How Managed Wi-Fi Service Providers can prosper in 2022
A new year of challenges and opportunities
As the new Lunar Year of the Tiger is upon us, we are hopeful that 2022 will be a year of opportunities for managed service providers (MSPs) providing Managed Wi-Fi services. For the past 2 years, there have been unpredictable drops in customer demand and business activity, as well as sudden surges after lull periods. Shortage of labour and supply chain disruptions have also created unforeseen issues which require innovative solutions and change in mindset and paradigms to ride through the challenges. Technology and innovation are often cited as catalysts to help businesses transform to overcome these disruptions and emerge more agile and competitive. So how can MSPs position themselves to win in 2022?
Here are 5 ways that we believe MSPs can take advantage of the business opportunities:
1. As business activities pick up, MSPs that can scale up and down quickly and cost-effectively will be able to benefit from this trend. Venue owners and businesses who are facing uncertainty will prefer low start-up cost and pay-as-you-use subscription business models. MSPs who can provide flexibility to customers and tune their pricing models quickly will dominate the market. “Wi-Fi-as-a-service” (WiFi-aaS) is fast gaining popularity and increasingly preferred.
2. The demand for Enterprise managed Wi-Fi services should pick up as business owners and corporates want to outsource infrastructure investment or migrate from Capex to Opex spending model, while relying on MSPs to deliver reliable wireless connectivity for their operations. Centralized monitoring, with easy remote onboarding of customers while empowering them to self-help or administer basic functions are critical success factors.
3. It is important for MSPs to have deep understanding of their target customer segments and what is happening in their network, in order to spot business opportunities or respond quickly to operational issues respectively. In the past, many MSPs have built systems in silos to address different business opportunities which made data consolidation and analytics difficult or impossible. A good centralized system that incorporates data analytics with machine learning can help both Marketing, Business Development and Operations team to better address market segments and ensure service levels are met.
ANTlabs ASP / ASP Cloud Managed Wi-Fi Solutions for MSPs
With more than 2 decades of experience working with Telcos, service providers and hospitality players, ANTlabs has developed a centralized managed service platform called ASP (ANTlabs Service Platform) that can help MSPs address the opportunities outlined here. For customers with small number of sites, ANTlabs also provides ASP Cloud – a pay-as-you-use subscription service based on the same ASP platform to help them get started and realize the benefits that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.
4. While wireless connectivity is indispensable, it is also fast becoming a commodity. Yet delivering good quality high-speed internet access (HSIA) service can make or break the success of WiFi-aaS for MSPs. Consistently high quality of service (QoS) requires end to end effort: from the edge devices providing differentiated network QoS control for different user groups, to controlling what kinds of application traffic has priority so that overall user experience is enhanced.
Beyond HSIA: User-aware, location aware services
Besides HSIA as a service, MSPs should allow other network services to easily launched and subscribed by end customers. ANTlabs ASP platform has the unique ability to allow MSPs to launch user-aware, location-aware services that are customizable to fit different customer segments. Take for example, a web filtering service to protect network users from malware or undesirable content. MSPs can provide a different customer profile with a corresponding set of filtering criteria for corporate use, versus, hospitality customers.
5. Finally, with the trend to move business processes online and the shift towards Cloud operations, MSPs should leverage on the same WiFi-aaS platform to capture customers in other business verticals. ANTlabs ASP platform has multi-tenancy features that allow different end user organizations to subscribe and manage their own network, and flexible features that allow the MSPs to address different verticals like corporate, hospitality, retail, finance and even education. With small increment cost, MSPs can leverage on the ANTlabs ASP platform to expand their existing business by providing Managed WiFi business to new business verticals.
ANTlabs has built the ASP platform to be a robust centralized managed service platform for MSPs to realize a scalable, and cost-effective Managed WiFi Service model with the added benefit of launching new services quickly, and allowing them to expand beyond their traditional hospitality or corporate customer base. As WiFi-as-as-service (WiFi-aaS) becomes the norm with more businesses going online in 2022 and beyond, MSPs who can capitalize on these trends will have first-mover advantage and build a sustainable and profitable business.