Which CSPs are leading in digital transformation/automation and how are they doing so?

In the B2B sphere, developments in automation have been very swift, especially with post-covid digital transformation and born-digital generation taking priority in the last few years. We’re seeing CSPs pick up the pace with more adopting marketplaces to sell highly repeatable solutions online. From offering self-service, increased choices and reduced prices, CSPs are continuously looking to enhance their customer engagement and benefit from network effects that ultimately increase the value of solutions as more like-minded partners engage in its community.

Thanks to automating end-to-end solutions with near-zero marginal costs of scaling, CSPs have been able to yield a much lower CAC and higher customer lifetime value. While managing a higher volume of partners can often be more complex, with the right business model, CSPs are offering customers a seamless service and strong business growth. 

Are CSPs broadly meeting the expected timescales required?

With 95% of businesses believing that building a partner ecosystem to deliver solutions that better fit their needs is more important than IoT or 5G technology, the demand is there, but so is CSP inertia. 

CSPs have the expertise and knowledge to expand their breadth of capabilities and become orchestrators of the technology ecosystems that are integral to stimulating the digital transformation growth of their enterprise and SMB customers, but they’ve been slow to react to customer demands. 

Customers are finding multi-partner digital solutions too complex to manage, but utilising end-to-end automation to remove management headaches will help them achieve their digital transformation goals faster. And this is where CSPs can help to push this journey along faster. 

What automation/digitisation challenges are they facing?

Having complex and fragmented fulfilment processes are the biggest roadblock CSPs are facing in their automation and digital transformation journeys. Currently, when CSPs sell a solution including one or more physical assets, the process involves costly overheads of engaging and signing multiple agreements with local third-party shipping companies. Not only is this overwhelming to manage, but it also creates logistical headaches.

In order to successfully create a digital business, CSPs must first look at creating digital products that are discoverable, consumable and configurable online. They need to build digital products in a sophisticated multi-partner marketplace solution that directly solves the frequently experienced problems customers face, but can also be fully delivered self-serve through to its fulfilment, monetisation, support and upgrade. Only then can CSPs look at automating the end-to-end order and physical fulfilment process to optimise logistics operations, inventory management and ecommerce fulfilment while creating a frictionless experience for customers. 

What can CSPs do to overcome their automation/digitisation challenges?

Where possible, fulfilment of any physical elements must be as close to zero-touch as possible to deliver outstanding customer satisfaction, remove complexity and reduce costs. Offering digital products that are fully self-serve will allow CSPs to offer customers lower prices and more choice that ultimately drives the flywheel that attracts more customer. Automation is the centrifugal force powering platform business models and network effects that delivers the “winner takes all” success CSPs are after.   

What will the future look like?

With the competitive threat now coming on many fronts, from organisations borne digital and with a laser focus on the customers, CSPs have no choice but to co-create solutions with a growing network of partners, all helping to drive higher efficiency and automation. CSPs must act now or risk losing out on revenues to agile digital natives with skin in the game that understand how to shape themselves and their relationships around what customers truly need.  

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