Five things you must do to get ahead in enterprise
We’ve seen that while the enterprise market looks attractive it is also a competitive market for communication service providers, with some very large, very agile players.
The big question is: is it worth the bother? The answer is yes, it most certainly is. Here are five things you need to do to compete effectively in the enterprise space.
As I explored in my previous blog, Swimming with sharks: Is the enterprise market worth the effort?, the enterprise opportunity is really, really big. But the enterprise market isn’t without its challenges. It’s a highly dynamic and competitive market with lots of players, some of which have significant market presence. That said, communications service providers (CSPs) are also well established as connectivity providers in a business area which relies upon connectivity as an essential utility or service.
However, there are a number of CSPs including BT, AT&T, Verizon and China Mobile, who are already highly successful in the enterprise market with services beyond traditional communications services. New entrants to the wider enterprise market should ask themselves what they’re doing to be so successful and endeavor to learn from their success.
In this blog, I’ll outline five steps which we believe a CSP needs to consider when entering the enterprise market effectively and competitively.
To swim with sharks, you need to leap like a salmon
For CSPs to compete effectively in the enterprise market they need to become more agile throughout the design, deployment and operational phases of the service lifecycle.
Many Communication service providers are already undergoing complex digital transformations which not only address technology but also process and organizational structures to create leaner more reactive organizations.
Organizationally this may include the introduction of continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) methodologies and a DevOps approach to new product or service development.
From a technical point of view widescale automation of activities and processes can drive down service design and service operation costs, and closed loop assurance can improve customer experience and reduce churn. So how do CSPs increase agility?
The five-step plan for enterprise success
There are five key steps to increase agility and prepare for enterprise success. Many CSPs will already be involved in one or more of the five activities.
Service orchestration and lifecycle management
Implemented in the right way, service orchestration and automated life cycle management can bring strategically significant improvements to a CSP’s business. One study estimates that the OPEX impact of orchestration can drive savings equal to a CSP’s entire capital budget.
Network or domain automation is a key component for intent-based services. Network automation takes intent, calculates the network configuration and resource requirements, and automatically reconfigures or scales networks to deliver the required services to the required SLAs.
Real-time enterprise service assurance
The ability to assure end-to-end intent-based enterprise services is a key differentiator for CSP enterprise services. Doing this requires an understanding of intent, which can be translated into policies, configuration parameters, SLAs, and the ability to control and change networks to maintain QoS.
CPQ and zero-touch (automated) service fulfillment
One of the major issues with enterprise services today is the amount of time it takes to order and deliver new services. Many CSP enterprise sales rely on physical account teams and face-to-face selling, which is expensive and time-consuming. Automated service fulfilment rapidly improves order-to-cash time.
Intent-driven network slicing
The final part of the intent-driven service automation story is intent-driven network slicing. 5G network slicing offers a unique opportunity for CSPs to differentiate their businesses from the hyperscalers and ICT vendors and may act as a way to accelerate CSP enterprise service market share.
Intent-driven enterprise service orchestration
We’ve recently released a new Ericsson White Paper which looks at the enterprise market, opportunities, challenges, operator strategies and an in-depth guide to the five key activities listed. The enterprise opportunity is huge, and large parts of it are addressable by CSPs. However, as you’d expect from an attractive market, there is a lot of competition and CSPs need to change their approach to compete effectively in the enterprise ICT market. Service providers typically have a methodical engineering approach driven by a “five-nines” approach to resilience and long periods of testing before releasing software. This often means that operational costs are higher for CSPs, and in particular new product development and innovation is slow and expensive. By implementing high degrees of automation and in particular enterprise service orchestration, CSPs can drive down their operational costs, accelerate their software release cycle and compete with the most agile players in the market. It’s important to remember that without connectivity very few enterprise services work, and that CSPs have the unique capability to manage end-to-end quality of service and to differentiate around performance, reliability and scalability. This is their “secret sauce” and it’s a powerful capability.
Find out more
Read the new Ericsson White Paper: Intent-driven enterprise service orchestration.
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