New opportunities are opening up for CSPs in what the TMF calls the “Blue Ocean”. This includes B2B, 5G and IoT – but with 5G some way off, what should CSPs do today to help expand from traditional markets?
Many traditional CSPs are trying to develop platform businesses in order to both compete more effectively and to open up new opportunities, platforms being seen as key to future agility and new partnerships. The TMF, in a recent report (“Vision 2020 – Future CSP Business Models”) classified two battlegrounds that are crucial to the success of such initiatives:
• Red Ocean – traditional opportunities, such as connectivity and content
• Blue Ocean – new opportunities, such as B2B, 5G, IoT and more
According to the report, there is a potential to tap into significant new revenue – in excess of a trillion dollars. However, this can only be targeted by addressing the Blue Ocean opportunities. In other words, while traditional areas of focus offer growth potential, a large proportion of new revenue will be found elsewhere by expanding the addressable market from classical domains, as the figure below reveals.
Figure 1 – Oceans of opportunity for CSPs
But, while 5G is coming, it’s far too risky to simply bet on its success and wait for mass adoption. This is some years away, during which much water will flow under the bridge. What matters is to begin actively targeting new opportunity now, using existing network assets, so that CSPs can establish a strong footprint on which they can build as 5G rolls out. Many are already targeting IoT services, but, equally, many are neglecting B2B opportunities. This needs to change, before the opportunities drift to others.
So, CSPs need to be able to target B2B customers, across a wide range of horizontal and vertical segments. In particular, building these relationships will enable CSPs to be ready to extend engagements when their business customers have new needs for IoT and other services that can be unlocked by 5G and the associated technology of network slicing. The question is, how to achieve this?
It’s clear that the old approach of one-size-fits-all is only appropriate for larger customers, but this does not suit the mass market of business users, from SME segments. CSPs need to offer a broad portfolio of related services that are attractive to businesses of different sizes and which are adapted to different vertical requirements. This will enable CSPs to attract such customers and provide them with a pathway to purchase more, or extend existing services as the business evolves and expands.
This kind of flexibility will engage business users and help build the relationships that will be pivotal to future success and long-term engagement. As CSPs seek to capture Blue Ocean opportunities, they need to be ready with the right B2B service portfolio, which must deliver the agility they will need as the network and business requirements change. We’ll explore how to achieve that agility – and how Gintel helps – in future articles.