Proof of concept

Catalyst tackles digital transformation

Recognizing cultural change as the biggest inhibitor to successful digital transformation is one thing, but knowing how to address it is something altogether different.

A new TM Forum Catalyst proof-of-concept project called Digital organization and culture transformation aims to help companies implement cultural and organizational changes using the TM Forum Digital Maturity Model (DMM) and other tools. In this case, the team will apply the tools in a digital transformation program already underway at Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems Digital Division.

The project, which will be demonstrated at Digital Transformation World in Nice, France in May, is championed by T-Systems and includes as participants Concentra, which provides a workforce analytics platform; Detecon, providing consulting and integration; The GC Index®, providing a leadership and people impact tool; and HfTL, Deutsche Telekom’s university of applied sciences.

Assessing culture

The Catalyst came together as a result of the DMM, a tool that lets companies describe their level of maturity/digital capability, set target maturity levels and benchmark against peers. The model is split into five categories, or dimensions, representing critical areas of focus for the business. The project focuses specifically on the Culture, People & Organization category, shown on the far right in the graphic below.

TM Forum’s Digital Transformation Tracker 2 survey has highlighted that culture is the No. 1 challenge CSPs face as they implement transformation programs.

“When a DMM survey shows culture as a ‘red’ area on a heat map, we can point to a set of practical resources to help the operator fix the problem,” says Robert Walker, Senior Director, Strategic Programs, TM Forum. “This Catalyst demonstrates how.”

How does the Catalyst work?

“We identified a synergy with DMM,” says Björn Menden, Managing Partner, Detecon. “We need to be able to address the organization to realize full value in digital transformation. Experience shows that telcos are typically very good at new technology but less adept at realigning work and people around that technology. This presents a big advantage for the ICT companies and telcos that get this right.”


There are two parts to the project:

  1. Remodelling a T-Systems digital transformation program using the tools and capabilities provided by the Catalyst team members
  2. Futher optimizing the results/operating model of phase one with emphasis on IoT and effective sales of digital products and services in a second step

Going beyond the classic management-consulting approach to organization and culture, the Catalyst takes a data-driven and technology-enabled approach to graphically model the ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ organizations, their people and costs for various departments and processes, and assess the impact of any changes that are made in real time.

Concentra’s software-as-a-service tool called OrgVue is used to visualize the as-is organization and to model to-be scenario designs. Inputs include corporate structure, people and their costs, work activities and employee skills.

“People typically start using OrgVue when there is a compelling event such as a transformational restructuring or a merger,” says Mike Smith, Telco Client Director, Concentra. “They will use OrgVue to help design the new organization, manage the transition and then drive ongoing organization effectiveness. Typically they can redesign in half the time with half the team, which provides a range of significant people and financial benefits.”

The GC Index®’s talent profiling capabilities complement OrgVue. By identifying the different propensities of an executive team, for example, The GC Index® can work out whether the team contains the full range of skills required to be effective and successful.

“The GC (Game Changing) Index® framework, unlike traditional personality assessments, measures natural inclinations rather than personality traits to make an impact. It is being rolled out across organizations around the world to create game-changing teams and cultures that drive transformational change,” says Nathan Ott, Chief Polisher, The GC Index®.

Watch the team discuss the Catalyst:


    About The Author

    Chief Analyst

    Mark Newman is an analyst with 25 years of experience delivering insights on the future of the telecoms sector to senior level executives and audiences. Mark’s recent research has focussed on telecoms operator business models, digital transformation, service provider diversification, and the intersection between Internet and telecoms. He delivers analysis, presentations, strategy sessions and workshops to global audiences, helping them to plan for the changes that technology and disruptive new business models that will fundamentally transform their businesses. Mark was Chief Research Officer at Informa Telecoms & Media and Ovum before leaving to set up his own research firm, ConnectivityX, in 2016. He joined the TM Forum as Chief Analyst in February 2017.

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