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As part of Telecom Review’s panel entitled “Digitizing the capacity industry,” Toni Eid, CEO of Trace Media and founder of Telecom Review, chaired the session and asked a question about the on-demand services that will represent a genuine breakthrough for enterprises that need fully flexible connectivity solutions.

Among the featured panelists, industry leaders from MTN GlobalConnect, Etisalat, GBI, and Verizon Partner Solutions responded by sharing their current initiatives that provide what their customers demand now and in the future.

Within MTN, they are not only serving enterprises but also the rest of the world. Frédéric Schepens, CEO of MTN GlobalConnect, said, “we usually receive a lot of requests from Eric [North America], Emmanuel [Europe] and from the rest of the world in order to make sure that we’ve got reliable services on the African continent.”

As per Schepens, they have increased one-stop-shop enablement as well as data center services. “What is interesting is that the moment you start continuing the automation and the digitization programs, it has a strong play to continue customizing the future needs of enterprise services.”

Within this discussion, Schepens has cited “a big void from the social media or enablement perspective” after the complete switch-off recently of one of the largest OTT players in the world”. He said that in case telcos won’t be able to deliver for five or six hours, hell can break loose as well. “We offer the quality of service, reliability, and consistency to offer fundamental core business services. This is also crucial for business continuity purposes across the world and in Africa, which we are supplying.”

Ali Amiri, group chief carrier and wholesale officer of Etisalat Group, pointed out that self-service provisioning and online portals are quite important. “You have to have this self-service provisioning with a good extent of control within the customer,” he said. In this way, customers will appreciate the change.

In addition, Cengiz Oztelcan, CEO of GBI, said that as businesses (and their needs) increase complexity, a ‘seesaw’ reaction can be seen. “As those things get more complex, they want simplicity in operations.” Enterprises may not even want to hear the word connectivity and other aspects that have to do with it, “they want to just take 100% SLA, by default, in a very simple way.”

Comparing telcos to firefighters, Oztelcan said that they must “make sure that we get used to running in the background than really becoming more visible.” If there is no siren, it means it’s good to go, an analogy he gave similar to the domain of services telcos offer.

On the other hand, network-as-a-service (NaaS) was highlighted by Eric Cevis, president of Verizon Partner Solutions as their company continues to leverage network slicing; provide flexibility; optimize enterprise networks, optics, and CAPEX spending; minimize waste; and stop technology obsolescence.

“We go with a pay-per-use type of value proposition,” Cevis stressed. Within Verizon Partner Solutions itself, they implemented a dynamic network manager that acts as a self-serving on-demand service, “giving customers the ability to increase or decrease their bandwidth in near real-time or schedule future changes that they want.”

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