Navigating the NaaS Era with a Customer-First Approach

With many enterprises new to NaaS, service providers can differentiate themselves from competitors by prioritizing superior customer service and experiences.

Navigating the NaaS Era with a Customer-First Approach
(Credit: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo)

The telecommunications landscape is swiftly transforming to cater to the ever-evolving demands of customers, creating an intensely competitive market that places paramount importance on customer experience (CX). With telcos and service providers presenting comparable products and solutions, there is a significant opportunity to distinguish and expand through CX, thereby securing a competitive advantage.

The proliferation of cloud-based applications presents a multitude of challenges for countless organisations in network management. The industry is experiencing an increased utilisation of automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and zero-touch engagement models to seize this opportunity and address customer challenges effectively. According to Appledore Research, investments by telcos in network automation software surged to $6.21 billion in 2022, reflecting significant growth of over 42% since 2020.

As network technologies advance in intelligence and complexity, it's essential to prioritize the customer's perspective regarding whether a hands-off or hands-on approach is preferable. While automation and zero-touch solutions offer convenience, there's a potential downside: the risk of neglecting customer experience. For enterprise customers lacking technical expertise, relying solely on AI and automation could pose risks if unforeseen issues arise.

Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platforms offer a combination of automated services and human support, which is crucial for improving the customer experience. The market for these platforms is predicted to grow significantly in value, reaching $46.6 billion by 2027, according to MarketsandMarkets. NaaS provides businesses with the necessary tools to enhance their global connectivity capabilities with expert support at hand.

In this evolving landscape shaped by NaaS, telcos and service providers must prioritize the customer experience to remain competitive and create fresh value for enterprise customers.

How CX is Impacting the Competitive Landscape

Service providers often face various challenges in keeping up with their competitors, who often quickly adopt new technologies and engage in price competition. Service providers must differentiate themselves from the rest by providing exceptional CX.

Although some enterprise customers enjoy the convenience of self-service and automation, this does not mean that they want zero interaction with their service provider. Some customers still require step-by-step guidance from a human expert for peace of mind.

Providing high-quality customer service can be challenging for service providers, especially when entering the NaaS market without sufficient experience or expertise.

Entering the NaaS Market with an Expert Partner

In today’s business landscape, where networking demands are rapidly growing with the increased distribution of applications, devices, and users, it is crucial for enterprises to receive robust networking support.

Partnering with a NaaS expert enables service providers to keep up with these enterprise demands and provide support with the backing of an experienced technical team. They can rebrand a NaaS platform as their own, providing a much safer and cost-efficient way to enter a new market.

This provides enterprise customers with access to a full network ecosystem, encompassing center interconnection (DCI), access to world-leading Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and Internet Exchanges (IXs), and voice solutions. A reliable NaaS partner serves as a valuable guide, offering advice and insights to maximize the value for both business and customer success.

NaaS solutions can optimize operations through automation and self-service tools, streamlining procurement and providing faster services for an enhanced customer experience.

Service providers can also stand out by offering a wider range of solutions, improving network reach and performance for customers, and providing better visibility from the application to the network layer. Moving towards a cost-per-usage OPEX model lowers CAPEX, providing flexibility to adapt to changing traffic patterns. The scalability of these network solutions and bandwidth facilitates resource adjustments based on customer demands.

Furthermore, service providers can generate revenue through connectivity using a white-label model, reselling services to cater to evolving customer needs for on-demand network services and private global connectivity. By striking a balance between customer experience and automation, providers can deliver superior global services, offering fully managed end-to-end solutions for data transfer and cloud deployments alongside self-service alternatives.

Setting NaaS Apart with CX

In today's fast-changing business environment, service providers can differentiate themselves from competitors by prioritizing superior customer service and experiences. Instead of leaving enterprise customers to rely solely on automation and AI for their networking needs, service providers can build a loyal customer base by placing CX at the forefront.

NaaS is at the forefront of enhancing the way service providers and enterprises connect to the global digital ecosystem. It offers complete visibility and control, enabling enterprises to scale their connectivity needs and optimize their networks.

Prioritizing CX in today’s competitive channel market is the key to a successful NaaS strategy, ultimately leading to a loyal base of customers and long-term profitability.

Jamie Davies is the Customer Experience Director at Epsilon Telecommunications.

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About the Author(s)

Jamie Davies, Customer Experience Director, Epsilon Telecommunications

Jamie Davies is Customer Experience Director at Epsilon Telecommunications. In his role, Jamie oversees the quote-to-cash for customer service, with a commitment to operational excellence and elevating service delivery and operations to new heights. With a wealth of experience gained in multi-national enterprises, Jamie has transformed services into fully optimized, sustainable, and profitable operations in underperforming areas. Previously, as the Operations & Delivery Director at NTT, Jamie led strategic initiatives across four geographical regions, improving efficiencies, embedding operating models, and re-engineering processes to cut costs and maintain Customer experience and business results.

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