New figures from Ovum highlight the rapid growth of digital services such as machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things (IoT). But the research also illustrates the extent to which operators must transform the way they do business if they are going to capitalize on such opportunities and not lose ground to over-the-top (OTT) service providers.
Ovum forecasts that the cellular M2M market will produce total worldwide revenues of US$252 billion in the 2015–19 period, with operators taking a $25 billion share of the $66 billion market in 2019. But the analyst company warns that telcos need to improve their ability to collect, aggregate and transport large amounts of information if they are going to grasp a bigger share of the opportunity.
“Operators need to leverage…their ability to aggregate large amounts of data around their customers,” says Jamie Moss, senior analyst at Ovum and author of the report. “It is the business decisions made, based on the aggregation and analysis of that data, that are the greatest source of value for enterprises and their connected service provider partners.”
The fact is, telcos face a growing challenge to transform their legacy systems and processes in order to ensure they remain competitive now and in the future. They need the agility to bring services to market quickly and take advantage of the wealth of data being generated in their systems and networks, in turn improving the customer experience. Simplification also plays a huge role in this transformation; both catalog simplification as well as implementing simple digital customer journeys.
They can’t do it alone. Collaboration will play an important part in helping telcos to transform their solutions, ensuring they are able to put the right people and processes in place throughout the organization while focusing on their business requirements. A collaborative business approach will mitigate risk and maximize opportunities. But which partners should a service provider choose to help them on that journey?
Because they have valuable legacy systems in place, telcos need to be able to rely on partners with a track record and proven experience of delivery, integration and management of core systems such as business and operational support (BSS/OSS), customer relationship management (CRM) and business information management (BIM). And with digital technologies and apps at the forefront of new services, strength in areas such as systems integration and application development and management will be key.
Above all, solutions need to be determined and driven by the business needs of the telco. Standardized, best-of-breed software and pre-configured processes, carefully mapped to the specific solution required, is the most effective way to ensure a successful transformation.
Finally, operators’ prized network assets need to be brought in line with new services to monetize the Big Data opportunity. Only the carefully considered application of real-time analytics, aligned with burgeoning network traffic and connected devices, will ensure that telcos make the most of the next wave of developments such as M2M and IoT.