< Back to news

Managed Services for Growth Markets Conference key takeaways

Chris Buist, Coleago Director, chaired the second day of Informa’s Managed Services for Growth Markets conference in Istanbul on 25-26 May. These are his key takeaways from the event:

Cost reduction will nearly always be the overriding driver for Managed Services (MS).  It is particularly the case for low-revenue, CapEx-constrained operators in growth markets who need to invest in their networks to cope with rapidly-increasing data traffic and deep-pocketed competitors. However, most operators now recognise and demand other value-adding benefits such as resource flexibility, access to special expertise, customer experience improvement, and more. Surveys show that many MS Providers (MSPs) are not great at communicating their value-add capabilities or delivering it – though the latter may be due to operators having unrealistic expectations, for whatever reason.

Network virtualisation using NFV and SDN is garnering considerable interest from growth-market operators but most are watching the tier 1 operators’ pilot projects to hear what the benefits and pitfalls might be before deciding what to do themselves. Some think that it might take a decade to take off in their markets although there are many cases nowadays of growth-market operators leapfrogging their developed-market counterparts. It certainly looks as though it will have a significant impact on MS as operators will need experienced MSPs to help them plan and execute the transformation. The more recent trend from single sourcing to multi-sourcing might even be reversed as a consequence.

Regardless of one’s views on the time-frame for network virtualisation, almost everyone agrees that network-IT convergence is happening anyway and that a key enabler is the organisational merger of the network and IT departments. Some developed- and growth-market operators have already embarked on the journey but, as many people know from painful experience, organisational change is often far more difficult than technology transformation. Best-practice change management is the only way to address the challenges and mitigate the risks with particular attention to the “softer factors” such as culture, leadership, recruitment, training and development.


Leave a Reply