This is the second part of our two-part series on mobile transformation.
Mobile solution providers are chasing what may be the fastest-growing and biggest market in human history. We’ve done a number of case studies on their offerings and three strategies emerge that lift results from good to great.
Much is at stake: a U.N. study notes that more people on earth now have access to cell phones than toilets. Of 7 billion on the planet, 6 billion have access to mobile phones. The challenge for mobile service providers is how to break out of a highly competitive field while showing profit. We’ve seen three strong ideas:
Automate everything: profit where margins shrink
In India’s rural areas, customers spend as little as $1.25 per month on mobile calls. But Bharti Airtel can afford to add 3 to 4 million of these rural customers a month. To keep the low-revenue-per-user segment profitable, Bharti uses IBM service oriented architecture (SOA) and other technologies so it can outsource IT to IBM and other partners. Nearly all customer transactions have been automated, streamlining customer service and keeping costs down.
Differentiate by being first with new services
Mobile voice and data services have become commodities in many markets, including Pakistan. However, while much of Pakistan has cell service, many areas in the country have no banks. Telenor Pakistan made the investment to become first to market with mobile financial services. Its “easypaisa” mobile banking is a hit: as much as 90 percent of the adult population was not using a bank, but 62 percent use mobile phones. The rapidly growing service is a boost to the economy.
Spot new needs and fill them virally
In North America, Keek Inc. saw another opportunity in mobile service innovation: with smart phones and social networks becoming ubiquitous, people want to share video updates with their friends via Twitter, Facebook and other networks all at once. Now they can do so with the new Keek mobile app, which is driving triple digit growth.
Organizations that seek to pioneer new mobile service offerings do incur more cost and risk, Symantec notes in a study, but early adopters also reap big benefits and more profits. Being cautious about mobility is okay, the study says, but being resistant is not. With six billion customers having access to mobile services, we expect to track and measure many more case studies about mobile innovation.
Alan Drummer is Creative Director, Content at NAVAJO Company.