CSPs’ underlying support systems will have to enable cross-ecosystem processes and more flexible monetisation than the established traditional BSS/OSS stacks to support its evolution in the B2B2X value chain.
The Communication Service Provider (CSP) industry continues to change rapidly due to technological evolution, customer expectations and a competitive landscape. Post-covid digital initiatives show that there is no U-turn from the digital acceleration that the epidemic brought in. CSPs’ role in the global value chain remains critical, but the value extracted from the digital evolution will depend on their strategy.
Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels, while the World Economic Forum estimates the value of digital transformation for society and the industry could reach $100 trillion by the same year. In 2022, and in-line with such predictions, spending on digital transformation technologies and services reached $1.8 trillion, a value predicted to increase to $2.8 trillion by 2025, according to Statista.
However, enterprises still have significant opportunities to increase digitalisation in their business and operational activities. To achieve this, companies are searching for digital technology, services, trusted suppliers, and partners who can provide solutions that support their digital adoption toward clear business outcomes:
- Enable new connected products and services within the Internet of Everything;
- Growing revenue via digital marketing, e-commerce and digital marketplaces;
- Satisfy customers while increasing operational efficiency over digital customer engagement;
- Improving employee productivity, collaboration and experience in hybrid work settings;
- Move to cloud the IT and technology platforms to increase agility and enhance cost-benefit;
- Support data-driven business decisions over quality data and timely information insights.
B2B2X Opportunities and Challenges
Recognising the opportunity in global digital transformation, most CSPs are placing bets on B2B services. However, traditional CSPs’ services for communications and connectivity alone are already seen as a commodity. While over-the-top digital services provided by companies like Google extract higher value from CSPs’ networking services, cloud-based collaboration solutions such as Microsoft Teams grow in value delivered to enterprises, pressuring CSPs’ traditional communications services.
With companies moving from on-premises data centres to fully public or hybrid cloud set-ups, public cloud services for infrastructure, platforms and applications are forecasted to grow 20.7% to a total of $591.8 billion in 2023, with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) having a compound growth rate of over 16% from 2021 to 2026.
The traditional services that telecom operators once provided for private networks are not always needed in these hybrid and multi-cloud environments. A shifting market trend is ongoing in Enterprise connectivity services, with growth in managed SD-WAN services with the need for MPLS solutions drastically reducing and cloud connectivity becoming mission-critical. By 2025, 80% of enterprises will have adopted a SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) architecture to unify enterprise-wide user access to web, cloud and private applications ("Market Guide for Single-Vendor SASE", Gartner, 2022).
With this shift, new competition further pressures CSPs’ traditional business. System integrators and other specialised companies are claiming a slice of the pie by directly providing new overlay connectivity services to enterprises.
To keep their fundamental role in enterprise connectivity services, CSPs must continue investing in next-gen networks with SDN and 5G and overlaying managed connectivity solutions to enable the new enterprise IT landscape on cloud and hybrid infrastructures.
How can Celfocus help?
Using a mix of professional services and Celfocus assets, and market products, Celfocus holds vital capabilities for CSPs:
- Digital Exposure of CSP services, tackling digital applications for agents on assisted channels through digital customer self-care and API gateways for partners and customers. Consolidation of a multi-channel one-stop-shop for products and omnichannel interactions with customers and partners;
- Business-to-Business Orchestration of value delivery with multi-party coordination and digital workflows. From a structured approach for bespoke orders through fulfilment automation to a comprehensive strategy for ecosystem partner interactions;
- Service Assurance for efficient operations, from managing Service Level Agreements to proactive monitoring of services, AI-assisted near-real-time decision support from mass-volume service data streams, and incident handling and automation;
- Data & Services Monetisation from enabling flexible charging and billing mechanisms for bespoke CSP offers through monetising APIs to real-time Data & Services Monetisation by data exposure and charging over advanced product and service analytics.