Proof of concept

Taking Catalysts to commercialization  

Innovation spawned in Catalyst projects is in widespread commercial use around the globe. Now some Catalyst teams asked TM Forum to help them take their co-created solution to market, and an incubator with a difference was born. Exciting times.

Excellent examples of innovation that were born in the Catalyst program include the B2B2X partnering guide (used in more than 200 commercial deployments around the world), open APIs and key elements of BT’s global Cloud of clouds offering. Now some established Catalyst project teams, who have built their solutions through several iterations of their project, are asking TM Forum to help them take them to market.

Why TM Forum? Well…

  • we have unique collaboration capabilities – it’s the reason the Forum was created more than 27 years ago and exists;
  • we have our long-established Collaboration Community through which thousands of hugely talented individuals from all over the world contribute to the Forum’s assets every year; and
  • our crowd-sourced, tried and tested assets that are deployed worldwide.

We designed a multi-phase incubator process to help take solutions created within Catalysts  to market. Excitingly, the Smart life Catalyst was the first to progress to the first phase of the incubator process this week. It held a think tank with eight smart cities who represent its prospective customer base. This was a good demonstration of how the Forum can help, as it was able to suggest suitable participants through our Smart City Forum, headed up by Carl Piva, as well as facilitating the meeting and so on.

And the cities themselves expressed why this event was so useful to them. Several commented that while they have many opportunities to talk to each other, the chance to talk in depth with other stakeholders such as communications service providers, technology companies and vendors, is a rare chance to hear from those who operate in other industries and can bring a whole new perspective.

Also, as another participant observed that we work on fixing things, on operationalizing tasks by figuring out that to achieve X, you have to do A, B and C. Indeed, the think tank has come up with three use cases that the team will now look at in detail and then make the decision whether or not to progress to the next phases in the incubator process. And there are two other multi-phase Catalysts who are in talks with the Forum to follow Smart life and explore the path to market.


    About The Author

    Snr Director, Research & Media

    Annie Turner has been researching and writing about the communications industry since the 1980s, editing magazines dedicated to the subject including titles published by Thomson International and The Economist Group. She has contributed articles to many publications, including national and international newspapers such as the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune, and a multitude of business-to-business titles. She joined the TM Forum in 2010 and is responsible for overseeing the content of the Research and Publications portfolio.

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