The network is no longer just about voice and data service. It has advanced into a platform enabling economic growth activity in every industry and aspect of our society. From retail, commerce, and gaming to industrial manufacturing, connected cars, and healthcare, the role of telcos as platform service providers (PSP) is evident. Digital disruptors’ success lies mainly in their ability to provide innovative services on the network platform.

For any B2B or B2C service enablement, it is the platform that makes it happen. Therefore, providing a platform is the quintessential responsibility of service providers now. As a result, communication service providers (CSPs) are fast emerging as preferred PSPs.

Enterprises that adopt digital platform-based business models grow at twice the rate of those that don’t, simply because the platform-centric approach allows them to generate value from their partner ecosystems. These are the three steps telcos must take to position themselves as successful PSPs:

  • Re-think your approach towards software: One thing that differentiates leaders from followers is their ability to create or architect software with agility. In a world where time is money, it matters more than any other strategic imperative, how you write software in a quick and agile fashion makes all the difference. Telcos must open up their systems and embrace APIs to accelerate transformation and revenue growth. For example, with open APIs, product management teams can create new software-based services without the usual lengthy process, thereby accelerating innovation to weeks rather than years.

  • Restructure the partner ecosystem for innovation: As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. The same is true for telcos positioning themselves as PSPs. Comviva’s latest report, The Next Digital Rush, reveals that the partner ecosystem will become increasingly important in future business growth, as agreed by 75% of CSPs. New and innovative digital services require different skill sets and competencies than traditional communication services. Telcos must put together an entire ecosystem and involve enterprises, vendors, start-ups, and digital incumbents to seamlessly develop unique products and use cases. When CSPs treat suppliers as partners, they naturally create an ecosystem within which innovation thrives.

  • Reimagine the technology infrastructure: Reinventing the core cannot happen without reinventing the legacy and monolithic infrastructure. CSPs need an agile, flexible, and quickly scalable technology foundation to drive new business growth. For that, they must automate their operations with cognitive and predictive capabilities as well as adopt open technologies while delivering cost benefits. A big part of this process will be intelligent operations to run existing operations better, allowing service providers to change with technology and eventually helping them grow. CSPs can fuel their business growth exponentially by extending their revamped tech capabilities as a platform to their enterprise clients.


The world is changing at a breakneck speed, and service providers can’t continue to operate the same way they were working in the past. Changing this mindset within a company will be both a challenge and an opportunity for telcos. The key to success is creating an ecosystem of partners to unlock innovation and create platform-based new business service models. Service providers that adopt a platform-centric approach will re-energise the customer relationship, re-establish their market positions, reimagine their business systems, and accelerate innovation.