Becoming Key Enablers of IoT: Value-Added Services by CSPs

Explosion Of Devices: The Internet Of Things

In my last blog, I spoke about how Big Data is appearing to be the innovation panacea and focus of the moment and how Telcos as well as Communication Service Providers (CSPs) can use Big Data to merchandise the moment.

Another phenomenon and term being bandied about quite often lately is the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it will revolutionize the way CSPs interact with customers to drive profitability, impact internal productivity, operational efficiency, and more. Really Big Data is, in a large part, driven by the explosion of devices so the topics are highly interlinked.

In the years ahead the number of devices connected to the Internet will literally explode. According to the research and advisory firm Gartner, connecting devices across IoT is expected to grow to 26 billion installed units by 2020 and IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services, by 2020.

IoT opportunities opening up for CSPs include “smart” communications in customer service, logistics, metering, asset management, and urban operations. Truly, IoT will transform what’s possible for the CSPs’ Future of Business, and in moving up the value chain.

Realizing CSP’s True Potential: Deliver Value-Added Services

 

Where CSPs need to be in this New Digital World is to become key enablers of IoT.  This means moving up the value chain to become a horizontal, end-to-end IoT service provider to enterprise customers driving new revenue in targeted vertical markets.

For CSPs to do so, they need the capability to fast-forward IoT to a whole new level in addition to merely providing connectivity. For example, CSPs can take the complexity out of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connections for the enterprises by providing industrialized and industry relevant end-to-end solutions and services.

By being an enterprise-ready one-stop-shop – with global reach and horizontal scale – CSPs can create significant value for both themselves and their enterprise customers: from improving business processes, to creating new business models, extending their customer base and allowing for complete business re-innovation.

We see three key elements at the core of IoT for CSPs: first: big / fast / real-time data management and analytics. Second: Mobility. Third: Cloud.

Other than these main enablers, CSPs should be supplemented by the ability to:

  • Monetize the IoT faster – with industry-specific M2M charging and billing
  • Provide industry-relevant end-to-end M2M solutions and services
  • Make business sense of a full IoT service through business system integration

The challenge for service providers is that the Telco market is evolving more rapidly than ever. To keep up, there is a lot of pressure to invest in new business models. With the ability to capture and price the true business value per industry and use case with an agnostic and modular solution suite for IoT
service monetization; this can be a reality – quickly.

Monetize the IoT Faster: IoT Service Monetization

Many enterprises have already embarked on a journey to transform from product centric to service provider by harnessing the built-in connectivity of connected devices and machines. CSPs can play a value-added role to facilitate that pathway by offering easy-to-use, industry-specific monetization solutions as part of their X-as-a-Service (XaaS) offering to the enterprises.  IoT necessitates high-scale, low-cost monetization solutions enabling effective partner management and complex B2B scenarios.

In this regard, ensuring a CSP’s IoT service monetization enablement is contextual – with the ability to create use cases with an agnostic and modular solution suite – is imperative. This would allow the CSP to be enabled in elements such as industry-specific yet agnostic convergent charging, billing and policy management, price analytics and simulations, on-device / off-line charging support and advanced mobile commerce solutions enhancing the service offering and customer experience.

Radically Drive IoT Success: IoT Industry-Relevant Solutions

 

CSPs can dramatically drive their IoT success with industry-relevant solutions and services.   CSPs that are providing horizontal and industry-agnostic solutions – such as managed connectivity, billing, and big data – to enterprises can boost this aspect with scalable industry-specific solutions and services. This would help the CSP in being enabled in industry-unique solutions – such as Smart Meter Analytics for Utilities – as well as new cross-services that can be scaled across some industries and use cases. Another illustration would be Predictive Maintenance applicable to manufacturing scenarios, fleet / asset management, spare part / refill management, or eHealth.

What’s key when it comes to industry-relevant solutions is to ensure CSPs have a flexible combination of advanced analytical capabilities such as deep data mining, complemented by mobility apps, and with integration / optimization / automation of industry specific backend processes.

IoT Business Sense-Making: Real Real-Time As A Game Changer

A full IoT service supports all the phases from sensing (in the original data capture) through to analysis, prediction and action. Having the means for CSPs to make business sense of the all captured information for big, fast data in real real-time will be a game changer. This includes the ability for CSPs to capture, store, aggregate, correlate and filter big and fast machine data from different internal and external sources in both batch and real-time.

 

By integration to the enterprise backend business systems and other data sources, machine data can be transform into a rich pool of valuable information. With capability such as real-time rules engines, advanced analytical features and complex predictive capabilities, enterprises can be provided with actionable business insights to reduce costs and enhance revenue, improve business processes automation, as well as expand their ecosystem and offerings.

Enabling CSPs’ IoT Transformation

CSPs that have harnessed new developments and invested in IoT enablement are seeing return on investment as well as the creation of new business
value. One thing’s for sure – IoT will present substantial opportunities.  By embracing the IoT transformation smartly in collaboration with the right partners, CSPs can only stand to gain as a key enabler of IoT.

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