With insatiable need to serve superior customer experience in the backdrop of dwindling revenues, new technologies like 5G is a good bet to support voracious data consumption and the incremental revenue potential of service providers.
For this, service providers need to embrace new business and revenue models as well as a customer-centric digital operating model, leaving behind traditional operating models and silo-ed IT (OSS/BSS) legacy systems; to embrace the journey from CSP to DSP.
According to recent surveys, the demand for digital services is growing exponentially and soon will enter the world of zetabytes.
As emerging technologies and software becomes the lifeline of telecoms, it is important that some bold decisions are made and relentlessly pursued. Telecoms which are lagging will now have to embrace Digital Transformation. For Telcos to embrace this model necessitates not only cultural transformation within the organization, but also adopt support systems BSS / OSS with next generation capabilities that can help increase agility, intelligence and customer experience, at the same time reduce operational costs.
Ideal Telecoms in 2020 will look like:
Traditional telecoms used to rely on Voice/Text as mainstream revenue, but with digitization and proliferation of high speed data the scenario has completely changed. An ideal telecoms in 2020 will focus on offering highly automated digital channels for superior customer interaction. This is where Next-gen Digital OSS/BSS Platform will streamline Telcos Journey towards becoming Digital Service Provider (DSP).
An ideal digital OSS /BSS application reduces telecoms Capex, offers agility for roll outs, is compatible with hybrid ecosystem, and offers ease of integration with existing and future platforms. There are vendors like Sterlite Tech who have taken a lead to offer system approach to the functions – System of records, System of Engagement and System of Intelligence. The 3 systems should interact seamlessly to be able to address CSPs transformation requirements in three key areas:
# Agility helps in setting up faster, leaner and agile operations
# Customer experience helps in creating a profitable & personalized customer experience and
# Efficiency addresses the need for faster time to market, network capitalization and operations cost reduction
DevOps based continuous delivery: This approach enables faster time-to-market for new product and services. DevOps empowers CSP to keep up with the rapid pace of delivery that users demand by breaking down the silos between development and operations. DevOps helps in deploying updates in less than 1 hour, reduce troubleshoot time from 5-15 days to 8 hours and automates all test cases with extensive code coverage.
Product Catalog management: The product catalog enables CSPs with new digital technologies and methodologies to bring services to market quickly with Centralized Product Management. It consolidates product information and manages multiple catalogs to provide consistent content across all customer touch points. It helps in Offer Creation, Pricing, offer discount and also to modify plans through GUI. Moreover, the Centralized configuration driven architecture, automates push of product data to CRM and downstream applications.
Customer Experience Management
Digital Experience: The platform should revolve around satisfying subscribers digitally. It should offer complete commerce and customer management platform, which should include CRM, customer engagement toolkit, customer information management, 360 degree view of subscriber, ecommerce portal, Omni-channel and should come pre-integrated with BSS to enable CSPs to offer unmatched user experience through end-to-end integrated platform.
Omni channel: The Omni Commerce enables Telcos with new touch points and channels, and offers user consistent experience across application, web, IVR, which also holds true for customer sales representative. Everybody gets the same consistent view of customer usage and profile.
Integration with Chatbots: Chatbots or Bots are simple artificial intelligence systems that one can interact via text. It automatically manage the feeds received from social media and responds to common type of query via chat bots, rather than being human dependent and also handle customer’s queries around billing, recharge and usage, through the mobile app.
# REST API: Support for REST APIs for integration across BSS applications. APIs connect business processes, services, content and data to channel partners, internal teams and independent developers in an easy and secure way. They also reduce the cost and complexity of operations, reduce integration cost and risk, and provide a platform for micro services of the future
# Open API – Open API enables ease of integration, onboarding new partners, adapting new services for monetization
# Sandbox environment for customization: It enables ease in integration with ecosystem and customization
# Open Source container NFV adoption: Docker automates deployment of applications inside software containers, by providing an additional layer of abstraction and automation of operating system–level virtualization on Linux. This will eliminate cost of OS & Hypervisor in single platform and also offer Performance improvement in hardware consumption
# Real time Digital Analytics: Ensures network cost optimization and revenue augmentation
The path towards Digital Transformation for any Telco would be tough but once followed and implemented will sow the survival as well as new growth story.
Vaibhav Mehta, senior vice president, Business Development & Telecom Practices at Sterlite Tech -Software