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Five reasons telecom pros should connect with Silicon Valley

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This sponsored post was produced by the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley.

For telecoms and their tier 1 vendors, the pace of innovation is daunting. There is no longer an option of competing in the marketplace using only in-house technologies, or else “over the top” (OTT) companies and competitors will leave the slower players eating their dust. The solution, which has become increasingly obvious over the past half decade, is to partner with the fast movers in an effort to capture the benefit of the latest technologies without the costly and slower in-house R&D. But innovation capture is also difficult. Which companies should be brought in as partners? How small is too small? Is there an established, predictable process for evaluating smaller companies and coming to a yes/no decision in a reasonable time? The best-of-breed large companies have set up a “funnel” process, much like that used by VCs, to evaluate as many companies as possible, and to make good decisions fast with limited knowledge. This is the only way the telco or tier 1 vendor of 2013 stays on top.

In order to fill the “funnel” with lots of good startups and small, innovative companies, the bigger firms need to leave their comfort zone. When you’re turning over stones, you need to go to where the stones are. For this reason, carriers have set up field offices in hot places like NYC, London, Barcelona, and Silicon Valley. But as a global epicenter of mobile and telecom innovation, Silicon Valley is the heavyweight, with over 50 percent of telecom venture dollars being spent in the Valley. With the two biggest OSes, the biggest Internet companies, and the full ecosystem of partners, professionals, and talent readily available, Silicon Valley is an innovation powder keg.

But the Valley is not focused on telecom. All high tech lives here: big data and biotech, security and apps. For this reason, even in this hotbed of wireless and telecom innovation, it’s easy to lose sight of the telecom companies in the forest of other high tech industries. For this reason, groups like the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley filter out the noise and hone in on the signal. The council brings the telecom community together and helps define the healthy ecosystem of partners that lead to mutual success. At the council’s upcoming annual TC3 meeting, over 200 startups and developers will be on the scene looking to meet and partner with the bigger companies, who represent a potentially lucrative path to market. If a carrier is seeking to populate its “funnel,” then this is the right meeting, in the right place, to make the connection to as many interesting startups as possible.

To wrap it all up, here is the obligatory top 5 List of the top reasons telecom professionals seeking innovation should attend TC3:

  1. Network: The best telecom networking Silicon Valley has to offer … and that’s saying a lot. The TC3 audience is made up of people who can sign contracts, not just talkers. This puts attendees closer to deals. The Telecom Council knows that the value of conferences is just as much about the people in the chairs as the people on the stage.
  2. Innovators: TC3 features a packed roster of some great innovators from startups and the vendor community. Learn about what’s hot in telecom, what innovations are next to appear, and who are the companies bringing them.
  3. Telecoms: With many startups in the Bay Area building solutions to sell into telcos, this is the perfect venue to hear from the world’s telcos on what innovation they are seeking. Sure, it’s great for a startup to surprise a customer with an idea they’ve never thought of … but it’s easier to sell them something they already know they need. TC3 is the place to hear it.
  4. Format: The TC3 pace is single track and high velocity. Networking is part of the DNA, and it provides tools such that even an introvert will leave with a pocket full of useful contacts.
  5. Content: Of course it have a packed agenda, done in short increments, featuring some of the best innovation for the telecom industry from Silicon Valley.

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