By Susan Campbell
The time is right for service providers to recognize new opportunities in converged services strategies as we consistently move toward an all-IP world. With convergence in place, the flexibility to deliver new services and business models is enabled. At the same time, a holistic, go-to-market strategy is essential to support new opportunities in this space.
A recent Alcatel-Lucent article, Converged Services Go To Market stresses that service development is key to staying competitive in today’s market. With constantly changing dynamics, it’s critical that service providers participate the right way in the right markets. The traditional methods for doing business have to evolve to include multi-sided business models that support more sophisticated settlement models, partner ecosystems, new delivery channels and new ways to measure success.
The go-to-market strategies in place today fail to support the all IP-world as they were developed in an effort to support subscription-based postpaid and prepaid models for text, voice and Internet data access services. New areas such as pay-per-use and digital media delivery demand new approaches as advertisers are playing a significant role and areas such as mobile money and M2M are gaining significant ground.
In a new market where converged services are in high demand, new go-to-strategies must require that service providers experiment in the market to correctly identify the next model that ensures a win not just for themselves, but also for their customers and partners. These strategies must also act as a catalyst for innovation, effectively opening the door to new opportunities.
Enabling converged services in an all IP-world requires a converging of networks to a single IP access and service layer. It entails moving more and more capabilities to the converged services network edge to enable what Alcatel-Lucent calls the High Leverage Network. This approach allows service providers access to the operational efficiency and cost savings necessary to deliver traditional and next-generation messaging, voice, data access and content services. This convergence also ensures service providers have the necessary flexibility to deliver new services and business models.
Service providers can leverage converged, all-IP networks to open their network APIs for third party developers and aggregators seeking to create new retail and wholesale services, combining their own assets with Web innovations; combine disparate data sources with IT systems to offer a new level of subscriber intelligence for monetization; enable optimal content experiences on any screen through new content delivery networks; deliver HD voice, video calling, Rich Communications Suite and Unified Communications; provide platforms to enable new cloud services; create an environment to support M2M applications in key industries; and use network and IT assets to leverage growing opportunities in new areas.
To develop the right strategies to leverage these new opportunities, service providers need to explore new go-to-market strategies, incorporating accelerated convergence where possible, experimenting with new models enabled by converged networks, align the organization with new opportunities, change their approach to evaluation and measurement, share the risk, keep customers at the center, and find and protect the right partners.
The market has changed and will continue to evolve in a new direction, creating new opportunities for service providers at every turn. Those unable to develop new go-to-market strategies will be quickly left behind.