Why global multinationals are demanding more from telcos

ICT services buyers want much more from their global telecoms service providers when it comes to network performance and customer support.

ICT services buyers want much more from their global telecoms service providers when it comes to network performance and customer support.

That’s according to a recent survey by global analyst firm Ovum of more than 500 multinational corporations (MNCs) which suggests that the “big six” telcos with dedicated global enterprise services - AT&T, BT, Orange, T-Systems, Verizon, and Vodafone - are rated hardly any better than the many upstart regional service providers in emerging telecoms markets.

Ovum’s new report, based on its Enterprise Insights survey of ICT decision-makers and influencers, provides analysis of CIOs’ and telecoms managers’ ratings of their primary telecoms operators, where these operators are suppliers of global ICT services.

The respondents were asked to rate their main supplier across a range of performance criteria and their replies indicate the following:

• The effective operation and management of an efficient, reliable, and secure global network is still by a distance the most important thing that MNC users want from their telecoms suppliers. Yet even the top-scoring telco service providers scored poorly on criteria such as problem resolution, geographic coverage, and delivery to SLAs.

• The big six need to improve in account management, co-innovation with customers, and delivering value for money, three areas in which their customers gave these suppliers their lowest scores.

• Challengers such as Easynet, Interoute, Level 3, Tata Communications, and Telstra recorded some high scores, rewarding their investment efforts in customer service organizations and advanced networking.

“Our research highlights the challengers’ achievements, and we feel it sends a particularly strong message to the big six,” says David Molony, Principal Analyst - Enterprise Services, Ovum.

“Global service providers in the telecoms industry should be treating existing contracts as if they are in continuous competitive tender.

“They should be looking to improve overall service performance across a range of criteria, and not just to address or improve on shortcomings.”

Overall, Molony says the big six achieved an average performance rating of 105 in global services, compared to an average score of 104 for all other service providers (maximum score 200).

Among the largest telcos in global services, BT Global Services and AT&T Business Solutions get the highest ratings from their customers, with T-Systems and Vodafone Global Enterprise reaching the next-best level of performance rating.

“AT&T and BT might be most satisfied with their ratings, at least in terms of their standings against their immediate tier-1 rivals,” he adds.

“However, all the big six global service providers should be concerned that they do not stand out from the pack that is following them.”

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