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IDC MarketScape puts AT&T as a Leader in its Worldwide Telecom Service Provider 2013 Vendor Assessment

Courtney Munroe Melanie Posey

IDC OPINION
This study leverages the IDC MarketScape methodology to evaluate the leading global telecommunications service providers. IDC identified the top 11 providers by scale and scope of operations, including global coverage and the ability to provide services to global multinational corporations (MNCs).

The content for this excerpt was taken directly from IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Telecom Service Provider 2013 Vendor Assessment (Doc # 245150).
To read the full AT&T excerpt, click here.

One major qualification was the presence of at least 30% of employees located outside the GSP's home country, as well the ability to provide innovative and forward-thinking solutions. The primary focus of this study is on the ability of global telecom service providers to cater to multinational companies. This requires the ability to provide global network coverage in major metro markets and also cover the following areas:

  • The ability to offer a worldwide portfolio of advanced WAN services, such as MPLS, Ethernet access, and IP network services, on a consistent basis and backed by a qualified core of supporting personnel
  • A strong portfolio of advanced collaboration, WAN optimization, and security services that offers diversity in platforms
  • The capability to offer a diverse portfolio of public and private cloud services as well as access to worldwide datacenter and collocation facilities
  • Strong global partnerships via enhanced network-to-network interconnects (NNIs) and channel partners to provide access to countries where the service provider does not have owned network facilities
  • Strong mobile connectivity and enterprise application development and management capabilities to facilitate world TEM and secure mobile access to corporate applications

IDC Marketscape vendor inclusion criteria

Key criteria include the ability to provide a comprehensive global portfolio of services ranging from traditional voice and data networking services to cloud and collaboration services. For the first time in this series, IDC has included the ability to provide mobile services, both connectivity and applications management services.

These service providers must have, at minimum, enhanced global capabilities to offer the following:

  • Managed WAN services (IP VPN, security, CPE, hosting)
  • WAN optimization services
  • Cloud services (IaaS, SaaS, etc.)
  • Collaboration services (audio, video, and Web-based conferencing)
  • Consulting, design, and professional services
  • Mobile connectivity and application development, device management

A global organizational sales and support structure was also a key element in the inclusion process. One key criterion is the ability of worldwide telecom service providers to implement a centralized global account and support management team to offer a consistent global experience.

Vendor summary profiles

This section briefly explains IDC's key observations resulting in a vendor's position in the IDC MarketScape. While every vendor is evaluated against each of the criteria outlined in the Appendix, the description here provides a summary of one vendor's strengths and opportunities. 

AT&T remains a Leader in this year's IDC MarketScape. The company has its own network facilities in approximately 45 countries, with one of the world's largest IP-based networks providing a wide range of WAN, security, and cloud services. It has also further deepened its global network reach for customers through its alliances with America Movil and China Telecom. The company also provides comprehensive mobile services with voice and data roaming to 210 countries. AT&T has a strong commitment to transformation through innovation, and the new mantra of growth via collaboration with customers and solution providers, on an "open" to product/service development platform. AT&T is leveraging its new platform-based orientation to enable multisided business models that include finished services, API-enabled components and piece parts, customized solutions, and network-as-a-service capabilities on a standardized, interoperable architecture. The company also continues to expand its commitment to make customer experience "effortless" with a myriad of programs underway. AT&T has embraced network virtualization and SDN as a key impetus to manage operating cost while driving innovation, and the company will continue its focus on offering end-to-end solutions, led by an emphasis on key verticals such as healthcare, transportation, and financials.

Strengths

AT&T has a class-leading portfolio on VPNs, managed services, and hosting and cloud services, as well a strong presence in collaboration and mobile capabilities. The company has long established itself as a world-leading M2M provider with expertise in consulting and application implementation. AT&T has identified three domains — cloud, security, and APIs — as platforms for business growth, solutions innovation, and operational transformation. The cloud platform brings together AT&T's cloud infrastructure and application services, managed hosting and application offerings, and the AT&T NetBond cloud ecosystem that includes AT&T, customers, and third parties such as IBM, CSC, and Microsoft. NetBond leverages network orchestration, allowing customers to "bond" their AT&T MPLS VPN to the cloud for the delivery of mission-critical applications.

AT&T has a rich portfolio of network, cloud, and premises-based security solutions available globally, supported by professional services. AT&T sees this as a core area for growth in 2014 and beyond. Additionally, security is embedded in core solutions from network to cloud, utilizing a common threat management framework that combines core network and product-based security with AT&T's security operations and Big Data/analytics capabilities. In 4Q13, AT&T launched its Enterprise API and Platform group, and it has since made several announcements of service availability in the mobile identity, location, and sponsored data space. The API program exposes AT&T network functionality, data, and finished services to enterprise customers, alliance partners, and third-party solution providers (and ABS).

Opportunities

AT&T's core strength remains the company's ability to offer a strong integrated solution set of fixed and mobile services. AT&T has been very careful in choosing its global strategy. The operator has key enhanced NNI agreements with China Telecom and América Móvil, and it may be looking to expand into the European theater. AT&T needs to continue to deepen its expertise in the global cloud segment to keep pace with its rivals in both the telecom and cloud segments, as well as keeping pace with specialized solutions for vertical markets.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. In 2014, IDC celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing strategic insights to help clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company.

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