Connected verticals are new hope for carriers

Nine out of ten telecom operators are betting on ‘connected verticals’ to grow their top line revenues going forward. The revelation comes from a recent global survey by Informa Telecoms & Media, which focused on industries where telecoms innovation – in technology, systems and processes – can trigger deep transformation in efficiency and business model.

Informa interviewed 200 top level telecoms execs from around the world and discovered that 60 per cent of respondents are building vertical teams in order to tackle specific sectors, with a further 20 planning to do so in the future. Top of the list are energy and utilities, with health and transport not far behind. Technologies we’ve heard a lot about recently – cloud computing, LTE and M2M – are identified as the top enabling technologies.

Health: Seeking tools for patient self-care, improved diagnostics, monitoring, as well as process automation across a fragmented value chain encompassing remote and under-served communities.

Agriculture: Seeking tools to communicate fluently across a geographically extended value chain where the management of ebbs and flows of demand is critical.

Automotive: Seeking extended customer engagement with in-car content and information services, enabled with always-on connectivity.

Energy & Utilities: Seeking robust solutions to support critical operations that deliver real-time intelligence to customers, regulators and internal operations.

Public safety: Seeking real-time granular views of communities in their care and better tools to anticipate and prevent potential threats.

Transport: Seeking integrated, real-time intelligence across diverse infrastructures, better customer experiences and control over costs.

Public sector: Seeking greater efficiency and more tools for citizen interaction and demonstrable value to communities.

According to Camille Mendler, head of Informa’s Enterprise Verticals research practice: “The hurried pace of verticalization heralds a profound re-orientation of the global telecoms industry. Strategies must change to stem revenue decline in generic connectivity services and counter over-the-top competitors.”

But successful execution of such a strategy requires more than a sales and marketing veneer and goes so far as a need for corporate restructuring and partnering. Operators including Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Verizon are identified as trail blazers in vertical markets by Mendler, as well as suppliers including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and IBM.

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