Innovation Structure & Activities Inside KPN
Innovation in the Telco world is divided into two different layers:
- Network layer, meaning fiber to the home/office network, that involves the technical department;
- Platform layer, which is the digital source platform to supply service to the customer and the open-source part of the platform connected through APIs to third parties.
KPN manages innovation at the structural level through multiple teams:
- Central Innovation Team: where they work as outside-in radar to source technologies from the outside that can spur into new businesses: validate if they can potentially create the technology themselves, or use 3rd parties support (startups); This is where the innovation funnel gets built and executed;
- The Liaison Management Team: for the startups/scaleups to structure relationships and navigate the corporate organization. Through them they facilitate easy onboarding, which can be done in a week. The team acts as one single point of contact and guides the startups within KPN. 250 companies were brought in in the last five years. They also organize startup lunches/dinners, showcasing different technologies to the entire organization, which helps KPN to get constantly exposed to the latest tech solutions available in the market;
- Ventures team (KPN Ventures): invests in growth-stage companies. 18 investments have been deployed so far. The fund is looking to become a structured fund of funds, which will turn into an investment vehicle to access innovation at the university level.
KPN Procurement Deep Dive
The secret sauce of the impeccable procurement plan created by KPN started by recognizing the corporate complexities and following the customer journey of a typical supplier process, while identifying the different stages and possible hurdles. Here are some tips:
👉 Break down the legalese: make terms & conditions accessible and easy to understand (e.g. shrink down from 10 pages to 4 pages);
👉 Ensure minimum security conditions are met;
👉 Have commitment from the procurement director (CPO).
The titanic process of shifting from the old to the new procurement model took a couple of years.