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Brendan O'Rourke, CIO at Telefonica Digital

Operating systems, Open source, Windows, Developer, Mobile, Database, Business applications, SOA, Web, Middleware, BI, Virtualisation, Collaboration, Licensing

Network hardware, Network software, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), Unified communications, Wireless, Mobile, Telecoms networks and broadband communications, Datacentre networking, Network routing and switching, Network monitoring and analysis, Network security strategy, WAN performance and optimisation

The likes of Skype

The likes of Skype and WhatsApp operate on their handsets, nevertheless allow users to circumvent thecore voice, text and data services the networks provide and use Wi-Fi to go over the top tocommunicate with friends, family or colleagues.

Telefonica has gone one step furthermore by creating a whole new business named Telefonica Digital.Computer Weekly spoke to its CIO, Brendan O'Rourke, to see how he thinks his company cancompete.

The main aim is to create

"The main aim is to create, capitalise and compete in the digital world, there is a massiveopportunity with communications at the centre of it," says O'Rourke. 

"The digital world can mean lots of things to lots of people, however we see it as services across aconnected network. Everything from M2M through to over the top messaging applications.

"We find it easier to define it although by what it isn't. It isn't Telefonica's core of voice,text and data; it is what operates on top of that network."

The CIO says Telefonica Digital recognises the growing number of options available forcommunication now, be it specific solutions, just as Skype, or features within other apps, such asFacebook Chat. He denies these rivals have stolen revenue but, nevertheless the prospect of it happening inthe future was very real.

The over the top provisions are challenging us

"The over the top provisions are challenging us. If they are not eating away at our revenuesnow, they are eating away at our usage and it will lead to them eating away at our earnings in thefuture."

O'Rourke admits the creation of Telefonica Digital was a response to that pressure however adds:"Our core competency is communication and we are bringing at the same time the things we do around this, orover the top of this, into one place."

One example of this is TU Me - anapplication launched by Telefonica in May. It enables users to make voice calls, send texts orshare pictures using their mobile data allowance.

Although this has been squarely aimed at consumers, trying to encourage them away from Skype andback onto its revenue stream, O'Rourke says the app does have a business future.

There may be a drive for various types of research for Telefonica Digital to offer itscustomers, however what about the innovation running the company from the inside?

The operating businesses within Telefonica

"I work with CIOs of all the operating businesses within Telefonica, which is evidently soimportant to get the job done, and I have a role on the global CIO team. 

O'Rourke references the firm's contract with Workday, nevertheless overall he is quite the cheerleaderfor cloud computing solutions throughout the business.

At Cisco Live London, Cisco launched 40 and 100 GbE switching, a souped-up 4-antenna WLAN access point, and a host of network virtualisation technologies.

The cloud is set to be a key investment area for UK buyers in 2012 with 30.5% of IT buyers pledging to spend on the innovation, according to TechTarget's 2012 IT Priorities Survey.

The new version of Hyper-V

Admins who have downloaded Windows Server 2012 RC give thumbs up to the new version of Hyper-V, inclusion of high-end features in free Hyper-V, and shared nothing live migration.

Network Rail chose Informatica for the MDM stage of its change programme, aimed at reducing costs by 30% by 2019. Its Orbis unit is working with Capgemini on an eight-year asset information effort.

Green field in the form of social media

Big data MDM projects encounter a green field in the form of social media. And all big data is enterprise data, by definition. Business leaders will look to IT to derive serious business value.

More information: Computerweekly
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    Brendan O'rourke Telefonica

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    Brendan O`rourke Telefonica Digital