Optical/IP Networks

Dismantling the dominance of Big Telco

For too long, Big Telco has forced enterprises to accept an outdated way of doing business. Since they've dominated the industry for decades, they've gotten away with maintaining rigid policies and inflexible contracts as the status quo. This imbalance has led to a toxic relationship where Big Telco calls the shots, and their customers get locked into deals that don't adequately address their needs.

As a result, enterprises have found themselves in a quandary with seemingly no way of getting out, lacking the ability to control and secure their data, which is unacceptable in today's era of remote work and abundance of Software-as-a-Service platforms. It's time enterprises wake up, defy convention, break up with Big Telco and look towards the future predicated on flexibility, performance, security and overall reliability.

Putting the customer first

As the only game in town for years, Big Telco was the default choice for enterprises, and they knew it. Evolution was slow because nobody held them accountable, and challengers didn't have the scale to compete and make a difference.

However, the voice of the customer continues to grow by the day, and businesses across all industries are rapidly transforming to create more seamless and enjoyable customer experiences. In industries like telecom, where legacy players still hold most of the power, those transformations are happening more slowly. But, as we've seen in other industries, it's only a matter of time before enterprises decide that Big Telco – like Big Retail, Big Oil and Big Pharma – isn't cutting it anymore.

We've already seen several enterprises realize this, but understanding and acting are two different things. Given how much enterprises rely on their telecom providers to keep them up and running in an always-on world, disrupting business operations to make a change for something new is terrifying, especially in this economy where every dollar counts. One wrong move and you can be out of a job, so many enterprises stick with the status quo out of fear. This is a key reason why legacy providers are still on top.

For the customer-first businesses - or challenger brands - this is where the big opportunity lies. How can you apply a customer-first approach to help enterprises break free from the shackles of Big Telco and bring them the flexibility they desperately need?

Small steps can have a big impact

With the pressure that so many enterprise CIOs are under, taking a huge step will be too overwhelming for them to consider. To spur them into action, get them to try an appetizer before offering them the whole meal. There are no shortcuts to disrupting a monolith's power. It would help if you had a clear journey and strategy to share with your prospects, so they can get on board with gradually making a change that will produce lasting results. This is a never-ending process of innovation and refinement, but the work you put into it now will pay off in a big way if you stick to it.

Listen to your customers even more

If you're already a customer-first business, listening to your customers is part of your DNA. However, most businesses have a threshold of what they'll listen to and act on. Now is the time to push those boundaries even further. The more you build your customer-first case to your customers and prospects, the more difficult it will be for them to stick with the incumbents.

For example, a few years ago, our customer base was beginning to inquire more about integrating security into the network, so we've taken clear, actionable steps to address that challenge and position ourselves favorably in that area. This is an ongoing endeavor but one we know will make a difference because our customers and prospects have consistently asked for it.

Investing in things without knowing what the results will look like can be scary, but if you're listening to your customers and prospects deeply, they will give you your roadmap to future success. While the road may seem long, we are at a tipping point where a large-scale migration away from Big Telco is about to occur.

One-size-fits-all doesn’t fit all

Today, more organizations rely on the cloud to store and protect their confidential data with remote work becoming increasingly popular. Protecting data and the organization's infrastructure is mission-critical for businesses. When organizations turn to Big Telco for help, the services they receive are generic and typically not the right fit for the level of protection they need. Therefore, a customized approach is extremely important. Every business has unique challenges and needs a specific solution that matches its needs.

Giving your customers flexible options will be music to their ears, showing them that you listen and truly care about their needs. The more you can differentiate yourself in this area, the more you will lead CIOs into the future.

It’s time to defy convention

In an industry that has become complacent and de-sensitized to suboptimal experiences, getting your customers and prospects to defy convention is no small task, but it is possible. As with all industries, there comes a point where the better product starts to win out, and the once-immovable industry leaders need to play catch up. We're in a very exciting time in the telecom industry that's on the verge of a massive shift. Are you ready to be part of the change, or will you continue perpetuating the status quo?

– Matt Carter, CEO, Aryaka

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