ZTE Delivers ‘POWER’ to Digital Transformation Initiatives, but Will Operators See the Light?

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• ZTESoft hyped its POWER strategy at MWC17, combining Platform, Omni-channel, Vertical Industry + Value, Experience and Real-time platform capabilities, aimed at operator digital transformation.

• ZTESoft confronts marketing challenges as the POWER label mimics the Huawei’s ROADS framework, confuses the market, and needs policy control and partner enablement validation.

At MWC17, ZTESoft roll out its POWER strategy targeted at operator digital transformation. The POWER acronym takes into account six key elements ZTESoft identified as required for executing operator digital transformation: Platform, Omni-channel, Vertical Industry + Value, Experience, Real-time. ZTESoft showcased its cloud-based ZSmart 9 BSS, ZSmart Digital CRM, ZSmart cvBS convergent billing platform, and ZSmart AnyShare XaaS offerings to demonstrate the POWER strategy’s broad applicability to meeting operator digital demands. However the POWER brand and marketing exercise harbors pitfalls for ZTESoft’s digital transformation global outreach.

So what does ZTESoft’s POWER Strategy require to succeed? A few things rapidly come to mind:

• ZTESoft must emphasize the modular flexibility of its portfolio in driving digital transformation. Injecting additional complexity through promoting the pre-integration of the CRM, charging and billing, and AnyShare XaaS offerings to attain full digital transformation benefits risks lengthening sales engagements and solution implementations, particularly outside of China.

• ZTESoft needs to include its policy control capabilities in POWER marketing. Key rivals stress network-wide policy control as essential in driving native digital service delivery including service chaining. Without a policy control message, ZTESoft is missing a key component that should be added into its POWER marketing.

• To enhance its digital ecosystem clout, producing use cases of onboarding digital services onto operator platforms is critical. This especially applies to high-profile services like YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify within international markets to show ZTESoft’s partner enablement strengths extend beyond China.

• ZTESoft should consider foregoing the POWER label altogether since the acronym-driven marketing closely echoes Huawei’s established ROADS (Real-time, On-demand, All-Online, DIY, Social) strategy and vision. With POWER, ZTESoft typecasts its digital transformation portfolio as a “me-too” version of the Huawei offering. Plus the “W” part of POWER does not alphabetically align with the “Vertical Industry + Value” element of the acronym.

• The ZSmart brand already represents the products and performance capabilities of the ZTESoft portfolio. POWER simply distracts from the name recognition and appeal of the stronger ZSmart brand. ZTESoft should consider simply extending the ZSmart brand to packaging and promoting its digital transformation platform.

• With the industry already awash in acronym soup, our conversations with operators indicate a lessening acceptance to embrace new acronyms, especially market-driven ones from vendors. ZTESoft should consider avoiding irritating operators unnecessarily.

The POWER marketing initiative uses a confusing acronym that undercuts ZTESoft’s market outreach, especially in regions outside of China. This distracts from the capacity of the ZTESoft OSS/BSS/analytics ZSmart portfolio to drive operator digital transformation. ZTE should jettison the POWER brand before it attenuates the company’s overall marketing credibility.

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