RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Increasingly saturated mobile offerings, intense price competition, and the disruption from OTT providers have put B2C telecommunications global markets under pressure.
  • Traditional Telco operators are innovating B2B territory powering cloud, IT, and industry alliances.
  • This paper explores the right approach for CSPs to build a clear B2B business strategy based on differentiation.


According to global trends, traditional Communications Service Providers (CSPs) business is not growing – expecting almost flat +0,1% global connectivity year over year revenues 2021-2024. It has become clear that a major shift to B2B is upon us.

This, in turn, raises many challenges for CSPs, starting with how they can differentiate themselves from the cloud giants. To do so, they will have to transform their DNA - upgrading their B2C-grounded skills, operating models and technologies. But, if they choose to embark on this journey, is it present an ecosystem fostering partnership to develop their capabilities.

B2B portfolio strategy: The right turn

There are two potential directions when expanding the Telco B2B Portfolio:

Catalog horizontal extension

CPSs can increase the variety of components in their portfolio by adding new domains driven by advanced network technologies.

Vertical integrated solutions

CSPs can organize these components into value proposition for their B2B customers moving to ready-to-go integrated use cases and project-based cross industry solutions.

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In the space defined by these two dimensions, there’s an area where CSPs have a real opportunity to differentiate. This is the area at the intersection of two specific Telco control points:

Personalized connectivity & edge

B2B services requiring premium connectivity and the controlled/edge computing for real-time and guaranteed connectivity/mobility services and computing capabilities.

E2E operation at scale with geographical presence

B2B services that must be managed and operated with end-to-end carrier-grade quality of service (QoS).

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CSPs are the only player with the assets and the culture to engineer and guarantee the service-level agreements (SLAs) with end-to-end operations in the entire value chain, from on-premises to connectivity, to the cloud.

Becoming a connected cloud industry orchestrator

A mandatory evolution for CPSs begins with the Connectivity Platform – enriching the standard connectivity leveraging new network and infrastructure technologies. Then, CSPs can move on to Connected-Cloud Platform business bundling – enhancing connectivity services with software functionalities at the edge. The final step is to become the Connected Cloud Industry Orchestrator. Here, CSPs leverage their edge functionalities and connectivity to build vertically integrated industry solutions.

Connectivity platform

Offering enhanced connectivity portfolio with simplified sales process through the new access technologies, programmable network and edge computing, providing Network guaranteed SLAs.

Connected cloud platform

Bundling connectivity platform services with security, data processing and analytics to provide horizontal guaranteed and mission critical services ensuring ICT SLAs.

Connected cloud industry orchestrator

Packaging industry and services through orchestration & scale, developing an application with E2E operating and quality of service in the value chain providing guaranteed E2E use case SLAs.

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An image showing Connect, Empower, and Transform as 3 packages with their respective advantages.

Reinventing B2B with 5G

5G holds great promise for CSPs once they complete the technology transition. But to make the most of the opportunity, CSPs need to look beyond standard business models for new paths to growth. Watch and listen in to Accenture leadership in this 4-minute discussion on reimagining your B2B strategy.

How to do it: Opportunity built on a platform

CSPs’ evolution process is a complete, multi-year transformation encompassing a CSP’s entire organization and ecosystem. Importantly, it’s a journey that requires both a bottom-up and top-down approach.

A bottom-up approach is necessary for CSPs to standardize and automate their connectivity and computing capabilities. In the top-down stage of the transformation, CSPs focus on the industry supply chain platform, which standardizes and automates the industry use cases fabric through:

Design studio capability

to enable CSPs to create and configure use cases and value cases.

Ecosystem service onboarding capability

to enable registering and introducing partners’ services into the platform.

Context-aware intelligence library

to define, reuse and evolve the data models of industry-specific contexts.

Intelligent operations capabilities

to deploy, run, and monitor the end-to-end solution in real-time.

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The answers so far

CSPs can distinguish themselves from cloud giants, primarily if they focus on segments, use cases requiring complex and mission-critical “Connectivity + Cloud” QoS, and power local end-to-end operations.

It is also possible for CSPs to become ecosystem-driven and form meaningful alliances with a bottom-up model to onboard and expose internal and third parties’ capabilities. Plus, enabling a top-down approach to cooperate with business integrators and vertical industry partners.

CSPs can transform their “B2C connectivity culture” and grow in skills, operating models, processes, and technology through a clearly defined strategy. They must build a new platform, not only in terms of technology capabilities but also as enablers of new ways to co-create and innovate at scale.

This roadmap can be a starting point for a structured B2B transformation approach. Still, each CSP should consider the right way to tackle any new opportunity based on their unique capabilities and ecosystem perspective.

Marco Grigoletti

Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Communications & Media, Center of Excellence, Cloud First


Benedetto Secco

Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Communications & Media, B2B/Connected Industry


Giuseppe Tarquini

Senior Manager – Strategy & Consulting, Communications & Media, Cloud First

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