SERVICE PROVIDER STRATEGY
ENTERPRISE COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES: SERVICE PROVIDER ESSENTIALS
LARGE ENTERPRISES CAN BE AN IMPORTANT UN-TAPPED REVENUE SOURCE FOR NEW ENTRANT CSPs
Even though large enterprises (i.e., those with employee headcounts of 250+ employees) only make up 0.3% of the world’s total enterprise count, they account for 40% of the global employee base or approximately 1.293 billion workers globally and 21% of CSPs' revenue pool globally. Based on our Global Enterprise Telecoms and IT Panel, we have found that the implied revenue opportunity per employee per year on average is $295 for large enterprises globally, compared to $177 per employee for small enterprises (i.e., 66% higher).
THE UNIQUE COMMUNICATIONS NEEDS OF LARGE ENTERPRISES
Our research shows that large enterprises are facing some unique technological changes that are in-turn driving growth in the types of services they are demanding from their CSP partners. These trends include:
VERTICAL-SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS: IoT and big data analytics are driving large enterprises to demand more relevant communications solutions for their specific business needs.
NETWORK VIRTUALIZATION: Is driving context-aware service levels, where SDN and NFV enable SLAs based on workforces and workloads rather than connections.
NETWORK SECURITY: Large enterprises are demanding more sophisticated & specific network security elements and services, including 24/7 SOCs, UTM, Mobile Security, End-point, Cloud security, etc.
CLOUD ENABLEMENT: Movement of in-house IT to public, private, or hybrid clouds is well underway at large enterprises globally.
FLEXIBLE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT: Supporting home working and fluid working contexts results in higher expectations on consistent broadband availability and security.
Within the context of the above technological and work-related trends, our research shows that large enterprises are concerned most with issues of network availability and performance (i.e., reducing the level of network outages), network propagation (reduce the time taken to add new sites and locations unto a corporate network), order activation (reduce the time taken between the order and service delivery), and customer service delivery (reduce the response times for customer service, technical support, and eliminate inconsistent information provided to and by support staff).
Our Global Enterprise Telecoms and IT Panel survey shows that 40% to 50% of respondents (in a survey of 2,300 executives in large enterprises) felt that the following services were very important to their business operations:
Secure interconnect with leading cloud service providers (e.g., Saleforce.com)
Managed Storage Solutions
Acceleration technologies to reduce WAN bandwidth and delay constraints for business-critical applications
Managed Security Solution
THE NICHE AVAILABLE TO NEW ENTRANT CSPs
Given this context, what types of services can new entrant CSPs offer to large enterprise customers in a given country or geography? Quite often, mobile-only CSPs or smaller tier-3 CSPs will forfeit the large enterprise segment to the incumbent multi-play telcos and cablecos in favour of the SME or SOHO markets.
Our research shows that there can be, what we call, "fulcrum" opportunities for single-play and smaller tier-3 CSPs to offer niche services that incumbent CSPs find either not profitable enough or not big enough for them to bother with. We call these "fulcrum" opportunities because there is a potential for smaller CSPs to displace or completely replace their larger competitors in these services:
NFV / SDN Readiness: Our Global Enterprise Telecoms and IT Panel Survey of 1,200 executives shows that the biggest challenges that enterprises face when it comes to deploying SDN/NFV architectures, centre around security and compatibility with legacy networks. 40% of large enterprises said that security was their top concern and 25% said that compatibility with legacy networks was their top concern.
For security, service providers pushing a managed service option must factor this into their conversations and emphasize that their internal security mechanism is more robust than that of their enterprise customers. For integration with legacy networks: greenfield sites are a good option for initial or pilot SDN/NFV deployments. Few would opt for a “big bang” approach, and it removes worries about legacy interoperability.
Of course, these are conversations that large enterprises can have with their incumbent CSP vendors, but or not. However, we found in our research that when it comes to NFV/SDN, there is a unique opportunity for smaller carriers to white label and flank their larger competitors; offer the greenfield SDN/NFV deployment as a hosted solution.
OTT Services to the Enterprise: Smaller CSPs do not come with the baggage of legacy networks. The rise of the mobile, enterprise consumer and the dramatic uptake of services such as Skype, Facetime and WhatsApp has spurred demand for enterprise OTT communication services. BYOD has progressed to Bring Your Own App, and enterprises are shifting to the agility and potential cost savings proffered by tablets, mobile OSs and corresponding enterprise versions of apps such as WhatsApp and Skype.
Here, smaller CSPs can take advantage of their speed and agility to offer enterprise-grade OTT apps-- services that incumbent CSPs are loathe to provide because they effectively mothball their existing services to their enterprise customers.
Micro-Verticalization: Smaller CSPs can also focus on specific niche "Micro" verticals and offer services that are catered to that specific vertical but treat each vertical as an effective "large" enterprise. For example, Financial Services, the Public Sector and Retail have traditionally been the focus of incumbent CSPs. But micro-verticals such as single-branch credit unions, mobile financial service vendors, rural municipalities, bakers and butchers have very different communications needs compared to how their large CSP competitors think about monolithic verticals such as "retail" or "financial services" or the "public sector".
As an example, the US bakery products industry includes about 2,800 commercial bakeries with combined annual revenue of about $36 billion, along with about 6,000 retail bakeries with combined annual revenue of about $3.8 billion. Total communications spend of this micro vertical? $0.9 billion!