Multinationals want more from "big six" telcos, finds Ovum survey

When it comes to network performance and customer support, multinational corporations rate the "big six" telcos with dedicated global enterprise services -- AT&T, BT, Orange, T-Systems, Verizon, and Vodafone -- little better than the many upstart regional service providers in emerging telecom markets. So says Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony, citing his firm's recent survey of more than 500 multinationals.

When it comes to network performance and customer support, multinational corporations rate the "big six" telcos with dedicated global enterprise services -- AT&T, BT, Orange, T-Systems, Verizon, and Vodafone -- little better than the many upstart regional service providers in emerging telecom markets. So says Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony, citing his firm's recent survey of more than 500 multinationals.

Asked to rate their main supplier across a range of performance criteria, ICT decision makers and influencers at multinationals say the effective operation and management of an efficient, reliable, and secure global network is still by far their most important consideration. Yet even the top-scoring telco service providers scored poorly on criteria such as problem resolution, geographic coverage, and delivery to service-level agreements (SLAs).

Based on its Enterprise Insights survey ("Evaluating Suppliers in Global Managed Services"), Ovum's new report finds that the big six need to improve in account management, co-innovation with customers, and delivering value for money, three areas receiving the lowest scores from their customers. Challengers such as Easynet, Interoute, Level 3, Tata Communications, and Telstra recorded high scores, rewarding their investment efforts in customer service organizations and advanced networking.

"Our research highlights the challengers' achievements, and we feel it sends a particularly strong message to the big six," asserts Molony. "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."

Overall, the big six achieved an average performance rating of 105 in global services, compared to an average score of 104 for all other service providers (maximum score 200). Among the larger telcos in global services, BT Global Services and AT&T Business Solutions get the highest ratings from their customers, with T-Systems and Vodafone Global Enterprise reaching the next best level of performance rating.

"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," cautions Molony, "all the big six global service providers should be concerned that they do not stand out from the pack that is following them."

Ovum's 2014 Enterprise Insights survey covers a sample of ICT decision makers and influencers at 2,708 enterprises worldwide, of which 537 are multinationals – companies with operations in at least five countries, supported by managed ICT services in more than one region. Of the multinationals, 255 report they use one of the big six as their primary global provider, with the rest naming other regional or national service providers.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer's Guide.

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