In a fast-evolving communications marketplace, forward-thinking telecom service providers are striving to reinvent their business models and create new revenue streams. In their efforts to move beyond the confines of providing connectivity and security services, they are looking to leverage digital technologies with enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) businesses in their sights.

Related: Do Your "Things" Communicate As Intelligently As Your People? 

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When properly designed and implemented, IoT applications can help enterprises deliver innovative, value-added products and services to their end-to-end solutions for customers. IT domains such as mobility, machine-to-machine interaction and collaboration, infrastructure, security, and data analytics are potential IoT growth areas. 

Telecom providers are uniquely positioned to facilitate enterprise connectivity and networking, which creates the opportunity to position themselves as strategic partners for their B2B clients. To engender innovative B2B products and services, telcos should focus on enhancing existing enterprise infrastructure assets, such as billing and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, data centers, and operational and support systems.

To ensure their clients can capture IoT value, providers will need to help them build or enhance certain relevant capabilities, such as: effective data management using connected interoperable systems and devices, efficient rollout of new services (which may require building real-time systems or upgrading legacy business support systems), and elasticity in storage, computing, and at the network level.

Related: The True Value Of Unified Communications

The potential to gain competitive advantage from the IoT is huge. McKinsey estimates that IoT applications could have a $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion global economic value by 2025. B2B applications across manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, mining, oil and gas, construction, and office environments are expected to account for two-thirds of this projected value, the consultancy forecasts.

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In a recent TelecomsTech article, author Anil Ganjoo, EVP at HCL America, listed potential monetization routes for telcos partnering with B2B clients, as follows:

  • IoT enabler: One option is to assume the role of the IoT platform provider, provisioning a wide range of services including device management, product catalog handling, rating and billing, and customer care and billing. This takes you one step higher up the value chain.
  • Connectivity provider: This can be achieved by occupying the lowest position in the IoT value chain, by merely providing the requisite infrastructure for helping businesses connect their machines and sensors. Here, the customer is not the end user but the IoT service provider.
  • IoT provider: Yet another option is to build a direct relationship with the enterprise customers by providing differentiated experience and enhanced value. This can be done through the adoption of a managed services model involving multiple vendors, thus actively managing the IoT platform as well as the underlying devices, data and services.

Telcos are well-positioned to generate new revenue growth by helping businesses tackle the obstacles to implementing IoT systems. Start by developing a strategy for delivering the right set of technologies and tools to promising verticals. Star2Star connects many different types of technologies. As you travel the IoT highway, let our solutions light your way. To learn more about Star2Star:

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