Accelerating the digital transformation journey in the telecommunications space – education
The COVID-19 pandemic has pressed the hard reset button for companies in all industrial sectors, and the telecommunications sector is no exception to this phenomenon. Remote working, e-learning, and physical distancing have become buzzwords in today’s business landscape, and digitization is the driving force behind this radical change.
In today’s mobile world, these changes in the business environment have led to a paradigm shift in consumer patterns. Specifically, it has led to an increase in the consumption of OTT services, telemedicine, digital learning, etc., services that have become an integral part of an ‘always on’ digital lifestyle.
According to a recent TRAI report, there were 1,157.75 million wireless subscribers in India as of March 31, 2020. This presents great potential for telecom service providers to move from traditional service delivery to a more customer-centric one. client. To this end, service providers must accelerate digital transformation and adopt cloud-based solutions to improve workflows and transform their workforce.
Why is digital transformation a necessity of the moment?
According to the recent Ericsson Mobility Report, mobile broadband technologies accounted for 58% of mobile subscriptions in 2019, and this figure is projected to reach 82% by 2025. Hence, customer experience and supremacy technology are at the epicenter of digital transformation for telecommunications. sector.
To reshape the industry in a profitable, agile and customer-centric environment, it is imperative to incorporate advanced digital innovations in various areas.
As the use of connected devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc., is witnessing a constant increase, consumers of telecom services prefer to interact with service providers in a digital way, leading to a change from physical stores to digital participation channels.
This is prompting companies to replace legacy software with digitally managed software, which can offer greater possibilities for automating processes. As a result, existing legacy software systems such as invoicing, CRM, order handling, are being transformed. Another reason for the move to digital is that technology-backed systems with built-in ‘self-healing’ algorithms can protect and repair any technical anomalies within the software, leading to minimal downtime and requiring less human involvement.
Taking that thinking further, companies are now considering eliminating data centers as they migrate to the cloud. Maintaining a robust data center on premises involves regular evaluation, upgrade, and replacement of software, as well as hardware, by telecom operators.
As companies modernize, automate and digitize their operations, they will be able to bring new services to market more quickly; offer plans with innovative prices; and increase the rate of collection. This will have a direct impact on customer acquisition and retention, as a result of better quality of service and a better customer experience.
Drawing the roadmap for digital transformation
The adage “different blows for different people” holds true for the telecommunications industry. Some see digital transformation as a new technological challenge, others as a new business opportunity, and others see it as a cultural makeover. While digital transformation is an amalgamation of all of these, it is also much more.
To facilitate a smooth digital makeover, the first step is to establish a well-defined digital transformation roadmap. This involves strategic considerations, such as whether to migrate from the on-premises data center to the cloud first or replace legacy software with the latest digital systems first; and if the software can be changed in stages and so on.
Then management must strike a balance between revenue generation options and modernization of systems. In the telecommunications space, operators face challenges due to the increase in the use of OTT for voice calls and messaging, job cuts due to the impact of a pandemic, etc., which have contributed to the decrease in revenue streams. . Therefore, they must weigh the options of investing in digitization strategies or other revenue-generating businesses, such as driving the adoption of 5G.
There must also be a shift in focus from traditional software development and deployment processes, which are often time-consuming and can become redundant in an ever-evolving telecommunications space. Therefore, it is essential to change the mindset of both providers and operators to find a minimum viable solution (MVS) in a short period of time to maximize value.
As companies evolve, so must their employees. Therefore, there is a need to continually reevaluate existing training and development modules to ensure that the employee base has training opportunities in a rapidly changing technology environment.
How to design a framework for digital transformation
In order to generate change by successfully achieving the organization’s objectives and creating significant value for its customers, it is vital to ensure that processes are optimized and structured.
One way to do this is to identify weak spots in existing software stacks, such as the integration of diversified products and services across different types of subscribers. Next, you must understand the scope of digitization of customer acquisition and retention, as well as the interconnection of the company’s digital channels to provide a single, user-friendly customer experience.
Creating strategies based on different lines of business to ensure a smooth migration to the cloud and the integration of new digital software stacks can provide some direction, and can also help interact with software service providers that play a critical role. in the digital transformation of a company. journey by designing a viable strategy.
As we look ahead
The customer is the core of the telecommunications industry. Therefore, the success of digital transformation lies in creating a compelling digital experience for consumers, while achieving organizational goals of business efficiency, agility, and profitability. Going forward, telecom service operators will need to reinvent the customer experience and assess their digital transformation strategy in light of constantly evolving modern technologies. Improvements in business agility will not only enable service providers to achieve operational efficiencies, but will also ensure long-term brand loyalty from their customers.
(The author is Samit Banerjee, Amdocs division president. Opinions expressed are personal)