“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”. It’s quite striking that this quote by Socrates is still so relevant today.
Over the last ten years, our industry has been reshaped by the cloud, the decline in revenues from traditional services, and the rise of new challengers from beyond the telecoms world. It is this ‘changing reality’ that will be the theme of the upcoming Pacific Telecom Council’s annual conference. Change, driven by the breakneck speed of technology innovation, is inevitable. That is why I see managing change and having an unfaltering focus on innovation as key to success for service providers in 2017 and beyond.
Beyond the hype of telecoms industry evolution
While industry watchers have been talking about the changing world of telecoms as something looming in the horizon for some years, the hype has now faded away. It’s now a reality, and we’re seeing more and more service providers exploring strategies for not just managing this evolution but capitalising on it too.
The opportunity for service providers is to re-look at their business as a whole and support their customers’ digital transformation with new services. These include cloud, software-defined networking and unified communication and collaboration.
Banking on cloud to innovate
Many service providers’ enterprise customers have woken up to the harsh reality of having to keep up with not only their old competitors, but also new nimble start-ups with the potential to turn the whole sector upside down. These disruptors have harnessed the full power of the cloud to drive their growth through new platforms and ecosystems. The cloud is therefore levelling the playing field and spurring innovation like we’ve never seen before.
For large enterprises, this means that they too need to be more focused on innovation or risk getting left behind. In the banking sector, for example, there is a pressure to offer customers glitch-free services, real-time visibility over financial data and the best deals faster – regardless of device or platform. Banks need to ensure a truly omni-channel, real-time user experience, tapping into big data analytics to develop a much more complete view of their customers and their behaviour, spanning online and offline, including websites, contact centres, branches, social channels and mobile apps. This allows them to then target each customer much more effectively with new deals, and through enhanced engagement, strengthen customer loyalty too.
To empower them to capitalise on the opportunities that this omni-channel world and huge volumes of data bring, many banks have turned to the cloud. It gives them not only the computing power to process and analyse petabytes of data in near-real-time, but – crucially – the flexibility to innovate through the development of new products and services without huge capex investment and with minimal risk.
Yet, the more enterprises rely on the cloud, the more important their network becomes. And, the multitude of different clouds, connections, applications and data sources also creates complexity for organisations, which can hold them back. How can service providers help enterprises tackle this complexity?
The next big thing: SD-WAN
I see software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) as something that has the potential to deliver truly transformational changes for service providers’ enterprise customers because it eliminates this complexity. That is why we introduced our IZO™ SDWAN service late last year – amongst the first global service providers to enter this emerging space.
By bringing together the scalability and cost-effectiveness of the Internet with security and reliability of a private MPLS WAN, the combination of IZO™ Internet WAN, IZO™ Hybrid WAN and IZO™ SDWAN enables enterprises to deploy a new kind of hybrid network infrastructure. IZO™ SDWAN empowers CIOs with unprecedented control over the whole network infrastructure across all branch offices, whereby they are able to scale network resources up and down based on demand and changing market conditions. It also helps enterprises to make the most of their applications by boosting their performance both on-premise and in the cloud, and ensuring an optimal user experience for employees. Because CIOs are able to dynamically route traffic between the Internet and the private network, IZO™ SDWAN can deliver major cost savings for enterprises.
Crucially, it gives even the largest conglomerates the agility of a start-up, enabling them to innovate faster.
We are collaborating closely with industry partners to accelerate the deployment of IZO™ SDWAN globally and enable enterprises to adopt it with ease.
Keeping up with change through partnerships
As innovative technologies and disruptive business models continue to shape the telecoms industry, the right partnerships enable service providers to introduce new solutions such as SD-WAN more quickly and with less risk and capital investment, while addressing the rapidly evolving requirements of their enterprise customers.
I believe that partnering will be a real driver for growth in 2017, because the speed of change in our industry is accelerating. We all need to manage change in the long term and move faster than ever to capture opportunities for sustainable growth.
How do you see new technologies shaping the partnerships of the future? Let us know in the comments below.