Telco SD-WAN in ASEAN: Significant Development, but What’s Next?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The SD-WAN market landscape in ASEAN has evolved. Many telcos have added SD-WAN as part of their enterprise ICT portfolio.
  • The ASEAN telcos could consider multi-vendor offerings and overlay-underlay integration as the next steps.

There are two types of telcos. The first type is telcos that are aware of the increase in SD-WAN demand and leverage the technology to drive their network services. This type often comes from a consumer heritage and is looking to expand into an adjacent market. In most cases, they are alternative providers. These telcos have accepted the fact that the MPLS market is on a downtrend and will continue to decline. They position SD-WAN as a value-add to complement their existing connectivity services. There are also cellular telcos with small/no revenue from the fixed-line services which see SD-WAN as a new market opportunity. These telcos have been aggressive in driving the market and leveraging their brand and connectivity advantages to differentiate against non-telco competitors. The second type is telcos that are also aware of the growing SD-WAN demand, but see it as a threat to their connectivity business. These are often the incumbent telcos with a large portion of revenue from legacy connectivity services. Most of them still believe that the declining MPLS revenue is because of competition, not due to lower market demand. These telcos also often do not have any SDN/NFV capabilities. Some of them offer the service quietly/selectively with a below-the-line marketing strategy. Continue reading “Telco SD-WAN in ASEAN: Significant Development, but What’s Next?”

Outlook for 5G-Enabled Enterprise Solutions in 2021: The Potential Telco Game Plans

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • While 5G-enabled enterprise solutions offer new revenue streams for telecom operators, they need new capabilities to develop and sell the full solutions, not just the carriage component.
  • Telecom operators will look to partnerships and/or acquisitions to gain the necessary competence to help customers in key industry verticals to transform their business operations.

Telecommunications companies (telcos) are at a crossroads as they rollout 5G and looking at how to monetize this investment. While they can continue to focus on selling carriage services, with the saturation of mobile subscription and competitive pressure, the hope of increasing ARPU from 5G connectivity remains elusive. Instead, many telcos are looking to enterprise solutions as a way to open up new revenue streams, leveraging 5G’s unique capabilities around ultra-low latency, reliability, and significantly higher throughput. Some will go even further and set new performance parameters with 5G. This shift inevitably involves moving into new territories for the telcos, including IoT, data analytics, cloud services, cybersecurity, etc., and bringing these capabilities together to solve business problems and prove outcomes. Emerging 5G enterprise solutions also tend to target specific use cases across various industries (e.g., smart factory, port automation, and connected utilities). Most enterprises do not know how 5G can help to transform their business and they rely on their technology partners to advise and show them the possibilities. Continue reading “Outlook for 5G-Enabled Enterprise Solutions in 2021: The Potential Telco Game Plans”

Salesforce and Slack to Form a More Perfect Union

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

  • Salesforce’s announced acquisition of Slack came as a surprise, especially given the $28 billion price tag.
  • Although Salesforce and Slack make a natural union, the deal suffers significant drawbacks. Salesforce raised eyebrows last week by revealing its intention to acquire Slack. Careful deliberation of the journey which led to the announcement reveals what likely lies ahead for the pairing.

Slack came from humble beginnings as the in-house messaging tool for a company called Tiny Speck. In August 2013, the tool became widely distributed under the name ‘Slack’ and its parent was renamed Slack Technologies. Slack is an e-mail alternative centralizing people, information, and tools into ‘channels,’ thus making teams more productive.

Today, Slack Technologies goes by ‘Slack’ and has risen to new heights on the shoulders of platform enhancements, partner relationships, and fresh blood in the management ranks. Slack has drawn a global, loyal following of 12 million+ daily active users across 750,000 organizations. Despite its allure, Slack finds itself searching for profitability and in need of a well-funded suitor to rescue it. Just in time perhaps, Salesforce has come along. Continue reading “Salesforce and Slack to Form a More Perfect Union”

TM ONE Leap Summit 2020: Accelerating Digital Transformation in Malaysia Through Expanded Capabilities

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • TM ONE has expanded its ICT portfolio and strengthened its professional service capabilities.
  • However, there is still a gap in its partner ecosystem compared to other providers.

TM ONE held its third LEAP Summit virtually in November 2020.  At the event, the provider shared various initiatives not only in enhancing the country network infrastructure in line with the government’s plan, but also in expanding its portfolio and capabilities as a digital transformation partner to Malaysian enterprises.  Its focus is on the future of work (e.g., robotics, automation AI), digital competency or skillset, agile working, and Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).  The provider also shared several actual use cases and showcased its portfolio and capabilities in cloud, cybersecurity, 5G and IoT, and data analytics.  This post discusses TM ONE strengths and gaps in the market as well as recommendations for the provider and buyers in the country. Continue reading “TM ONE Leap Summit 2020: Accelerating Digital Transformation in Malaysia Through Expanded Capabilities”

Today’s Desk Phone Has Evolved, but Is It Clutter or the Future of Working from Home?

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

  • The increasingly ignored deck phone is being revamped by vendors such as Avaya and may offer an enhanced experience in the work-from-home (WFH) world.
  • Those employees who miss their office phones or need an occasional extra screen may benefit, but desk phones can also be expensive clutter.

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the practice of ‘remote working’ from corporate perk to corporate imperative.  Virtually overnight, WFH has become the norm.

Although the WFH population will shrink once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, it will still exceed pre-pandemic numbers.  Not all employers are planning to return to the office, and even many who are will offer WFH to employees as a permanent option. Continue reading “Today’s Desk Phone Has Evolved, but Is It Clutter or the Future of Working from Home?”

Slack Has Blossomed Rapidly, but is Threatened by a Major Obstacle

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• Slack has been quite busy lately enhancing its platform, forging alliances and strengthening internal operations. However, a major obstacle threatens to derail those efforts.

• Slack must determine a way to convert the vast majority of its customers from free plans to paid plans.

Slack comes from humble beginnings as an internal communication tool at a small company. Since then, the platform has evolved into one of the most prominent in the market. A flurry of recent activity including feature rollouts, deal making, management changes, and judicial action has propelled Slack by great lengths in a brief period of time. However, the company is challenged by a scarcity of customers on paid plans. Continue reading “Slack Has Blossomed Rapidly, but is Threatened by a Major Obstacle”

5G Updates in ASEAN – Q3 2020: Mixed Developments, but Still a Solid Growth Forecast

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • There have been mixed 5G developments in the region. While the 5G race is heating up in the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore, the launch is still unclear for Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • 5G subscribers are expected to grow from 0.2 million in 2020 to 127 million and account for 17% of the total mobile subscribers in 2025.

Key Announcements

July 2020 – Philippine PLDT/Smart 5G Goes Live: The incumbent launched its 5G services in key business districts in Metro Manila about one year after its rival, Globe. While PLDT may have lost some very early opportunity, the launch is timely in the Philippines considering the ecosystem and market readiness. The launch will also increase the competition and hence drive the adoption of 5G in the country. PLDT is also leveraging its strength in the enterprise segment to stay ahead of competitors. It has integrated the technology in its enterprise portfolio and is collaborating with various industry players to co-develop 5G use cases, such as partnerships with TV5 to modernize news operations and with Ateneo de Manila University on 5G smart campus. Continue reading “5G Updates in ASEAN – Q3 2020: Mixed Developments, but Still a Solid Growth Forecast”

Joined-Up Utilities: How Collaboration Services Can Deliver Safety and Efficiency Benefits

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Collaboration technology can ensure that resources are deployed in the most effective way and help reduce maintenance issues and accidents.
  • Collaboration technology should be interwoven with other technologies such as corporate applications and IoT and contact center platforms.

Increasingly extreme environmental conditions ranging from wildfires and droughts in North America and Australia to heightened instances of flooding in Europe and China have all been in the news in recent times and are symptomatic of ever more extreme climatic conditions.  Utilities need to keep power and water available to the population in these circumstances while also meeting demands to generate power through less carbon-intensive means. Continue reading “Joined-Up Utilities: How Collaboration Services Can Deliver Safety and Efficiency Benefits”

Microsoft’s Azure Communication Services Launch Challenges OTT/CPaaS Vendors & MSPs and Gives Enterprises New Options

Gary Barton – Analyst, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises should be aware that Azure Communication Services will let them plug features such as SMS and voice and video calling into other applications and services.
  • Azure Communication Services offers security through its layered structure and can be integrated with Azure AI features.

What Is Azure Communication Services?

Azure Communications Services (ACS) is Microsoft’s decision to open up the platform that underpins services such as Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 as a managed service/API and SDK library. ACS is launching with a set of features that closely mirrors the core capabilities of Microsoft Teams. This is essentially because the features being offered are the blocks used to build the Teams platform. Customers will be able to integrate PSTN calling, IP voice and video, SMS, and individual and group chat functionality which includes content sharing and message history. Continue reading “Microsoft’s Azure Communication Services Launch Challenges OTT/CPaaS Vendors & MSPs and Gives Enterprises New Options”

What Do Businesses Need to Do to Support Homeworkers?

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • In COVID-19 times and the aftermath, enterprises need to think about both collaboration and connectivity.
  • Businesses should consider talking to their telecoms and/or IT providers about developing a new digital transformation strategy.

The COVID-19 crisis looks set to carry on into at least the early part of 2021, and with new restrictions coming into place in many countries to prevent a ‘second wave,’ many employees and employers could easily be facing another six months of staff working from home. Furthermore, many large global enterprises have already indicated that homeworking will be the norm for the long term. So, how should enterprises respond? Continue reading “What Do Businesses Need to Do to Support Homeworkers?”