Fixed mobile convergence is more than a defensive position – it’s a key business tool
FMC has a role to play in developing attractive consumer packages that goes beyond price and market disruption. It can deliver significant incremental value, but it’s often overlooked that it’s a critical element in a successful business offer. To capture this value, FMC needs to be included within any business UC product but it must be done properly to secure the benefits. Find out how.
A recent report from consultancy firm Arthur D Little has some interesting insight into fixed mobile convergence (FMC) strategies, noting that FMC should be used to create value, rather than as a means to reduce prices and disrupt markets. For example, FMC, it is reported, tends to increase data consumption which, in turn, enables upselling of higher value data packages.
However, while the creative use of FMC to develop new offers for consumers is bound to be a strategic focus and may offer multiple rewards, FMC offers potentially much more to business customers than those in consumer markets. Indeed, for many business users, it’s not a nicety, it’s a necessity. Although many business users are turning to mobile-only UC offers, we mustn’t forget that many are determined to retain their fixed lines and this remains a key line of communication.
As a result, even while pursuing a mobile-first approach, it’s essential to consider what this means for business customers in your enterprise strategy. Ideally, it will mean that you include the ability to handle fixed numbers as well as mobile, with the added ability to route calls to whichever terminal is preferred by the user.
What it will not (or should not) mean is that mobiles are accessed by simple call diversion or, worse, through a data dependent app that may not function correctly, depending on network coverage. Some solutions force you to adopt this approach, which is hugely limiting.
No, the correct approach to FMC is to deploy a solution that can route calls wherever required without any network dependencies or data consumption and coverage issues. FMC for business means that, if a caller dials a number, whether it be fixed or mobile, the call is routed to whatever destination the business chooses using classical network resources. It may be that they persist in using a fixed number but use mobile devices for termination.
Similarly, they may be truly mobile first, using a mobile as the primary means of contact (main number, as we call it), but they may also wish the call to be presented to a range of device, which can include fixed lines, mobiles or tablets. Regardless, the call should be delivered across the required network, whether that’s a fixed network, mobile or VoIP – it should not be limited to a potentially unreliable VoIP connection if it’s being delivered to a mobile handset, for example. Even though VoIP can work well, true FMC means that mobile connectivity must be included, avoiding a data-only approach. Purely app-based solutions cannot deliver the required connectivity at all times and for all situations. Business users will not accept these limitations.
With Gintel, that’s what you get. A solution that truly enables FMC for business users, capitalising on all network connections. And, as an operator or service provider, it means you can offer ready-made FMC to customers that actually benefit from it, without the complexity of adding content bundles or fiddling about with marginal offers.
Business customers matter and FMC matters more to them than residential consumers. In a consumer context, FMC is a nice feature but for businesses, it’s an essential part of your offer. If you can’t offer a flexible, business-class FMC solution, you should talk to Gintel to see how we can help.