OTTs continue to grab B2B revenue – it’s time for CSPs to act

OTT providers are eagerly reviewing B2B customers and some have enjoyed impressive growth, largely at the expense of traditional CSPs. CSPs need to learn how to excite B2B customers, help increase productivity and take a strategic, long-term approach to delivering new B2B services.

Consultancy firm Accenture has issued a challenge for CSPs, calling for immediate action to seize the initiative with enterprise and SME customers. In a recent article, the author argues that CSPs have “broadly failed” to act as partners for enterprises – but “the opportunity has never been more relevant”.

Citing rapid growth in demand for cloud, IoT and security services, Accenture points out that external actors, such as OTT service providers are eagerly assessing the situation and are ready to capture market share. That’s because, while consumer markets are subject to never-ending price wars and intense competition, businesses have other considerations.

Businesses want solutions that drive efficiency and productivity for their employees, and which help them become more competitive in their markets. They seek digital solutions that help them remain relevant to their customers and partners. Such solutions need “specialist infrastructure, consultancy, inside industry knowledge and value-added capabilities”, and include “cloud services, IoT connectivity and data management, secure connections to advanced analytics platforms and help with data protection.”

So, there are many opportunities for CSPs to meet these needs – but equally, many attractive reasons why OTTs should target business customers. Indeed, Accenture reports that OTT players active in enterprise markets are growing their B2B businesses by 30 – 50% annually. At that rate, CSPs risk being outflanked and left behind.

CSPs need to act – and act quickly. That’s because CSPs have largely failed to explore new opportunities and to deliver what business customers really want. In many cases, they have too often failed to go beyond classical solutions or to deliver more innovative services, tuned to the needs of different sectors. As a result, they have added little value and haven’t moved from one-size-fits-all approaches – which has left them increasingly irrelevant to more dynamic business customers.

On the other hand, CSPs do have important assets, such as networks (over which, of course, OTT services are delivered), direct connections with customers, and, perhaps most importantly, trust backed by compliance with key regulations. There’s an opportunity to catch up and to leverage these assets, particularly as concerns mount over data compliance.

CSPs need to “reinvent their enterprise service portfolio, simplifying and standardising their offerings to meet customers’ needs” and, crucially, “take a digital-first approach to the entire portfolio, bringing it to the cloud and making offerings easy to buy”. How can this be achieved?

Well, CSPs need a step-by-step approach that allows them to launch a key service and then build on this with different offers and packages, to suit different target markets. They should capitalise on applications that provide out-of-the-box solutions for their B2B customers, but which also provide the flexibility to evolve and extend offers to meet new and emerging needs from the same platform.

Gintel’s Easy Business Communications Suite provides a complete set of packages designed to meet the needs of different customer segments, while also including agile creation capabilities, which allow customisation for new services and for personalisation of existing offers. It enables CSPs to make an immediate offer and then to iteratively add new service solutions, providing the platform to fuel a concerted plan to address B2B customers.

Because there are integration possibilities, rich voice and messaging capabilities can also be blended with other solutions, so that a CSP can plan for the future while adopting an agile approach to increasing the diversity of its B2B portfolio.

With OTT providers increasingly eyeing B2B opportunities, CSPs need to act, fast. Talk to Gintel to find out how.

IoT, B2B Services, B2B Customers, OTT, CSPs

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