Sprint Sets Its Sights on a New CEO and Forrester Sets Its Expectations

The change of command at the top is never an easy undertaking.  However, we see opportunity in Sprint's decision to bring in a new CEO, especially when considering enterprise services.  With the consolidation of providers to near-oligopoly status in the US, we think a new CEO at Sprint's helm could help re-energize the languishing domestic enterprises services marketplace – if (and it may be a big if) he or she elects to re-commit Sprint to enterprise services. 

  • First and foremost, this would require a significantly deeper commitment to enterprise landline services, something that Sprint has been falling farther and farther behind via-a-vis its competitors. 
  • Secondly, the use of WiMax as an alterative to traditional T1 connections for smaller enterprise sites has potentially huge potential to improve the customer experience—both for end-to-end service performance, and at lower prices.  Virtually every enterprise client we work with says they are interested in 'cutting the (ILEC) cord' for their smaller sites. 
  • And more and more enterprises are also looking at mobile services as critical business enablers.  Among the largest US enterprise telecom service providers, Sprint has been the strongest vocal advocate of mobility, but it has not been the strongest on total delivery of these types of services to the enterprise. For instance, clients tell us repeatedly that Sprint's 3G activation experience needs improvement. So, it's time to re-commit here too.
  • Regarding its support for multinational enterprise customers, the provider's strategy also needs reinvigoration – mainly around managed mobility (including mobile voice and data roaming).  Given all the items on Sprint's enterprise plate, its current partnership-oriented approach to supporting international customers is good enough.

The more that Sprint embraces a renewed focus on building up a stronger, broader, and deeper suite of enterprise landline and mobile services and an improved customer experience throughout the entirety of the contract lifecycle, the more enterprise clients should look at Sprint. It's been said that actions speak louder than words. A new CEO's actions will tell us all volumes about Sprint's future viability as an enterprise telecoms supplier.

by Lisa Pierce and Brownlee Thomas, Ph.D.