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Innovation 2017 – a view from BT's innovation team

While it was great to see so many of our global customers at last week’s Innovation 2017, our technology and innovation exhibition, we wanted to take a look at what the event meant for our innovation team. We’ve caught up with Steve Masters, VP of customer innovation, to find out what he thought of the day.

I truly believe competitive advantage for our customers in their own marketplace is ever more dependent on innovation. There is little doubt that in a world with a breakneck pace of change and ever increasing demands, an organisation’s ability to innovate quickly and reliably is often its key to commercial success.

Creativity and innovation, however, are by their very nature unpredictable, and can be a challenge within most corporate structures. Innovation 2017 was a chance to re-prioritise innovation and take a look at what’s going to be impacting all of our industries in the near future.

I saw some really inspiring demos and presentations at the event from key areas like cyber security and customer experience. I enjoyed seeing the sheer breadth on show, from the technology which is fast approaching and already impacting our customers’ businesses to the more ‘out there’ developments that we can expect to hit us in the not too distant future. These seemed to really spark off some ideas and food for thought for many of our customers. 

There was a lot of interest in our Dynamic Network Services demonstration and I really think that we demystified the SD WAN and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) area for a good few of our customers. It’s not an easy piece of technology to get your head around. The journey to building a network infrastructure that will support today and tomorrow’s cloud business applications is complex one, but it’s a game-changer that you can’t afford to miss out on. There’s a lot of hype in the market about these demos and in particular around NFV, but during Innovation 2017 our technology experts showed customers how we are developing a solution based on aggregating a number of vendor and provider offerings together into a workable solution.

One of my personal highlights was seeing the ability to flexibly, ad hoc brainstorm with customers when something grabbed their attention. This allowed a number of our customers to get sketches of ideas or solutions and then plan to come back to Adastral Park at a later date for a more detailed workshop or hothouse. It was great to see the event sparking actionable ideas with tangible benefits.

If you’re interested in coming to Adastral Park or one of our other global showcases, please get in touch with your BT account team. We run immersive, tailored events which present the cutting-edge solutions we develop in our R&D centres and sourced by our team of global scouts. These events aim to help your teams become more creative in the way you use and incorporate new technology, to improve efficiencies, to develop applications critical to your success, and keep your systems secure.