Rising trends in 2014 will drive M&As

Michal Harris
Amdocs
In the past few years, service providers have felt vulnerable, standing alone against new competitors coming to eat their lunch. As a result, many operators are searching for ways to realize the value of mergers and acquisitions to rationalize their business, consolidate their networks, integrate their offerings and better prepare for the competition.
 
Even many industry giants are finding that in coping with the expected trends in 2014 – such as omni-channel, big data, virtualization, small-to-medium businesses, video and TV, and connected devices – two is better than one.
 
Service providers will continue to merge to rationalize their businesses and to ensure growth and efficiency. They’ll need to address market saturation and hyper competition, lack of resource such as spectrum, and regulators pressure, which will lead to M&A and expansion beyond their current geographies. Vodafone, America Movil and Liberty Global are just a few good examples.
 
Also in 2013, service providers joined the retail industry in making omni-channel a top priority. With millions of smart devices, billions of applications and unprecedented growth in data consumption, the world of omni-convergence has become all-encompassing.
 
Even greater numbers of service providers will integrate their channels and online tools in 2014 to deliver a consistent, continuous experience, enhanced by data-driven analytics.
 
It’s important to note that successful omni-channel integration can’t exist without a proactive relationship with customers. Service providers will incorporate a greater number of tools that will allow them to proactively notify and interact with their customers in 2014.
 
My second prediction is that big data is going to be even bigger next year because it will present a massive opportunity for service providers.

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