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Location as a Foundation for Digital Transformation


The inability to embrace digital technologies and processes that include location context will pose significant growth risks.

Any go-to-market team would be highly enthusiastic about a world where its members can quickly and easily identify their entire addressable market, target their ideal prospects, and then price those deals intelligently and in any automated way. So, what’s standing in their way of achieving this utopian vision of a digitally transformed go-to-market team? The simple answer is a foundation and mindset of location truth complete with location-based insights and automation.

It should come as no surprise to practitioners in the telecommunications space. For years, they’ve dealt with “swivel chairing” into multiple systems to piece together a view of their market and, for years, most technologies and internal projects have let them down. They are often forced to accept a “good enough” approach to selling and marketing their products—one that is usually based on insight that is not multidimensional or trusted. They may know a certain provider services a geographic area but cannot determine whether that provider serves a specific building. They may know a couple of larger companies in their serviceable market, but they often fail to identify all of the ideal companies that they can win over as customers.

It is only with a location-specific mindset that a telecommunication organization can build the foundation of digital transformation. Telcos need to be able to depart from the generic, manually driven insight and processes that have plagued them for decades if they want to leap ahead of the competition and grow.

Emerging trends will require location focus

It’s clear that the inability to embrace digital technologies and processes that include location context will pose significant growth risks, while investing intelligently in them can lead to notable revenue capture. However, in addition to the natural competition that exists with other companies in the space, telecommunication organizations are also facing a tidal wave of structural changes that will redefine the space and, with it, the winners and losers. And again, companies will need to adopt a location-specific mindset in order to capitalize on them.

These changes include the continued rollout of 5G infrastructure, the shift to the cloud and the advent of SD-WAN. With 5G deployments, network operators will need to identify all of the new infrastructure rolling out in their addressable market. These new assets represent significant revenue opportunity but, if they can’t be found, they are of little use to network operators. Identifying the specific location of these deployments will be paramount to capitalizing on the 5G trend and, as previously stated, failure to do so will significantly limit growth potential. It’s important to note, as well, that location in this context may not even be a specific street address, but rather addresses, right-of-way points or towers on an otherwise empty parcel. A digitally transformed go-to-market team needs to be so bought into location-centricity that this poses no challenge to them and can be leveraged as a competitive differentiator.

SD-WAN will force the decoupling of the last mile network from the management plane. It will lead to the need to identify diverse, redundant networks that can serve enterprise offices. Network operators and managed service providers that lack location-specific intelligence into which networks can service which locations will fall behind on executing SD-WAN transformation projects, while those armed with intelligence that can quickly automate the execution of such projects will win.

There are a variety of other emerging trends to consider—such as edge computing, for instance—but these examples illustrate the need to be location-driven in mindset and execution if an organization is to compete effectively within the telecommunications space. If a digital transformation initiative doesn’t address the location dynamic, it’s important to question its ultimate efficacy.

Getting started on the journey

It can be overwhelming to identify where to start on a digital transformation journey, but one thing is clear: it’s difficult to go wrong if you focus on go-to-market projects with location-specificity as a requirement. Regardless of the technology stack itself, putting location at the foundation of your digital transformation will be a recipe for success.



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