Service providers can compete with hyperscalers more effectively by adopting PaaS model
Independent service providers can bring additional value to customers in comparison to third party brand communications service providers. They just need to focus on the ways in which their platform can deliver tailored solutions to customers that more closely meet their needs and reflect the demands of their businesses. This added richness is enabling service providers to differentiate themselves from the hyperscalers, the offerings of which are increasingly seen as similar, and strengthen customer loyalty by delivering web-based self-service in their markets.
A significant challenge for most service providers is that they are not global players so they don’t have the scale or resources to invest in developing their own platforms. Service providers are therefore adopting platform as-a-service (PaaS) offerings which enable them to provide in-depth features and a wide range of capabilities to their customers.
The platform is an essential component of service delivery but is not a differentiator in itself. Therefore, it makes sense for service providers to access the platform as-a-service and focus on their core strengths, customer service and brand identity.
“The experience the service provider gives the customer is as important as the technology we provide to line up behind that experience,” confirms Iain Sinnott, the Head of International Carrier Sales at Enreach for Service Providers. “We see a future where our customers invest more development time in their customer interfaces and use our technology to support their customers. The balance of investment is moving away from platform and application development and more towards front-end accessibility and experience development.”
Enreach for Service Providers has developed a series of options for service providers to engage with its PaaS offerings which it thinks will appeal based on the position of each service provider in its market. Service providers have the option to fully deploy the Enreach UP platform themselves where Enreach for Service Providers supplies the software to the platform owner who will install it in at least two datacentres and own and manage everything, including the control of upgrades. This model is appealing to service providers that have the infrastructure, personnel and experience to manage this type of solution.
Next, Enreach for Service Providers offers Enreach UP on a PaaS model under which Enreach sets up and hosts VMware infrastructure on the service provider’s behalf. This managed approach is well-suited when the network operations capability of the service provider is less developed, and they want to keep the new product running alongside their existing infrastructure for the time being.
Finally, Enreach for Service Providers offers a shared PaaS model which is aimed at service providers that are more sales and customer oriented and may not be a traditional telco. This shared PaaS model sees Enreach deploy all of its release services, all of which are white-labelled, on a server which is shared by multiple service providers Service providers use this platform in an Opex model.
“Successful service providers bring together what they consider to be a best-in-class service blend for their level of the market,” explains Sinnott. “Some take 90% of our PaaS capabilities, some take 60% or 15% and that’s for them to decide. We are about supplying the supplier brand at the level they are operating at.”
In all deployment models Enreach offers multi-branding capabilities, for service providers that offer services to other resellers, which – in turn – can keep their brand in the market.
To compete with hyperscalers, service providers need to focus on what adds value to their customers. It might be customer service, it might be industry knowledge or it might be simply being nearby in case of a problem. Focusing investment in these areas provides a means to compete rather than attempting to reinvent a core UC&C platform platform with a fraction of the budget. Although service providers may need to include some of the Teams or Zoom services, what they save by not developing a core platform can be invested in the front-end platform and the integration layer that produces a solution with their brand highly visible that also delivers true differentiation.
“Service providers understand they need to be disruptive,” confirms Sinnott. “For some that means directing investment to a slick self-service front end and adopting a shared PaaS solution so they minimise capital outlay on that. Where each service provider is heading and how they go to market is the priority so they are focusing on identifying the important outcomes and deliverables and then working out the technology. Enreach for Service Providers with our comprehensive PaaS offerings, is ideally positioned to support service providers, whatever their priorities.”
This blog is published on UC Today