Telco 2.0™ Research

The Future Of Telecoms And How To Get There

Big Data: How Personal Clouds and ‘VRM’ will revolutionise Customer Relationships

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Summary: a video interview with internet guru Doc Searls, fellow of Harvard University, in which he describes the concept of ‘VRM’ (Vendor Relationship Management) and how it will revolutionise customer relationships. After that a video from Simon Torrance, CEO, Telco 2.0 Initiative describing the strategic opportunity for telcos in ‘personal data’, along with useful links.(April 2012)

Doc Searls, Telco 2.0 Video Still April 2012

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In this first short interview recorded at the Silicon Valley Executive Brainstorm in San Francisco, Spring 2012, Doc Searls, Alumus Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University, talked to Andrew Collinson, Research Director of the Telco 2.0 Initiative, about the new concept of ‘VRM’, on which he has also recently published a book - 'The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge' - which we highly recommend. Members can also download his full presentation here.


Those who follow Telco 2.0 (and come to our events) will know that we've been working with the World Economic Forum (WEF) on their 'Re-thinking Personal Data' project for the last two years, which is about how 'personal data' can be turned into a new class of economic asset. Here is another video we made recently for our Virtual Event (run in collaboration with Ericsson) that explains the opportunities in this space, with some more useful links below.


We are currently running a global 'Tiger Team' for the WEF on this topic. This is a vanguard group of global PD experts to stimulate the creation and adoption of international actionable agreements and partnerships that help fast track the implementation of the principles of the WEF's RPD project - helping to bring about the emergence of a personal data ecosystems where people are in control of the collection, use, sharing, and monetization of their personal data. 

We held our first meeting with 40 experts in San Jose on 26th March to a.) agree on a common, shared language/taxonomy/terms of reference for describing the PD space, b.) Share latest examples of important new international developments, use cases, architectures and best practice in key areas and sectors (consumer, corporate and government), c.) Agree how to 'slice the elephant' in terms of coordinating next step international collaboration in a few high impact areas. 

There are some photos of the sessions here, and we'll share some of the output with readers of the Telco 2.0 blog and research services shortly. We will be running the next meeting in London to coincide with our EMEA event on 12-13 June. In the meantime, here are some useful links (videos and documents) for those interested in the topic.

General Personal Data Concepts:

  • World Economic Forum Re-thinking Personal Data project
  • White House Consumer Data Privacy report (and other useful material)
  • MIT Media Lab IDCubed initiative - how to join a trusted network
  • blog (output from SXSW conference)
  • The Future of Privacy, LeWeb, blog
  • Project VRM, Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet & Society
  • Volunteered Personal Information

Technical aspects:
  • European Union TAS3 Trust project and architecture explained
  • Tracking the Trackers, How our browsing history is leaking into the cloud
  • Mobile Phones as secure personal infrastructure?
  • Personal Data system model (Dazza Greenwood)

Business aspects (focused on advertising):
  • Microsoft Advertising business - how the advertising intersects with a more user-centric personal data ecosystem
  • Wall Street Journal on IAB Annual Leadership meeting

We'll be covering these topics further at the EMEA Brainstorm, London, June 12-13, and will be publishing more on the Personal Data Ecosystem Landscape shortly. You can see our research to date here. Email  or call +44 (0) 207 247 5003 for more.