B2B2X – the key for telecom operators to rise above Xpectations (Reader Forum)
The idea of digital transformation has taken center stage over the last few years and has thrown open many opportunities for organizations to fundamentally change the way they do business. In particular, as telecom operators have expanded into new and emerging markets, they are faced with an ever-increasing set of expectations from both enterprises and consumers.
This changing landscape requires telecom operators to have their ducks in a row so that internal processes and systems are designed to support business objectives while ensuring a seamless and on-demand rollout of digital services.
What is B2B2X?
B2B2X is a new business model in which a telecom service provider is primed to deliver services to any number of end users. The idea is to integrate telecom and IT services capabilities with applications used by enterprises to offer services to customers, retailers, partners, suppliers or any other entities that might make up the “X”.
A B2B2X model — at the heart of integrating telecom & IT services
Telecom operators and IT service teams have been working towards integrating network infrastructure along with applications, portals and third-party applications so these can be offered as a bundled service to enterprises.
B2B2X involves telecom operators gaining a better understanding of the industries in which their customers operate and appropriately reconfiguring their businesses and operating models while achieving improved agility and openness in their processes. All this leads to digital transformation by placing telecom and IT services into the products of other companies and considerably increasing revenue by extending the value chain.
The business driver for the telecom operator’s customer isn’t to source telecom or IT services for internal consumption but as a means of offering a differentiated value proposition to the market.
The chart below explains this service chain:
Vertical-specific use cases of B2B2X that are disrupting business
One of the upsides of B2B2X is its ability to be applied across a variety of verticals. Captured below are some of the interesting use cases across a variety of industries:
- Transportation & Mobility: The future of transport is evolving right before our eyes as new disruptions such as self-driving cars, flying taxis and high-powered drones begin to take shape. Using the inherent advantages of B2B2X, a telecom provider can service the entire value chain, from connectivity to the integration of vehicle telematics on a single platform.
- Healthcare: With the emergence of IoT and the ubiquity of connected devices, traditional healthcare is undergoing a radical change. There is also a palpable shift towards wellness and holistic living that is driving people to capitalize on the emergence of digital health. Telecom providers can now play a pivotal role by providing the right enablers — for instance; they could look to develop a telemedicine solution for a monitoring and analytics platform for people with implanted cardiac management devices.
- E-commerce: With the e-commerce boom now extending to several developing countries across the world, the retail industry has been turned on its head. This also means that the market is ripe for the taking for players of any scale who can leverage technology as a key innovator. Telecom providers have developed e-commerce solutions for end users to simply tap and pay while also providing Mobile Financial Services.
- Energy and Utility: The energy sector is the more traditional of the industries we have discussed so far and is plagued by issues such as outdated infrastructure, cost pressures, climate change and unpredictable oil prices to name just a few. Telecom providers can now help address some of these challenges by developing a solution based on an M2M platform. This platform would enable remote grid measuring and provide pertinent analytics to energy firms.
Telco’s need a dance partner to leverage B2B2X for competitive advantage
According to a recent report by Arthur D Little (ADL), the B2B2X market is predicted to account for 8% of global ICT spending by 2020. This totals up to a staggering figure of close to $300 billion, most of which remains untapped as we speak. While this is a great opportunity, Telco’s might not have all the skills readily available inhouse to hit the ground running. The idea is to enhance the value to the target customer by strategically integrating telecom expertise and IT capabilities with the right set of business services.
It is precisely in this area that a trusted technology services partner can bring their engineering expertise, product innovation culture and blend it seamlessly with their deep understanding of chosen businesses. Hence, Telco’s would do very well to partner with such companies and bring about an intersection of SDN/NFV Engineering with Analytics & IOT services. What better way could there be for Telecom companies to deliver exponential business value to the end customer and rise well above Xpectations!