Product is Important, but Proposition is Compelling: The Benefits of Mobile IP Centrex

Today, much of the attention of the telecoms and IT media seems to be focused on non-voice revenues. Figures, such as Cisco’s prediction of 3.6 Exabytes of mobile broadband traffic per month in 2014 grab the headlines. Similarly, forecasts for the declining value of broadband bits occupy much current debate in the telecoms industry. While that’s understandable, given the general decline in the per unit cost of simple voice and the proliferation of flat-rate plans with increasing numbers of minutes, it’s easy to forget that the majority of all mobile revenue is still generated by traditional voice-based services. What’s more, the data-centric view overlooks the fact that plain old voice still has real value with strong opportunities for growth and increased profit. You just have to look harder to find them.

Perhaps the most promising opportunity for good old fashioned voice lies in the Enterprise domain. Yet many operators and service providers struggle to offer a clear enterprise strategy and focus, and have a mixed product offering that doesn’t truly address the needs of the majority of enterprises, but reflects those of a selected number of key accounts.

Enterprises have a variety of needs, but the most important is simple communication, internally and externally. Since employees need to communicate with each other, with prospects, suppliers and customers, voice communications is at the heart of the enterprise. Get this right, and you solve many of their immediate problems. Of course, sophisticated solutions have emerged to meet these needs, such as the office PBX, but needs evolve and mobility is also becoming an essential consideration. User mobility means that they need access to the same voice communications features and functions across multiple devices and irrespective of their location.

Some operators and service providers are seeking to compete with office-based PBX solutions by offering hosted services in the form of IP Centrex. While IP Centrex meets the needs of fixed users and there are many terrific services available, offering the features and functions of a traditional PBX but in a more flexible fashion, the inclusion of mobility transforms the offer. Mobile Network Operators, of course, are best placed to capitalise on the evolved demands of enterprises, as they have the means to deliver communications anywhere. But, in the process they have to embrace a culture more focused on the general needs of the enterprise at large, rather than the specific needs of few marquee customers.

Mobile IP Centrex or Mobile PBX services combine the features of IP Centrex, but extend the capabilities directly to mobile handsets and devices, ensuring that all employees, regardless of location have access to the same features and functions that are available in the office. Mobile IP Centrex has the potential to liberate enterprise users from the constraints of their location and can provide a compelling product proposition necessary for mobile network operators to launch capitalise on opportunities to grow voice revenue profitably.

But that’s only part of the story. Mobile IP Centrex in and of itself is necessary, but not sufficient as a solution: it is only part of the proposition. Today’s enterprise customers look for more than simply a compelling product. They are as discriminatory as the most selected consumer customers. They need a compelling proposition that delivers on several other key requirements.

  1. With capital constraints growing ever more stringent, enterprises are looking for ways to lower their capital budgets.
  2. Enterprises also need to manage their operating expenses.
  3. Enterprises need to obtain real efficiency and productivity benefits from the solutions they adopt.
  4. Finally, enterprises also need to consider the most efficient means of deploying their own resources.

Mobile IP Centrex helps enterprises meet all of these goals. How?

  1. There is no major upfront capital investment.
  2. Operating expenses are shifted to predictable monthly rental bills for each user.
  3. The seamless transition between fixed and mobile devices and the ability to enjoy the same features on the road as when in the office promotes productivity and efficiency, truly liberating employees and ensuring that they can operate as effectively inside or outside the office.
  4. Finally, maintaining costly, capital intensive solutions in-house places demands on the organisation. Instead of managing a bloated system, IT analysts and support staff can spend their time more profitably designing processes that further enhance the organisation, adding real value rather than simply looking after an investment.

Voice in the form of Mobile IP Centrex can become part of a compelling proposition for enterprise customers, but it’s essential to emphasise the associated benefits. The ROI is much more than based on the feature set. For mobile operators to carve out a significant share of the enterprise service market, they need to focus on these attributes and ensure that a fully rounded proposition is made clear to potential customers. Ultimately, this is what will differentiate one service provider from another and allow them to grow voice revenues profitably.

What’s more, the chosen solution needs to be future proof. With IMS on the horizon, if not already deployed, service providers have to select a platform that is truly network independent and supports the converged environment enabled by IMS. With major network evolution in progress, the Mobile IP Centrex solution must be able to operate seamlessly regardless of the ongoing network transformation.

Why not talk to us and see how we can help create a truly compelling proposition for your customers?

Tore Saeter, August 2010

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