Enterprises trust CSPs, according to Ian Watterson of CSG and a survey by Analysys Mason. For decades they have trusted CSPs to provide connectivity, but not much more.
Now that the game has changed, because of the pandemic and other factors, this trusted relationship should place CSPs in pole position to leverage the extra opportunities but it just hasn’t.
Perhaps one reason, hinted at by Watterson, is that the industry seems stuck in a habit of talking about the ‘enterprise sector’.
The enterprise sector is huge and as diverse as it is possible to be. It covers everything from machines that cut down trees, to machines that milk cows, manage irrigation, hospitals, airports and everything in between.
In the past it was easy. CSPs would provide a VPN to a large enterprise and leave them to it.
With 5G came another opportunity and one where – if it is true that enterprises trust CSPs – they must be in pole position. Indeed, when 5G was still in the constantly churning hype cycle, our own straw poll survey showed that the ‘enterprise sector’ was where CSPs were targeting their initial 5G offerings because (they thought) it would be easy. Or at least easier than the consumer market, which would have to wait for standalone 5G.
It turns out that enterprises trust CSPs to provide reliable connectivity. They do not trust or even consider that CSPs know how to milk a cow or build a new airport.
That is not surprising.
What is surprising is that CSPs have not acted sooner to take their offerings to the next level. It is one thing to have an ‘enterprise unit’ but it is quite another to have the skill and knowledge to impress the farmer or the airport architect.
The answer, says Watterson, (and quite rightly) is to partner with intermediaries, who understand the requirements of the now hopelessly complex markets that are emerging from the decade of digital transformation that we have now ‘enjoyed.’
Enterprises trust CSPs for the billing expertise (for some reason). Enterprise billing used to be a conference stream in itself but now, with an intermediary in the mix, the wonderful term BOBO comes into its own. Billing on Behalf of Others is now an essential element in a CSP’s offering, and must support the multiple players and partners involved in each and every scenario.
To fully leverage the opportunities that are out there from these enterprises that apparently trust them, CSPs must forget about new ‘G’s’ and concentrate on building out relationships with entities that truly understand the sectors that they feel provide the best opportunities for their talents.
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