KX, a worldwide leader in real-time streaming analytics, in partnership with STL Partners, a leading telecoms consulting and analyst firm, has published a new report outlining the key strategies operators should adopt to accelerate their go-to-market strategy for edge computing.
Based on a series of in-depth interviews with operators and enterprises across different regions and markets, the report titled ‘Why telcos need to capture the edge opportunity now’ offers a path for operators to build out edge networks and services that will deliver a platform for long-term commercial success while also ensuring short-term revenue generation.
Edge computing is forecasted to be a $200Bn market by 2026, according to STL Partners. Despite 49% of enterprises in sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and transport & logistics already exploring edge computing, the report acknowledges that many operators have so far found it challenging to capture a significant amount of this demand and generate revenue.
However, with 5G networks now well established, much has been learnt regarding both the technical requirements for edge computing and the demand from enterprises keen to take compute and analysis closer to where data is being generated. The report argues that with the groundwork laid, now is the time for operators to fully commit.
“While 5G has understandably been a priority for operators, edge computing offers a potential source of significant revenue growth,” believes Paul Colgan, SVP and Head of Telco, at KX. “Investment in edge should now be seen as being part of a wider 5G strategy, building the network and platforms that will carry the next generation of services such as low latency real-time analytics, that enterprises are demanding.”
Regarding what go-to-market strategies to adopt, the report recommends considering two approaches. A vertical one, focused on building industry specific solutions mapped to defined use cases and a horizontal approach that is more platform based and focused on connectivity and compute. Operators should commit to either one, rather than trying to be all encompassing, at least in the short term.
“We are now at an inflection point for edge computing,” adds Dalia Adib, Edge Computing Practice Lead and Director at STL Partners. “While operators acknowledge monetization has been slow, the market is in a different position and now is an opportune time. Whether through the roll out of vertical use-case specific solutions or the development of horizontal platforms, operators must identify and pursue clearly defined customer segments and use cases if they are to realise the opportunity available to them.”
The final key finding from the report is around the importance of partnerships and how, by drawing on the experience and expertise in the wider ecosystems, operators can capture demand and generate revenue. The hyperscale cloud vendors are one obvious and important set of partners, along with leading application and software vendors such as KX.
Adds Colgan: “The telecoms sector is at the forefront of digital transformation, and edge computing will be critical in helping operators drive faster outcomes for customers, but only if they embrace the wider partner ecosystem that is building the services and solutions being demanded by companies in all industry sectors.
The full report can be downloaded here: https://stlpartners.com/edge_computing/why-telcos-need-to-capture-the-edge-opportunity-now/. A recording of a webinar that accompanied the launch, moderated by STL and including representatives from KX, AT&T, BT Global Services and Telit can also be viewed here: https://kx.com/events/why-telcos-need-to-capture-the-edge-opportunity-now/