The poll, commissioned by enterprise customer experience management expert MDS, also revealed that nearly all companies (96%) are planning to introduce unified communications across their mobile, fixed and broadband services, with an astonishing 46 per cent saying they are planning to make the move in the next year.
For service providers looking to retain business customers as they consolidate their suppliers, the biggest challenge will be providing them with analytics services that can provide clear visibility of spend. Half of those asked (49 per cent) said that this was not a capability currently provided to them by their suppliers, with a further 54 per cent saying they would like to access analytics online to better understand how their company uses its communications services.
Drew Rockwell, CEO for MDS, commented on the research, These results indicate this to be a market shaping moment with significant supplier consolidation on the short-term agenda for business customers. For telecoms managers in businesses there is a recognised need to make savings by looking in greater detail at their bills with a higher degree of analytic capability. Coupled with a desire to reduce the number of suppliers and introduce unified communications, the market has become fraught with challenges for service providers looking to cement ongoing profitability from business customer bases.
The report has also revealed that 43 per cent of telecoms managers are paying for a telephone, mobile or internet service that they no longer need, with a further 28 per cent admitting that they have been shocked or surprised by a telecoms bill. Time is also a major hurdle for telecoms managers looking to better understand their companys communication services bills:
- 62 per cent of businesses are increasing their telecoms spend year on year
- 65 per cent of telecoms managers recognise there are savings to be made by looking in greater details at telecoms bills and contracts but more than half (52 per cent) say reviewing telecoms infrastructure is something they dont really have time to do
- 53 per cent think the increasing convergence of telecoms services makes it more difficult to review telecoms infrastructure
- 48 per cent think mobile contracts and packages are too complicated
- 57 per cent of telecoms managers say that if a service provider was to offer analytics services they would be more likely to become a customer
Rockwell added, In an increasingly complex telecoms environment there is pressure to justify spend and rationalise suppliers to budget holders like never before. The reality for many telecoms managers is a lack of insight into telecoms usage across their business. Service providers must increase control and value through analytics and insight if they are to secure long-term revenues and growth in this highly profitable customer base. Ultimately they must provide assurance that the end customer experience is unified and operating as intended, to the highest standard, or risk losing out in an increasingly competitive and crowded market.
Larry Goldman, Head of Telecom Software Research for Analysys Mason, said, Spend management has become a key issue for all facets of procurement over the past few years, and communications is no exception. Service providers themselves face many challenges with regard to delivering innovative, profitable services in a market now shaped by cost, complexity and convergence. Providing an integrated view of services, driven by on-line enablement and accurate revenue management will not only improve relationships with their customers, but it will enable service providers to determine the profitability of individual services.