Strategic Thinking is needed for service providers to get through the upheaval of the next couple of years. The last couple of years have been all belt tightening and cost cutting -- to the point that service delivery, sales and customer support have suffered greatly.
Google Says Mobile Operators Have To Think About Service Delivery, Not Data Plans - "meaning they have to go beyond monthly subscription fees and add value to the types of services OTT players, content providers and others are currently driving."
In an ITEXPO panel about Hosted versus Premise, the panelists were discussing business drivers such as BYOD, Security, lack of skills, and integration of BPI (business process improvement) as reasons that businesses are moving to UC&C (unified communications and collaboration).
Beyond just what product will you (try to)sell, service providers have to think about what their customers need and will pay for -- as well as can you sell it?
After the sale, can you Integrate it, On-board the customers, and support them? These will be three integral factors in customer retention - a metric that is becoming more significant as the revenue pools flatten.
Gary Kim headlines that SP's are becoming irrelevant. "At some level, it is hard to argue with the notion that what people "want" is the applications and services the Internet provides, and not "broadband access" as such."
3G, 4G, cable, DSL, wi-fi, satellite, fixed wireless - consumers couldn't care less. They just want reliable broadband to enable them to hit the Internet for the apps that they want like Facebook and Amazon and itunes.
Security, BYOD, and Managed IT are not pipe related, but are ways that service providers can add value to their base. At the end of the day, the SP's have to offer more value than OTT players or more value than just dumb pipe if they want to stay relevant.