Communications service providers are approaching a 5G crossroads. Spending billions on building infrastructure, there are multiple options to monetize their investment. One opportunity is with partnerships to create innovative services and exceptional customer experiences that open up new revenue streams. Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) and B2B2X marketplaces are examples of how providers can make this happen.
With NaaS, customers can lease and manage a resource from a service provider. Application programming interfaces (APIs) make it possible for customers to control a portion of a network for a period of time. Standardized APIs allow developers to securely access the network and to create apps and features. It’s similar to developing apps for iOS and Android operating systems, but for a network instead. Governance and revenue-sharing models vary, and allow for innovation while maintaining security.
Providers may sell the apps directly or through a managed marketplace. Businesses can buy them for their own use or to sell to end users through a business-to-business-to-X (B2B2X) marketplace. One example is a subscription service for a 5G-enabled camera on a bicycle helmet. The camera documents rides while providing safety features including collision notifications. There are NaaS revenue opportunities in a number of industries, including education, city governments, transportation, and security.
B2B2X marketplaces allow multiple parties to work together to deliver new services for consumers or other businesses. Like NaaS, this opens up opportunities in a wide range of industries. Providers can partner with businesses in their targeted industries to provide 5G-enabled services to streamline entry into new markets. However, working with a variety of customers who have different business strengths, goals, and needs requires agile partner ecosystem management and monetization solutions.
A Digital Foundation Makes It Possible
The keys to a successful partner ecosystem are the ability to scale quickly and speed in launching dynamic services. This requires a sophisticated digital foundation that takes full advantage of the cloud. A cloud-native architecture with an extended digital BSS layer provides the agility to continually innovate to offer new services. The BSS layer aggregates data and extends the network to app developers.
A secure API integration is needed to provide access to developers and allows providers to build the marketplace. Consumption-focused, industry-standard APIs through associations like TM Forum expose the network securely, although governance and close management are critical to control and monitor access.
Digital self-service is essential. Automating the commercial and provisioning processes makes it easy for customers to configure, price, and quote (CPQ) services. Order management capabilities fulfill the service with zero-touch provisioning.
With a crossroads, there are choices to make. As service providers race to 5G monetization, partnerships open doors to achieve bigger and better innovative services faster.
Learn how Salesforce for Communications can streamline the ability to create partnerships to increase ROI, reduce costs, and provide innovative solutions by attending our Mobile World Congress keynote: The Power of Partnerships. Visit our booth in Networking Garden GG2 for demos and examples of how our customers are reimagining customer-centricity with our agile platform.