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The service provider industry is rapidly converging and the opportunities to enter and disrupt this industry are ripe. The traditional one-to-one relationship that existed between a Service Provider and the consumer is no longer sacrosanct. Today, consumer loyalty is shifting away from the traditional communication service providers and is increasingly being influenced by device manufacturers like Apple, social networking platforms like Facebook and Internet giants like Google and ecommerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba. On the enterprise front, IDC research shows that businesses see little difference between a telecom, integrator, cloud provider, or value-added reseller as preferred supplier for managed services. In this emerging digital universe, the following trends force transformation in the service provider industry which will be addressed at the IDC Service Provider Summit in 2016:
Telcos' are Evolving to Become Digital Service Providers
Traditional service providers can no longer afford to maintain status quo. As the core consumer business continues to be pressured by over the top players and new entrants, service providers are shifting their focus to the enterprise and adjacent segments. Achieving this ambitious new direction requires a paradigm shift for SPs in the infrastructure as well as their business models.
Network Transformation in an Increasingly Software Defined World
Service providers have a renewed focus on transforming their networks. Service providers are using open source technologies and software defined technology to drive multi-vendor implementations that create differentiation. Service providers are assessing the trade-offs between speed, price, scale and flexibility. SDN is transforming the service provider landscape and projected to exceed a revenue target of $1.1 billion in 2018 for network, software and services.
The Rise o the Hybrid Cloud and Telcos' Role
There has been a significant rise in hybrid cloud adoption over the past 12 months and it is expected to continue for many years to come. Enterprises have always wanted the flexibility of keeping some workloads in private and others in public cloud but due to the complexities in moving workloads from premise to cloud and also, between clouds, this was somewhat restricted. However, this problem has been solved by a number of service providers now offering a one stop cloud solution and orchestration platforms, allowing enterprises to freely move their applications and data to/between clouds.
Data Center Business Transformation
The data center business is changing as there's a shift in how enterprises view, plan and build their data centers. Some enterprises are busy migrating their own data centers to managed co-location as well as cloud facilities. Others who choose to build their own, are focused on achieving a higher server density and making the data centers more efficient. With a change in how technologies and services are consumed, the data center business is transforming.
Digital Commerce and the Impact on Telco Networks
Digital commerce companies are adapting to a mobile-first environment and investing heavily across a number of channels delivering improved customer experience via mobile and online. As these digital commerce companies increase their reach and addressable market, they are also investing in logistics, payments and other systems. The net impact of all these changes will be felt by the service provider community who will need to retool and offer new "customer" segments services like CDNs, telco billing, managed IoT and other new products.
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