Editor’s Note: Welcome to our weekly Reality Check column. We’ve gathered a group of visionaries and veterans in the mobile industry to give their insights into the marketplace.
It’s true in Brazil, across Latin America, in fact everywhere in the world: Everyone wants a good partner. Just look at the immense popularity of dating websites and singles events. But divorce statistics remind us that finding a suitable partner is difficult, and keeping one is even harder. What’s true for daters is also true for communications service providers. Many providers believe they need to partner with device manufacturers and/or over-the-top players to remain competitive, but they aren’t sure how to do so effectively.
Fortunately for service providers, a recent global survey sponsored by Amdocs and conducted by analyst firm Coleman Parkes explored attitudes toward partnering between the three key groups that define the customer experience: communications service providers, OTT players and device manufacturers.
As I said earlier, a good partner is a desirable commodity and that sentiment was confirmed by the global survey. Fifty-eight percent of service providers believe the communications market will consolidate in the future and that only players that partner will succeed. Service providers, OTT players and device manufacturers will all seek to own the vital customer relationship within the next couple of years and the majority in all three groups understands that they’ll need to form shrewd partnerships to achieve that goal.
But how can service providers ensure successful partnerships?
Service providers, OTT players and device manufactures must also make sure that they create win-win partnerships that work for both involved parties. Some goals will be shared. For instance, our survey found the desire for increased revenues and cost savings to be universal.
But other goals are more specific and can only be achieved with the help of a partner. Service providers should carefully consider their goals and make sure they pick partners who can help them experience success.
Interesting CALA differences
This global research also turned up some interesting findings from the CALA (Caribbean and Latin American) respondents. For one thing, only 25% of them see partnerships as strategically important today – and that’s significantly lower than the global average of 57%. However, fully 100% of the CALA service providers surveyed see partnering as an effective strategy to counter/eliminate the OTT threat – compared to 62% globally. Another finding of note is that only 25% of CALA service providers said they had to own the customer experience in any partnership – compared to 66% globally.
Good partnerships require systems and processes that make partnering convenient and lucrative, such as open partner management systems to share revenue as well as easily onboard partners. Advanced IT systems are also necessary to help service providers leverage key assets, such as network quality of service and customer data, and convert them into revenue.
The right solutions are crucial, but not enough on their own. When the best solutions are married to a good strategy, service providers can find the right partners and live happily ever after.
Nelson Wang is VP at Amdocs Latin America.