Most enterprises are implementing or planning digital services, and a full 45% of that group expect to deploy services via their websites or mobile apps.
In fact, a full 95% of the 292 decision-making enterprise executives surveyed by Oracle Communications in September for its October 2018 report, "Digital Services: Disrupt or Be Disrupted" are busy with digital services. Respondents represented 18 industries across 14 countries: About half of those polled were involved in telecom, while the remainder were executives at computer hardware and software vendors, education, healthcare and manufacturing, according to Oracle.
Even though 5G has not yet officially arrived, 48% of service providers and 50% of executives at other industry enterprises believe 5G-enabled smart city-related traffic apps aimed at parking, tolls and lights, etc., will lead the 5G-enabled general digital services. Connected cars were another 5G beneficiary, as signaled by 43% of operators and 46% of general businesses, and consumer robotics -- for remote control tasks and property surveillance -- was picked by 43% of service providers and 44% of other industry respondents.
“The digital opportunity is clearly recognized by companies across all industries,” said Doug Suriano, senior vice president and general manager at Oracle Communications, in a statement. “While telecom companies have significant experience providing digital services, they face the challenge of delivering differentiated new revenue streams in an agile manner. Other industries, who in many cases are beginning to offer digital subscriptions and services enabled by physical products, also find they need more sophisticated and modern digital services monetization systems to capitalize on their digital opportunity.”
The latter's existing need for digital services adds up to a big opportunity for proactive service providers, said John Lenns, vice president, product management at Oracle, in an interview with Broadband World News. Today, 45% want to deploy digital customer engagement tools on their websites and mobile apps, the study found.
Where opportunity lies
Having heavily invested in infrastructure and delivering speeds of up to 1Gbit/s to many subscribers, service providers now want new ways to recoup and build upon their investment, accelerate deployment and defeat existing and new competitors entering the digital fray, Lenns said. After all, it takes more than technology to win over large enterprise customers and their large, perhaps multi-year contracts. Operators know this. They're banking on it.
"There are going to be winners and losers within this space. Those operators who leverage -- it's not just about the technology -- [it's leveraging] the technology in a profitable way who will be the winners," said Lenns. "You can divide up customers into the early adopters -- not just in terms of technology but in the new wave of services and how they deploy to the world -- and then there'll be the fast followers and then the people who lag behind them. Our customers see it coming, and there are customers that are embracing it and going forward, even in advance of 5G. They have to offer these new services profitably. There are ways to do that. That's what they want. [The survey] verifies what we've been thinking."
Pricing, for example, and the ways in which providers present and package services will be critical to success, he said. Whereas "simple subscription pricing" is the norm today, operators' menus will feature bundling of products or digital services; usage or consumption-based pricing and outcome or performance-based charging, Lenns noted.
Speed beats perfection in the finished product or service, too.
Taking a lesson from agile development, 91% of respondents prioritize speed over full integration within their IT environment -- a far cry from only a few years ago, when complete integration was the goal. Also, 69% would choose a lightweight, quickly deployable solution versus a fully featured solution that takes longer to deploy. And one-half of those polled say launching new, digitally enabled services should take only days -- nothing more, according to Oracle's survey.
The industry organization's major initiatives will address broadband differentiation based on quality of experience, global test labs for services, 5G, multi-access strategies and more, say CEO Robin Mersh and CMO Geoff Burke in an interview with BBWN.
Mike Zeto, GM of AT&T's Smart Cities division, expects metro areas to adopt platforms to manage multi-departmental IoT solutions once internal processes are aligned and more agencies are involved in smart city applications.
Fiber optic cable vendor Prysmian Group is now shipping its FlexRibbon Technology-based, US-sourced and made 6912 fiber MassLink Cable to service providers seeking densification for 5G or solutions for filled ducts.
Consumers are buying millions of IoT devices, from smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent entertainment setups and furniture. Yet many of these devices remain isolated because home users are uncomfortable connecting them to each other – or even their WiFi. After all, their WiFi network was probably designed only to handle a few laptops, a gaming system and a couple of smartphones. Now, demand on the network is surging and even though you're delivering 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, that doesn't necessarily mean the broadband power is in the right place or reaches every corner of a home.
Even if WiFi coverage is sufficient, typing is not on trend. Voice is far more natural, easier and faster. Using a TV keyboard is archaic when more and more households have access to cloud-based voice services, like Amazon Alexa. This webinar will explore how service providers can create a comfortable, truly smart home for consumers – simultaneously driving up margin and loyalty.
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on Thursday, November 1 at 8 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. UK as Ronan Kelly, CTO, EMEA & APAC Regions at ADTRAN, explores the five pillars of network integrity -- a topic he discussed during his recent Broadband World Forum keynote. Register now!