After an eventful 2015, it is that time of year to prognosticate on what 2016 may bring. Here are just a few of our 2016 prophecies:
#1: RISE OF DIGITAL SERVICES PROVIDERS
Finally, we start to see digital services providers (DSP) take on the market. Customers (in some areas) will be able to use digital services they like, how they like them and for prices they understand. In 2015, new entrants like UK-based iD Mobile launched and disrupted mature markets. With their customer-centric real-time model, they proved that when providers focus on what customers want, they will win them over. This should truly frighten its market competitors. Operators seeing iD’s success will have to accelerate their own real-time, customer-centric strategy to compete and stay relevant. We predict that 2016 will finally be the year of the customer!
SVP, Product Mgt. & Marketing,
#2: INCREASED FOCUS BY MNOs ON THE BUSINESS CUSTOMER
Business makes the world go around. And in 2016, we expect businesses to make significant in-roads in launching new services and improving operations. After years of inattention, the business customer (especially the long-ignored SME segment) has caught the eye of the operator. Today, there are 222M SMEs worldwide, who employ over 1.49 billion people. What’s more, Analysys Mason predicts that by 2019, telco revenue from SMEs will grow to $242 billion, a significant jump from $215 billion in 2014. This growth has driven more investment in the back office tools and in bringing new applications to market faster. There is significant B2B revenue potential with new services that employ tools like real-time analytics dashboards and more flexible IoT infrastructure. Operational efficiencies for the business customer also make gains with increased use of managed services. This strategy frees up businesses to concentrate on their end customer, while their operator partner takes over the operations. Business customers will take advantage of the new flexibility, and all the players in the value chain will reap the benefits.
#3: MORE WORK ON BIG DATA AND ANALYTICS AS TOOLS TO DRIVE OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
Analytics will move beyond the hype and really make a difference to the bottom-line. Big data has been the buzz for some time. Despite all the noise, interest and apparent investment, some of the most basic information is still not available to assist in managing the operators’ business. In fact, some operators still don’t have visibility into basic historical account information and behavior. While the situation can be attributed to mergers, where converting legacy systems migration get pushed down the to-do list, the failure to have comprehensive customer insight is baffling. So, we expect there will be significant work done here, but on the “down-low”.
In our view, 2016 will be the year of realization. Customers will get the choice they have long desired. Businesses will get the attention they long deserved. Useful analytics will be in place for real-world, actionable needs. Needless to say, we think it will be an exciting year ahead!