Blog · 09 Sep 2021

Don’t end up as the best dinosaur food maker

As competition increases, we need to step into unchartered territories to exploit new differentiating solutions – and so do our channel partners.

Alessandro Adriani
Director, Global Systems Integrators and Telecom Service Providers, BT

In the tech industry, if we don’t continuously look ahead, we run the risk of being the last provider of yesterday’s technology.

By keeping our head down, and just focusing on what we’ve always done, we won’t see what’s coming, and our competitive edge will fade away. No one wants to end up selling to an extinct market.

This has happened many times before, across multiple industries.

We’ve seen a leading camera manufacturer remain fixated with selling film, even though the digital camera was clearly an up-and-coming technology with the power to transform photography. And, as they finally started investing in digital cameras, mobile phones came along to make digital cameras old news.

We’ve seen a thriving chain of video rental shops fail to respond to the rise of streaming, and the total collapse of their empire. Or what about the companies manufacturing mobile phones with a keyboard who didn’t see the potential impact of touchscreen technology? 

These companies and more failed to invent their own tomorrow - even if they had the entire toolkit to make it happen. Can we see similar things happening in the telecom service provider industry? It’s getting harder to stay competitive while offering the latest technology wherever your customers want it. There’s pressure on local champions and regional providers to deliver global reach, and customer requirements are getting more complex, too. The days of straightforward connectivity sales are gone. Today, customers are looking for comprehensive, one-stop solutions that bring together hardware, software, applications, connectivity services and much more to create a supportive, ‘can do anything’ and ‘everything-as-a-Service’ environment for their employees and end customers.

Ask yourself where the puck is going to be and aim to be there

What made your offering unique yesterday might not set you apart today so, as they say in ice hockey, you need to go where the puck is going to be, not to where it is now. It’s time to reassess how you can add value to your customers and then disrupt how you do business to make your value vision a reality. So look ahead and aim for what customers are going to ask for next. There’s huge potential for success out there, with opportunities to add value and set our business apart through service delivery, by bundling services, or by providing a full stack integration.

Innovation through co-creation

Working within a partnership ecosystem is the key to solving your customers’ challenges. You might not have the capability you need within your business, but you can work with your partners to customise their offering to precisely fit your customer’s requirements. Choose a set of partners that are leaders in technology development, either through their own innovation or through their technology partners and share your customer’s issues with them to co-create a unique, differentiating, scalable and replicable solution. This can make the difference between selling an undifferentiated commodity, like a basic voice service, and selling a voice service that addresses all the customer’s needs. Potentially, it could bring together world-beating service level agreements, best-of-breed low latency and a customised AI-powered visibility tool that solves the end customer’s proactive monitoring issues and highlights the next best activity to solve the problem.

This co-creation route can help keep the cost of winning new customers down – you can leverage your partner’s investments in new technologies and services without making the investment yourself. Plus, working with one partner can reduce the overhead costs of managing multiple vendors and contracts.

Identify opportunities to leave the dinosaur food industry behind

As your customers become more demanding, the right partnership will make it easy for you to seize new opportunities to get out of your comfort zone. Look for partners who can provide what you need quickly, helping you to scale up services for your customers globally, fast, or that can fill gaps in your portfolio that you can’t service yourself. You want a partner that can accelerate your time to market, helping you to boost customer loyalty – and you want them to be easy to do business with, so you can focus on satisfying your customer rather than chasing up what you need from your partner.

Simple ways to create differentiation

We have solutions that will differentiate you from your competition and help you win business. Our innovation can be your innovation - white labelled if you’d like to present your customer with a single solution – and we’re ready to co-create solutions tailored to your customers’ needs. Plus, we continue to invest in making it easy to do business with us.

To find out more about how we can partner with you to deliver value to your customers, please get in touch with your account manager.