The telecom industry is undergoing a massive shift. Growing customer expectations, disruptive competitors and shrinking margins are forcing CSPs to evolve from being just a pipe for connectivity services. To stay relevant in this new landscape, CSPs must reinvent the core of their business by moving beyond traditional voice and data offerings to truly become digital service providers. It involves creating new products, services, and ways of engaging with enterprise and individual customers. CSPs must develop a five-pronged strategy to make this transformation possible:
- Transform Network: With more enterprise traffic shifting towards low-cost internet services, CSPs must create avenues for revenue growth by reinventing their network. This can be achieved by creating a highly-automated cloud-based platform to deliver a host of network-related services. Additionally, they need a flexible and agile network that can quickly adapt to changing customer needs and launch new services at lightning speed. Therefore, the new generation of intelligent network infrastructure must be built for the cloud and powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to support any new service with ease – from 5G and IoT to AR/VR and beyond.
- Rethink Business Processes: This means more than just applying technology to business processes. It will mean reinventing them by connecting data, knowledge, people and insights, thereby turning traditional telecom into a proactive industry while optimising costs. It is imperative for CSPs to improve the agility of their operations with automation. They should pick their automation targets by identifying highly repetitive tasks and generating and handling high volumes of data. Combining data analytics, automation, and cognitive techniques will transform end-to-end business processes.
- Simplify the Technology Landscape: CSPs must simplify their monolithic technology infrastructure to match the speed of digital-native and OTT players in order to win new business. Therefore, CSPs need a practical and structured approach to simplification – investing in smaller-scale infrastructure that runs alongside existing systems and slowly migrating customers while delivering the existing experience.
- Reimagine Customer Experience: As connectivity is treated more like a utility, it is becoming increasingly difficult for CSPs to differentiate themselves in the market. They must reimagine the end-to-end customer journey: from onboarding and instant provisioning of compelling offers to delivering enhanced self-service and support to resolve queries, subscription renewals and billing actions. This will allow them to blend smoothly into customers’ lives.
- Become a Platform Service Provider: The network is no longer just about voice and data service. It is a platform enabling economic growth in every industry and every aspect of our society. CSPs must open their systems by adopting open APIs and cloud-native approaches and create a collaboration platform ecosystem of enterprises, vendors, start-ups, and digital incumbents. This would allow them to develop unique products and use cases seamlessly to achieve their goal.
It’s time for CSPs to innovate their service offerings, change their business models, and move towards a more flexible, agile, and connected world. And the only way to get ahead of the curve is by modernising their core. So CSPs either adopt a wait-and-watch approach and let the new opportunities pass by or boldly modernise their business and technology core. By firmly committing to the latter, they can create new business models, capture new opportunities, and monetise them.