Succeeding in Mobile Unified Communications – Part 2
Succeeding in Mobile Unified Communications can be a challenge, but not with a clear understanding of markets, customers, processes and partners. Further analysis from PwC helps define a template for success. It’s a template that matches our experience and emphasises marketing and people, in contrast to traditional technology-led approaches.
Last month, we brought you analysis from PwC that highlighted key strengths that MNOs can bring to the mobile UC market. This month, in the second part of this series, we’ll focus on the actions recommended in order to capitalise on these strengths.
- Understand your customers and their values
- Define a clear operating model
- Build the right partnerships
- Deliver industry focus
- Deploy an open and agile platform
Understand your customers and their values
This sounds easy but so often people get this wrong. It’s not about selling a technical platform but rather providing a solution to problems that people have. In the business market, this means that MNOs have to develop a deep and rich understanding of the customers to whom they wish to deliver a mobile Unified Communications solution, as well as an appreciation of their needs. In fact, it’s essentially classical marketing – who wants the solution, what do they need and how can it be delivered in an integrated, seamless manner?
So, before even starting to think about how to deliver Mobile UC, MNOs need to consider questions such as to whom, and why? What needs are common and, in respect of point 4, which are unique to particular groups? What are their pain points? What can’t they get from elsewhere? What can you offer that can be done better by you as an MNO? This analysis allows MNOs to understand clearly who their customers are and what they need in order to give them what they need.
Importantly, it also helps MNOs to ensure that they keep pace with changing needs as both the market and their customers evolve. The process of understanding doesn’t stop when you launch a service; it’s a discipline that must continue and become embedded in your culture. That’s crucial, because it will help position the service provider as a partner that is working hand-in-hand with customers to help their business, not just as simply a vendor that sells a product and moves on to the next customer.
Define a clear operating model
Even with a clear understanding of markets, customers and their requirements, operational processes and systems need to be clearly aligned in order to ensure successful delivery. This applies across the stakeholder ecosystem and extends to business partners as well as internal teams. It also applies to how customers engage with the provider – how can they buy, how can they obtain support and so on. It’s a complex chain of processes that must be carefully coordinated in order to ensure success.
Build the right partnerships
Sometimes, it’s important to know what you can and can’t do. While there are clear responsibilities for the MNO, it’s also essential to build a framework of the right partners that can extend and enhance the core offer through complementary services and capabilities. That MNOs have natural strengths is clear, as we have discussed, but recognising the limitations of these and finding the right partners with which to augment them is critical.
In particular, PwC notes that, while end-to-end delivery is the role of the MNO, partnerships with other actors can and should be added to the offer in order to ensure that they can deliver additional components and partnerships. One hesitates to use the old canard of ‘best of breed’ but it’s actually a useful concept in this context. Learning how to select and manage partnerships that genuinely deliver value and leverage related skills is a key challenge that must be overcome in order to ensure the correct focus on agility and flexibility that is required in order to meet future known and unknown challenges.
Deliver industry focus
Segmentation is a topic we have addressed on numerous occasions and it is something that PwC rightly identifies as being fundamental. Even though business users have common requirements, there can be widespread differences between the specific needs of different vertical industries. Paying careful attention to these can enable MNOs to deliver solutions that are tuned to the needs of different user segments.
One size fits all is no longer appropriate, as there is considerable variation in what people want – but of course, this also requires the capability to forge partnerships (see 3) that can be used to provide specialist capabilities that are needed for different markets.
Deploy an open and agile platform
How do you ensure that the solution you deploy at the outset has the capabilities that allow for its gradual and incremental evolution? How can you ensure that you can innovate that the rate that customers and the market demands and without draining resources from your operational teams?
The answer is to deploy the right platform from the outset. One which allows you both to meet the requirements of your market analysis, as closely as possible, while at the same time enabling differentiation to meet the needs of specific market segments as you seek to address them.
Almost certainly, you cannot meet all needs at once and nor can you launch offers to all markets at once, so you have to be sure that you can evolve and adapt as you seek to broaden your customer base and the segments that you seek to address. Similarly, you must be certain that your chosen platform can gracefully integrate with other solutions that you add to your portfolio and that it can effectively complement the partnerships you create to extend your offer.
Happily, that’s where we can help. Gintel’s solutions are at the heart of a diverse range of offers that have been launched by MNOs that have undertaken lengthy analyses of their market and potential customer base, as well as the partnerships they wish to build.
The Easy Business Communications Suite provides the agility and flexibility that is required to enable continuous evolution and innovation, allowing MNOs to quickly launch service offers and then tune them to the differing needs and requirements of their customers. It allows MNOs to support a differentiated portfolio of market-focused services and can easily be complemented with solutions from other partners, becoming the foundation of an open and diverse environment and ecosystem that will drive growth.
In summary, not only do MNOs have inherent strengths on which they can capitalise to deliver a complete mobile UC solution to business customers, but there is also a clear and replicable template that can be followed to ensure success. By paying attention to these key actions, MNOs can launch the right services, targeted to the right customers and with the right enabling technologies. Interested? Why not talk to Gintel and see how we can help?