Updated: Aug 30, 2020
There has been a gradual rise in the volume of data and video. It is forecasted that the worldwide consumer IP traffic will be at 333 Exabytes per month at a 27 percent compounded annual growth rate. Increased volatility in mobile workload and constant demand for lower latency has pushed Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to rethink their network strategy and ask the fundamental question of how they would reinvent their business model. This overwhelming growth in data consumption has forced them to look at virtualization and deliver services with end to end automation supported by an intelligent network. Whether it's about setting up new access points or providing a differentiated service to end-users, CSPs eventually discover the value of employing DevOps.
5G is propelling CSPs to move quickly towards Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) initiatives. It is not just the spiraling increase in an on-demand video from end-users, pushing this move. You also have to account for the increased number of use cases involving IoT device communication, artificial and virtual augmented reality.
VR is one of the fastest-growing trends which will be supercharged on 5G in the year 2020. VR use cases in healthcare and safety are taking the chunk of the investments made. To make this a success, NVF allows the CSP to deploy white box hardware and spring up network functions and speed up the service delivery and bring cost-efficiency. It also simplifies the architecture of the network to manage the copious workloads thrown at it by emerging technologies especially 5G.
Digitization drives the need to create new service lines for the customer, generating more revenue streams. The inherent nature of telecom business entails they host a lot of information on their subscribers. This information makes telecom companies particularly vulnerable to security attacks. As per this KPMG document on Perspectives on Cyber Security in Telco, CISOs at telcos are not just responsible and accountable to build cyber resilience but are critical in enabling the organization to roll out differentiated services to its end customers.
In the new digital business age, it is imperative to manage a cyber-risk agenda and include digital security risk. At times telcos also partner with third-party providers to extend new services. The telco involved needs to have the utmost care and precision in exchanging information on their end customers. The participating devices in this high-speed revolution will have their security requirements. The emergence of IoT also dictates a full-stack security solution to secure the perimeter.
Telcos have massive amounts of data on their customers. The staggering numbers of insights that are possible are the key to monetize this mountain of data. Customers are ditching traditional voice and text and moving to app-based communication. The revenue from the voice text and data is slowly disappearing. CSPs need to start focusing on customer experience as its paramount first to retain the existing customers. This focus can only happen when it is evident what their current customers need. They need a coordinated approach to collect, analyze, and monetize the data.
By listening and acting on the day to day interactions, telcos can build a successful data-driven business model. Making these services in a fast and efficient way is also equally important in this dynamic world. DevOps is crucial to meet his objective too. It can be as straightforward as creating a market place for the end customer, allowing them more control of the choice of services they need. CSPs are not making the most of Analytics and are lacking the necessary impetus to deploy projects which will harness the full advantage and benefits of Analytics AI and Automation.
Telcos are in constant battle with the internet and over-the-top (OTT) players. The ability to offer a bouquet of a diversified set of digital services is critical to the CSP competitiveness. Driving Digitization and offering a diverse set of digital offerings requires a change of mindset also. CSPs would need to push the organization's cultural evolution to prepare and learn which service niche would be most rewarding.
It is essential to devise strategies that allow the gamification of the customer experience. Loyalty schemes, along with gamification, can create a groundbreaking experience. As per Martin Creaner, ex-CEO of the TM Forum, many organizations tend to have a scattershot approach towards digital transformation; instead, there has to a joint program that drives to transform operations and minimize operational complexity.
Telcos need to move away from a single channel and embrace a multi-channel approach. This approach will open up avenues for customer interaction, which can be tailor-made. Advanced analytics will help in redefining an enriching customer engagement philosophy. It's not about creating an abundance of choices, but offering the end customer an ability to engage in a choice that the customer makes.
Mckinsey's report on a new path for telco customer engagement recommends that with a structured approach, it's possible to advance digital customer engagement experience regardless of the digital maturity. As per the report, improving digital customer engagement helps drive increased customer acquisition, transform internal processes, and drive customer value.
CSPs tend to start their transformation journey by focusing on the end customer. With customer experience being the central focus, they design digital offerings to move as many customers as possible to these digital channels. To support these journeys, the CSPs redesign the plumbing and restructure the supporting IT Process and architecture. This system-level delivery-focused design requires special skills and a targeted approach.
Unlike other industries where customer interaction is much higher, telcos may not see digital transformation as a very organic process. Nevertheless, picking up a digitization journey based on an intelligent automated IT foundation does make a tangible impact on the marketplace.
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