The shift to ubiquitous connectivity has pushed traditional communication service providers (CSPs) to invest in 5G infrastructure, spectrum and networks. And it has compelled cable service providers to find ways to leverage their new spectrum rights. So far, this move has driven innovation for consumers. On-demand viewing with over-the-top (OTT) players has disrupted the space and begun cannibalizing traditional services, impacting the voice and data value chain.
CSPs are looking to the enterprise (business-to-business) segment to help monetize their investments in 5G. And with connected enterprise and industry communication gaining momentum, this focus is a smart move. The enterprise or B2B segment is looking to monetize its asset data to drive greater efficiencies, improve the customer experience and augment its revenue-generation capabilities. Connectivity will be the key driver for this transformation. And CSPs are well-placed to assist enterprises in their digital transformation journey. Collaborating with partners will drive innovative solutions that target the enterprise segment.
Partner Ecosystem Benefits
5G will redefine how the enterprise landscape operates and is one of the biggest enablers of an interconnected, digital world. An enterprise 5G journey is challenging to build but presents a unique set of opportunities. Enterprises should consider working with a CSP with a robust partner ecosystem to benefit from a connected digital environment.
With diverse partners, CSPs can leverage features they would not otherwise be able to navigate alone: data mining, device connectivity, old-device customization, new-device support, spectrum management, infrastructure development, and many more.
Establishing a broad partner network makes it easier for CSPs to overcome the challenges in their path toward 5G monetization. With strategic collaborators, CSPs can tap into:
- Vertical industry knowledge – Enterprises want to enhance connectivity but are looking for a keen understanding of their domain and processes from CSPs. And CSPs need to understand vertical industries like healthcare, manufacturing, retail, banking and others. CSPs need help to respond to enterprise demands. A partner’s domain knowledge and capability to solve an enterprise’s business problems can be invaluable.
- Use case development expertise – Beyond traditional connectivity, CSPs need to engineer customized solutions for enterprises. But this requires domain expertise across industry segments to develop meaningful use cases. Again, partners can be a critical resource here, as the right collaborator can bring diverse experiences to bear.
- E2E view from device to Cloud – A CSP can help with an end-to-end view starting from a device, how it connects to the 5G backbone, and the platforms and applications driving an enterprise’s digital transformation journey, both at the Edge and in the Cloud.
- Device engineering and qualification – A CSP entering the enterprise space will have to customize old devices, develop and test new devices and iterate the system environment for validation of any device. This process leads to increased cost and time to market. A partner ecosystem can minimize these delays.
Turning 5G Enterprise Challenges into Opportunities
Enterprise solutions can open new markets and new revenue streams. This uncharted territory brings a unique set of challenges, but within those challenges lies opportunity. 5G networks are faster, have expanded capabilities and enable efficient intranets that connect more devices. However, existing enterprise devices need transformation to “speak” the new 5G language. This transformation is central for enterprises to take advantage of the expanded network – an important area where a trusted partner can add tremendous value. For example, a system integration partner can connect existing wired devices to the 5G backbone to monitor cables and reduce equipment downtime caused by damage and failures.
CSPs should develop partner ecosystems that can deliver complete, next-generation enterprise solutions. Look for partners with core engineering in their DNA, connectivity expertise, vertical domain expertise, skill at navigating Industry 4.0 frameworks, and a history of solving enterprise business problems. These skills and more are required for CSPs to truly deliver the 5G-enabled solutions that will drive their next wave of growth.