What should a B2B telco be in 2024? – Neos Networks

What should a B2B telco be in 2024?

What should a B2B telco be in 2024? Vertically integrated or delayered? A communications service provider (CSP) or a techco?

I was delighted to participate in “The telco and the customer” session of The Great Telco Debate in London last week to probe some of these questions with industry peers.

There are many right answers to these questions, though what’s right here is highly subjective. Here I want to reiterate some key points I made in the debate.

Refocus on connectivity

In recent years, telcos have been under intense pressure to be many things, chasing additional services and revenues. The aim was to pursue completeness of offer to “own” the customer.

To this end, some telcos moved into the systems integrator (SI) space. Conversely, SIs moved into the infrastructure and network space. The technology of the day forced this behaviour as it was the only way to deliver a seamless customer experience.

Has technology now progressed to create a place for telcos dedicated to providing excellence in connectivity? It probably has, and as such, maybe it’s time for telcos to refocus on their core products and services, innovating and constantly improving those services and the customer experience. 

No need to own the customer

Today, we see incredibly high levels of interoperability between technologies for IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service). So B2B telcos have an opportunity to be excellent at connectivity and be highly interoperable and integrable, while still being highly accountable for their performance.

By working with complementary partners, we can pursue the best solution for customers and optimal customer satisfaction. Could this be the opportunity to be highly customer-centric without owning the customer?

Work for integrability

If we don’t need to be vertically integrated or to fully own the customer, we must do all we can to be fully integrable.

In this way, we can double down on what we’re good at – delivering excellent connectivity – and work with partners and customers to take that excellence into broader, deeper solutions. By integrating new technologies like AI and working with partners to put customers first, we can best meet their specific, evolving needs.

In short, maybe B2B telcos can have a monogamous and devoted relationship with connectivity again while being an excellent and highly sociable partner.

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