Are Telcos Adapting to the Collaborative Economy?
The collaborative economy is a growing movement in which consumers have decided to share and rent rather than own things. A number of factors are influencing this increasing trend, including recession, the growth of community and trust through social networks, and the overall consumer attitude shift by millennials.
This consumer shift is keeping all verticals on their toes, from retail to automotive, hotels and beyond. A prime example is Zipcar, a shared car service that was eventually acquired by Enterprise. Airbnb is now used by 40,000 people a day in 30 cities as an alternative to hotels. And the startup Cookening even allows people to cook for each other, instead of eating at a restaurant.
To survive in this collaborative economy, large corporations will have to adapt their brand to accommodate this paradigm shift in consumerism, and this does not exclude the telecom industry. As more and more subscribers cut the cable cord for their Roku box, is the industry doing enough to prevent churn? Operators are giving their customers more self-service options (such as allowing them to set their own parameters), but is this enough consumer collaboration to keep subscribers loyal?
As big hotel chains are trying to adapt and work with Airbnb, telcos should be doing the same. I know it is always a topic of discussion, but working with over-the-top players and even the right startups will be crucial. For example, as ONF and ETSI are still trying to hammer out issues with SDN and NFV, Facebook and Amazon are quickly hiring SDN talent behind the scenes.
There are already conferences being held on the collaborative economy and the sustainability of big corporations in these changing times. Hopefully, telcos will be asked to speak as keynotes very soon.
— Sarah Wallace, Analyst, Heavy Reading