5G is Going to Redefine Customer Success Efforts

“5G is the first-time compute and connectivity will be jointly presented in intelligent edge devices.”

Technology has moved businesses to a SaaS and subscription-based consumption in every facet of the industry, ranging from industrial or consumer, introducing and demanding a focus on customer success to drive adoption.  On the one hand, this is absolutely needed to ensure the breadth of innovative capabilities are utilized. On the other, the more you use the more likely you are to renew so it serves both sides.  

As I think about what I am seeing with 5G, and more broadly in the IoT landscape, it reminds me of when I would sit in executive briefing sessions at Cisco’s customer experience center.  A very technical person would seek updates on the latest technologies.  The business leaders would seek something more meaningful, the implications of those innovations and of digitization to sustainably evolve the business.  For both, 5G presents a wealth of opportunities for technology providers so they certainly do not want to miss the chance. 

Long has the industry pursued “refresh” cycles to drive customers to upgrade.  5G presents a booming opportunity and we all see that as evidence of the marketing hype that is everywhere.  With 5G, there is a new focus that should emerge on customer success, which is truly more “customer-oriented”.  The focus on 5G is knocking for business use, but not fully here yet.  In fact, Private 5G will lead the way more for businesses, yet we see daily 5G advertisements for cell phones causing some to confuse it as around the corner for business.  I’ll address more on this in another article, but for now, let’s focus on those business leaders’ questions about the implications of digitization and redefining customer success around 5G.

Recently I saw an announcement between two companies introducing new 5G network capabilities to boost performance of Internet of Things (IoT) applications across the US, extending to Australia and Canada as well.  The first announcement stressed the value of enhancements for owners of 5G capable connected cars, manufacturing, and for the device providers of our crucial first responders. 

While these enhancements are no doubt innovative, how valuable are they if only addressable to one carrier?

What if your needs expand across multiple countries or are global?

Has this announcement and affiliated innovation achieved anything to deliver on the possibilities of 5G if you are a business leader who requires the coverage of many carriers and have to look at your business holistically?

NO.

5G is the first-time compute and connectivity will be jointly presented in intelligent edge devices. 

The reality on top of the fact that 5G isn’t rushing into business needs yet is not all devices need to be 5G. Said differently, they do not need to be “refreshed” straight away, so what those business leaders were asking about with the implications of digitization boils down to a few things

  1. Help us understand and utilize our existing systems more
  2. Help drive out waste and reinvest into future innovation and
  3. Give more foresight and predictability to know when to adopt new technologies. 

Businesses and IT leaders need insights to sustainably control business evolutions across all operations – simultaneously!

Let’s apply those business interests to a Simetric utilities company customer with millions of SIMS, making a committed transition to renewable energies which raises the role of 5G device overhaul.

This company is a highly capital-intensive business making timely, accurate investments which are crucial to its’ success.  Blindly refreshing equipment at the wrong time or without real-time, data driven operational improvements is fruitless.  This customer, like all Simetric customers, starts with seeking holistic clarity of what they must truly use in their current installed base.  In less than a day, what this well-equipped Utility could not answer became a fully actionable view of all its devices and every carrier supporting them across every operational unit – in every region and geography. Below are two quick highlights.

  • Simetric was able to spot ~20% of their devices were not transmitting any data but were still on a high data usage plan and wasting significant monthly expenses. Additionally, within the same analysis, Simetric could see that ~10% of their devices were transmitting well over 10GB of data each month but were not supposed to be.
  • During an initial ingestion of 4 (out of 30) of their accounts for one carrier (~375K devices), Simetric was able to uncover reoccurring savings of $1.75M annually merely on the platform’s ability to manage devices in real-time vs limited to carrier parameters or individual device manufacturers.

Another global connected transportation Simetric customer, operating on 11 carriers with close to 2M devices recognized savings of ~$7M in 90 days.

With 5G, Customer Success should not be about immediately “refreshing” and measuring success through new sales.   Success must be delivered systematically for businesses to adopt 5G. They need full visibility and value from what they have, but more importantly, they need it to define their path forward as they progress 3G/4G to 5G and even SD-WAN strategies

This means Customer Success is no longer only about creating value for your own products, but helping every customer sustainably migrate their current efforts to the possibilities of 5G.

Globally we have all said Cloud First and Application First for years.  I argue we are at Edge First now which focuses on billions of intelligent edge devices all running business-critical efforts that will all have to successfully migrate to new 5G devices.  Just not all at once. 

Simetric is teaming directly with customers, global system integrators, and IT channel players to bring more visibility, more customizable control, and more predictability to help every business migrate their networking efforts towards 5G for their own Customer Success.

In summary, I think 5G is a momentous opportunity for any company to break the legacy behaviors of the IT industry, define their own customer success, and to harvest the opportunities within their business to define their path forward with all the possibilities 5G will bring.