Designing the future: Pushing boundaries in Telco

Rackspace enterprise account director Gary Stimpson on how agile telcos with an eye on the future can succeed in the modern mobile landscape rather than risk fading away.

Times are tough for telcos. The industry is in flux, and there are constant demands for growth, flexibility, relevance, and reduced costs. Innovation no longer centres on new hardware, but services that add value to business and consumer experiences.

The winners in this new marketplace will be agile and bold enough to address such business challenges in a crowded market, taking advantage of revenue generating opportunities that may not even have existed a year ago.

One large telco has heavily reworked its business to focus on content delivery, and saw a major opportunity in online video. Increasingly, end users want to watch video content wherever they are, on whichever device they choose. The telco developed amazing and slick secret-sauce software to distribute such content everywhere – quickly and succinctly.

The objective was the disruption of online video, and to become a genuine contender against the biggest players in streaming. That’s a bold statement, but the benefits to content providers were immediately clear, enabling them to distribute their own content more easily, and thereby retain more ownership and value from the arrangement than what they currently get. This is a revolution in terms of revenue – a game changer.

“In an increasingly tough telcos marketplace, the winners will be those agile and bold enough to make a difference”

The telco felt it lacked the scale in compute management and storage, and knew Rackspace had the capability to help bring the project to life. Initially, the idea was to enhance something that already existed, in terms of infrastructure. But as we explored options, we soon wanted to take things further, to give the telco’s concept true differentiation in the marketplace, and a chance of becoming a major industry player.

Until now, content owners wanting to provide video direct to consumers used shared CDN services. These have performance and control limitations. Peak demand creates bottlenecks, and consumers may find key events ruined by downtime and stuttering. This lack of satisfaction can impact on loyalty – already a problem for telcos.

We therefore created a private CDN solution to guarantee 100 per cent uptime without interference. For consumers, this vastly improves their experience, thereby boosting confidence and how much they spend. For content providers, the solution marries the performance and control of a private CDN with the cost-effectiveness of a shared service. Everyone wins.

The partnership with Rackspace was a key enabler of this initiative. Content creators have massive production capabilities, but lack infrastructure, and want to focus on what they’re best at. And even telcos may lack the scale of infrastructure and growth capabilities to embark on such a solution – or at least do so without colossal ongoing investment and risk, in an era when they want to concentrate on core competencies and cut costs.

Rackspace’s enterprise-grade global infrastructure means we can guarantee and commit to 100 per cent uptime and low latency, thereby affording your broadcaster clients the confidence that they can broadcast to all viewers without a loss of experience. They can then shift to a business model where they’re selling content direct to consumers, rather than through streaming third parties.

“For telcos to thrive and grow in the current market, they must be innovative and disruptive like never before”

In short, they take back control over their content and increase profits. People viewing content get a superior experience. And telcos get the kind of value-add that helps them stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Everyone’s operating at the pinnacle of what’s possible, concentrating on what they do best, and forging a mutually beneficial partnership.

This specific project or model isn’t the main takeaway from this experience, though – the approach is what’s most important and exciting. In a telco market where change and innovation is key, Rackspace’s mindset is a vital part of that future – our ability to say let’s create something, let’s take risks, let’s make an investment, and let’s not play by the standard rules.

Although Rackspace is a big business, we can operate like a smaller one in how we get things done. We can get the seed of an idea to a fully marketable offering in an agile way and create a solution that’s bespoke. But we also have an unparalleled combination of scale, skills and flexibility – operating worldwide infrastructure that can rapidly expand as demands require.

This means we are uniquely placed to help you build on opportunities that can disrupt the future of the telco market. Together, we can be agile as trends and demands shift and change, and ensure we remain central to that future.

Would you like more information regarding how Rackspace can help? Just submit your request here and someone will come back to you.

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