40% of European Enterprises Unsatisfied with Connectivity Supplier

A survey commissioned by US network supplier Ciena indicates that almost 4 in 10 Western European enterprises are unsatisfied with their current connectivity supplier.

The results reveal an opportunity for service providers to address enterprise customer pain points by tailoring services. Nearly one-quarter of UK enterprises pointed to customer service as the main weakness of service providers, while French and German enterprises seemed more concerned about the slow speed of connection (19 and 21%, respectively).

Overall, almost 4 in 10 surveyed enterprises fail to describe themselves as satisfied with the service quality and value of their WAN connectivity service, with similar results for French, German and UK enterprises specifically. Dutch enterprises are particularly discontent, with almost half describing themselves as less than satisfied.

These results imply that there is strong demand across all of these markets for service providers to improve business service offerings to better serve the evolving needs of enterprise customers.

Enterprises in particular sectors display even greater degrees of dissatisfaction with their current connectivity provider. In the utilities sector, more than 4 in 10 surveyed companies described themselves as less than satisfied, followed closely by finance and the public sector.

When asked about the key weakness of connectivity suppliers, almost a quarter of companies in the financial sector cited the lack of tailored service level agreements, while the media & entertainment sector sees the low speed of connection as a weak point (27%). Utilities companies highlighted both the low speed of connection (18%) and low security standards (18%).

The findings can be linked to the need for tailored vertical business services, expanding the emphasis from just the network to also include the specific requirements of the end customers.

The results also highlight the need for service providers to take regional differences into consideration when developing business services. When asked about the key challenge affecting WAN connectivity requirements and planning, about a quarter of British respondents mentioned budget constraints. That seems less of a constraint in other European markets, with about a third of German companies highlighting security concerns and about a quarter of Dutch respondents citing higher expectations from corporate users.

Overall, the most important criterion for enterprises selecting a WAN connectivity provider are the security of data being transmitted (31%), bandwidth (22%) and price (16%). Data security during transfer is particularly important for French and German enterprises and the main selection criterion for 38% and 36% of enterprises, respectively. Even though bandwidth and security were also important criteria for Dutch enterprises, the findings showed that tailored service level agreements were a priority for 20% of surveyed Dutch enterprises.

Nick Walden, regional managing director, Northern Europe at Ciena:

“The enterprise connectivity sector is often perceived as saturated, with little room for service providers to move from a price-based to a value-based competitive position. Given that a significant portion of European enterprises are discontent with their current connectivity services, there is an opportunity for innovative service providers to differentiate enterprise services - as long as they can effectively identify and address the requirements of specific business segments.

The research project surveyed 400 senior IT decision makers, including an equal number of participants from the United Kingdom, Germany, France and The Netherlands. 46% of the companies surveyed have more than 3,000 employees, 44% have between 1,000 and 3,000 employees, and 10% between 500 and 1,000.

INTUG Chairman Danielle Jacobs said,

"The Ciena report on European network service quality confirms INTUG's belief that the needs of multinational corporates continue to be unmet, as their demands for high quality reliable and secure services challenge the end to end capability of suppliers. The trend towards cloud based services will only increase the importance of service quality and this is becoming an increasingly important priority."

Source: Ciena, INTUG

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