The announcement of Amazon Chime signals another tech giant who poses a threat to the telecoms industry. According to industry firm, Ovum (News - Alert), the telecoms industry will lose a combined $386 billion by 2018 as customers flock to over-the-top (OTT) voice applications, And many believe that the telecoms sector is ripe for disruption with Carriers firmly in its cross-hairs. But, what does telecom disruption mean for Carriers and how can we, as an industry, effectively deal with this latest evolution?
The stakes are high and the answer is not simple. Leading industry analyst firms warn that this evolution represents a make-or-break moment for Carriers. Developing new strategies and acquiring new competencies are not only essential to protect the existing customer base, but to also create new revenue opportunities. This isn’t reinvention for the sake of reinvention, but rather a natural evolution of the services already being offered, strengthening the carrier’s role as a cornerstone in the Unified Communication and Collaboration (UC&C) strategies and practices of their customers.
Collaboration has taken off as one of the most prevalent topics within the Carrier community, as Carriers look to maximize legacy revenues and distinguish their offering in an increasingly commoditized space. Whether your organization is aggressively evaluating how to insert collaboration into customer conversations or you have a clear UC&C strategy, there’s no way to avoid the tech industry titans, threatening Carrier disruption. And we know that Silicon Valley is famous for a “move quickly and break things” mindset, so Carriers need to reposition their collaboration offerings effectively, but do so, quickly.
So, as Carriers plan their Unified Communications (News - Alert) and Collaboration strategy, here are the key tips to strengthen your roles as the center-piece in the development of your customers’ UC&C practices:
Leverage Your Brand: It is important to co-brand/white-label the entire solution, including the user interface, so that notifications and audio prompts maintain your relevance in the eyes of the end customer. ?
(Bring Your Own Network) BYON: ?Network integration allows the Carrier to ‘Bring-Your-Own-Network’ for origination and termination of all calls, which will maximize your existing infrastructure utilization model. ?
Meet Them Where They Live: Using built-in multi-language number sets will complement the Carrier’s network and support other regional requirements.
Go-To-Market Enablement: Develop marketing templates, product positioning and adoption programs that provide a quick entrance into the market.
Expertise On Tap: Using a team of collaboration experts, and around the clock customer service agents, will help augment the efforts of your sales and service delivery team.
Audio Clarity (News - Alert): Positioning your offer as having crystal clear sound and superior audio, over a dedicated global private MPLS backbone, with multiple access points, dial–in and dial-out options, HD Video and Dolby Voice will ensure real audio quality.
Demonstrate Scalability: Showing and explaining that your services are able to scale easily, whether that is, for example, catering for a meeting for 10 people in the US or a meeting of 10,000 people across the world is essential
The winning Carriers of the future are unlikely to stand-alone. Increasingly, CSPs are seeking strategic partnerships to provide greater relevance and enhanced customer experiences while leveraging network assets, creating new revenue streams, improving the “stickiness” of their traditional services and reaching previously untapped markets.
Addressing how to position yourself for future success, against these Silicon Valley technology titans, will help your customers cut costs and propel their productivity. Doing this will enable you to continue as a valuable partner to your customers, for decades to come.
Frank is the VP of Global Carrier Business Development at PGi, the world's largest dedicated provider of collaboration software and services. Frank helps PGi's communication service provider partners leverage PGi's technology along with their own corporate brand and network assets to create an unrivaled UC&C offering. Frank has 17 years of experience in technology product and marketing experience.