The future of cloud: How telcos can adapt and thrive through digital transformation
The telecoms industry is ultimately responsible for the highly connected, digital world that we live in. With their networks and services, telcos are the backbone of the internet, bringing globally dispersed businesses and communities together in ways we never thought possible, says Scott Murphy.
They enable a more productive, professional environment, says Scott Murphy, director of Cloud and advanced solutions, Ingram Micro UK & Ireland, enabling innovations in the way we work and are a critical part of any country’s national infrastructure, helping implement and support various economic and social activities.
In today’s digital era, it has become imperative for businesses to adopt new innovative technologies to bring more Return on Investment (ROI), higher efficiency, and a satisfying customer experience. Digital transformation is a key driver of sweeping change in the world around us. It has the potential to significantly improve consumer lives and create broader societal good, while providing businesses with new opportunities for value creation and capture.
The telecoms industry should be at the forefront of this transformation, both as an industry witnessing large-scale change in its market environment and as a key driver of worldwide digitisation. But in order to get hold of the opportunities with emerging tech such as IoT, 5G and AI to digitally transform, telecom operators need to first, learn to adapt themselves. To do this, many telcos are exploring new opportunities in a rapidly widening digital ecosystem.
And they can’t do it alone. Telcos need a trusted partner to overcome the obstacles of network inadequacy and technical complexity. And this can be enabled through successful partnerships, that integrate multiple cloud offerings, help them on their own digital transformation journeys and provide them with ongoing technical support and network resources.
But to do this, they must first select the right partners who fully understand their market, customers and themselves, inside out.
New technologies: A critical engine for global growth
New innovative technologies can really help drive transformation in the industry. For instance, the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly, with 127 new devices connecting to the internet every second. As IoT expands, companies’ connectivity expenditure will rise by about 15% annually through 2022.
In fact, Gartner predicts that there will be nearly 20 billion devices connected to the IoT by 2020. What’s more, is that the adoption of IoT can offer business analytics, ensure safety at remote sites, and monitor equipment. It is also set to transform the role of telecom service providers in enabling communication between people and devices.
The same can be said for artificial intelligence and machine learning as it will enhance customer service. This includes automated chatbots, personalised offers, and efficiently streamlined customer service processes. Customer service chatbots are built on the latest AI technology, offering immediate, relevant support to resolve customer queries.
Many telcos are beginning to implement more 5G technology, as it promises extremely fast speeds, extraordinary low latency, and the capacity to carry massive numbers of connections simultaneously. It is not just an upgrade, but a revolution of mobile technology. 5G will open opportunities to capture value from new 5G use cases. It also promises to bring the trustworthiness, scalability, security and universal mobility across the industry. This will boost several services, such as IoT, autonomous vehicles, and mobile media.
But such a fundamental transformation can’t happen overnight. To make digital business transformation work requires hundreds of pragmatic incremental changes to move organisations in the direction of becoming digital businesses, which use technology to deliver better customer outcomes.
All these new technologies need platforms that support high levels of connectivity to sustain the rapidly growing number of devices. Which is one of the main issues telecom operators face; the pressure to develop a converged platform that is sufficiently functional to support the full weight of demand.
Partnering for a progressive future
Sustained market growth for cloud services and adjacent technologies means significant business opportunities. IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and the digital transformation will accelerate this. For telcos, the time is now to become part of the ever-growing ecosystem and simplify and accelerate success in the cloud.
Therefore, it’s crucial that telcos find the right solutions aggregator, who can add value to simplifying their digital transformation journey. They should look for professional services that allow reseller partners to expand their technical competency, extend geographic reach and increase profitability by leveraging the expertise of other partners and technical resources. This includes offering best-in-class IoT/AI/5G components ranging from sensors, gateways and devices, to holistic, end-to-end, and vertical-specific solutions.
Additionally, accelerating cloud business through leveraging comprehensive platforms will help strengthen telco’s go-to-market strategy. For instance, through the various platforms that partners can offer such as a XaaS commerce platform or Go To Market automation, can help telcos gain a better understanding of their brand awareness and drive more leads, maximise sales opportunities and proﬁts, and transform into a competitive cloud expert. Further to this, support services such as IaaS lifecycle services, can boost IaaS opportunities to accelerate consumption whilst reducing time frames. This also optimises client’s infrastructure from a cost and security perspective, or full device to cloud UCaaS (unified communications as a service) bundles to accelerate adoption of telco services.
From partner enablement through to execution, a trusted partner will be able to support businesses across all levels of their journey.
What’s more, if partners can show the client the challenges, as well as the solutions that have worked for other clients, this will bring real value to conversations. This level of expertise is exactly what telcos need so they can trust they are investing in a stable partnership for future development. They don’t want solutions to fix problems after they occur — they want solutions to avoid problems in the future.
And so, with the right accelerator assets, telcos can successfully accelerate their firm’s real digital transformation. The right partners will not only help measure the outcomes but help shape the change needed for future digital transformation growth.
The author is Scott Murphy, director of Cloud and Advanced Solutions at Ingram Micro UK & Ireland.