Finally, as more service providers continue to emerge and evolve in the communications landscape, differentiation is still the name of the game. However, finding a way to set yourself apart from the competition isn’t always as simple as it seems. Many service providers are still struggling to prove that they have something different to offer than their competitors.
We asked our industry experts how new and evolving service providers in 2020 will be able to approach the issue of differentiation successfully in 2020.
Centile’s director told us that “Control is the primary key to differentiation and having said that, you need to be able to do all the basics effortlessly as a prerequisite. There are many levels of opportunity to differentiate from support, deployment best practice, marketing angles, bundling, platform choice and technology offerings to suit the differing user types. Price can play a part. However, this is far less of a pressure if you can demonstrate for example how simply you can work and evidence how customers are going to be more efficient.”
According to Centile, if you can show how a customer’s staff base will be able to save crucial time every month, then you can differentiate with ease and productivity. “I believe that sales training offers a lot of opportunities to protect margin and drive differentiation.”
Cisco’s SP for Webex Calling said that all markets and segments today have their own unique needs. Service providers are in the unique position of being able to bundle network and support services through Meraki, Cisco Webex, and more with Cisco.
“First, service providers can create product bundles and pricing optimised for their respective markets and segments. Another key area is simplifying and adapting the buying and on-boarding experience through an optimal mix of human and digital channels. They can also leverage the knowledge of their markets and customers to create offers targeted at specific verticals of business sizes.”
Karnik believes that there are unlimited opportunities in the Cisco ecosystem to build solutions as a service provider that are differentiated and unique. The key to success often lies in the go-to-market approach that the service provider uses to win the attention of the customer. Service providers need to offer solutions that are “easy to find, to try, to buy, to onboard, to adopt, and to grow.”
Metaswitch’s Chris Carabello acknowledged that the fight for differentiation is a significant issue for today’s service providers.