The increasing importance of digital solutions for business has created a dynamic and rapidly growing technology and solution landscape. While this offers many benefits for enterprises, it also means that they face increasing complexity in deploying, integrating and managing solutions in a multivendor ecosystem. Ensuring they run smoothly and deliver the business benefits promised requires robust integration and management skills.
Digital transformation can’t happen without digital system integration. Enterprises need to integrate diverse systems and applications from multiple vendors so they work in a cohesive way and can handle the growth demands of the business. Benefits will include increased simplicity through a unified digital environment, real-time visibility, enhanced security and increased productivity.
With Engage 2025, we are building on the experience we have gained in network integration and orchestration to drive the expansion of our digital systems integration capabilities, including hiring new talent. This will allow us to provide our customers with the best fully-integrated solutions comprising our own and third-party technologies. To meet customer needs, we take a vendor-agnostic approach and work with multiple technology partners for all our solutions.
In addition to the build phase, integration is also essential in the run phase. Solutions need to be orchestrated and run efficiently to perform. Here, we are looking to enhance the management of these solutions once created. Take root cause analysis, for example. 50% of IT staff’s time is wasted on trying to find out which service or supplier is to blame for a problem, thanks to multivendor complexity. This is an issue that Orange can solve with centralized management, leaving in-house IT teams to focus on business challenges.
The rise of the platform
Over the next five years, the inexorable move towards a digital world powered by software will continue. This shift is increasingly centered around standardization, rather than lengthy bespoke development and deployment. Standardization will also apply in integration, where the industrialization of the process will allow for the re-use of components across multiple projects using APIs to adapt solutions to customer requirements.
These platforms will form the next phase of our digital services integration offering. We will work with our partners and offer open APIs for the developer community, which will allow services to be created and scaled quickly.
As part of our move towards a platform-based approach, we will aggregate different components to create an integration framework built on top of key solutions such as ServiceNow, a cloud-based, modular IT service management (ITSM) platform. Customers will be able to plug solutions and vendors in and out as required, giving them the ultimate in choice.
Managing the service lifecycle
Another aspect of integration is helping enterprises manage multiple service providers, while staying agile, controlling costs and removing the burden of contractual complexity. The average number of service providers an enterprise must handle for SD-WAN, LAN, mobile and voice networks is estimated to be over 15, and this is growing with the uptake of multicloud environments, according to Gartner.
Our Engage 2025 strategy will strengthen and extend our Multisourcing Service Integration offer for enterprises. An effective and efficient MSI approach formalizes how a third party manages multiple suppliers on behalf of an enterprise. This concept centers around centralized management and control of multiple providers to ensure services are delivered in a consistent, cohesive and cost-effective manner.
Multisourcing Service Integration allows enterprises to take a consistent and robust approach to this digital complexity and reduce operational risk and cost. Cost rationalization is achieved through better visibility and eradicating the duplication of services, which can cut costs by 5-10%.
At the same time, Multisourcing Service Integration allows for flexible sourcing and service provider models to ensure CIOs get best-in-breed applications and solutions to meet growing business agility demands for everything-as-a-service and, of course, can just as easily remove services and suppliers that are not performing.
Growing importance of MSI
As technology continues to change at such a rapid rate, so the importance of multisourcing service integration (MSI) will grow. According to analyst firm Gartner, 50% of large enterprises will require an MSI approach for their vendor management by 2022, up from just 10% in 2019.
In this complex and brave new world, enterprises will increasingly turn to MSI to integrate services, applications and support in a seamless way. As far as users are concerned, there is just one business-facing IT service point that ensures they get the user experience they need to do their jobs.
MSI is an area we have invested heavily in to gain a competitive edge and one where we are looking to further grow our capabilities over the next five years. We have 60 active global MSI clients and are signing up new ones at a rate of approximately two per month.
We are also extending our MSI capabilities into new areas such as mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT). This demands the strengthening of our consulting services upstream of client projects and requires the development of professional services capabilities for deployment.
An end-to-end future
The aim of the expansion of our integration services with Engage 2025 is to help our customers overcome their technology challenges, while improving day-to-day operations within their businesses. This will involve a new model that marries one shot “build services” with “long-term run services,” including digital integration, solution management and MSI options to create, control and manage multivendor ecosystems in a truly sustainable way.
Editor in Chief, International, at Orange Business Services. I'm in charge of our International website and the English language blogs at Orange Business Services. In my spare time I'm literally captain of my own ship, spending my time on the wonderful rivers and canals of England.