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New Book Tackles Key Mobile Operator Issues, Outlines Winning Strategies

Topic: Books, Research | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: March 11, 2013

SAP Mobile Operator Service Guide 2013What is the next ‘Big Thing’ in mobile? The growing realization that ‘connected’, not just mobile, is our default state. No matter if our ‘connectedness’ is delivered via mobile messaging, enhanced by mobile apps, enabled by tablets or powered by pervasive computing, people (and companies) demand it transcend barriers and bend to our requirements for holistic experiences.

Fortunately, this is precisely what can be achieved in an IP-based world, where platforms blend together and friction is replaced by flow. But it’s not just about harnessing the power of IP to create and deliver new experiences around context, content and communications. Mobile operators and service providers can also innovate and improve their offers around voice and messaging.

To borrow from Diarmuid Mallon, who is responsible for driving Global Thought Leadership at SAP Mobile Services, a division of SAP,  our arrival in a IP-based world is marked by radical change — and massive opportunity. In his recent blog Diarmuid tells us to get ready for a wave of change. “But this time, it isn’t new devices that will make the changes, but rather a fundamental shift in the technology than mobile networks.”


Indeed, IP is changing the game. Advanced mobile devices, new technology (most notably VoIP and spectrum scarcity), increased competition and a shift in customer expectations for truly personal and relevant interactions are coming together to cause disruption in the telecom industry – for operators and all the companies in their business ecosystems.

It’s ‘adapt or die’ as mobile operators and service providers struggle to find new ways to compete and win in an IP-based world.

The good news: there are abundant opportunities and pay-offs around strategies aimed to drive messaging revenue, generate new revenue streams from mobile commerce, build loyalty through customer engagement programs and plan for LTE roaming through IPX adoption. The better news: a new knowledge resource (developed and produced by MobileGroove) was released by SAP Mobile Services during MWC, equipping operators with the clear direction and critical information they need most.

New Guide debuts

SAP Mobile operator Guide_CoverThis is where the inaugural edition of the Mobile Operator Guide — titled The Evolution of Mobile Services: Challenges, Strategies, opportunities — comes in. It draws from the real-life insights and experiences of 40+ global industry authorities and innovators to identify market trends, best practices and key lessons learned in deploying mobile services. Among the organizations interviewed and included: Bharti Airtel, CTIA, Globe Telecom, GSMA, Korea Telecom, MetroPCS, PCCW, Qtel, SingTel, Telefónica and Urban Airship, a market leader in push messaging and notifications.

All are unanimous in their view that the rapid pace of change and the rise in demand for services that are aligned with customers’ requirements are combining to generate the mobile industry’s own Perfect Storm.

Against this backdrop, mobile video is a market segment on the tipping point. However, other services, such as SMS, LTE, mobile commerce and mobile customer loyalty, are also entering a new phase of growth and innovation.

  • SMS gets a boost from apps: Today the explosion of mobile apps, a development which many thought would mark the death of SMS, has actually pushed application-to-person (A2P) traffic growth to a new level. The result is a booming A2P market research firm (and MobileGroove partner) Portio Research estimates will be worth $75.1 billion by 2016. Watch for new opportunities to harness text messaging to power a variety of services around verticals ranging from retail and commerce, to education and marketing.
  • LTE requires partnerships: As mobile network operators move towards 4G/LTE and an all-IP network, many will cooperate to expand their network footprint and many more will be challenged by Over-the-Top (OTT) players. Competition and innovation will go hand-in hand as everyone (including mobile operators) tries to wring more value out of operator core capabilities (such as billing support and network management).
  • Mobile loyalty matters: Because mobile is a fiercely personal device, it’s an ideal means to reach customers on every step of their daily journey. Watch for operators and marketers to harnesses text messaging, Web or mobile apps (or all three together) to boost customer loyalty and recruit true brand advocates. However, just as in real-life, building a relationship is about talking and listening, and that’s why companies will have to  develop mobile loyalty programs that effectively do both.

These are just a few of the trends and key messages that make the Mobile Operator Guide 2013, a must-read resource. You can download your free copy here.

Personal thanks

It has been a huge undertaking spanning six months and the result is a 240-page knowledge resource packed with detailed market data and insights from over 40  mobile experts and authorities.

I am proud to have collaborated with the SAP Mobile Services team, headed by Carmel Coscia on the 2013 Guide, and pleased to report that work on the 2014 Guide will begin in a just a few months. My warm and personal thanks to the team (Diarmuid Mallon @diarmuidmallon, Jean Loh, Rebecca Kools, Shahzia Banth) for the inspiration, vision and insights (and good humor!) that have helped make this inaugural publication an essential read for the global mobile industry.

And a very special hat-tip to mobile author Tomi Ahonen (@tomiahonen) and Karl Whitfield (@KarlWhitfieldme) over at Portio Research for great stats and terrific insights!

Thanks also to the many experts and authorities who have shared learnings and lessons to provide the industry with a roadmap, one that will allow companies across the ecosystem to plot the transformational path their business needs to follow to succeed in this exciting new digital economy.


Finally, my appreciation to the many executives within SAP and SAP Mobile Services who provided their input and insights: Gregory Dunn, Howard Stevens, Jens Amail, John Candish, John Sims, Mark Weait, Matthew Talbot (@talbot_sap), Matthew Tonkin, Michael Van Veen, Mitul Ruparelia, Robert Rose, Stephen Gatien and William Dudley (@wdudley2009).


Disclaimer: SAP Mobile Services is a MobileGroove client collaborating with  Peggy Anne Salz to research and write strategic thought leadership and collateral including the new Mobile Operator Guide 2013 and the upcoming Mobile Commerce Guide 2013, slated for release later this year.

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