Tapping into the human side of 5G for the enterprise

In today’s 5G to enterprise race, those who win will be the ones who understand their customer’s business problems and utilize 5G as a toolbox to advance their customer’s needs. In order to do that, there are critical capabilities that need to be in place. Yes, 5G is about never-before-seen technology – but there is a risk to miss out on the new opportunities if all the great things that come with 5G are not coupled with specific business and operational capabilities geared for the enterprise.

In a recent blog post – my two colleagues Jan Abrahamsson and Erik Hedensiö highlighted key findings from a recent study - Capturing business opportunities beyond mobile broadband. Through conversations with leading service providers, their team discovered some consistencies and valuable insights from service providers who have made great strides with 5G for business.   

As the study points out, service providers must develop a fuller set of capabilities including culture, leadership, and skills – areas that may often become after thoughts or are perhaps not deemed as priorities from the start. Fortunately, the study presents insights that shed light on these critical capabilities and hopefully provide some inspiration for service providers looking to go beyond eMBB to get piece of the enterprise action 

Here’s a quick snapshot of some of them… 

Create an effective and scalable go-to-market capability    

First and foremost, I cannot express how critical it is for service providers to formulate a sound and well-constructed enterprise go-to-market model. In fact, an effective and scalable B2B and B2B2X go-to-market capability was rated as the highest valued capability among the involved stakeholders By this, we mean building a go-to-market capability that makes it:  

  • easier to engage with new types of customers in new ways;  
  • helps build credibility with the enterprise;  
  • distributes knowledge effectively;  
  • and ultimately drives business volume.  

This can be achieved by making certain investments to increase sales force competence, use cases, and processes that can truly scale. With these investments and considerations in mind, results in a future fit workforce equipped with the right skills, mindset and tools to co-create new and relevant solutions with customers and partners.  

Develop succinct insights into business challenges by industry vertical 

Get to know your customer.  For many service providers, this is entirely new terrain, so putting a high level of investment understanding the targeted enterprises’ digitalization demands really pays off. This means extra CxO attention and prioritzation on developing processes for building and distributing industry knowledge across the organization. The result is a more effective go-to-market strategy – one that is tailored for each target industry and is comprised of offerings designed and developed to address the unique pain points of each customer. 

Say good-bye to ego-systems and welcome greater collaboration and co-creation  

The reality is you can’t play in this space alone. As the go-to-market model is being set, its key to understand which partnerships and ecosystems must be considered. This also means letting go of “ego-systems” and a legacy of a do-it-yourself (DIY) mentality from B2C business.  It is only through partnerships that the service provider can expand customer reach and offer end-to end solutions.  This means being open to building new never-before-imagined relationships and fostering this mindset throughout the organization. The result is in co-creating and executing a strategy relying on an ecosystem of trusted partners aimed at gaining new business models and opportunities. 

Lead digital transformation from the top  

In the corporate world, we all know how critical it is to have top management support. It is most often than not essential to the success of any major business transformation. This means gaining commitment from both top and middle management who pay the right level of attention to the enterprise segment and who encourage and cheer on strategic successes as they watch their business evolve to new levels.  Evolving leadership and culture to a more progressive style really helps employees to prioritize on the right business opportunities. Here it’s about clearly defining and communicating focus areas and top-down priorities to the organization and enabling employees and processes to become more flexible and customer-oriented.  The result is in creating a culture that expresses and encourages a co-creative, innovative, and a customer-oriented mindset.  

Upskill, cross-skill, recruit and repeat 

The workforce must also be ready to evolve or adapt to automation and software-based operations. If these competencies are not easy to acquire through new partnerships, service providers must be ready to invest time and money on putting the right processes and tools in place to upskill, cross-skill, recruit and retain sought-after competencies. The ideal result is a fast, flexible way of working that enhances or onboards competencies and improves operational efficiencies as the business evolves.   Furthermore, the need to develop the “habit” to look at new opportunities and how they can be developed through co-creation will become the norm.  This will require new skills towards virtual working, entrepreneurship, creativity and openness – all of which are changes in mind set of most employees who have been in the service provider market and will take time to achieve but are not impossible. 

Want to explore this topic further? 

Have some fun with an interactive version of the Ericsson Operator capability chart taken from our study’s findings, that lets you explore the full range of capabilities that should be addressed as service providers explore the enterprise business.  


Ericsson Operator capability chart


Stay tuned for a future blog post that deep dives into the go-to-market capability.

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