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The Edge

Telcos need to up their edge game – report

Carriers tend to undersell themselves when it comes to engaging with enterprises on edge deployments. As such, IT companies and tech companies, rather than telecoms service providers, are invariably seen as the "edge experts."

This was a key finding from research conducted by IT service provider World Wide Technology (WWT) in collaboration with Analysys Mason.

In a survey of "enterprise decision makers" across six industries (manufacturing, transport, financial services, retail, healthcare and public sector) and four countries (UK, Germany, US and Japan), WWT uncovered what it thought a paradox.

"Connectivity is the cornerstone of an enterprise edge strategy, yet enterprises don't see connectivity providers as the partner they need to make their strategy a success," wrote the authors of "The Edge Disconnect" report.

How can carriers better show off their edge muscles in front of enterprises? WWT makes a number of suggestions based on the research, which, it insisted, "reflected the market's view and was in no way influenced by WWT's own perspective on edge."

First off, asserted WWT, they need to form new partnerships to "underpin their capabilities as an edge-application enabler."

By developing a "pre-packaged edge solution" composed of connectivity and system integration capabilities, as well as an application platform (which WWT thinks will generate nearly 60% of the resulting revenue) "telecoms service providers can cement their place in the new era of enterprise data management."

WWT went so far as talking about the telco as a "one-stop shop" [Ed. note: Wow. Thought that term was left for dead years ago] for edge developer services and applications, and "providing solutions based on a deep understanding of use cases for specific vertical markets."

In short, argued WWT, there was no need for carriers to be sidelined and that they could position themselves as "trusted providers" in the enterprise edge space.

"Cloud service providers and systems integrators may talk up to their ability to satisfy customers' connectivity needs, but telecoms service providers have been delivering these services for decades," reassured the authors. "They have an innate understanding of the intricacies involved, and how these can be optimized."

— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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