By Steve McCaskill
Multi-national corporations (MNCs) are demanding better customer service and network performance from their global telecoms service providers, according to new research from Ovum.
The analyst firm surveyed 500 MNCs and asked them to rate their main supplier on a number of criteria. The survey found, perhaps unsurprisingly, businesses value a reliable and secure network more than anything else.
However, even the best performing provider in the survey still scored poorly in areas such as coverage and large global operators didn't perform significantly better than emerging challengers in the market.
'Big Six' vs. the Rest
Indeed, the "Big Six" of AT&T, BT, Orange, T-Systems and Vodafone scored an average performance rating of 105 out of 200, whereas the rest of the networks rated in the survey achieved an average of 104. The "Big Six" underperformed in three areas in particular—account management, co-innovation and value for money.
BT Global Services and AT&T Business Solutions received the highest ratings, ahead of T-Systems and Vodafone Global Enterprise which were the next best two. However emerging challengers like Interoute, Tata Communications and Telstra all fared well, something which Ovum says justified their respective investments in customer service and advanced networking.
Last month, Telstra made Asia's first software-defined networking (SDN) platform available to its customers, while Tata has made a number of significant upgrades to its infrastructure to support the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and the cloud.
"Our research highlights the challengers' achievements, and we feel it sends a particularly strong message to the big six," said David Molony, principal analyst at 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.
"AT&T and BT might be most satisfied with their ratings, at least in terms of their standings against their immediate tier-1 rivals. However, all the big six global service providers should be concerned that they do not stand out from the pack that is following them."