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Using Digital Connected Services By @MetraTech | @ThingsExpo [#IoT]

The What Do Enterprises Want Survey provides a view into enterprise requirements to use connected digital services

What Enterprises Want to Use Digital Connected Services

It is no surprise to anyone that service providers need to find new sources of revenue and increase profitability. The digital, cloud and as-a-service revolution provides a silver lining.

As IT organizations feel the tension that comes from a combination of aging legacy B2B infrastructure, changing business mandates and rapidly evolving e-commerce requirements, they are increasingly looking at digital services and outsourcing to trusted providers. They want a trusted partner to deliver connected digital services; including mobile, cloud and M2M/IoT.

The pressure is on for businesses to think about an end-to-end ‘order to cash' process that spans multiple applications and systems, engages external business partners as well as taps into data and services that are increasingly located in the cloud. In other words - a giant mash-up of sorts. IT is not just about implementing an internal process as much as it is about structuring one shared multi-enterprise process(es).

In today's complex as-a-service environment, there will be transactional layers, monetization layers and other layers which will be located in different places within the IT infrastructure, run in different ways, and which will change, likely very rapidly, over time. Change might involve bringing some systems in-house and outsourcing others or adding and/or removing systems and data as business needs evolve. From an IT implementation perspective, we live in a world that's complex, with a wide range of internal systems and external systems to support business partners and suppliers.

Services (actions supported by things) differ in several important ways from products (things supported by actions). While product options are generally well defined up front by the manufacturer, customers for services want to mix and match pieces of different services and essentially create their own new service. The definition of the service can easily become fuzzier as you serve more and more customers. The world of everything-as-a-service (XaaS) is going to enable a lot of shape-shifting through customization, bundling and mash-ups. Embracing the inherent flexibility of services means using software and platforms that are flexible enough for the job.

The question enterprises need to ask is "What innovation skills will I need to manage this complex environment?" When looking at outsourcing, they need to pick a partner that will be good at integration and also extremely agile so they can add, remove, or move systems, introduce new capabilities and be prepared to be in position to act as a change agent rather than limiter of progress and business evolution.

The What Do Enterprises Want Survey provides a view into enterprise requirements to use connected digital services and a preview of what the enterprise requirements are for bundling or reselling connected digital services.

When asked which type of vendor they would most likely buy connected digital services from, 39% would turn to their IT service provider.

When asked what the top criteria was for deciding whether to purchase connected digital applications/services from a communications or managed services provider, respondents answered with the expected cost, service quality and security as the top criteria. But ease of defining, ordering and purchasing what they want; industry-specific solutions; pre-integrated applications/services; a customer portal for ordering, configuration, monitoring and reporting ranked high as well.

When asked which connected devices, applications and M2M / IoT services were the most appealing, a connected platform and help in developing and/or integrating industry specific applications was the most desired by 44% of respondents.

When asked if they trusted their communications service provider (CSP) for business critical services, an overwhelming majority of enterprises, 96% rated their CSP 3 to 5 (being the highest) in trust factor.

Business insight/data analytics tools (likelihood of buying these types of applications or functions ‘as a service' for internal use) ranked high with 32% of respondents indicating already in use and another 37% indicating they would strongly consider using.

Service providers have been steadily deploying infrastructure in anticipation of exploding demand for complex digital services, but to date enterprises have been buying only basic capacity, storage, and infrastructure. But, increasingly, businesses want more from their service providers and platforms to meet enterprise demands to connect employees, partners, customers and applications, particularly as enterprises consider development of connected products to engage customers and grow revenue. As the majority of enterprises lack the resources to implement or productize connected services on their own, there is tremendous opportunity for others to provide them with connected services and platforms. For those service providers that can take up the torch and deliver to enterprises what they want, the opportunity is theirs for the taking.

More Stories By Esmeralda Swartz

Esmeralda Swartz is VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud, BUSS. She has spent 15 years as a marketing, product management, and business development technology executive bringing disruptive technologies and companies to market. Esmeralda was CMO of MetraTech, now part of Ericsson. At MetraTech, Esmeralda was responsible for go-to-market strategy and execution for enterprise and SaaS products, product management, business development and partner programs. Prior to MetraTech, Esmeralda was co-founder, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Lightwolf Technologies, a big data management startup. She was previously co-founder and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of Soapstone Networks, a developer of resource and service control software, now part of Extreme Networks.

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