Success in ICT means you must get the basics right first

Cloud service adoption is surging and the trend is inexorable. We’re past the tipping point and the future is clear. Many MNOs and traditional communications providers aspire to play a role in this market but without differentiators, they face an uphill struggle. They need to stakeout a position by showing that they can deliver value today through the enrichment of services such as voice, so that they can create stronger ties for the future delivery of new services. Get the basics right first to capitalise on the cloud.

With enterprise customers increasingly turning to the cloud for key business services, the number of potential providers has also grown to match demand. The growth rates are impressive – for example, Forbes recently reported a report from McKinney, in which it was claimed that the number of enterprises using traditional (i.e. on-premises) infrastructure will decline by 40% by 2018, from the current 77%. More striking still, while in 2015 just 10% of enterprises used Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for their workloads, this is expected to soar more than 5x to reach 51% by 2018.

That’s great news. First, while the growth is impressive, it still shows there’s a long way to go, which creates plenty of opportunities for providers to jump into the market – and will surely signal a drive to increase the diversity of services that are available. Second, it also shows how reliable, secure network infrastructure will be required in order to ensure that services meet performance expectations.

And that’s where traditional communications service providers, such as MNOs (and MVNOs) and others need to seize the opportunity. Many MNOs have a large subscriber base of enterprise and business customers – many of whom are likely to be eagerly searching for new services and capabilities to support their migration to the cloud. With a large community of existing customers, MNOs and their peers are well-placed to capitalise from migration to the cloud and adoption of new services.

The problem is that, as we have reported before, many enterprise customers do not feel that they obtain value from their communications providers and do not understand the benefits of quality-assured network coverage. Worse, many MNOs do not extend their offers beyond traditional services, such as voice, minutes and data. With nothing exciting on offer, it’s quite a stretch to imagine that enterprise customers will turn to their communications providers first for their new services, simply because they already use them for basic voice services.

Enterprise customers need to be confident in their supplier – and that means offering them something that builds stronger ties, delivers more value and which helps boost customer satisfaction. Without such offers, MNOs et al have no specific advantage over another cloud provider and will likely lose out, becoming ever more of a bit pipe in the process.

So, what’s to be done? Well, an immediate and necessary step is to offer choice. Give enterprise and business customers an enhanced service, a better experience and capabilities that actually boost their business, rather than simply meet a basic need. There’s much that can be done – to unify communications across different devices, to connect teams and communities of users, to protect and manage identity and to fully mobilise and increasingly mobile workforce.

It’s what Gintel has been doing for more than 15 years. Our expertise is trusted by MNOs and communications service providers and the results from our customers speak volumes. They give business customers more, establishing a foothold that, in turn, creates a better foundation for a wider range of cloud service options. If you want to capitalise on the cloud with a diverse portfolio of ICT services, you need to show that you can deliver by getting the basics right and building on them. The way to do this is to enhance existing, familiar services and to enrich them in ways that really benefit customers. Do that and perhaps you really can aspire to the clouds.


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