4 Pillars of enterprise business readiness for telecom service providers

Twimbit’s telco readiness framework

Our previous insight, ICT spending is going north – time to knock B2B doors, highlights the need for service providers to continue investing in 5G infrastructure. Yet, capturing the next wave of opportunities demands a departure from business models and competencies telcos have built over the past decades. Telcos, both in Asia and globally, have already begun establishing their new ways. Our readiness framework combines the learnings from leading telcos for the benefit of many. These learning are along the following four dimensions:

1. Market focus and B2B orientation2. Enterprise (B2B) sales readiness3. Innovation management4. Customer value and experience management

The dimensions do not weigh the same

We have used four dimensions to create an index and a composite score. The dimensions are weighed based on relative importance in the service provider’s overall transformation efforts. Enterprise sales readiness and innovation management are the most critical, with a total weightage of 35%. Customer value and experience management is key to drive differentiation (15% weightage). Market focus and B2B orientation is a reflection of historical performance.

Market focus and B2B orientation

Our definition for enterprise or B2B segment is inclusive of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), large enterprise corporations, public sector, and government clients. Enterprise services include revenues from core connectivity and managed services shown below.

Telcos market focus and B2B orientation is measured using following KPIs.

How have we measured telcos on B2B market focus?

Enterprise sales readiness

This is an indicator of the telcos’ internal capabilities at effectively serving emerging needs of enterprises. We have based our approach on the McKinsey 7S model. The aim is to review the effectiveness of enterprise units in marketing and sales processes, the efforts at aligning the organisations to support new strategic business opportunities, and the initiatives that support telcos’ own digital transformation. We have learned of the telcos’ abilities in this dimension by studying both their soft and digital capabilities.

How have we measured telcos on enterprise sales readiness?

Innovation management

Service providers are often questioned for the lack of innovation in the communications industry even though they were among the first few to introduce practices such as corporate accelerators, innovation labs, and venture capitals. One may pin to the ‘walled garden’ approach that literally pushed service providers far behind technology providers who embrace open innovations.

The idea that telco must deliver its ‘own services’ to its ‘own customer’ had influenced their approach to innovation. Times are changing, service providers are moving from closely management systems to an open API platform architecture. This indicates a fundamental shift from operating in siloes to working with partners towards co-creating value.

How have we measured telcos on innovation management?

Customer value and experience management

Customer experience (CX) is as important for the business customer as for a retail consumer. B2B buyers traditionally have lacked a unified and cohesive interface that supports end-to-end customer journeys. Buyers have also been excluded from an ecosystem where they can assemble custom solutions on their own. There are more complexities in business buying as customers tend to pursue solutions, acquiring more than one product at time. Service providers often face difficulties with order fulfilment, progress status and support issues that span across their own products and the partners’ boundaries.

Business buyers look for support tools that let them have control and choice, self-help and on-the-go support options, know-me-everywhere and personalised experiences, and open sharing platforms that can maintain security and privacy. A seamless digital engagement experience is fulfilled by coherent end-to-end omni channel interactions, quote-to-order activation automation, zero-touch provisioning of services, a 360-degree view of requests and orders, and an immersive virtual experience on training and DIYs, with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) underpinning all interactions.

How have we measured telcos on customer value and experience management?


Telcos’ B2B focus is evolving fast, considering the following actions among many others:

  • Providing measurable goals to the B2B units. Having clearly defined growth plans backed by the right set of measurable KPIs across products and segments. These are important to assess the progress of B2B units and remain focused.
  • Align capabilities to the B2B goals. Internal transformation emphasises developing appropriate tools and processes that stress automation and flexibility.
  • While they acquire tools, transforming processes are often more than just putting on a new face. Telcos are re-engineering the old ways of doing things.
  • Evolve go-to-market (GTM) strategy. SMEs, large corporates, and governments have distinct needs and buying behaviours. GTM is also influenced by the growth portfolio, and the specific areas on which they need to focus.
  • The growth portfolio is inclusive of partners and customers. A coherent partner ecosystem is maximising value to customers and to the telco itself. Many other decisions are influenced as telcos co-develop solutions with partners, manage own-build products, and manage standalone partner products.
  • Customer value management considers both existing and potential customer value. Tools and processes support sales and services to maximise value from current opportunities while charting the path to cross-sell and up-sell. From a buyers’ point of view, these tools allow end-to-end and multi-channel customer journey mapping.

The next insight, Top 10 Asian telco to ace enterprise services, discusses a selection of operators ready to tap the B2B opportunity. 


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