We spoke to Alex Fuller, CTO of CloudSense, about the ways in which the B2B telco market is changing and how operators can adapt to meet the increasingly digital expectations of their customers

In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent to operators around the world that they must go beyond traditional telco services if they are to survive and thrive in an increasingly digital age. 

This is especially true of the B2B sector, where telco customers are increasingly looking for more than just raw connectivity. Partially spurred on by the pandemic, enterprise customers are rapidly growing more digital, with more specific service requirements from their telco partners.

“The B2B sector is growing more rapidly than B2C, partly through the incorporation of new areas of products, such as ICT,” said Fuller. “So, our customers need and are looking for commercial systems that allow them to innovate, adapt quickly, and move rapidly in the market. Ultimately, to combine together and effectively sell these more sophisticated types of products.”

You can view the full interview with Alex Fuller from the link above.

Perhaps the most important thing to note here is that, as digitalisation continues across various industries, customer expectations are changing. B2B customers want the convenience and simplicity of self service, even when dealing with increasingly complex products. Similarly, they seek an increased verticalisation of offerings from their service provider – not just connectivity services but industry specific solutions, requiring greater collaboration and integration.

“Customer expectations are increasingly consumer-like within the B2B sector,” explained Fuller. “As you go higher up the complexity scale, into the enterprises themselves, we see a wider and wider gap between the telcos’ organisational capabilities and the experience that customers are looking for.” 

Monetising 5G and the IoT effectively

Of course, one of the most vaunted opportunities for modern telcos in this regard comes in the form of 5G, which offers the potential to enable Industry 4.0 and debut new services, like network slicing. But while the potential here for telcos is undeniable, incorporating these new technologies into a comprehensive and effective service offering remains a challenge.

“CSPs have invested huge amounts in network automation in readiness for 5G, which is great, but it’s equally important to address the commercial layer,” said Fuller. “We need to be able to come up with new product offerings and combine these things together, to ensure that the business agility is there to adapt, respond, and innovate to take advantage of the 5G opportunity.” 

The IoT represents a similar challenge, with the sectors enormous scale meaning the efficiencies of a highly automated and digitised operation will become paramount to a networks success. If these capabilities are not integrated fast enough, telcos will not only find themselves losing business to competitors, but their own network operational costs will begin to increase dramatically

“On the other hand, where there are disconnects and manual interventions in the process, then costs can quickly grow,” said Fuller. 

Data at the heart of transformation

One of the many advantages of increasing digitalisation is an increasing availability of data. A modern telco has more and different forms of customer data on hand than ever before in the industry’s history but using that data effectively to enhance their approach to B2B can be daunting using traditional methods. 

Thankfully, machine learning, AI, and big data analytic techniques are becoming increasingly incorporated by ambitious telcos and are proving immensely useful in driving sales effectiveness across the B2B segment. 

“You can understand usage patterns and opportunities across very large cohorts and in ways that traditional analysis cannot,” explained Fuller. “You can create a rising tide of insight that can help to lift the overall performance of an enterprise sales team.”

 CloudSense and Total Telecom will be hosting a free virtual panel on 18th November on "Delivering an optimised digital experience for your business customers". For more information and to register, click here.

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