BearingPoint//Beyond, in collaboration with Omdia (previously Ovum), released a report outlining how communications service providers (CSPs) must change strategies in order to drive revenues from their 5G investments.
The study demonstrates alignment between CSPs and enterprises on the importance of 5G, but reveals a concerning trend for CSP 5G revenues based on their roles in early 5G enterprise projects. The report finds that 5G strategies focused on selling communications solutions only are failing and that only CSPs engaging partner ecosystems to solve enterprises’ business problems will be able to make up lost ground. Additionally, it identifies key vertical markets, uncovers initial success stories and opportunities and key learnings from the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Omdia reports that 72.8% of CSPs believe most of their 5G revenues will come from B2B, B2B2X or government/smart cities opportunities. Earlier this year, BearingPoint//Beyond research showed that CSPs expect a 15% increase in current revenues from B2B 5G services. However, Omdia’s Enterprise 5G Innovation Tracker reveals that they’re already being cut out of strategic engagement and solution building with enterprise partners. In 40% of enterprise 5G deals signed CSPs were the secondary supplier. Just 32% were led by enterprises. Only 21% were led by CSPs.
“Only one in five early enterprise 5G deals are CSP-led, proving that the way CSPs want to sell is at odds with the way in which businesses want to buy. What’s deeply concerning is that some of these early deals, such as the ones we see in automotive, cut out CSPs entirely – even connectivity is being provided by other suppliers. Businesses want to buy complete solutions that fit their needs and help them solve business problems, rather than individual technology assets. This is a multi-billion-dollar opportunity that CSPs need to address fast and requires CSPs to collaborate with enterprises and SMBs to better understand their reality,” says Angus Ward, CEO, BearingPoint//Beyond.
The report emphasizes the need for CSPs to change their posture from “5G-first” to “business-first” thinking, focusing on applications and vertical-specific solutions. It finds that enterprises are already making the connection between 5G and applications. Omdia asserts that 5G will act as a catalyst for those enterprises that are still hesitant about the deployment of specific applications and will enhance certain applications that are going to be deployed anyway
“CSPs will only realize value from 5G if they can identify, partner, codevelop, implement, and run a proposition with application-specific and industry-specific specialists,” says Evan Kirchheimer, research vice president, service provider and communications, Omdia. “CSPs that can orchestrate such a complex web of relationships will be capable of capturing a greater share of the market and will not be relegated to being one of many connectivity providers competing solely on price.”
Omdia’s Enterprise 5G Innovation Tracker reveals that manufacturing, transport, utilities and energy/mining sectors account for nearly 80% of early enterprise 5G deals. As an enabler of business solutions, 5G’s value will be realized through industry specific processes, supply chains, partnerships and applications. The report points to examples of how Deutsche Telekom, Verizon and Telefónica are starting to form industry partnerships to access these verticals.
“The promise of enterprise 5G is there for the taking, but CSPs must realize they will need to master ecosystem orchestration, including joint go-to-market with vendors and cocreation with customers,” says Dario Talmesio, principal analyst, Omdia.
Omdia believes that the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing the ‘fast-forward’ button on enterprise demand for 5G technology solutions. Indeed, 5G investment in China is already recovering because the country recognizes the importance of accelerating the digitalization of industries to guard against future risk. Omdia expects this trend to unfold globally as COVID-19 makes digitizing the physical, enabling a work-anywhere economy and mitigating risk in supply chains through an ecosystem play more relevant than ever.
“The report notes that the brave new 5G world demands that CSPs be brave. CSPs have to embrace platform-based business models and orchestrate partner ecosystems to meet specific enterprise demands. This requires a change in mindset, experimenting with business models, accelerating testing and monetizing speed to test and monetize new offerings that are co-created with ecosystem of partners and underpinned by the right IT platform to support these new ways of working,” adds Ward. “Fundamentally, CSPs must become 5G ecosystem orchestrators. That’s the only way they can hope to meet enterprise business needs and re-integrate themselves into enterprise 5G value-chain as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.”