What's lurking on the horizon? What can businesses expect at a time when so much is in flux? I've gleaned some insight from unexpected, diverse sources recently.
I don't often experience déjà vu, and even more rarely does it occur in two different domains.
I recently read The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum. In the book, Schwab writes:
This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different. It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.
And have you read Origin, the latest masterpiece from Dan Brown? When I did, it was kind of apocalyptic. In particular, this paragraph stood out:
Human beings are evolving into something different. We are becoming hybrid species -- a fusion of biology and technology. The same tool that live outside our bodies -- smartphones, hearing aids, reading glasses, most pharmaceuticals -- in fifty years will be incorporated in our bodies to such an extent that we will no longer be able to consider ourselves Homo Sapiens.
See what I mean by déjà vu? I can vouch; these quotes do the best job of paraphrasing what lurks on the horizon in terms of the socio-business environment. So what does that mean for us as professionals? How can we use this insight to become better service providers, better business people?
Today's digital landscape
There are several salient features of today's digital landscape that define the basic rules of business in the digital era:
Digital technology is widespread and spreading fast: Cross-border flows of digitally transmitted data accounted for one-third of the increase of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 and it is increasing, 2017 research found. This creates outsize influence for some nations and companies, altering the world order.
Digital players wield outsize market power: In 2017, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook were the five most valuable companies, far outpacing their brick-and-mortar brethren.
Digital technologies are poised to change the future of work: This is what often being produced as evidence as the "Second Machine Age," when businesses apply automation, big data and artificial intelligence to digital technologies and ultimately impact about half the world's economy.
This direction is characterized by speed and accuracy. In this age, many pundits predict customer experience management will be a game changer for a business -- no longer lingering on the periphery as it has done in the past.
Yin and yang of broadband
Broadband penetration is directly linked to each country's development. A 10% increase in broadband penetration increases that nation's per capita GDP by 1.38%, the World Bank's Economic Impact of Broadband report finds. Specifically, the paper finds, broadband has a "significant impact on growth and deserves a central role in country development and competitiveness strategies" for developing nations." The infrastructure also is vital to developed countries, too, for continued advances and success, the report says.
Having broadband is not enough, though. When you're talking about a broadband continuum based on speed, users can conduct only basic browsing and email at 1Mbit/s or lower rates. However, for high-end applications like virtual reality, people need speeds of about 1 Gbit/s to 10 Gbit/s, according to the World Bank Report.
By attaining high speeds some providers unfortunately believe they've attained their goal and now can overlook the importance of customers' experience management. What more can subscribers want, they may ask, now they can zip around the Internet using virtual and augmented reality, watching movies with no lag time and playing games with zero buffering? It is, however, imperative to remember that overall broadband performance is like yin and yang. It's a blend of technology and experience management.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.