Experience matters for new digital sales

Comms providers that are accountable for helping customers adapt and transform to digital are more likely to succeed as the market shifts to simple, service-based solution provision, according to Camille Mendler, Chief Analyst at global technology analyst Omdia.

Speaking at BT Wholesale’s Partner Plus Live event staged at the BT Tower, Mendler warned reseller delegates that two thirds of enterprises are re-evaluating their digital service providers and half of these are planning to reduce the number of technology providers they deal with. These decisions are not based on price but on support provided, she stressed.

“Enterprises now want certainty, simplification and transparency from digital service providers. The question is whether you are in that group of organisations that can be trusted to deliver what enterprises want. And it isn’t about money. The top two reasons for enterprises to churn suppliers in 2020, and in 2021 was about support and responsiveness.”

Mendler also maintains that the ‘best of breed’ tag providers tie to themselves is now obsolete.

“I don't think players that offer one service and deliver one product, however well, can now survive in this market. What large and small enterprises want now is someone that can do it all for them and that can be accountable for it.

Debunking false statements on expenditure cutbacks and delays in transformation projects, Mendler said while enterprises are being very judicious in their choices, the majority are set to increase ICT spending in the year ahead.

“Of the enterprises we surveyed globally and about 500 in the UK, 59% told us they are actually going to be increasing their IT budgets now. Not hugely, but it signifies a return to growth, with judicious investments in digital technology. COVID-19 has rebalanced priorities.”

In terms of setting priorities for the year ahead, Mendler suggested that providers should focus on sustainability, cloudification, security and improving the customer experience.

“Sustainability is the number one priority and cloudification is very high on the list for enterprises who want to move to a cloud environment where they can switch between different providers. Security is an evergreen issue that never goes away, but the challenge continues to evolve, particularly when you are not in close proximity from your assets, and you want to track where they are.

“With greater experience of digital environments from a range of different business suppliers, customer  expectations are much higher; they know their own business depends on better customer experience and they, in turn, expect a better experience from you. There’s a fundamental change in where values being created. You're not selling connectivity, you are selling experience, facilitated by connectivity. That is where the value lies in what you do.

“If we are selling a real time world, that is all IP, it’s shocking that very few of the largest enterprises have real time access to information about the digital services they are buying from you. In fact, the more services that large enterprises buy from service providers like you, the less likely they have a single portal, a single window to view the performance of all their services together. That's partly because of legacy infrastructure and legacy management systems, but ultimately, it's not their problem. It's yours.

“You need to provide API's so customers can integrate service data into their own service management systems. Why would they have to hunt and pick between on average six to eight different systems to find out how Ethernet’s going or SD WAN, UC or whatever. It's outrageous.”

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