STL Partners

Telco 2.0 Growth & Innovation

Digital Services Strategy

The Client

Leading Asian Converged Operator


The Challenge

Our client recognised the value and power of Lean Start-up approaches to digital innovation and sought to adopt these internally. However, there are fundamental differences between how start-ups and those backing them think about innovation and how operators typically approach product development. The point at which these differences need to be resolved are in valuation, governance and the supporting metrics.


STL's Approach

STL Partners completed a 3-month on-site engagement focused on developing the digital services strategy for the client. STL worked with the client team to drive digital innovation through the development of a new approach to digital valuation, metrics and governance.

Critically, the assignment ensured that digital initiatives were evaluated for their ‘intrinsic’ value and their ‘synergy’ contribution to the core business.

The work required an initial phase of interviews with digital innovation leaders from other telcos, venture funds, incubators and digital start-ups. As well as giving the client team “first hand” insight, the findings from this research formed the basis of STL’s analysis.

STL then developed a framework and detailed supporting tool for identifying the "metrics that matter" for any given phase of innovation for any given initiative. This included capturing, categorising and parameterising over 150 digital metrics that are actively used by start-ups today. A comprehensive valuation model was also developed that included international benchmarking.



This new approach to valuation was adopted across the organisation thereby enabling the wider organisation to translate progress in the digital innovation teams into value for the wider business. It also provides the basis for tough decisions on the "fast fail" of unsuccessful initiatives.


The STL Difference

By working closely on-site with the client, STL Partners’ team was able to ensure that the extensive work undertaken on the project was properly handed-over thereby leaving the client with on-going capability to meet its ambitious digital innovation plans.

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Through their work, STL have brought us best-practice in digital innovation management.”  
VP Digital Innovation, Major Asian Operator