Stop Clowning Around in B2B


First Place:

"Oh, and one more thing..."

Submitted by: Steven Everett, Windstream Corporation

Second Place:

"Simple add on. Shouldn't be tough."

Submitted by: Sudhahar Sivakumaran, Virtusa

Third Place:

"Guess what? We need cloud access too."

Submitted by: Kurt Lysek, McKusker Electric


One of my favourite shows is Le Cirque du Soleil. I have taken my family to see three different shows in three different countries, the last being during the spring in Orlando, Florida. Le Cirque du Soleil has often been cited as a case study in business innovation and it is acknowledged as a disruptor in the entertainment industry. I see that as a remarkable achievement on a macro level.

At a micro level, one way this modern circus achieves such success is by taking some key assets, the performers, and cross-training them for additional skills and then deploying them in acts that are completely unique. By doing this they can constantly evolve and innovate, giving their audiences what they want, i.e. outstanding entertainment. In so doing they also can charge premium rates for tickets and spin-off media and merchandising.

In the B2B communications industry, many CSPs would rather resemble the old-style travelling circuses; moving slowly from town-to-town, rolling out the same old tired acts (such as voice and messaging), and having to rely on small crowds who want to pay less and less to cover the bills. All the time, they find it harder to compete with other live entertainment, i.e. films, content streaming, and sports. The list is gets ever longer.

Based on recent market research conducted in the B2B ICT market, the messages are loud and clear: Customers demand unique offerings of products and services from their service providers. For CSPs to succeed as disruptors they must be able to offer an increasingly complex portfolio of services and meet tough service level agreements. They must back up these offerings with customer service that matches the unique characteristics of each client and their portfolio of services. This customer service must be capable not only of delivering end-to-end vision, but also the ability to satisfy their intentions without having to wait 5 to 7 days for the CSP to complete the work.

Make no mistake, it’s not easy. It’s like juggling flaming torches while riding a unicycle – on a high wire. It’s not impossible though, if you do the following:

  • Take the core assets of the network and related services, existing customer relationship management machinery such as client managers, call centres etc. and the ability to reliably bill for services delivered.
  • Wrap and renew existing legacy systems to provide the capability to differentiate and innovate with customer processes.
  • Deliver unique and reliable service offerings that provide exactly what each individual B2B client demands and provide outstanding customer experiences throughout the client lifecycle.

This is exactly what leading CSPs such as Telstra are doing. They are using their core assets, cross-training and delivering unique offerings to discerning clients in the face of stiff competition and tough regulation.

Don’t be the clown of the show. Sure it’s a skilled role, but it’s mere filler for the main acts.

You can download the Enterprise ICT Spending Preferences & Needs Report to discover how you should be managing your enterprise customer relationships and monetizing services in this increasingly competitive environment.