Q&A: On how CSPs can stop losing 5G business deals

5G business
Image credit | chelsdo

Following the research from BearingPoint//Beyond that points to CSPs losing out on early 5G business in the enterprise space, Disruptive.Asia asked Angus Ward, CEO how he would reverse the trend.

Disruptive.Asia: Angus, good to talk to you again. Could you quickly brief us on the findings of the research and further conversations?

Angus Ward: Of course. The fact is that, currently, most enterprise 5G business deals are not CSP-led. In most recent deals, such as within automotive, enterprises have been cutting out CSPs entirely and choosing to build their own private 5G networks as part of industry 4.0 smart manufacturing solutions. Without embedding 5G within broader industry solution offerings, CSPs run a real risk of being left out in the cold.

That is worrying. How entrenched is the problem?

Sadly, very. IoT is a classic example of how CSPs missed the boat by only winning 10-15% of the total IoT opportunity. History could repeat itself with 5G business where CSPs relegate themselves to being just a specialist connectivity provider and as a result, their potential growth will be impacted.

But don’t CSPs recognize the opportunity?

Yes, but while there is an acknowledgement of the opportunity, so far CSPs haven’t been willing to seize the opportunity to broaden and take a lead role in providing their customers with the solutions they want to buy. By doing this, they are negatively impacting their own bottom line and endangering their ability to monetise their 5G investments.

What do they need to do to reverse this?

In order to avoid losing ground in early enterprise 5G projects, CSPs must think business-first, not 5G-first. This means focusing on the ultimate business problems their customers are looking to solve and creating the best possible solutions that enterprises can quickly consume, with none of the costs and risks of integrating standalone products.

There’s a huge opportunity for CSPs to make their mark in verticals such as manufacturing, transport and utilities, but each has a different set of problems that customers are looking to address and so solutions that will drive value are specific to each industry vertical.

That is easy to say but how would you approach it if you were a CSP?

It would be wise to start small and pick an application or industry where an opportunity exists, to work collaboratively with an enterprise customer to understand and investigate the problem whilst co-creating solutions. Learnings can then be industrialised and productised and diffused into the wider market.

But they can’t do it themselves, can they?

No. There needs to be an acceptance that the CSP is unlikely to have all the answers themselves, so they will need to partner in complimentary fields and to orchestrate an ecosystem that helps realize the perfect solution for their customer.

CSPs need to get out of the mindset that they are simply connectivity providers and must be bold orchestrators of a complex web of relationships that can create real value for customers’ benefit.

If they can master the partnering and iterative co-creation and execution process, they will achieve 5G transformational utopia.

Thank you very much for these insights on how to address 5G business opportunities Angus, we will talk again soon.

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