Twell me a story

It seems like nowadays if you haven’t tweeted from or about a real world event, it’s almost like it didn’t happen.  We’ve been tweeting from events, both ours and industry events, as a key part of our event presence for a while now.  But no event was going to be bigger for us in terms of our social media presence than our very own InTouch event in Budapest just last month. We established the hashtag in advance and publicized it to our followers (#intouch10) and I was onhand to make sure there was a steady stream of tweets from the event.  Our Analyst Relations team did a great job of encouraging the analysts in attendance to exercise their right to tweet as well.  The result was over 200 tweets from and about the 2 day show. So InTouch happened in a big way.

Now, when I have followed twitter feeds from events in the past, I have wondered just what kind of picture am I getting of what was actually happening and exciting at the event. Now having been at InTouch I can look back at the tweets that came out of there and compare the impressions from the twitter stream to my real-world experience.

Going back to look at the tweets on the #intouch10 hashtag was no easy feat, as Twitter lost it’s tweets the week after InTouch and a lot of the history was never restored.  Luckily for us, Fizzback was engaged to collect customer feedback on the event, including feedback from twitter, so they captured and saved the tweets.  Thanks guys!  So I went through all the tweets and tried to categorize them to see what story they would tell, and this is what I came up with.

Hot Topic #1: Transformation

Probably the biggest topic of discussion in the stream was Transformation.  Both transformation of the telco business models and their BSS/OSS systems to meet the challenges of a fast changing communications landscape. I counted about 20 tweets on the topic and another 10 about VF Romania CTO Vishant Vora’s presentation of the billing and business transformation in their company. This tweet by analyst Maribel Lopez, our champion analyst tweeter, sums up the sentiment nicely:

@maribellopez: invest, innovate be ready for the future. We (telcos) should shape our destiny.  Right on! #intouch10

Of course this tweet from Yankee Group analyst Camille Mendler – another star tweeter – gave us the other side of the coin indicating how many telco’s still have a way to go in transforming their BSS/OSS systems to be ready for that future:

@Cmendler: #intouch10: Is your billing/crm/order system 10+yrs old? Over half this room of #telecom operators stands up! God help them

Hot Topic #2: AIDA

Another hot topic was the sneak peak of AIDA that our InTouch attendees got on the first day. I counted 20 tweets on the subject including this one from Teresa Cottam that I really liked:

@Teresacottam: #intouch10 16. So if you haven’t heard of AIDA then you’re soon going 2 (see 15). “This is BI Jim but not as we know it.”

She even used the Star Trek reference in the title of the piece she wrote about it after the event Amdocs’s big idea: it’s BI Jim, but not as we know it. I definitely saw a lot of people talking about it in the breaks and tweeted as much:

@amdocsinc: Plenary about to start up again but saw lots of people asking about AIDA during the coffee break. #intouch10

Hot Topic #3: Data explosion

There was a lot of talk at InTouch about how Service Providers need to adjust their IT and business models to meet the growing demand for data services. I counted 12 tweets on the subject. These two tweets sum up the general outlook presented at the event:

@Cmendler: #intouch10: Amdocs CEO sez #mobile voice revs will drop from $720bn to $620bn by ’14. OK, data/apps to grow but hello – voice still counts!

@Cmendler: #intouch10: But in 10 years, the revenue picture will shift to data/apps. Important for #telecom SPs to go on offensive NOW to win this $$

This was brought to life by the CTO of Telenor in his presentation of Digital Hungary (which got 10 tweets) where he told the room:

@dawlon: CTO Telenor Hungar – “Data is our future” – #intouch10

Hot topic #4: Managed Services

Managed services was another hot topic at InTouch with two customers presenting case studies of their experiences and lessons learned in managed services engagements with Amdocs.  I think what resonated most was that the key focus of a managed services project is not cost savings, but growth, business processes and KPIs.  We got another 20 or so tweets about this.  Here are just a few:

@maribellopez: CIO Elisa Full mgd svc deal w Amdocs. \This is the way that operators can focus on the growth instead of managing suppliers\” #intouch10″

@Cmendler: #intouch10: Elisa CIO sez Amdocs mgd svcs deal KPIs round business processes, not IT. Not mess for less #outsourcing

@skingstone: #intouch10 Elisa CIO stated Amdocs committment to project management and hosting services as critical reasons for choosing provider.
Cmendler: #Telecom: Plan to outsource purely to cut costs? Better not outsource at all, sez Vodafone Netherlands #intouch10

Hot topic #4: The event

There were loads of general event related tweets, about agenda items and other activities happening at the conference.  Most of them were from me (I kept busy :-)).  But there were some nice tweets about the event that brought a smile to my face:

@Teresacottam:Thank u @Amdocs_inc 4 v interesting #intouch10. My highlights of the event. 1. It’s been hot in Budapest but what a beautiful place. #BSSOSS

Where can you find 200 service providers in one place? Amdocs #intouch10. Excited to talk to them! (note: not sure who that was from L)

@Cmendler: #intouch10 Thank you Amdocs – you wisely let your customers do the talking.

All the rest

There were some other topics and sessions that didn’t get as much twitter exposure, which made sense, because they were part of specialist sessions off of the main tracks of the conference.  Like this one on the Amdocs Mythbusters session that Dana Porter delivered to the analyst attendees: @MaribelLopez: A few interesting Amdocs stats listed here

In conclusion

So does the twitter feed accurately reflect the goings on of an event?  Well I just looked back at my blog from just after the event when my memory was fresh (though a bit woozy) and I see that I called out AIDA (check), data (check) and transformation (check). I didn’t mention managed services specifically, but I did mention the prevailing feeling that clear business KPIs were key to the success of any major transformation.  There were some things that were tweeted about that I missed out on, and some things that I saw and tweeted about that weren’t picked up by too many others.  That’s only natural though since not all of our heavy tweeters where at all of the sessions.  There were a lot of great ones and a person can still only be in one place at a time. Maybe that makes the twitter stream better than being there – you get to see it all! (though you don’t get to drink on the Danube).

P.S.  You’ll notice a lot of the same names in the tweets above.  Like I mentioned earlier, our analysts attendees really rocked on Twitter so they are quoted here the most.

P.P.S. The numbers of tweets noted above include retweets, a lot of them from people that weren’t even at InTouch. So in a way when you follow a twitter stream you are seeing not only the hot topics to the people at the show, but what resonates most with a wider audience. Wonder what that does to my hypothesis and conclusion?  I’ve been writing this for too long to continue down that path now.  I’ll just ponder it on my ride home from work. Hmm.

P.P.P.S.  I apologize for the title.  I know it’s lame. Gold star to anyone responding with a better one (shouldn’t be too hard).

One Comment

  1. Posted July 16, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I think our (Amdocs) social media team is doing a terrific job. I loved reading this blog reviewing the Twitter coverage of Amdocs InTouch 2010 vs. the onsite reporting and blogging. Keep up the good work!

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