“IoT is interesting – but UC offers better prospects”

As we saw at MWC 2017, the IoT is coming but it’s going to be a while before it generates significant new revenue for mobile service providers. However, enterprise services are easier to realise today, and provide a clear and present opportunity that will allow them to build revenues while preparing for the IoT future.

IoT captured considerable attention at MWC this year and rightly so. It’s likely to be a significant driver for new service innovation and has the potential to deliver new sources of revenue for mobile providers. But while we’re actively looking at new forms of communication that it might enable (think of the role of voice and messaging in enterprise A2P applications, for example), we must recognise that these revenues remain somewhat distant, at least for now.

In this context, near-term revenue opportunities must remain the focus, as the bottom line is increasingly challenged. That’s one of the conclusions reached by respondents to Ernst and Young’s “Global Telecommunications Study – Navigating the Path to 2020”.

EY road to 2020 figure 18

As can be seen, enterprise services have enormous attraction – enterprise cloud, enterprise mobility and unified communications all continue to garner significant interest. But while IoT may be the future, it requires new capabilities and solutions, from access networks (with new radio technologies) to the systems and processes to manage new devices that will flood the market. On the other hand, enterprise services build on existing capabilities and require less of a stretch to realise.

They leverage mobile providers’ existing capabilities in voice and hosted solutions to enable them to offer a rich portfolio of communications services for organisations of any size, creating opportunities to add value and increase ARPU.

Of course, we must keep our eyes on service evolution for new IoT applications, but there are clear targets that can be addressed today. And that matters: near-term rewards are essential to helping mobile service providers prepare for the new services they may support as they generate cash flows for profit and further investment. That’s why enterprise services should be an immediate priority, even while service providers plan for the IoT future.

That’s why one of the respondents to the survey noted that “IoT is interesting, but UC offers better prospects” – because they realise that near-term priorities demand focus and investment today. If you are uncertain about how to address enterprise opportunities, then you should talk to us. We can help you plan and deliver the right approach, which will help you secure near-term revenue while you develop your IoT strategy. It’s an easy way to capitalise on existing assets and to increase revenue today while building for the future.

IoT, MWC, UC

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