In today's digital age, connectivity is the lifeblood of businesses, enabling them to innovate, collaborate, and compete on a global scale. As organizations strive for seamless and efficient network solutions, the demand for wireless wide-area networks (WWAN) as a managed service is soaring. This presents a golden opportunity for service providers (SPs) to not only meet this demand but also carve out a significant niche in the market. Let’s explore the burgeoning landscape of WWAN as a managed service and delve into the myriad opportunities it offers to service providers.
WWAN technology represents a departure from traditional wired connections. Unlike local-area networks (LANs), which cover limited geographic areas like office spaces, WANs span larger distances, connecting multiple LANs across cities, countries, or even continents. WWAN builds on this concept by leveraging cellular networks to establish connectivity, eliminating the need for physical wires and providing a mobile, adaptable solution. The ongoing buildouts of 5G networks are driving the evolution of WWAN, offering businesses faster speeds, lower latency, and increased capacity to create more robust and efficient connectivity solutions.
Managed service approach
Managing the complexities of networking infrastructure can be a daunting task for any organization. This is where the concept of a managed service comes into play. WWAN as a managed service entails outsourcing the provisioning, monitoring, and maintenance of the network infrastructure to a specialized service provider. This approach allows businesses to focus on their core operations while entrusting the responsibility of network management to experts.
The opportunity for service providers
The global market opportunity for WWAN managed services is poised for remarkable expansion, driven by the increasing demand for seamless and agile connectivity solutions. Businesses will continue to shift toward managed services that include hardware, software, network management, and value-added services in a flexible, consumption-based subscription model. According to the U.S Managed Network Services Forecast 2023 report from IDC, the U.S. managed network services market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% from $34.4 billion in 2021 to $49.7 billion in 2027. (IDC, U.S. Managed Network Services Forecast, 2023-2027, Doc# US50185923, April 2023)
Also, according to IDC's January 2023 Future Enterprise Resiliency and Spending Survey, Wave 12, “data shows that out of 1,082 organizations surveyed, close to 80% of them will either maintain or increase their budgets for managed network services in 2023 compared with their 2022 levels, suggesting North America service providers should see network service revenue growth despite a softening economy.” (IDC, U.S. Managed Network Services Forecast, 2023-2027, Doc# US50185923, April 2023)
This demand has created a lucrative playing field for service providers to offer managed WWAN solutions that cater to diverse organizational needs, ranging from small enterprises to large multinational corporations. When assessing the managed services opportunity, service providers should consider the following:
- Scalable solutions: Managed WWAN services can be customized to fit the diverse requirements of different clients. This offers service providers the chance to craft scalable solutions that can be adapted as businesses evolve and grow.
- Value-added services: Beyond basic connectivity, service providers can offer value-added services such as network security, performance optimization, failover and 24/7 monitoring. This positions them as comprehensive solution providers and trusted partners in their clients' growth journeys.
- Global expansion: As businesses expand their operations to new regions, they need reliable connectivity that transcends geographical boundaries. Managed WWAN providers can facilitate this expansion by offering seamless connectivity across different locations.
- Industry-specific expertise: Different industries have unique networking requirements. Service providers that specialize in certain sectors, such as healthcare, manufacturing, or finance, can leverage their expertise to offer tailored solutions that address specific industry challenges.
- Innovation and collaboration: Managed service providers are well-positioned to stay at the forefront of technological advancements. They can continuously introduce innovative features and capabilities that enhance their clients' network experiences, fostering long-term collaborations.
- Revenue streams: The subscription-based model of managed services provides a consistent and predictable revenue stream for service providers. This stability allows for better financial planning and growth opportunities.
Benefits of WWAN as a managed service for end customers
WWAN as a managed service offers extensive benefits for businesses seeking to streamline their network operations and enhance their overall productivity. One of the key advantages lies in its scalability and flexibility, enabling organizations to effortlessly adjust their network resources according to evolving demands. By outsourcing network management to specialized service providers, businesses can also experience cost efficiency, eliminating the need for substantial upfront investments in equipment and maintenance.
According to research by Statistica, the estimated downtime costs of global enterprises are around €332,600 ($352,340) per hour. With almost 74% of respondents reporting, at minimum, an average of up to 2 hours of connectivity downtime every week, the potential cost to EMEA economies is staggering. (The State of Connectivity In EMEA 2023) The heightened reliability of managed WWAN, often backed by service level agreements (SLAs), ensures consistent uptime and optimal performance. This reliability is particularly crucial for critical operations where uninterrupted connectivity is essential. Additionally, rapid deployment of managed services accelerates the establishment of network connectivity, granting businesses a competitive edge. Furthermore, security measures, such as encryption and intrusion detection, safeguard sensitive data transmitted over the network.
Selecting a managed service provider for WWAN allows businesses to capitalize on cost savings by avoiding upfront hardware costs, reducing IT staffing expenses, and optimizing network resources for greater operational efficiency. According to IDC's 2022 U.S. Enterprise Communications Survey, enterprises can save 16-20% by outsourcing to a managed service provider. (IDC, U.S. Managed Network Services Forecast, 2023-2027, Doc# US50185923, April 2023) This combination of advantages positions managed WWAN as a transformative solution for businesses, allowing them to focus on innovation and growth while entrusting their network infrastructure to expert hands.
Vertical excellence: applications of managed WWAN across industries
Managed WWAN has demonstrated its versatility and applicability across various verticals, revolutionizing connectivity for specialized use cases:
- Retail chains: Businesses with multiple retail locations can benefit from WWAN as a managed service to ensure seamless point-of-sale transactions, inventory management, and customer engagement.
- Healthcare: Hospitals and clinics can utilize managed WWAN to maintain constant connectivity for electronic health records, medical imaging, and real-time communication between healthcare providers.
- Manufacturing: Manufacturing facilities require reliable connectivity for industrial IoT devices, automation, and supply chain management. Managed WWAN ensures uninterrupted operations.
- Financial services: Banks and financial institutions can secure their transactions and sensitive data using managed WWAN, while also enabling secure and efficient communication between branches.
WWAN as a managed service is not just a technological shift; it's a strategic imperative for modern businesses. Service providers who embrace this paradigm shift stand to reap immense benefits in terms of market share, revenue growth, and industry influence. By catering to the evolving needs of businesses across diverse sectors, service providers can position themselves as essential partners in their clients' digital transformation journeys. The growing opportunities for service providers in the realm of managed WWAN are boundless, and those who seize them today will undoubtedly shape the connectivity landscape of tomorrow.
Enable your managed services offering with Cradlepoint
Cradlepoint WWAN solutions and cloud-based management platform provide a turnkey portfolio for partners to start up or enhance their managed services offering. To address the changing landscape and market opportunity for managed services, Cradlepoint has developed a comprehensive MSP Partner Program to help enable and accelerate our partners’ managed services practice. Through the partner program we provide unmatched benefits and help partners every step of the way with onboarding, training, sales enablement, marketing and demand gen support to effectively launch and scale managed service partners’ businesses.