As we look back on 2012 and forward to 2013 there are a few key opportunities that are becoming front and center for communications service providers (CSP) in the coming year and beyond. CSPs of course are still struggling with OTP (Over the Top) solutions as well as consolidation and price competition from innovative players like Free in France. But there is also significant opportunity.
NaaS (the Network as a Service). First and foremost the most valuable asset that a provider has beside the mountain of customer data (big data anyone?) is the network itself. CSPs should be looking to unlock their network with lightweight services that can be offered easily and simply to a wide customer base. With the proliferation of software ‘app stores’ independent as well as large developers have created a massive demand for mobile, location and network related activities to make their software work better. Companies like AT&T have already begun to do this with their Network API developer network. The untapped revenue opportunity for an already sunk cost for CSPs is huge in this area and the advent of mobile lightweight devices and cloud-based solutions is making NaaS red hot in 2013.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). CSPs are knows as communications and telephone companies. They also have a large amount of experience in managing and deploying mobile devices on a massive scale. I was at MobileCON this past Fall and BYOD was THE topic of choice for companies out there looking to manage a huge influx of devices from their employees. IBM is now managing over 100,000 BYOD devices for its own employees. However, most companies haven’t got a clue as to how to manage their BYOD problem. This is where the CSP can help. CSPs have a great opportunity to provide this level of service to corporations, universities, school systems and governments. BYOD is coming and will be red hot in 2013.
Social, Mobile & Personal. For years CSPs have talked about the 360 degree view of the customer and enhanced customer experience but most of them haven’t been able to achieve either one with consistency. CSPs need to start embracing their customers where their customers live – which is increasingly on mobile devices in complex social environments. While social commerce is still struggling to get out of the gate, there is evidence its influence is growing and it will increase throughout the year. Mobile commerce is booming and customer self-service capabilities are becoming table-stakes for CSPs and the ability to support personalized and directed offers for customers is critical for success in the new marketplace. This cannot be accomplished without a focus on customer insight and campaign management capabilities within the organization. Social, Mobile & Personal engagement with customers is going to be red hot in 2013.
There are certainly plenty of other opportunities for CSPs in 2013 but addressing any of the three listed here could be a significant impact to the bottom line in 2013.