Deployment of 5G is getting underway and is expected to increase rapidly, so it’s important that communication service providers (CSPs) develop support infrastructure now to address the lucrative 5G and related IoT markets that are projected to emerge within the next two to three years. This effort has near-term benefits as well because it applies to any B2B market. Indeed, a strong partner experience will strengthen all digital offerings, particularly in vertical B2B markets that are already attracting application and device developers who have innovative new solutions to connect, secure and commercialize. Here are five steps CSPs can take now along with important questions to ask:
1. Determine which verticals have the most potential and how to target them.
Should your company target customers in that market directly, as part of a joint venture, partnership or multi-tenant platform? Who are the innovative leaders in these vertical markets who are bringing new devices and services to market which need to be connected, secured and commercialized?
2. Consider market timing and where your business needs to be when the projected growth curve accelerates.
If vertical market opportunities begin to ramp within a year to 18 months, will your business processes and IT infrastructure be positioned to roll out value-added services, flex to support emerging business models, and capture a larger portion of each market than connectivity services alone will represent?
3. If a platform is needed, decide which approach to delivering platform-based services will work best for your company.
Does it make more sense to develop your own digital ecosystem, or would it be better to collaborate with existing platform providers?
4. Ensure that your BSS can extend a strong digital partner experience.
Does it cover the full lifecycle of the partner relationship from onboarding through to billing and sharing revenue? Does it offer automated self-service capabilities, and does it enable all participants to collect revenue?
5. Consider working with a strategic IT partner that has done this before.
It can be easier to get started by working with a partner who offers a fully managed end-to-end solution and which can offer a shared risk approach. Can your IT partner offer and sustain a payas-you-grow commercial model? Can it provide a fully managed, hosted and/or cloud-based solution? Does the IT partner have a demonstrable track record of successful solution delivery and strategic partnership with other market leading CSPs?