Leveraging partnerships to succeed in the digital ecosystem

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has dynamically altered the global communications landscape, creating both challenges and opportunities for communication service providers (CSPs). Consumers have become increasingly demanding with respect to consistent experiences across multiple devices, and CSPs are gradually transforming into providers of advanced digital services such as bundled broadband, mobile apps, and interactive customer-centric content. This transformation into a digital service provider (DSP) is not easy and CSPs are fraught with multiple process and software challenges during this shift.

Moving from Interconnect Partnerships to Strategic Partner Management

In an intensely competitive market, CSPs face immense pressure from over the top (OTT) content providers such as Google and Facebook who have direct consumer outreach. Provision of more customized, automation enabled services through large partner ecosystems is the norm. The increasing complexity of emerging markets coupled with initiatives such as smart cities will open big digit growth opportunities capable of being handled only by huge curated partner collaborations.

Earlier, telecom operators entered into interconnect partnerships with other telecom operators mostly to leverage mutual networks for voice and messaging services. However, the proliferation of smartphones and high-speed internet services has led to a burgeoning increase in the number of partners providing a diverse range of services, leading to a shift from conventional interconnect systems to complex partner management relationships.

The Partner Management Market Is on an Upward Swing

And rightly so, considering there are about 23 vendors offering a certain level of partner management functionality globally. According to analysts, the partner relationship management market (including software and services) is estimated to stand at US$ 850 Million today and is projected to increase to about US$ 1.65 Billion by 2023[1]. The entire ecosystem is expected to undergo certain strategic functional shifts, industry and geography notwithstanding. The coming years will witness new buyer personas across diverse channel types – and channel sales and marketing professionals will realize the importance of third-party influencers in reaching new buyers. The thrust will be on providers of partner management solutions to function as trusted partners – helping widen a brand’s outreach and influence the success journey in unimaginable ways.

The need for Converged Partner Management

The telecommunications wholesale market is growing rapidly with fierce competition and dwindling profit margins. Given the enormity of transactions and immense complexities surrounding a multi-party ecosystem, it is necessary to adopt effective partner management solution to ensure better service quality levels.

[1] https://go.forrester.com/blogs/partner-relationship-management-prm-comes-of-age/

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