What will telco digital services bring Kiwi business?

Published on the 01/11/2018 | Written by Heather Wright

Telecos new business offerings

Or are telcos neglecting Kiwi business in their rush to consumer-focused streaming?..

While consumer focused streaming content – and Spark’s move to re-platform itself as the new Sky Sports – has been a big focus for Kiwi telcos this year, local businesses won’t be missing out either, according to IDC New Zealand.

A new IDC New Zealand report, Telco Wars: A New Hope, says Kiwi telcos are transitioning to become ‘genuine digital services providers’ in a move that means New Zealanders can expect a wider range of digital products and services.

“CRM-as-a-service is likely to see big growth as part of a SME-in-a-box solution with your CRM integrating with other as-a-service telco services.”

Monica Collier, IDC New Zealand research manager, told iStart the small and medium enterprise market has, in many ways, been untapped in terms of telco products, but she expects that to change as telcos continue to embrace agile, which enables them to be more responsive to customer needs.

“We’ve already seen a few products come out around unified communications-as-a-service and call centre-as-a-service, enabling small businesses to start having things like IVR (interactive voice response), hosted in the cloud, not costing a lot and giving them options,” she says.

“The telcos have a real untapped market that they are only just starting to get into and the reason they’re starting to get into it is because they are transforming themselves.”

That transformation is likely to see more ‘cookie cutter’ solutions for SMEs and one area Collier says is likely to see big growth is CRM-as-a-service.

“For companies that already use CRM, it takes it off premise and into the cloud for mobility,” she says. “Why do it through a telco? Because it becomes part of a SME-in-a-box solution where your CRM will integrate with your other as-a-service telecommunications services, for example, PABX, call centre/reception and unified communications.

And it won’t just be local telco-developed offerings available to Kiwi businesses. Vodafone New Zealand and Telstra Australia have just partnered up to offer Vodafone’s Kiwi corporate and government customers Telstra’s cloud based security platform. Vodafone Security Management Services combines artificial intelligence, event data and analytics, with NZ-based support.

“I think you might see more of that partnering happening with overseas telcos who have created really great products that they can sell to other markets,” Collier says.

She says the advent of more agile teams within telcos is also likely to see more intelligence added into the services offered.

“Spark is doing this with Qrious at the moment, bringing a lot of AI into the way they do analytics. There are lots of things you can use AI for in security – to help find threats and resolve problems without human intervention, and that kind of thing, and we will see more of that coming through as well,” she says.

The IoT space is also ripe with opportunity.

“There are great solutions out there for CCTV, fleet management, agri solutions, etc, for small businesses that give them better business insight and increases productivity.

“However it will probably be some time before we see IoT-SME-in-a-box type solutions in New Zealand,” she notes. “The telcos are naturally more focussed on the Enterprise space for IoT right now, but these things will appear in time or they might pop out of consumer IoT solutions – Spark’s Morepork security solution could be tweaked for the SME market, for example.”

“New Zealanders are now starting to enjoy the benefits of a new world of digital services,” Collier says. “It’s a combination of the government’s investment in fibre, which provided the much-needed high-speed infrastructure, coupled with the changes in how and what the telcos provide.”

So while we prepare to kick back and enjoy the Rugby World Cup via streaming, we can also look forward to plenty of new business focused digital services.


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