Customer Preferences Driving the Fate of CSPs

Guest Blog by Al Castle, vice president of product and engineering at Flowroute, a West company

Customer Preferences Driving the Fate of CSPs

The evolution of enterprise communications shifting towards “as-a-service” offerings is directly impacting the traditional landscape of communication service providers (CSPs) including telecom carriers, content and application service providers, cloud-CSPs and more. Customers’ changing preferences are driving this evolution and putting increased pressure on enterprises to integrate cloud-based communication capabilities that provide real-time support, high-quality service, and flexible customer interactions.

As enterprises migrate to software-centric carriers to enable digital transformation and offer the technical resources needed to better meet their customers’ changing demands, CSPs are also turning to the cloud and reassess where they can add value in the market. For many CSPs, the decision will lie between competing with newer agile providers or consolidating services to focus on a specific offering. In both situations, CSPs aim to deliver improved experiences to their customers.

Below are two cloud communications trends CSPs should consider as they evaluate their future in the changing landscape

1 – Contact centres driving digital disruption

Al Castle Flowroute

Al Castle

An area witnessing massive digital transformation and directly impacting CSPs is the demand for contact centres that can provide customers with immediate and personalised care.

The evolution of the e-commerce industry has placed power in the hands of consumers to such an extreme that customer preferences now dictate the experience. As a result, enterprises are turning to cloud-based contact centres – contact centre as a service (CCaaS) offerings – that arm the organisation with the resources required to deliver improved consumer experiences. For example, businesses that offer 24/7 customer agent support and leverage technology to instantly respond to customers’ needs are able to maintain strong reputations and remain ahead of competitors. The challenge and impact on CSPs are to provide enterprises with solutions that can meet these demands.

CCaaS offerings are disruptive to traditional CSPs because the cloud-based model allows enterprises the flexibility to purchase only the technology they need, reducing the need for on-premise equipment and an IT department, and increasing the scalability of services to customise support.

As CSPs aim to keep complete control over their telecom resources with new players in the mix, they are transitioning toward carrier models that better position them to succeed in the CCaaS market. This complete control enables cloud CSPs to create new revenue streams and build more strategic partnerships. CSPs are uniquely positioned to offer CCaaS because they have the network and operational ability needed to deliver cloud-based applications as a service. For example, industry leaders such as Avaya have rolled out their own CCaaS product offerings giving enterprises fully featured contact centres, without the need for additional hardware or infrastructure.

CSPs that take advantage of the opportunity in the CCaaS market will quickly establish new value by helping their partners embrace digital transformation and improve overall customer experience.

2 – CPaaS enablement driving telecom evolution

Communications platform as a service (CPaaS) began more than ten years ago and remains one of the fastest growing categories in enterprise communications, according to 451 Business. CPaaS continues to increase in popularity because it empowers enterprises to respond to digitally driven customers, whose changing preferences are pushing industries to innovate their offerings.

Today, the CPaaS market is made up of a combination of software vendors, system integrators and services providers that offer developers the tools they need to add communications into existing applications. However, enterprises’ continued adoption of cloud-based communications is presenting challenges to the traditional CPaaS market, because CSPs are entering this space and are able to offer enterprises different benefits that traditional CPaaS providers can’t offer (i.e. established network and local presence).

Through this disruption of CPaaS and the resulting evolution of telecom, CSPs are partnering with software-centric carriers and providing enterprises with direct access to telecom APIs that power voice, messaging and video capabilities, which allows enterprises to cost-effectively evolve their customers’ experiences. Take, for example, Zang Cloud, a strategic cloud-based platform that easily allows businesses to build custom apps and integrate voice and messaging on any app, internationally.

Innovative CSPs are shifting away from their traditional roles by partnering with CPaaS enablers that can help launch telecom related products, such as Zang Cloud. CSPs are also leveraging the software-centric telecom expertise of these carriers to quickly move infrastructure to the cloud and develop scalable solutions that can adapt with customers’ changing preferences.

As more industries are impacted by digital disruption and embrace the benefits of telecom evolution, CSPs will be faced with a series of obstacles and opportunities. CSPs remain in the centre of the disruption as they determine where to innovate, where to consolidate and where to compete.

Their response to these changes will determine the lasting role they’ll hold in enterprise communications. CSPs that can leverage strategic partnerships to deliver new value to their customers will be better positioned to be strong players moving forward.

Guest Blog by Al Castle, vice president of product and engineering at
Flowroute, a West company
Al is the vice president of product and engineering at Flowroute, a West Company. He brings more than 15 years of operational experience in software engineering and B2B SaaS platform management. Prior to joining Flowroute, Castle was the director of engineering at Motorola Solutions, where he built and launched the organization’s first SaaS platform and IOT enterprise software system in less than five months.


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