Greetings again from Helsinki’s Telakka Center, where the final day of Nexterday North 2016 has wrapped up! We followed up an exciting Day 1 schedule (capped off by a great after-party) with a second full day of presentations and conversations.

Futurist Dietmar Dahmen kicked things off with a high-energy presentation all about digital opportunities, while entrepreneur Stefan Moritz shared his blueprint for creating better customer experiences. After that, we heard from a long list of industry experts, each of whom shared a unique story, idea or perspective on telco transformation.

We once again hosted a full slate of Nexterday Studio interviews, this time with Velipekka Kuoppala of Soracom, Bengt Nordström of Northstream, Songül Ballikaya of T-Systems, Fredrik Jungermann of Tefficient, Luca De Carli, and Vesa Olkkonen of DNA. Those videos will be on YouTube.

And, to keep things fun, we brought in comedian Rich Lyons for some standup, and there were plenty more selfies with Fastermind, our augmented reality buddy who really loves to be in front of the camera:

Here’s a full recap of the highlights from the second and final day of Nexterday North 2016:

Run with Both Feet Off the Ground

Dietmar Dahmen started things off with an energetic presentation where he encouraged businesses to move faster in the name of progress. Businesses are most comfortable and secure with both feet firmly on the ground, but progress forces you to move, and the fastest way to achieve success is to run. That’s a scary idea for many businesses because it means you’ll be sprinting with both feet off the ground, but even just walking faster – with one foot planted in your top area of revenue, and the next foot looking for the best way forward – will get you to your goal.

Innovation is What You Actually Do, Not What You Say You Do

In a keynote about customer engagement, Stefan Moritz suggested telcos do less storytelling and more storydoing. Storydoing is what top brands like Red Bull do – they take concrete actions to care for their customers, and that means they have happier customers and more success. It also means they don’t have to spend extra money on advertising and promotions to convince the public about how much they care. Instead, their happy customers will do the talking for them.

Bringing IoT to Reality

Markku Hollstrom offered a fascinating look at Finnish telco Elisa’s impressive IoT service platform. Partnerships have been a key to Elisa’s success, as evidenced by their work with Process Genius, which helped Elisa create a real-time 3D visualization of a utility building covered in data-generating IoT sensors. By feeding data from each sensor to Elisa, the utility is able to monitor overall system health in real-time. It was a great example of how the IoT is making a difference in real-world applications, and how the telco play extends beyond connectivity to data analytics, security and services.

A Global Focus on Telco

There was much more to see, including presenters from multiple global perspectives. Senthil Balasubramaniam at Bharti Airtel gave a great presentation on the India digital market, David Ho at Kiina Investment talked about the Chinese government calling for a “robotic revolution” to benefit its manufacturing industry, and Songül Ballikaya of Deutsche Telekom presented a deep-dive of their ambitious European Pan-Net project. That’s only scratching the surface – Day 2 saw many great presenters from top operators, vendors, experts, and partners in the telco ecosystem, including Soracam, Disruptive Analysis, Northstream, Saudi Telecom, DNA, Salesforce and Telefonica.

We’re very grateful to everyone who made Nexterday North 2016 such a major success. If you weren’t able to make it to Helsinki for this year’s show, don’t worry. We’ll be posting each presentation from Nexterday North 2016 right here on Our next book, Nexterday: Volume III, will also feature thoughts and ideas from many of this year’s speakers. Those articles will also appear here on, so sign up now to stay up to date on new content.

We’ll see you in 2017!

Ari Vänttinen, Comptel
Moving Telco companies in Europe and Asia from ground to cloud. Born 1969, M.Sc. (Economics). Joined Comptel in 2014, member of Executive Board since 2014. Has previously held various marketing executive and management roles at McAFee and Stonesoft Plc since 2010. Before that management consultant at Talent Partners 2007 – 2010 and marketing management and business development roles at Nokia Networks 2004 - 2007.
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