APAC telcos must transform enterprise offerings

Ovum analysts
27 Jan 2014

The instruments for success in the ICT industry have always been threefold: conviction, innovation, and having an explicit sense of what your customers want. Telcos across Asia-Pacific are in an enviable position given their large installed base of both consumer and enterprise customers; this base is second to none in the ICT world.

There is also a fine line that separates enterprise and consumer solutions. The trail that telcos can blaze in this increasingly converged marketplace will essentially define who and what they are as the second half of this decade approaches. However, it continues to be disheartening to witness so many telcos across Asia-Pacific harbor self-doubt as they strive to transform themselves.

Telcos across the region and globally (BT, Orange, AT&T, Verizon, SingTel, NTT, and Telstra) that have painfully stuck to their transformational convictions are so much fitter now than they were five years ago, and the progress they have made has vindicated early doubters. This cohort has embraced their new ICT identity irreversibly.

But there is now an ever-widening gap between the leaders and others in the region. Ovum believes the window of opportunity for many telcos is getting smaller and 2014 is the year that they must adopt a transformation strategy that is worthy of its name.

Pick your battles and invest accordingly

The burning question facing most telcos is how far down the lCT road they should travel. For the vast majority it will be an insurmountable task to become a fully fledged ICT provider despite the prospect of faster growth. Wholesale transformation of their business models will not work for many of them because they do not have the infrastructure for it.

This journey is also definitely not for the faint-hearted. For many telcos, picking the right battles in order to play to individual strengths and unique local market conditions will be key; this includes “everything cloud and mobile/M2M” leveraging core network, datacenter, and connectivity assets. The region is only at the start of a cloud wave that will fundamentally reshape the very workings and core of ICT infrastructure.

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