Customer experience and cost reductions remain the focus areas for telecoms service providers today. If tackled correctly, these objectives are not mutually exclusive. Programs to improve customer experience encompass network performance as well as customer satisfaction. Faster product development and delivery, automation of business processes, online service delivery, and targeted digital marketing will move the telco towards a leaner, more agile, and cost-efficient infrastructure, while simultaneously improving the customer experience. If this is coupled with deeper personalization of services around the customer profile, the customer experience improves and the service provider has an opportunity to create a more sustainable revenue stream.
The Telco Operations practice provides best-practice advice for telecommunications service providers on how they can deal with these commercial challenges in the face of agile competition from the over-the-top (OTT) players. Fundamentally, the telcos need to transform their operating model, and while much of this work has to be done in house, there are vendor partners that can help support the telco on that journey. Our Telco Operations research therefore also provides the buy-side perspective critical to suppliers as they target telcos for deeper or new business relationships.
We identify the current areas of business pain for telcos, their future business objectives, and activities required to achieve those objectives, with specific reference to how they are improving the customer experience, maximizing customer value, and transforming the telco operating model, and through a review of the vendors appropriate to supporting telco objectives.
CIOs’ business and IT investment trends
Telco operations initiatives – key themes for 2013
The key themes for the Telco Operations practice in 2013 will be:
- Improving customer experience
- Maximizing customer value
- Transforming the telco operating model
- Vendor services
Improving the customer experience
Good customer service and high levels of customer satisfaction (net promoter scores) are products of efficient customer experience systems and processes. There is plenty here for the telcos to tackle, but chiefly they are looking at where they can provide customer flexibility and autonomy through self-care. The experience online, on the mobile, in retail stores, and via the call center needs to be integrated for the customer as well as for the customer service agent in order for tangible improvements to occur, to reinforce the customer relationship, and to maximize digital marketing opportunities.
Telco Operations identifies the touchpoints in the customer engagement process, as well as the key points at a network and IT level that need attention, and the actions telcos can take to improve customer offers and support to serve their consumer and enterprise customers.
Maximizing customer value
Telcos collect enormous quantities of unique and varied data about their own operations and customers, but they often struggle to gain business insights from this data. Analytics can be applied at a number of levels within the business – for example, at a network and services level. However, at a customer level it can be used to minimize churn by anticipating customer issues and to promote loyalty by providing personalized offers and responses that will be of a social or business benefit to the customer.
We investigate the Big Data analytics phenomenon, and the changes telcos need to make to organize and better utilize their customer data and improve their product development processes, which in turn generates personalized, higher-margin customer propositions.
Transforming the telco operating model
The economic and competitive pressure on telcos means that they must review their operating model and how they respond and deliver to customers. OTT players are the threat they must combat, and telcos are also coming under increasing scrutiny from investors to ensure that they have a sustainable business model with the flexibility to innovate to drive revenues.
At the same time, telcos must seek to the identify and address the opportunities and impact that technologies such as cloud, managed network and IT services, and social networks can have on their operations, as well as the internal changes required to deliver on the demands of new services such as M2M and cloud computing.
Vendors are an increasingly important part of the service delivery and support mechanism for telcos. Many vendors offer managed network and/or IT services, but this is an increasingly busy area of the market, as telco software and IT services become central to driving the telco’s agility and efficiency.The telco needs to decide whether they want best-of-suite or best-of-breed products; point or end-to-end solutions; preintegration out-of-the box or managed services. The decision will impact the quality, relevance, and agility of the telco’s own propositions, as well as the future of vendors’ businesses.
Ovum’s vendor service reviews, service contract tracker, and ICT market share provide the information to guide the telco decision-making process and inform vendor positioning.
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