Converge(icity) – The meeting of network, device and services in a tripartite toward a connected life
As communication, entertainment and even working processes draw closer it is clear that the consensus of what is driving convergence needs to be reappraised.
Pursuant to my role as a senior analyst within the mobile operator strategy team at Informa I constantly consider market opportunities and strategies in which new services are brought to market. In this position it has become clear to me that the idea of convergence as a standalone concept has grown to the point that one can no longer consider it a single approach. Such an approach risks ineffectually conveying all the points of complexity involved with it.
In the process of delivering strategic perspectives and analysing market factors I have leant toward an approach that considers outputs from a service, technology and device perspective. One might label this as the foundational legacy of modern telecommunication as it defines the parameters of the connected, networked economy. This structural arrangement has been further enshrined in a tripartite-like relationship between the various value chain players involved in convergence were roles have blurred as relationships have overlapped – one only has to look at the evolution of players like Apple and Google who have moved from service-to-device-to-connectivity agents in the process of pursuing business opportunities. To illustrate this point further let us look at one member of the tripartite; devices. It is clear that one can no longer define a single device or even class of devices as wholly applicable to connectivity. All formats of electronic device whether they are connected TV’s or tablets have the potential to be enhanced, developed and ultimately perfected through networking capabilities. Some have labelled this the cloud economy others have called it universal access but it is perhaps better to look beyond current buzz words and media sloganeering to consider the root force and impetus behind this drive for connectivity and inter-communicability. By taking this approach we come to the concept of Convergicity.
Convergicity is a meta-concept – an abstraction from another concept, used to complete or add to the latter – that provides a more complete view of the phenomena we see taking place in the telecommunications, manufacturer, communications, entertainment and business world. By considering the concept in this way greater value can be brought to the process of evaluating convergence while avoiding the pitfalls manifest in concentrating on a specific subject within the wider universe of the topic itself, at any given point in time.
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