The choice for telecom wholesalers is simple: disrupt or be disrupted

Credit: BaLL LunLa /

There are moments in our lives where we find ourselves at a crossroad, afraid, confused and without a roadmap. The choice we make in those moments can define the rest of our days. After almost 25 years of constant growth and mostly smooth sailing, the international wholesale market is finally at one of these crossroads moments. Wholesalers have to decide if they have the courage to reinvent themselves and give themselves a chance to triumph – or if they prefer to continue doing what they know best for as long as they can before they meet their final destiny: certain death.

Never before in the history of the industry have wholesalers been challenged by so many disruptors, or what I like to call storms, simultaneously. Carriers who normally thrive in stability, commodity and simplicity now have to deal with the relentless technology, customer, enterprise and business model storms hitting the industry and forcing them towards a state of increasing flux and chaos.

Nevertheless, as I have stated on a number of occasions before, out of chaos comes great opportunities for those who dare to rewrite the rules and create a new reality, where they can differentiate, and even innovate and become disruptors themselves.

By rethinking the way they do things, by questioning the possibilities, and turning them into action, wholesalers will be able to innovate and make something that once seemed impossible possible again – which in their case is a lot of profit!

So the future is bright and exciting for the brave (and in some ways slightly crazy) people who have what it takes to take the leap of faith into the unknown. But the ride won’t be a smooth one for most, as many will not take the necessary and in many cases drastic actions required to succeed in this new reality.

Nevertheless, it is not all gloom and doom – far from it, as wholesalers already have the basic components for future success: global network and connectivity and the capabilities to help their customers simplify the growing complexity of their business through interworking, transcoding and interoperability.

If they can learn to build on these intrinsic capabilities and to revolutionize their business by generating new innovative solutions, concepts and applications on top of their global networks, they will win big. As at the end of the day, that is where their true value lies – their capability to interconnect people, devices and machines globally, fast, and reliably, and to become large scale service enablers.

Now the tricky – and in some ways risky – part is that to achieve this in today’s world, wholesalers will have to become something that they have never really been before: creative, agile, opportunistic and almost risk-seeking. They will also need to start before they are ready, to fail fast and learn fast and to become champions at associating with the right partners. Basically, this means reinventing the way they do business almost from start to finish.

Exciting times await, no matter what road wholesalers choose to take!

Written by Isabelle Paradis, president of Hot Telecom

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