4 Ways Telecom Providers Can Win in the Omnichannel Market
RestcommONE Marketplace Partner Blog Series
Not very long ago, telecom providers had a nice, high wall around their customers and no one could steal any market share away from them. But today, those walls haven’t just been breached, they have been obliterated. Telco companies are now faced with shrinking profit margins. CPaaS providers and application based competitors have arrived on the scene to offer high-value services that improve business processes and enhance the end user experience. Can traditional network providers compete in this new era? Or are they doomed to watch their profits plummet as they are cut out of the value proposition? CPaaS providers have turned the Telecom market upside down by offering Telecom customers rich Omnichannel applications and services that totally bypass the Telecom provider’s network.
New Voice, video, messaging and WebRTC applications are finding their way to market every day via CPaaS providers, leaving the Telecom Provider further behind. Virtually every customer that leverages one of these new CPaaS applications is a lost opportunity for a Telecom provider.
Kevin Nethercott, VP of Business Development at Telestax, offers hope for telecommunications providers who are willing to change with the times. In his opinion, this is a time of great opportunity for organizations that embrace the new ecosystem made possible by API-driven development. Here are four ways traditional telco operators can adjust and thrive.
#1 Jump on the API Bandwagon
Enterprises are making no secret of the fact that they want to connect their communication systems using APIs. Kevin predicts, “Very soon, enterprises will only be willing to connect via API rather than telco protocols.” At the very minimum, that means using RESTful APIs for things like SMS to enable seamless business processes. “This is why traditional devices are going away, users expect a certain experience. Whatever app we are in, that’s how we will communicate. It’s all tied together with a natural flow of alerts and reminders, from traditional network to APIs and business software.” Making it easy for enterprise customers to leverage APIs allows telecom providers to at least play defense against over the top competitors who are offering high-margin business solutions.
#2 Become a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) Provider
It’s an age-old strategy: if you can’t beat them, join them. Telecommunications networks simply can’t compete with the CPaaS model. But they can assimilate it into their existing business structure. Telestax aims to make this a simple process—in fact, the company is already serving 80% of the telecom market. “When we provide a connection to the cloud, a telecom services provider can become a CPaaS, providing the same features as competing CPaaS providers. Their salespeople don’t have to say ‘No’ when a customer asks for these modern features. Now, they have a toolkit to fulfill that cost-effectively and get to market quickly.”
#3 Integrate WebRTC Starting Now
This is a no-brainer for telecom networks that want to offer a competitive video-conferencing solution with all the features enterprise customers expect. According to Kevin, “WebRTC is being called CPaaS 2.0 because it brings all of this together in a very lightweight fashion that’s even easier to integrate and use in these types of experiences. It’s absolutely critical as you look to pull these components together.” The Telestax team has already started enjoying the feature-rich Veeting Rooms application internally. They are also using the technology as an example in educating telecom providers about the white label options available in the RestcommONE marketplace that can help them satisfy the demands of enterprise customers.
#4 Let the Marketplace do the Heavy Lifting for Innovation
Telco will never create the next “killer app”. That’s a fact that Nethercott says the industry should simply accept. However, telecom providers can still take advantage of the massive opportunity that’s currently on the table for business-focused applications. With the robust omnichannel revenue sharing model Telestax has developed, app developers who are creating Best of Breed solutions can partner with telecommunication networks through the RestcommONE Marketplace. Together, they are able to deliver high-value apps to the enterprise and business customers. “We’re opening up the APIs so that these vertical oriented applications players can come in and be part of this ecosystem. Bringing the network and the apps together as pre-integrated partners ready to go to market makes adoption frictionless.” This means telco companies can continue to focus on being reliable and scalable while leaning on their channel partners to bring new ideas to market fast, with Telestax in the middle to help implement these innovations at the speed of business.