It has been very challenging for service providers to launch innovative enterprise communication services that leverage their network assets – mainly because it’s time and resource heavy.
This is now about to change. A new market is opening up thanks to major technology shifts, including 5G, Cloud, AI/AR, IoT and eSIM, to name just a few. These technology shifts open up new possibilities for next generation digital transformation and more mobile ways of working
For service providers that embrace these technology shifts and provide innovative solutions to business users, healthy growth is in sight.
However, to be the preferred partner for business users service providers need to quickly and proactively release new and compelling services on top of their current network assets.
I believe that the way forward to do this is:
- Build turnkey services or enhance existing partner solutions
- Deliver ‘as a service’ for scale, reduced time to market, increased flexibility with security and quality of service control
- Provide cloud-based microservices, to be combined in different use cases
- Use existing network assets, VoLTE and eSIM
- Enable self-service and automation
Let me elaborate a little on the last bullet above. When I look at cloud communication, together with automatic eSIM provisioning and the corresponding use cases ‘Try&Buy’ and ‘Multi Device’, I see a perfect combination. Now we can get true convenience for business users. With self-service and automation, proactive service providers have a clear competitive advantage: use it!
Three sales strategy steps to revenue
1. Target the client. When it comes to business users, there are numerous segmentations in place.
- The most common is size Multi-National Companies (MNCs), Large Enterprises, Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Microbusinesses.
- Type of industry: Retail, Manufacturing, Finance, IT, Government, for example.
- Strategic importance of IT/Communication
All the segmentations above have their pros and cons. Personally, I favor the microbusiness segment here, since it’s here we can see clear business impact with a cloud communication service. For larger companies, SMEs and large companies, you also need to segment on item C above, ‘strategic importance of IT’. The reason is that SMEs and large companies that have very powerful IT departments tend to build their own applications, processes and ways of working. This often results in the need for a tailor-made approach. Tailor made takes time, costs a lot and when often, by the time it’s ready it’s usually out of date.
2. Convenience – offer solutions that work across industries, and solve time consuming and costly problems. When solved, the employees should be able to concentrate more on business execution.
3. Solutions should not require extensive investments, neither in equipment/systems integration nor in recruiting.
So, when looking on theses 3 steps to revenue, how does this translate into whom to target, with what and when?
My suggestion is to initially go for the untapped business segment – microbusiness. Most microbusinesses rely very much on a mobile first solution, cloud services are key since there is no need for in-house operation and maintenance. Another key attribute is there is very little time and resource to spend on anything not directly related to the business.
Most microbusiness today are using consumer subscriptions, in a survey that we conducted with a Service Provider we found that around 80% of the micro businesses were on a consumer package. Here is a very good opportunity to upsell if you design targeted packages. In addition, design the packages so that self-service becomes an advantage.
We also made some initial calculations on microbusinesses in Western Europe, here we saw clear possibilities for incremental revenues around €8 – €15 per user and month. Note, incremental revenue, i.e. on top of what these companies pay today for a consumer package.
So, how about the market? This picture is from an Ovum report on B2B demographics, August 2018, covering North America, Europe and Australia.
Here I think we see two good messages, the first is the 52 million employees (that at a €10 per user and month and 80% on a consumer package translates to a potential yearly market in of €5 billion).
The second good message relates to the amount of enterprises, 28 million. Clearly, automation and self service will be key along with smart marketing. The Service Provider that can utilize the perfect combination between Cloud Communication Services for business users with a fully automated solution for eSIM provisioning will move up to the driver’s seat here.
But it does not end here. After a successful launch of cloud communication offerings towards the micro business segment you can now go for SME and large companies, but remember, target the ones that are not after tailor made solutions.