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Hansen CTO Joins Panel Discussion at DTW: Can CSPs transform fast enough to compete in the enterprise 5G market?

Our Chief Technology Officer, Guy Tennant, joined a panel session at Digital Transformation World, to discuss the following topic: Can CPSs transform fast enough to compete in the enterprise 5G market? 

It was a lively discussion, chaired by Camille Mendler of Omdia, where a number of questions were posed to the panel: What is enterprise 5G? Is the opportunity mostly with the enterprise market when considering 5G and edge services? Enterprise 5G, what is different? And what do enterprises want?  

It was generally acknowledged that it’s still early days for 5G, but momentum is building – less of a big bang and more a case of increased adoption, and what the enterprise wants is a significant driver in future adoption and momentum of 5G services, rather than what the operator wants. Enterprise 5G opportunities will ultimately deliver successfully when use-cases are clearly defined – and it is these use-cases that are going to incrementally add to revenue.   

What are the additional use-cases?  

The panel consensus and discussion focused on adding partner services – this will be core for the CSP in distinguishing itself from being just a connectivity provider. Off-the-shelf (OTS) type of stuff, mobile, network etc., core components of the quad-play, will evolve.  

The notion that the money is in the large enterprise space was challenged. Enterprise as the 5G opportunity is only about 2% of the entire B2B enterprise market. CSPs will need to target more than the enterprise to scale their businesses in the future; B2B2X opportunities will present industry-specific opportunities that require specialised solutions.  

Putting assets into a network that has sensitivities around it in relation to security such as power supply needs a level of network connectivity that is protected and secure. 5G will deliver improvements on Wi-Fi reliability and latency.   

Guy provided his take on what’s needed by CSPs to succeed:

“It’s going to require experimentation and focus on business flexibility and ability to partner well, and easily. Be prepared to build incrementally with customers. Enabling partners to support their resellers in the marketplace right down to niche and small service providers, as an example, provisioning a 5G slice for school bus network connectivity.”

5G for the enterprise will primarily initially be delivered by the operator. Or will it? The panel discussion opened the debate on where the adoption and acceleration for new 5G use-cases will gather greater momentum. There were no crystal-ball answers but a sense that the market is open to operators and enterprises alike.  

Summarisations from the panel responding to questions from the audience on “What will move the needle and when regarding 5G services?”  The needle is moving already for CSPs. They need to look at how to retain customers through partner services and look to this opportunity to drive customer loyalty and incremental growth. CSPs need to look at volume sales – Guy proposed that adding many partners to the CSP proposition will require a flexible entrepreneurial approach, knowing that the service partner has an established positive relationship with the customer and work with this to build trust by association and extend channels to market.  

How does a telco make revenue going beyond connectivity, such as partnerships? Utilising your partners’ sales channels to sell the CSP’s services is one option but there was also a recognition that the CPSs have strong trusted relationships with customers and partners, and partners and will look to them to present the value-add services.  

“What are the triggers when considering 4G to 5G?” – a couple of focus areas were covered as the panel discussion drew to a close: cost needs to come down, delivering better selling strategies, having the right sales conversation, that gets into the secret sauce – teasing out what the customer is looking to achieve. If CSPs are going to embrace the partner market, they will need to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and invest in technologies, like Catalog and order-driven fulfilment that enables the technology to pull through and ingest all products and services, from an infinite number of partners.  

Camille summed up what enterprises want – safety, knowledge and predictive intelligence.   

A great first day at Digital Transformation World for the Hansen team.