GlobalConnect and The Chairman of the IO Executive Board shared on the Advisory Board: “In the interests of investment in the long-term growth of Roaming services, the Executive Board recognises that an Advisory Board of specialists and subject matter experts is a great source of advice and insights which adds to the wealth of knowledge being established in IO. The Board is excited to welcome expertise on key subjects impacting the roaming space and on new opportunities we can explore and nurture within the IO community”.
The Advisory Board will kick-off in Q1 2023, and will be managed by Executive Board Members, Anis Mbarek (Vodafone) as Chair and Cameron Dunn (AT&T) as Deputy Chair.
The Board also took time to delve deeper on areas of major strategic concern in the Roaming industry, such as the lack of efficiency in the delivery of roaming services, a situation which for many years has not been optimised, despite many attempts. Looking at the end-to-end Roaming delivery process, the board assigned a specific sub-committee to be formed to work on the Automation of Roaming and identify quick wins, existing initiatives which all members of IO can support, and more long-term work that could be considered to ensure roaming is efficient enough to embrace the wider opportunities stemming from 5G SA Roaming.
The micro environment around roaming was also in focus and several further actions were assigned to ensure the IO community of Mobile Operators are aware, trained and prepared for new industry challenges and opportunities. These focus areas will be explored further in IO Labs.
With the aim of accelerating all projects, the board also approved a new community communications platform which will be launched in Q1 2023. This tool is a first for the roaming community, and is currently in testing and development. The community platform will allow the potential for IO Labs to have a 24/7 availability in which members of IO can raise questions, support each other and plan for future meetings.
The IO Board were pleased with the outcomes and the progress made by IO, its Labs and Plenaries. The next meeting will be hosted in Paris, with a strategic review of the key areas in which IO should focus in 2023.