BT Technology Journal - Archive

Commemorating 25 years of publication

 Commemorating 25 years of publication

Mike Carr

Chief Science Officer, BT Group CTO

In 1983, in the Foreword to the very first edition of the BT Technology Journal, John Alvey wrote: Many changes are being made in BT to react to the new market environment in which it operates. One thing that endures, however, is its reliance on innovative technology and sound engineering to meet the needs of its customers ... There is also a recognition that advances in technology are made possible by good communication with other workers in the field. Undoubtedly, these words are as appropriate today as they were 25 years ago, perhaps even more so. In the form of 21CN, and at a cost of up to £10 billion, BT is rolling out a customer-focused, software-driven infrastructure which will offer our customers exciting new services, faster than ever before. In doing so, BT is leading the world in creating a new market environment for broadband ICT innovation. 21CN is driving a complete transformational programme for BT. Within this, our ability to innovate, in all aspects of what we do, working with partners, collaborators, suppliers and customers is an essential component. Traditionally within industry, technological innovation has been the domain of in-house research and development (R&D) departments working to support in-house consumption and keeping the internal pipelines filled. The result is that the innovation capacity of a company becomes constrained by the size and budget of their R&D department. It is estimated that about 1% of global telco-related research is done by BT s researchers. The corollary to this is that 99% of telco-relevant research takes place elsewhere. Our open innovation approach links BT into the developing worldwide research and innovation market-place, giving access to the 99% and complementing BT s own ideas and capabilities. In essence, it is as John Alvey stated in 1983: ... advances in technology are made possible by good communication with other workers in the field . The BTTJ is an important part of that global conversation and I am delighted to be able to introduce this edition of the Journal which commemorates 25 years of publication and highlights just a few of BT s contributions to the landscape of global innovation over the years.