In the digital transformation, telecoms need a partner boost

In terms of digital transformation, telecommunications is lagging behind other industrial sectors. But telecom companies could tap into the ecosystem of partners to reverse this trend, according to new research findings.

According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), only 22% of telecommunications companies have successfully implemented a digital transformation initiative. This tranche lags the cross-industry average of 35%, according to the management consultancy’s analysis of 860 companies across a number of verticals. The low success rate “presents real risks of lower revenue growth and disruption by digital players,” BCG noted.

Telecommunications companies face rising costs, regulatory obligations and challenges in delivering emerging technologies such as 5G. Inflationary pressure surfaced last week: Verizon and T-Mobile squabbled over pricing, with the latter company saying it would maintain prices for its wireless plans as others hiked their rates.

Partners, however, could play a role in stimulating innovation among telecommunications companies and strengthening their position in the market. Surveyed telecoms ranked the digital ecosystem and the area of ​​partnerships as their fourth priority for transformation, according to BCG research. Sixty-six percent of companies surveyed cite the digital ecosystem, slightly above the cross-industry average.

Patrick Forth

“It’s very difficult to innovate now, without being effective in this ecosystem,” said Patrick Forth, managing director and senior partner for Sydney at BCG.

A partner ecosystem strategy that includes co-innovation helps organizations overcome internal skill shortages and accelerate time to market.

The reasons for the delay

Forth said telcos tend to struggle with key digital transformation success factors. These include an integrated strategy, leadership engagement, access to high-quality talent, an agile governance mindset, clear metrics, and modern technology architecture, according to the consultancy.

Achieving transformation depends on how an industry sector uses these factors, said Forth, co-author of the BCG study. “Telecom operators, on average, apply these success factors less well than, say, an IT services company,” Forth said.

It is very difficult to innovate now, without being effective in this ecosystem.

Patrick ForthSydney Managing Director and Senior Partner, BCG

The old, deep-rooted business models of telecom companies are a hindrance. Telecom giants invested heavily in networks, creating landline products for which they could often expect a 70% market share, Forth said. “It makes you adopt a business model that is massive and inflexible,” he noted. “And the whole point of digital is to be personalized and flexible. So their starting point is more difficult.”

In addition, the complexity of the landline and mobile network domains makes digital adoption more difficult to achieve, Forth added. Network engineers tend to be risk averse, with network failures being their primary concern. “It’s all very understandable, but it doesn’t help achieve digital transformation,” he said.

But while some telecommunications companies are struggling to transform, others are starting to stand out. Forth said perhaps 20% of companies are developing digital capabilities, achieving revenue growth and improving customer experience.

Innovation through ecosystems

Additionally, these digital leaders are looking to innovation, whether in the core network, around 5G services, or in specific customer segments such as healthcare and energy, Forth said. These companies will increasingly open their APIs and work within a partner ecosystem, he added.

For telecommunications companies, potential ecosystem partners include cloud platform providers, device manufacturers in areas such as IoT and augmented reality, and application providers in smart manufacturing. and smart agriculture, among others, he said.

Distribution partners also have a role to play. At the beginning of the year, Thirdera, a ServiceNow partner, deployed a service and order management offer based on the ServiceNow platform and aimed at telecom customers.

Channel Partner Program Launches and Updates

  • Torq, a no-code security automation company in Portland, Oregon, has launched a partner program for value-added resellers, distributors, system integrators, managed security service providers and detection vendors and managed response. The Torq Automation Alliance includes training for partner sales and engineering teams, marketing campaign kits, and early access to Torq platform releases.
  • Matillion, a cloud data integration platform provider, has updated its partner program with benefits such as a partner portal, partner account manager to help with go-to-market plans, training technique and free certifications. The program’s tiered structure determines the specific benefits a partner receives. Matillion, with offices in Denver and Manchester, England, has expanded its program to include systems integrators, consultants and technology partners.
  • Aryaka, a provider of managed SD-WAN and SASE solutions, has rolled out a revamped online training and certification program for sales agents, VARs and MSPs as part of its Accelerate Channel Partner program. Certification courses include Aryaka Certified Partner, Aryaka Budget Planner Tool, and How to work with Aryaka.

Mergers & Acquisitions Updates

  • NTT Data, a Plano, Texas-based digital services and IT services company, has agreed to acquire New York-based digital strategy firm Postlight. The agreement follows NTT Data’s purchase of Nexient and Vectorform in the digital application development and modernization markets. Postlight offers design and engineering services in addition to strategy. NTT Data expects the transaction to close by the end of June.
  • Zayo Group Holdings, a communications infrastructure platform company in Boulder, Colorado, has acquired Education Networks of America (ENA), which provides managed network connectivity, communications and cybersecurity services to the IT industry. education. The Nashville-based ENA serves K-12 school districts that participate in the E-Rate program, which aims to reduce the cost of telecommunications for schools and libraries. Channel partners have found opportunities in designing hybrid learning systems in the edtech market.

Other news

  • Technology and service providers looking to create distribution programs often struggle with determining the right number of partners and establishing selection criteria. This is a key piece of Gartner research released last week. The market research firm recommended first assessing whether a channel program makes sense, by considering the reasons for launching such a program and understanding how a customer prefers to buy. Other steps include calculating the number of partners required, developing a profile for the ideal partner, and offering a “compelling proposition to attract partners,” according to Gartner.
  • Syntax, a Montreal-based managed cloud provider, has launched a program that lets employees work overseas, choose in-office, remote or hybrid work, and set their own working hours. The company’s Global Flex program offers a Global Tourist option through which employees can work remotely from anywhere in the world for 30 or 60 days. Alternatively, employees can work for up to four months in locations where the company is physically present. The Flex Workplace program, with its remote and hybrid options, applies to employees whose job does not require them to work in a designated Syntax office. And Flex Schedule lets employees skip punching a clock, as long as they’re accessible when needed, available to customers, attend meetings and complete work, the company said.
  • Apiiro, a cloud-native application security company, has unveiled a partner program for technology, consulting and reseller partners. The program includes training materials, sales resources, access to technical evaluation demos, and documentation for go-to-market and co-promotion opportunities. Partners include Alacrinet, Defy Security, Google Cloud, HashiCorp, NetSPI, NXGN, Parabellyx, and Trace3. Apiiro has offices in Tel Aviv and New York.
  • MSPs using Augmentt’s SaaS security products will receive a discount on SeedPod Cyber’s cybersecurity insurance, as will their customers. The MSP discount will vary based on size, number of customers and other factors, according to an Ottawa-based Augmentt spokeswoman. MSP customers will receive a discount of up to 40%. MSPs using Augmentt Discover and Augmentt Secure together qualify for the SeedPod cyber insurance program. The program offers cyber insurance covering data breaches, ransomware attacks, cyber threats, and loss of revenue attributed to cyber security incidents.
  • Upstack, a web-based platform that sells cloud services through technology advisors, has entered into a strategic partnership with Lumen Technologies, which provides network and managed IT services. Upstack advisors will sell Lumen’s offerings to their enterprise, midsize, and SMB customers. New York-based Upstack continues to grow through acquisitions, having recently purchased Universal Telecommunications Inc., a telecommunications agency, and its affiliate MSP, Universal Solutions Providers.

Executive appointments

  • Sumo Logic, a SaaS analytics platform provider based in Redwood City, Calif., has named Timm Hoyt as senior vice president of global channels and alliances. Hoyt previously worked at PagerDuty, Druva, Atlantis Computing, Skyera and Brocade.
  • Tollring, a business analytics firm based in Uxbridge, UK, has appointed Craig Hoile as Head of Sales. Hoile previously worked with partners at Virgin Media 02, Microsoft and Vodafone.

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