“Identifying new technologies and startups is not the hard part. The problem is validating them and convincing people at the headquarters inside the company that we need to do something about them.”

Jean-Marc Frangos, Managing Director, Products & Services Research and Open Innovation, British Telecom

The role of innovations outposts in Silicon Valley



About Jean-Marc Frangos:

As Managing Director, Products & Services Research and Open Innovation, Jean-Marc Frangos is responsible for managing the research programmes to prepare BT’s future offering aimed at the Consumer and Business markets, including areas such as TV over IP, Virtual Reality, IoT and Cloud Technologies. He is also responsible for innovation partnerships with venture capitalists, start-ups and industry peers in the United States, Asia, and Europe.

Based in Silicon Valley, Jean-Marc identifies disruptive technologies and innovative service opportunities, and establishes the technical and commercial links with BT’s research and operational divisions. He runs the internal idea management process which identifies the best innovation candidates from 100,000+ BT employees worldwide. His team also designed and runs BT Infinity Labs, a novel incubator concept based in Shoreditch, London, to foster collaboration with the UK entrepreneur community.

Jean-Marc has held a wide range of technology, customer facing and operational responsibilities in Europe and in the US during the course of his 25-year career in the world of telecommunications, and was one of the founders of BT’s European expansion.


Questions to Jean-Marc Frangos:

1:50 – There is no consistent definition for innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How do you define innovation at the Innovation Outpost of British Telecom in Silicon Valley?

5:15 – You work with your team in Silicon Valley in order to identify startups and technologies for BT. How do you choose the searching fields in which you are looking for new solutions?

7:38 – After the identification of a new and relevant technology or startup, how do you proceed?

11:02 – What are the main barriers of transferring these/new solutions into BT’s operational business?

13:35 – You already worked with this process for many years. What are your main success factors? What is your advice to companies that are currently starting programs like yours?