What really excites visionary telcos is the expanding opportunity to sell services to business enterprise customers. Telcos can create compelling use cases and demonstrate business value to ride the wave of digital transformations at an enterprise level. To capitalize on this opportunity, they need to be prepared to make the necessary investment and establish strategic partnership for execution. According to Research and Markets, the telecom enterprise services market will reach USD 236 billion by 20251.
There is a challenge though, enterprise customers have high expectations, and most of them do not see telecom operators as being innovative enough to meet their requirements. Many operators have not done a first-rate job of appealing to enterprise customers or creating a trusted relationship resulting in the perception that most operators just aren't very enterprising.
But this is changing, Private 5G, Multi-Access Edge Compute, and Internet of Things (IoT) are among the technologies providing telcos with opportunities to embed leading edge technologies directly into their network solutions, and to offer platforms and services beyond their traditional offerings.
For telcos, the answer is to form strategic partnerships with companies that serve those various needs – to be a kind of matchmaker between the enterprise and different platform solutions. Further, telcos must identify whether they wish to focus on horizontal or vertical strategies for serving enterprises. Once these decisions are made, they must invest in building meaningful use cases and demonstrating business value for their chosen focus areas.
Enterprises, across a range of verticals, are evaluating their options for digitizing functions including product assembly and general operations management. This presents a huge opportunity for telecom operators; however, they are not alone. Multiple companies are targeting enterprise digitization, including cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers as well as systems integrators.
The challenge, therefore, will be to move the conversation away from technology and toward a consultative mentality of problem-solving. They must also keep in mind this is a highly competitive arena — given the presence of Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and other cloud companies — making speed to market an important factor.
Enterprises, now more than ever, must build business resilience and ensure continuity in the face of digitization. With renewed focus, enterprises need to re-imagine the way they work to stabilize and take control of their business to better withstand impact, forecast more effectively, respond rapidly, adapt quickly, and recover better for the future.
Telcos cannot afford to lag behind any longer. They need to develop a unified program that aims all digital initiatives in the same strategic direction with an ambitious, solid commitment to move quickly and deliver results.
But to win they will need to digitally transform their offerings, their go-to-market strategies, and their company mindsets. Most must also make tough choices about which customer segments to target, and they will need to do a better job differentiating their offerings in a customer-centric way across those segments.
Getting the most out of today’s digital opportunity won’t be easy, but telcos that transform should be able to thrive now and in the future.
1 Research and Markets, Telecom Enterprise Services - Global Market Trajectory & Analytics, April 2021