5G talks a lot about the concept of Network Slice, whereby SLAs are guaranteed, for an end-to-end connection, stretching across network domain, service provider domains etc. The Network Slice needs to be cost effectively rendered as well as have the ability to dramatically scale bi-directionally as and when needed. This requires the CSPs to be able to dynamically leverage each other’s resources on a need basis through a marketplace. Standard APIs for negotiating in the marketplace connectivity resources is the only way. This is possible when CSPs leverage industry standard APIs for interaction in the market places.
With continuous infusion of focused platform-based services, and the ever-growing opportunity and demand to connect across services, a new phenomenon of Platform silos is being perceived by customers. Today’s customers are overwhelmed by the need to download multiple applications of different platforms and orchestrate their end to end needs. CSPs not only enable these focused online businesses, but also in many cases, have trusted relationship with the producers and consumers in the ecosystem. CSPs can leverage this unique situation to not only provide effective communication services, but also accelerate their growth by providing pre-canned trust between eco system players.
Regulatory requirements for protection and privacy (like GDPR by EU) of customers, can inhibit entry and growth of new focused solutions, as the quest for new participants may become difficult. CSPs can take this opportunity to offer consent based customer reachability while ensuring privacy and security of the producers and consumers. It must be noted that a Platform business is essentially about transiently bringing together appropriate producers and consumers and CSPs can be the mutually trusted player ensuring privacy and security.
With every passing day, we are stepping deeper into an interconnected world, where every service that we enjoy is explicitly or implicitly connected with each other. For example, if we plan a vacation, there is a lot of planning that goes into every aspect of travel, stay etc. A vacation also means we need to take care of many things back home while we are away. The list of these connected services keep growing. Hence, there is a need for an ecosystem that allows rapid creation of platforms for loosely connected services of different types.
CSPs can be orchestrators of an ecosystem which facilitates rapid creation of these multi domain second level platforms, leveraging their inherent assets (e.g. customer reach, invoicing capability, KYC, global connectivity) and trust relationship, apart from communication services.
In conclusion, CSPs have a clear inherent advantage when it comes to transitioning to Platform Business. While they can certainly be platforms for connectivity services, they have the potential of playing a far greater role across industry domains by hosting multi-domain service platforms, enabling secure customer reach and being explicitly part of other industry platforms.