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The digital world is growing for telecom operators. With advanced options and the opportunity to get shares in a rapidly advancing market, operators are realizing the impact of improved operational activities.

Understanding the Opportunity

This enhanced interest in the digital market does not come without any benefit or costs for operators. The market presents excellent revenue gain potential, but only for telecom operators that are willing to make the necessary investments. With customer demands also increasing, it is no secret that the expenditure on IT and the overall revenues made through operations are expected to increase for operators.

These findings have been included in the most recent ICT insights survey by the research firm Ovum. According to the survey, a majority of 70 percent operators are planning to increase their net IT expenditure over the course of the next year. Almost 30 percent of these operators are planning to increase these costs by either 6 percent or more. This increase in net total spend for the IT sector indicates the fact that telecom operators are beginning to realize the potential that the market holds.

This growing increase in the number of companies increasing their IT budget is expected to have a cascading impact on the revenue generation of the OSS/BSS domain globally. Ovum has also indicated that the annual revenues from the OSS/BSS market are expected to grow to $22.5 billion in 2022 from $17.5 billion in 2017. This CAGR of 5.8 percent is one of the best in the market and makes the telecom industry a hot property for revenue generation in the future. Current telecom operators with their established infrastructures have a great opportunity to latch on to these challenges. Read on to find out how.

Delivering Next Generation Services

To deliver next generation services, operators need to step out of the realm of what governs the industry currently and implement futuristic methods of governance. This movement towards the future is not just confined to keeping pace with technology trends and chalking out competitive and updated strategies. This step towards the future entails a lot more, such as the eagerness to update to the infrastructure of next generation technologies, such as 5G, network functions virtualization, and the Internet of Things among many others. The use of these technologies in creating smarter networks will dictate the future pace of development.

Simply put, since the telecom operator industry has an intensely competitive environment, operators need to use all up-to-date methods to stay relevant in the picture. The underlying idea behind this is to shift from the traditional system-centric approach and go towards a more end-to-end service-centric one. Operators need to revise their current strategies in a bid to incorporate smarter services that:

  • Are tested in the market for scalability and agility
  • Include a large industry ecosystem that is aimed at new customer markets and segments
  • Facilitate the growth of personal and real-time communication.

Understanding OSS/BSS and What Ails Them

OSS/BSS stand for operation support system and business support system respectively. These two systems work in tandem to support a wide range of telecommunication services and make life easy for telecom operators.

Operation support systems usually assist in the management of communication networks. These tools help in the coordination of resources for designing, building, maintaining, and operating communication networks.

Business support systems help organizations to reach out to their customers and create an offer for them. These offers are personalized in order to give special offers to each customer based on their preferences and usage patterns.

OSS/BSS systems currently have a long way to go before they can support this digital transformation. Most operators have a complex maze of legacy systems that are not compatible with the requirements of these technologies. To maintain a competitive edge, operators are now looking at and thinking of planning beyond the traditional KPIs of profit margins, revenue, etc. Instead, we now have criteria such as efficiency, customer experience, agility, quicker time to market, and seamless product delivery in the mix.

However, with the current extent and limitations of legacy systems, operators cannot meet these requirements. They’re falling short on numerous counts, including the duplication of information, which adversely impacts the time to market for several products.

Underlying Trends and the Journey so Far

Regardless of the implications, operators have come a long way in the implementation of OSS and BSS strategies. Some underlying trends are expected to phase out over the course of the next couple of years. It is initially expected that software as a service (SaaS) stacks will rise to the fore. Operators realize the impact of competition and are looking for cost-efficient stacks that can be rapidly deployed at any given time.

Moreover, it is expected that the revenue from analysis-based tools will significantly increase over time. This change will be driven by the maturation of AI and machine learning tools that enhance the analysis process over time.

The Changes in Play

The changes brought through digital transformation are already in play and can be seen across multiple industries. Here are three OSS/BSS examples in major industries:

Retail

In retail, addressing business activities like sales and inventory management are still a significant challenge for operators. This is how the BSS system can facilitate in this industry.

  • An efficient POS system. Point of Sale systems play an important role in the overall buying process. The addition of a CRM in these systems enables enterprises to configure the mode of payments and price lists, and to restrict individual channels of payment.
  • The digital solution plays an important part in executing end-to-end management of logistics at the backend. Finding the correct product mix with optimal inventory and store capacity is the final aim.
  • Retailers work with a broad ecosystem of partners, and a BSS solution helps them to manage this ecosystem efficiently. From managing invoices to setting delivery details, the system works best when creating and following schedules.

Enhancing the Usage Pattern of Customer Data

A BSS can be used across industries because of its ability to help organizations enhance the usage pattern of customer data. By augmenting services such as service bundling as well as switching and gift services, the BSS/OSS improves the selling process based on insights from customer data.

Banking

The following changes can be influenced by a BSS across the banking sector:

  • Simplifies the customer acquisition process for banking services.
  • Lead collection systems are facilitated.
  • Customer complaints are dealt with in a professional manner to mitigate the negative PR that might arise out of them.

Achieving the Transformation

The passage towards a modernized OSS/BSS system can come through multiple efforts.

The Enablers

These three key aspects of the digital transformation have to be at the core in order to enable the transformation towards modern OSS/BSS systems:

  • Enhanced customer experience
  • Operational agility
  • Focus on platform play

Models to Drive Change

To drive change in the customer experience, operators need to be focused on:

  • A cloud based server for micro-services.
  • Real-time communication, or the provision of real-time analytics.
  • A layered architecture that hinders all forms of data duplication.

Download the Mahindra Comviva E-Book to learn more about the digital transformation for telecom operators, and how you can be a part of it.

October 15, 2018 0 comment
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How Digital Transformation Has Impacted Digital Business Management

“Today, every business is a digital business.”

It’s a quote that business leaders across all industries know well. The irony is that as businesses leverage mobile networks to thrive in the digital age, mobile operators are lagging behind.

Despite an overwhelming understanding that they need to adapt, mobile operators face an uphill battle when it comes to digital transformation. In recent years, heavy investments have been made in upgrading to 4G wireless networks. Unfortunately, the 15% ratio of capital spending to revenue hasn’t left much room to invest in internal digital transformation.

As a result, mobile operators are under intense pressure to improve their digital business management capabilities. Competing with digital natives and growing OTT providers will require new business models that diversify the traditional voice/messaging revenue streams that were once so profitable.

The Problem with Current Digital Business Management Strategies

It’s no secret that mobile operators have catching up to do in digital. The $2 trillion digital transformation opportunity in the telecom industry is plenty motivation to make changes.

However, current approaches to digital business management won’t have the kind of impact that mobile operators need to capitalize on that opportunity.

In many cases, mobile operators expend their digital business management efforts on internal IT obstacles. You’re likely dealing with a complicated legacy IT infrastructure filled with interdependent applications that hinder agility. Aging IT infrastructure works against any digital transformation effort. You end up spending all your time sorting through technical challenges, keeping you from moving quickly and making agile decisions.

Mobile operators counter these challenges by investing in upgrades throughout the network to cut operating costs. For example, the widespread shift to small-cell networks can open the door for more flexible management, reducing costs and alleviating some of the pressure from thinning margins.

That’s the problem, though. As margins from traditional business models diminish, it’s not enough to just cut costs and temporarily bolster those margins. Now more than ever, digital business management must focus on innovative, high-potential changes to the organization.

X New Revenue Streams for the Digital Mobile Operator

The modern consumer is always connected and that reality impacts mobile operators both positively and negatively.

On the one hand, video traffic is expected to make up over 80% of internet data in the coming years, which will put your network under heavy pressure. But on the positive side, the constant demand for more data gives mobile operators an opportunity to capitalize on digital transformation.

Rather than letting OTT players like Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, and others continue to erode mobile operator revenues, you can branch out into new revenue streams.

However, you have to be careful not to make the same mistakes with 5G that were made with 4G. Investing in your network and facilitating the move to 5G is critical—just don’t lose sight of the fact that setting yourself up as a digital service provider is now equally important.

Successfully shifting to 5G will help you sustain your subscriber base. It also gives you the backbone necessary to support new services that facilitate new digital technologies for consumers. As you build your digital transformation strategy, consider adapting business models to support these emerging revenue streams:

Facilitating Digital Payments: OTT providers are investing heavily in mobile payments. Whether through partnerships, acquisitions, or internal development, mobile operators can leverage existing subscriber bases to deliver banking and payments services that boost revenue.
Delivering New Network Services: Enterprise customers need to leverage SDN and NFV to power their own digital transformations. Mobile operators can use existing investments to deliver virtualization capabilities that make zero-touch networks available to enterprise subscribers. These add-on services can increase revenue.

Providing Data Services: Mobile operators have more consumer data than just about any other type of business. While consumer data is heavily regulated, you can sell certain network usage information to enterprises looking to better-target potential customers.
Adding Digital Services for Subscribers: Similar to data services, you can use your extensive customer data to add marketing services to your portfolio. For example, you could build out an AI-powered advertising platform to turn network pipes into more valuable revenue streams.

These are just a few examples of new digital revenue streams. They should be leveraged in addition to internal digital business management changes that boost revenue. With the help of artificial intelligence you can transform customer experiences from frustrating phone calls to seamless, omnichannel support and sales interactions anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Moving forward, digital business management will be judged by how well you can make agile decisions, develop digital products and services with great customer experiences, and use advanced analytics to constantly adapt.

For many mobile operators, there’s just one question to answer—where do you start?

Setting Your Roadmap for Digital Transformation Success

Mobile operators are accustomed to large-scale transformational efforts that take years and are designed to keep the complex IT infrastructure in check.

Trying to take this approach to digital transformation won’t work—it’s expensive and too slow to keep pace with market demands.

Specific roadmaps will be unique for every business. The path to transformation depends on your existing IT infrastructure, your current offerings, and the talent/structure of your organization. However, the best general approach is to determine which revenue streams you want to diversify with and create Greenfield projects to test them.

By keeping investments to a minimum, you can scale digital operations to determine which are good fits for your organization. Then, you can start building a roadmap for a large-scale rollout.

In the background of your Greenfield projects, you can make continuous efforts to break down IT silos and turn backend infrastructure into a more agile, flexible foundation for the business.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of moving parts for any mobile operator looking to revamp digital business management. Your first step should be to decide which projects you’d like to test.

If you want to explore some of your options, we’d love to help. Contact us today to learn about the mobility solutions that can transform your approach to digital business management.

June 21, 2018 0 comment
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