Amdocs survey: Fierce competition for customers could lead to partnerships

Communications service providers, OTT players and device manufacturers may have to bury the hatchet and form strategic relationships to create the best customer experience, a new survey conducted by Coleman Parkes for Amdocs has revealed.

It all comes down to whether any one of the three players is willing to team with another to serve--and own--a customer.

"One of the key findings of this research is that while service providers, device manufacturers and over-the-top players may have different sets of interest, they increasingly recognize the need for collaboration and partnership to achieve common goals," Rebecca Prudhomme, vice president for product and solutions marketing for Amdocs, said in a news release. "To partner effectively, service providers need a trusted advisor to help them clarify their strategies. Successful partnerships demand open and effective partner management systems for revenue sharing, easy onboarding of new partners, high quality of system (QoS) and a winning customer experience that is only possible with integrated IT systems that effectively leverage the customer data."

Partnerships might be a little more difficult if the three groups stick to what they told surveyors who conducted 100 telephone interviews among executive decision makers at service providers, OTT players and device manufacturers across North America, the Caribbean and Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

For instance, in one highlighted result, 66 percent of service provider respondents said they "must" own the customer in any partnering deal. On the other hand, only 13 percent of device manufacturers and 14 percent of OTT players "are prepared to envision a future in which they cede ownership of the customer experience."

Everyone seemed to see the value in the service provider brand, and service providers "increasingly see" OTT players as "potential partners and sources of innovation" rather than threats. Of course, while saying nice things about OTT, 42 percent of service providers also said they could "offer any service an OTT player can deliver--but better."

For the most part, the groups are willing to share "core assets," with 74 percent of OTT players and 73 percent of device makers on board, and a lesser, but still majority (56 percent) of service providers going along.

The most important entity in any partnership is probably the service provider, 40 percent of whom are looking to extend network reach through partnerships and 34 percent of whom view partnership as "a tool for developing new products and services," the survey noted.

"While service providers used to form partnerships mainly for roaming and with device manufacturers, today they must navigate a more complex environment full of over-the-top, Internet, financial settlement and other players," said Ian Parkes of Coleman Parkes. "It's a whole new partnership landscape for service providers… and we were surprised that service providers view OTT players as an opportunity, not a threat, and by the broad agreement on the value of service providers' core assets."

For more:
- Amdocs issued this news release

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