IT channel companies are increasing their involvement in telecom by offering customers new services and expanding their engagement with partners. This is according to a study by CompTIA, the ICT Industry Trade Association, and Channel Partners. Carolyn April, director of industry analysis for CompTIA cites several factors that are responsible for IT channel firms’ growing involvement in telecom: “Cloud computing, new routes to market, increasing customer leverage and the adoption of managed services are all impacting the industry, forcing players to take a look at where they fit in the market and more importantly, with whom to partner and compete.”
Customer preference and the desire for business expansion are two major driving forces behind the convergence of these two industries. According to “Convergence of IT and Networking Enables Telecom Providers to Deliver Blended and Personalized Services,” an article in Alcatel-Lucent by Curtis Price, IDC program VP of infrastructure services, “The telecommunications industry is in the midst of a major transformation. End-user market segments are becoming more diverse in their needs and requirements, resulting in an increased demand for sophisticated, individualized communications services. The once-separate worlds of media, entertainment and communications have converged, with discrete, standalone services giving way to an increased demand for blended and personalized services (including voice mail, email, instant messaging) delivered to any device over any network.”
Despite challenges to the converging of these two markets which include insufficient manpower, a lack of telecom-specific tech skills, and a lack of sales experience, the information and communications sectors continue to unite complementary segments of information technology and communications (ICT) under one umbrella to enhance voice, reach, and influence.
VARs and MSPs can look for ways to provide solutions that facilitate the implementation of IT and telecommunications services across the two industries thus enabling their clients to transform business, network, and services operations to improve their competitive position.