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Expanding Your Market Opportunities: the Capabilities You Can’t Afford to Ignore

- October 30, 2015 - 3 Comments

1It’s a new world out there for all the service providers I get to talk with globally. Advances in technology are not only changing their customers’ behaviors, but they’re also disrupting established industries and business models. The result is a wealth of new opportunities—in existing markets and in new ones, within their footprint and beyond.

To compete in these markets, speed is everything. Whether you want to roll out new content, expand geographically, introduce new applications, or develop a business model for a new customer segment, you need to act fast. Success will be measured by how fast you can enter a market, establish a leadership position, and capture improved profitability early on.

You can’t afford to stand still.

You need to continue to innovate, dream up new things, and get them to your customers quickly. It’s OK if every effort isn’t successful. Quickly move on and repurpose any technology investments you may have made.

What if you get a little behind? You could find that much of what you hoped to gain is no longer available, attractive, or what you thought it would be. But don’t stop your innovation engine. Speed it up. If you’re not sure how, get a trusted partner.

What stands in your way?

The major challenge for any service provider today is their networks. Most were built for another era, when launch speed wasn’t a priority. To take advantage of new and emerging opportunities today, you need to migrate to a much more flexible network. Such a network should operate more efficiently—at lower cost and by being simpler to manage. The question isn’t whether or not you should make such a move, but how.

Gaining a modern edge

I like to think about a service provider’s ability to go after new market opportunities in the same way that one might think about becoming a great athlete. To compete on the highest level, you need every advantage you can get.

Would today’s top tennis players be able to win with wooden racquets? Have you seen how polyurethane swimwear changed the world of swimming? Can you imagine a world-class cyclist without the latest and greatest gear?

No matter how skilled or in shape the athletes, the latest technology and thinking in sports science can make all the difference in the narrow margin that separates winners and also-rans.

Speeding ahead

In the same way, modernizing your network—better still, transforming your network—prepares you to compete in the intense global competition for markets and consumers. Innovations like software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), and open-source software make it possible to act on opportunities faster. You’ll deliver cost-effective services, get them to market more rapidly, and lower the cost of your customer acquisition.

So how can you rapidly launch and scale new customer services? Automation and orchestration capabilities enable you to turn on end-customer solutions quickly, and turn them off just as quickly. But it takes the right partner—with insights, capabilities, and experience—to help you plan and build these capabilities correctly. Such was the case with Deutsche Telekom , the German service provider that saw an underserved opportunity with small- and medium-sized businesses.

How a fast, agile network helps you compete in new markets

Lower infrastructure costs – A fast, agile network runs more efficiently and makes better use of your existing infrastructure. This allows you to lower prices, which makes it easier to go after customer segments that were unreachable before.

Expanded market opportunities – A more cost-efficient infrastructure using cloud-based services with global partnerships allows you to offer more compelling services to your existing customers and new ones beyond your current reach. Banish the limitations due to geography, size, or support costs.

Improved loyalty – As you launch new services and expand into new markets, you deliver more value to your customers. The more value you provide, the more opportunities you’ll have to capture a greater share of customer IT spend.

Increased competitiveness – Certainly you will have an advantage against those who are lagging behind investing in new technology. Even versus those who do invest, your speed, agility, lower operating costs, innovation strategy, and intense focus on your customers become your new competitive advantage.

A virtuous cycle begins – As your customer capabilities increase, so does their trust in you to help them make it work. This virtuous cycle is the essence of customer loyalty.

Competing in a global marketplace requires up-to-date talent, skills, and technology. It also requires the speed and flexibility to fine-tune your strategy and change your tactics. When you’re a digital business with the network at the center of your innovation, you simply move rapidly wherever the market is going.

The technology you choose is the platform for your business success, so choose wisely.

Want to learn more about how you can simplify your operations? Check out these informational white papers here.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Speaking about competitive advantage, we are about to launch SmartR Site, a cutting edge, analytics driven web platform that increases sales and improves the customer experience. Check it out and let me know what you think - I really think its inline with the shifting markets and gives a modern competitive advantage. https://SmartRSite.com

    The ability to move faster is the most important in today's business world. Open architecture is one of the enablers.

    Thanks for the article, Wayne. I love the "Lean Startup" thinking in this blog. We can gain innovation insights from our customers and we can enable those innovations through the right technology, supported by the right partners.