“What happens when you are number 4 in your industry?  You get bought, you change the rules, or you die.”  These were the opening words from Kari Escobedo, VP Enterprise Systems Development at T-Mobile US on her keynote panel at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando last week.  T-Mobile has opted to change the rules over the past 15 months and has shaken the Telecommunications industry, at least in the US, up dramatically in doing so.  Gone are the days of contracts that tie consumers in for two years with hefty penalties for early termination.  That’s great news for us as consumers and T-Mobile’s net new subscriber growth rate has shown that their rule changing approach is working for them too.

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But, as consumers, this means much more than just not being tied to contracts with our mobile phone operators. It means that you and I can switch to a new carrier whenever we feel like it.  If I see a promotion I like at a different carrier, or I think some other company might treat me better, I can switch.  The implications of this to T-Mobile’s operations are immense.  From the way they market, to the type of customer service they offer, to the IT platform that supports it all, they are having to reimagine their entire business.  And, their success is forcing others in the industry to do the same.

It was great to hear from T-Mobile and other leaders in the industry including Cox Communications, Portugal Telecom and e-Plus talk about how they are using IT to lead in their organization at this year’s SAPPIRE NOW event.  Rather than being “order takers” from the business owners, they are building next generation, real-time platforms today to drive the business forward – in a market that is rewarding risk takers and those that can act quickly and decisively.  T-Mobile’s use of SAP CRM has already reduced their churn rate to a record low of 1.5% (see article here) and by building their new marketing platform on HANA Enterprise Cloud, they can quickly and easily turn on new functionality.

I hope you too got the chance to hear this and many more amazing stories from SAP customers about how they are shaking up their industries and using SAP solutions to help them do so at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference.  I look forward to seeing you all there next year!

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