With increasing focus on enterprise wireless, how do telecom vendors adapt to address vertical needs?
During the recent HetNet Expo in Houston, Eric Abbott of ExteNet Systems explained to RCR Wireless News that “mobility services have evolved to the point that it’s an essential facet of everyday life.”
So there’s an obvious and constantly increasing need for all manner of connectivity solutions at home, at work and everywhere in between. But, as carrier capital expense ebbs, which is currently the case, new buyers enter the market. Right now there’s significant vendor emphasis on meeting enterprise needs, with commercial real estate representing a major addressable market.
Abbott, the director of product management and strategic technology at ExteNet, said “There’s an expectation now that service is going to be consistent, always available and high performing.” These needs are being met by a shift in emphasis from infrastructure to localized, elastic network architectures – putting content and services close to the end user, he said.
“With throughput, what you’re addressing is the ability to access the drainpipe of information in a very rapid manner. With latency, to make all this work you can’t have delays. You have to have very, very fast response times otherwise the user experience is just not going to work in the way that it needs to work. You have to consider the two of them together, which is why the IT industry has responded with this type of architecture.”
The need is clear and the technology is there to support the need. But, how do you explain all of that to a commercial real estate firm?
Tony Eigen, an ExteNet marketing manager, said “I think there’s this whole kind of level of education that’s needed. What does wireless really mean? Then, ultimately, the discussions are around how does that get paid for.”
That fits with the prominent thinking around a typical buyer journey. According to Pardot, the first step is need identification – a process that requires familiarity with available solutions and providers – followed by research during which “Buyers are usually looking for educational material, customer reviews and testimonials,” according to the Salesforce-owned marketing automation company.
Specific to our example of commercial real estate “It’s more about what are their needs and how can they secure tenant space for their bottomline,” said Jaylene Wright, ExteNet business development manager for its Southeast and South Central regions. “What value will the ‘internet of things’ or a distributed network system bring to them?”
Once those questions are answered, funding comes to the forefront. “Who pays and how do I get paid for this?” Abbott said. “The industry right now is trying to work toward a consensus on that.”
Wright agreed that enterprise-focused funding models are becoming more refined. “It’s getting there,” she said. “We’re right on the other side of the fence getting ready to step off.”