Telco strategy for making the industry attractive to ecosystem partners

At this moment, Telecom service providers are making strategic choices and investments to safeguard their future relevance - finding new revenues in new industrial contexts. 5G promises a range of new capabilities that will boost relevance and foster new partnerships between Telecom and other industries. However, installing 5G technology alone will not be enough. Read more below.

Digitalization is a formidable transformative challenge that will shake out new winners and losers across a variety of industries. Telcos face the challenge of digitizing themselves so that they in turn can accelerate the digital transformation of their B2B customers.

In a recent meet-up at the Ericsson Studio in Sweden, Jan Karlsson, our acting Head of Business Area Digital Services, and top industry influencer Ronald van Loon discussed the drivers, opportunities, and challenges that Telecom services providers face. At the same time that users expect a full 360-degree experience and digital journey across all devices and touchpoints, the next challenge for Telco's remains - how to simultanously enable and monetize B2B relations. Our industry need to evolve customer experience and relevance in adjacent industries far beyond what we have been doing, and strategy choices and execution will be paramount.

As part of this dialogue, we learn from Jan Karlsson how telecom operators need to approach and manage their relationships with their new B2B partners going forward - in a better way. Jan outlines three critical capabilities needed on the journey to ensure that Telecom service providers deliver value to B2B partners and ecosystems. In summary these are

  • Being real-time. Business support systems (BSS) that today are batch-oriented and set up to operate and deliver once per month, once per week, or once per hour will be not be sufficient to meet future B2B ecosystem demands that are real-time.
  • Being accessible by opening up the relevant APIs. These APIs have to be simple enough to be used by B2B ecosystems, not just internally inside the telco organization.
  • Being data-driven by exposing analytics information that the ecosystems can benefit from in a secure, anonymized way. There's a wealth of data in the networks that the industry still has not been able to expose and generate value from.

Who will be the Telco leaders in this transformation? That may be one of the 450 billion dollar questions (view the video for reference) that inspires us all to be part of and work in this industry. What is Jan Karlsson's answer to this question? Take a look for yourself by viewing the video below.

I find Jan Karlsson's answer to the above question very interesting, as he ellaborates on the way challengers, incumbents and more nimble telco operators may approach the new opportunities with different strategic intent. Jan also provides some specific examples of operators that steps outside the boundaries to find innovation and new sources of revenues.

Ronald van Loon is a top-10 global data and IoT influencer (Twitter: @Ronald_vanLoon, LinkedIn: Ronald van Loon). The video is from Ericsson's behind-the-scenes event where top influencers Dez Blanchfield, Lillian Pierson, Reuven Cohen, and Ronald van Loon came to Sweden to meet with over 50 Ericsson employees. Click here for the report on their visit to our Studio.

In 2016 we announced the game-changing Ericsson Revenue Manager, designed for 5G, and in 2017 we have been demonstrating exciting new 5G business models with Revenue Manager and customers such as Entel, Veon, and T-Mobile, are investing in digital transformations powered by Ericsson's Digital BSS vision and are now seeing the first benefits from those deliveries. It is gratifying to see other vendors now starting their own journeys down this path in the run up to this year's Mobile World Congress.

Gartner has positioned Ericsson as a leader in its 2017 Integrated Revenue and Customer Management (IRCM) for CSPs Magic Quadrant Report, furthest in Completeness of Vision. Want to learn more? Download a complimentary copy of the Gartner Magic Quadrant report:

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