Guest Column | January 7, 2021

A Wholesale Managed Services Approach: A Must-Have For Rural Telecom Operators During A Pandemic

By Todd Twete, Blackfoot Communications


Since March of this year, many telecom operators around the United States have been fighting two challenges:

  1. How to support their internal staff to ensure their network services and solutions remain operational
  2. How to ensure their customers’ operations (or networks) remain viable while maintaining an increasing level of security

The first challenge has mainly been resolved as an IT challenge. The second challenge finds network operators scrambling to augment the capacity of core and last-mile connectivity as bandwidth-hungry remote workers place demands on existing networks. The pandemic landscape is also dictating that telecom operators provide non-traditional, flexible, and cost-effective network solutions. This emerging trend is especially challenging for smaller and rural telecom operators and their business customers: Where do they get the expertise needed to ensure their customers continue their own operations?

The missing link is a wholesale managed services relationship, leveraging the expertise and experience of a managed services provider to serve business customers immediately. As offices around the world evaluate cost-cutting measures, are relocated, downsized, and even closed, a dedicated managed services firm can stand up services much faster and more securely, ensuring that no matter the location of the individual or department, they can continue their work with zero interruption.

Current Market Landscape

The managed services market continues to see growth and is expected to reach a total value of $356.2M by 2025. While many of the benefits of outsourcing technology have been known for years–including cost savings, around-the-clock support, and getting to market faster–the pandemic has underlined one critical benefit. Partnering with an expert can bring expertise to your front door instantly. From network capacity assessment and configuration to securing remote workforces, small and rural telecom operators have an opportunity to create a new, sticky revenue stream.

With a wholesale managed services partnership, telecom operators can quickly extend this expertise to their own business customers without the need to heavily invest in expensive resources, multi-year product launch planning, and marketing and communications campaigns.

These business customers will benefit from knowing their provider can quickly turn up network, security, and voice solutions. And with a white label approach, telecom operators can even brand these solutions as their own, ensuring there is little to no disruption in how these services are promoted to current business customers while increasing brand loyalty and creating sticky revenue opportunities.

Conclusion/What’s Next

Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, highlighted the impact of the pandemic on accelerating IT strategies:

“Spoke with multiple Fortune 500 CIOs in the past 2 days who have been implementing a fundamentally different IT strategy than they would have had a year ago. More cloud. More digital. More automation. Years of IT acceleration being compressed into months.”[1]

The question for small and rural telecom operators is no longer if they should support their business customers with managed services, but rather how they should implement these services. By partnering with today’s managed service providers who have decades of network and carrier services experience along with a fundamental understanding of small and rural telecom operators, these operators can create new revenue streams while tapping into technology expertise and building a stronger relationship with their business customers.

About The Author

Todd Twete is the Director of Carrier Services for Blackfoot Communications. His professional career features more than 20 years of national sales, marketing, and executive management experience. As the Director of Carrier Services, he is focused on revenue growth, business development initiatives, and operational support of carrier services, wholesale initiatives, and strategic partners.