July 15, 2016

Cloud 2020: Telcos’ Role, Scenarios and Forecast

Although the shape of the cloud industry turned out better than expected, most telco strategies in the cloud haven’t delivered. Our latest article investigates why, what has led to success, and what telcos need to learn to do differently. 

Read our analysis here.

This report is part of our Enterprise Cloud & ICT Stream.

For more information on any of our services, please email or call +44 207 247 5003.


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October 23, 2015

The Cloud Kicks Into Mass Adoption in 2015: We Told You So!

There’s a smug feeling in Telco 2.0 Towers right now. Back in 2012 we predicted mass adoption of cloud by 2015, and it looks like that’s happened.

Bloomberg has declared a cloud boom after Amazon Web Services announced revenue up 78% year-on-year, Microsoft Azure doubled its sales, helping the company to beat its earnings estimates, and Google crushed the quarter too, despite the plummeting price of online ads.

amznq3.PNGTaking a view from 50,000 feet, you might think the cloud market had passed some sort of key inflection point. Back in 2012, we published the Cloud 2.0: Telco Strategies in the Cloud Strategy Report, a deep (140pp/35k word) dive into the cloud infrastructure market and how telcos were trying to address it, and within it our thinking on the likely growth of cloud. 

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February 5, 2014

CSPs / Telcos: Join our Enterprise Mobility Programme

If you work on behalf of a Communications Service Provider (CSP) in marketing, strategy, technology, IT or product development/management, we would like to ask you to join and participate in a strategic research programme we are undertaking on Enterprise Mobility.

This programme will conduct and produce research to help key decision makers define and evaluate their Enterprise Mobility strategy. As part of the programme we will share a report detailing Enterprise customers’ needs and challenges in successfully deploying Enterprise Mobility solutions and, also, benchmark CSPs’ current offerings against those needs on a regional (non-player specific) basis. Having identified any gaps between customers’ needs and telco activities, this research will define a strategy for CSPs to establish a stronger foothold in the enterprise mobility market.

To participate and receive the research in full, please complete this anonymised 4-minute survey focused on your current Enterprise Mobility offering and portfolio. (NB It does not require you to reveal competitive or strategic information).

The survey can be found here

We’ll also be exploring Enterprise Mobility in further depth in our research and our executive brainstorms in Silicon Valley (May 20-21) and London (June 10-11).

For those who would like to know more, below is an introduction to some of the hypotheses that STL Partners is investigating:

  1. In pursuit of agility, efficiency, new revenue sources and closer customer relationships, enterprises are turning to mobility to transform the way employees work with engaging mobile apps that harness device-specific functions and capabilities. These apps generally need to connect to and exchange data with back-office systems, many of which pre-date the mobile era. As a result, organisations are looking to partners to provide the tools, technologies and skills to customise and develop apps, do the heavy lifting of deployment and lifecycle management, and accelerate business value.
  2. Telcos need to identify alternative ways to grow revenues from enterprise customers. These include:
    • Monetising the growth in data creation and consumption to offset the inevitable decline in voice services (from consumer and enterprise markets)
    • Pursuing new service offerings such as Machine-to-Machine (M2M), Cloud Services, and real-time insight from the cellular network
    • Providing infrastructure and technology services that offer flexibility and economies of scale, allowing enterprises to focus on exploring new technologies instead of maintaining and managing existing ones.

Telcos have a timely opening to take an enterprise mobility proposition to market. However, to date, deployments have been niche and opportunistic rather than part of a long-term strategy.

In our recent report: The 50bn Enterprise Mobility Opportunity: four steps for Telco to take today, STL Partners identified a four-step structured approach that telcos can embark on today, and gain competence and confidence as they move up the enterprise mobility stack to higher value offerings. The four levels of evolution involve:

  • Level 1 - mobilising their own operations and internal processes

  • Level 2 - offering a managed environment to enterprises for their apps, whether on premise or in the cloud

  • Level 3 - providing hosted mobility together with off-the-shelf enterprise apps, with the option to add “last mile” customisation to the enterprise’s specific requirements and provide an enterprise app store

  • Level 4 - providing hosted mobility and developing bespoke, highly differentiated apps that solve customers’ unique business challenges

However, building out these capabilities will require substantial commitment and investment - not only in platforms and tools but also in people, via a transfusion of talent from related industries.
STL Partners is inviting telcos to participate in a study to explore their appetite for and inhibitors to establishing a foothold in the enterprise mobility market, the findings of which will be revealed in a forthcoming report.

Access the survey here for a complementary copy of our next in-depth study on Enterprise Mobility

The survey is split into two sections and explores CSPs’ internal and external Enterprise Mobility strategy, ambition and implementation challenges.

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May 22, 2012

Customer Experience Management: like running shoes, a good fit is essential

In this guest post, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) argue that customer insight and personalisation are the keys to delivering a great customer experience, supported by two real-world case studies. They draw the analogy that it makes no more sense to offer every customer the same package than to offer every runner the same shoes.

Mobile internet quality used to play only a minor role in customer retention, but this is no longer the case. Network coverage and voice quality were rated as the most important criteria in 2010 and continue to be among the top criteria to retain customers in 2011. The importance of Messaging and Internet Quality increased even for the average user. Customers who are classified as ‘high value customers’ now rank mobile broadband quality alongside voice quality and network coverage in determining to leave or stay with their mobile operator.


In particular, heavy users of advanced services, a customer group that has grown by 34% between 2010 and 2011, care about Messaging and Internet quality. These customers are typically young and the majority of them are high spenders. But are they loyal to their operators? The answer doesn’t look promising. These customers have already switched operators far more often than average, and nearly 40% of them will change their provider within the next year. Even worse, overall satisfaction with the mobile Internet has hit rock bottom. Together with unfavourable contract conditions and the high cost of devices and voice services, poor mobile Internet quality received the lowest satisfaction ratings globally.

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May 10, 2012

Cloud 2.0: Strategic Opportunity for Telcos

We’re currently hard at work on a major new strategy research report Cloud 2.0: Strategic Opportunity for Telcos, and will be sharing some of the initial findings at the EMEA event in London on 12-13 June.

We’ll also be joined by some of the top practitioners in the field including Vodafone, Verizon, Orange, Amazon, and Telefonica, and will be exploring and discussing the cloud value chain in depth, reviewing the strategies of key players from all sides of the market, and putting forward options for telcos of different kinds getting into the cloud business. There’s more on who’s coming and what we’ll be covering below - please email us at to find out more about joining the event or participating in the research.

Background to the new research

A key hypothesis emerging from our cloud research (including Cloud 2.0: don’t blow it, telcos and Cloud 2.0: Telcos to grow Revenues 900% by 2014) and analysis from the Silicon Valley and London brainstorms, is that the cloud computing market is heading for a second wave of disruption.

Very large numbers of enterprises are still to take their first steps in cloud computing. For example, at the Silicon Valley event, Bain Consulting argued that two key groups of customers - essentially, the mass adoption phase in the classic diffusion model - are still to come, and that the size of these groups implies a very high growth rate for the sector still to come, in “Round Two”.


In parallel, key technology developments, such as OpenStack, CloudStack, and the Open Data Centre and Open Compute initiatives, are all heading in the direction of greater compatibility between providers (a round-up of links is here), a trend which is likely to reduce the apparent first-mover advantage enjoyed by Amazon Web Services, Google, et al and make it far easier to migrate between platforms.

Does ‘first mover’ advantage matter?

History suggests that first mover advantage is more often illusory than it is real.

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Telco 2.0 Strategy Report Out Now: Telco Strategy in the Cloud

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