The Next Cloud’s Rob Curver recently interviewed Iain Sinnott, Enreach for Service Providers’ Head of International Carrier Sales. In the meeting, Iain made an observation that describes the position that many service providers are in today very well. According to Iain, “Telecom carriers are still four feet ahead of the competition, but if I were them, I’d be getting out my running shoes.”
That said, Iain also makes the valid point that while service providers face multiple challenges in this fast-changing marketplace, they are also in a strong position (perhaps more so than some may realise). The secret to success is developing the right partnerships. Here is a summary of some of the points made during the interview around the advantages, challenges and opportunities carriers have and the benefits of partnering with Enreach.
Innovation is more fast-paced than ever, and there is a challenge for many service providers and operators to stay ahead of the game. Plus, new entrants are also disrupting the marketplace, so it can be hard for service providers to see their place and value in this rapidly-changing environment.
However, carriers’ competitive advantage is existing customers. Service providers have worked hard to build trust, create relationships, and understand how to deliver tangible customer benefits. They have taken businesses through the telecommunications industry’s evolution, and that is a good starting place to be. Sure, it may feel like their position is under more pressure than before, but carriers are ideally placed to take their customers on a digital transformation journey.
Unlike new entrants starting from scratch, carriers can sit down with their existing customers and work with them to find solutions to help those businesses survive and thrive. And that is backed by carriers’ deep knowledge: they know about the pressures their business customers face and the critical battlegrounds, particularly customer service.
It is this knowledge of the customer that will make the difference. In the sales world, someone always claims they can deliver something similar or better, but what matters is giving customers something that matches what they need or want. This is why we talk about outcomes: learning about customers’ businesses and then matching technology solutions to fit their requirements.
So how can this be achieved in practice? After all, many carriers do not have access to the kind of innovative services that are being discussed in the market now. The answer is partnership, combining service providers’ customer experience with innovative technology vendors who also understand what is driving customer decision-making right now. Service providers engage with the customers; the vendor works with the partner to deliver technology outcomes: a simple but powerful combination.
However, to protect a carrier’s position, partnering with the right vendor is essential. Clearly, a rich portfolio of innovative, future-facing technologies is vital. In addition, look for vendors who offer full white labelling and want their partners to retain control of the customer relationship and contract. These are some of the advantages of working with Enreach for Service Providers.
Another vital thing to consider right now is the vast SMB opportunity and the need to get most of them to first base in their digital transformations. If that step is not taken first, they are not ready to reach the summit. So instead, help them explore areas that give them a visible return. SMBs are interested in ways to improve how they run their businesses, not new technology for its own sake.
Helping SMBs improve their businesses through easily attainable technology is a great starting point and a massive opportunity for carriers. Once that step — the first base — is achieved and ROI demonstrated, it can be built upon, helping customers achieve digital transformation through converged contact, ultimately across all IT and comms.
Change is inevitable and does not have to be for the bad. Instead, change can be turned into an opportunity. It is time to turn it into an opportunity.