Relying entirely on connectivity puts providers at risk of being a very small part of the overall edge solution. This approach will not support the long-term growth service providers need. Network providers must find ways to add value beyond connectivity. Connectivity and devices are the foundation for edge computing, and there is an opportunity for infrastructure management services that include orchestration, hosting, and operational management.
Combining the pieces, a provider of the future could assemble a mix of IaaS – hosted centralized, at the edge, and on-site; and a mix of network – dedicated connectivity broadband and wireless. They can assemble the components, provide a unified service wrap, and deliver an integrated solution available on a retail or wholesale basis. There is also the potential for wholesalers to create an ecosystem, assembling a suite of vendors, service providers and integrators that support development and delivery of applications virtualized and optimized for the edge.
Service providers also need to invest in resources to develop a deep understanding of the industries if they choose to target some directly. This includes developing internal expertise across product and sales teams, demonstrate in-depth industrial expertise.
The ability for service providers to coordinate the various elements of the edge, bringing connectivity together with hosting resources, on-premise equipment, and service delivery orchestration, and underpinning these solutions with business outcome-based SLAs, will help providers differentiate themselves, deliver value to customers, and maximize their edge opportunity.