"The Telecom World Is Not Flat...Yet"

As technology convergence happens in the business world, there are two opposing trends that make matters even more complex for ICT players.

The first trend is that the Fortune 500 CIO desires a flat world where he or she can get a one-stop shop for all services, with consistent customer experience, across the company's global footprint. As the technology portfolio gets more complex and sophisticated with telepresence and unified communications, CIOs are searching for the right partner that can put it all together, products and services, across its global footprint, as they find themselves pressured to do more with less.

The second trend, somewhat in conflict with the first one, is that no single provider can do it all alone due to the incredibly complex ecosystem. To be successful, ICT service providers need to partner to provide a turnkey solution. This is not necessarily that difficult if a company is dealing with one country or a free-trade zone (such as NAFTA or the Eurozone); however, when more partners are required and the BRIC and other emerging economies are involved, it becomes exponentially more challenging to deliver on a global scale. This is when the reality of a "bumpy world" sinks in. Given all of this, ICT players need to make several strategic choices on what their go-to-market strategy should be. What "global" really means, which countries need to be targeted (versus nice to have), the breadth and depth of ICT services and solutions to be offered, which partnerships are critical, and where they need to grow organically in the absence of viable partners. Whatever the ICT player go-to-market strategy is, they need to make sure it is done well!