Summary: Wholesale Industry in a data-hungry age – Challenges and opportunities

More than 350 Telco Ecosystem members and partners from over 120 companies in 45 countries have gathered at the annual EUROPE 2021 GCCM conference in LISBON on June 24 and 25. The event was organized by Carrier Community and Enxoo was an Associate Sponsor.

The two-day conference featured a variety of knowledge-sharing panel sessions taking place on-site and broadcasted via the platform. One of the panels “Wholesale Industry in a data-hungry age – Challenges and opportunities” featured Artur Ostrowski, CCO at Enxoo. Other panel members included experts from Expereo, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, Odine Solutions, and Angola Cables.

Opening the panel discussion, Artur Ostrowski said: “We are living in a world that is growing constantly when it comes to data consumption. The traffic is growing all the time. It’s growing at a rate of 50 percent and more in many cases. This growth is coming from various sources and drivers, including new and upcoming mobile technologies such as 5G and 6G. But there is also increasing demand coming from new fiber rollouts, for example in Eastern Europe where we are trying to connect as many homes as possible”.

“Looking at the concept of being data hungry in the wholesale industry, two things come to mind”, said René De Baerdemaeker, Director of Supplier Management at Expereo. “A wholesale partner being a customer of Expereo and a wholesale partner being a supplier to Expereo. Both those parties are extremely data-hungry. Customers asking for data and want to have insight and self-quoting. On the other hand, we as a customer are the same towards them, asking to get insight into their network which enables us to sell their products. This is where the big differentiator comes in, where you talk to relatively new carriers that have full insight in their network and are able to start with a blank sheet and create a network that is capable of software-defined delivery.”

The panel touched on many interesting topics and current issues, including the greater need for automation, self-service, and collaboration between carriers, to satisfy customers who expect simplicity and speed in their order handling.

“On the software side, we now have on-premise solutions and this is going to change to virtualized solutions”, said Federico Homberg, Head of Business Development & Innovation at Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier. “What I tell my people all the time is: Look at Amazon Web Services. They have complex products and I can easily configure them. Why can’t my customers configure their VPN online? Why is this impossible? And I’m not saying that we need to exactly copy this, but the principle and vision is to have a service that is configurable by the customer over the Internet, that can be easily deployed, this is what we are striving for”.

Nick Cowley, Global Sales Manager at Odine Solutions highlighted: “We have a generation now who only know data and want self-service. They don’t realize how things used to be. With new players coming to the market, you have this on-demand, self-care, I-can-do-everything-myself type mentality. It’s a cultural shift as much as it’s a technology shift. It’s a willingness as a business to evolve, to work together and collaborate to meet the demands of the generation.”

Artur Ostrowski concluded: “Actually, we do have customers who have absolute zero-touch operations. So they do not have people involved in any manual processes, everything is happening via API and at the same time. I would say it’s not the goal for everyone. But carriers can improve efficiency in a much simpler way by focusing on having the right set of data. This will provide them with greater operational visibility and give their customers and salespeople an insightful understanding of what’s happening”. 

Watch the coverage of the discussion!

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