Kamil Gregor (Research Analyst)

IDC has been continuously publishing research related to the COVID-19 pandemic on its new microsite. In this post, we’ll look at how European service providers have reacted to the developing situation.

IDC estimates that approximately 5–10% of European service providers (SPs) have gone beyond issuing statements about their own immediate operations (e.g., providing guidance to employees or cancelling events). Reactions have differed depending on the SP type.

Responses From European Service Providers

Most responses so far have come from telecommunications providers. They have:

    • Shared anonymized customer data with the public sector to combat the pandemic (e.g., Deutsche Telekom)
    • Offered free communications services in severely affected regions (e.g., Telecom Italia)
    • Offered subscriptions to online TV and entertainment for free or at discounted rates to encourage consumers to remain indoors (e.g., SFR)
    • Boosted their network capacity and technical support to ensure uninterrupted service during a period of high demand (e.g., Vodafone, Telenet, Ziggo)

Telecommunications providers are also promoting solutions related to working from home (e.g., BT). In some cases, they have created new service packages tailored to relevant use cases:

    • Homeschooling (e.g., Telefonica)
    • Facilitation of online events like townhall meetings (e.g., Swisscom)

Digital SPs that offer IT consulting have published various analyses and business advice (e.g., Accenture, SAP).

In contrast to telecommunications providers, there has so far been little or no reaction from hosting and managed service providers.

Impact on the Service Providers

In the medium to long term, several SP types will likely face severe disruptions of their businesses in addition to the expected recession (e.g., travel services aggregators, online sports betting companies). If the public sector significantly increases healthcare spending, digital SPs that focus on healthcare will be positively impacted.

Large-scale datacenter operators (particularly colocation providers) face the risk of service disruptions if COVID-19 spreads among their datacenter personnel. Securing continuity of service remotely is technically feasible but might prove difficult if multiple sites are affected simultaneously. Datacenter construction is expected to be similarly affected. Facebook has already suspended construction of its datacenter in Ireland in response to coronavirus testing on site.

The situation is very fluid at the moment and IDC continues to monitor it daily and adjust its view on the estimated impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the IT market. All analyses are published on our new dedicated microsite.

Please contact Kamil Gregor for more information or to share your views with us.

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