The customer and partner interactions: DSP transition Part 2
We saw how the industry making enough progress along the DSP path in Part 1 yesterday. The below Figure 1 shows that the greatest challenge to digital service delivery is the continued desire to create better system interoperability, which no doubt slows the launch time for new services.
The Customer and partner interactions
A key indicator of the industry’s overall transition to digital is the finding that for 82% of operators, less than half of all customer transactions are handled via digital channels. Some of that is intentional. For example, most CSPs do not let customers cancel service online. Similarly, the degree of support available online is often limited to frequently asked questions and account look-ups. Because customers expect to conduct more transactions and care scenarios digitally, the operators must greatly increase their digital abilities across customer-facing channels and processes, says Paul Hughes, director of strategy, Netcracker Technology.
Similarly, for a DSP strategy to work effectively, working with partners becomes a more critical element across the entire service lifecycle. The only way to effectively manage the partner relationship efficiently is through automation, and currently, as seen in Figure 2, it remains another area where progress is steady, but not exactly rapid.
The operator needs to think more like a digital enterprise, inclusive of connectivity, customer journeys, customer touch points, and technology interactions both internally and externally. Today’s top operator executives must change the way they think about their business, and that is every bit as challenging as changing legacy networks and systems.
Reaching the Digital Nirvana – Be steady, smart and the customer is always right
If “slow and steady” is where we are, we can agree it is not necessarily a bad thing, especially considering the complexity of transformation. Not only is the telecommunications industry changing technology strategies from physical point-to-point networks to virtual, software-defined networks, it is also changing business strategies from selling infrastructure to selling a broader range of in-house, partner and cloud services.
Those changes affect every aspect of an operator’s business. Operators retain the most valuable asset of all – customers. Digital transformation enables DSPs to become the supplier of choice for consumers and businesses. But in order to do that, they must emphasise change and make a commitment to it.
First, create a technology design strategy with a targeted business outcome. Most, if not all operators have shown they have a strategy and plan in place for transformation. Be ready to make adjustments along the way, but the end goal remains the same – a more automated and productive business that delivers a wide variety of digital services to consumers and enterprises.
Second, design for today’s services, and be flexible to what may come tomorrow. One cannot avoid the fact that two-speed architectures and their medium-term impact on legacy are unavoidable; it will always be a consideration when upgrading infrastructure and systems. However, to completely transform its business, the new DSP must execute a technology roadmap that can accommodate the existing business needs provided by the legacy system, while at the same time plan for its eventual retirement.
Next, ensure that the newly transformed business can scale. Today’s innovation will become tomorrow’s re-engineering if the technology is unable to scale to support millions of customers, multiple channels, and a wide variety of services.
If scale can be guaranteed, then prioritise the process. Plan for infrastructure and systems rationalisation to streamline operations and reduce costs. Carefully evaluate business processes before implementing new systems to achieve efficiency, not just functionality.
From here, ensure there is an engagement with reliable partners that benefit the business. Gone are the days when an operator owns everything and delivers only its own services. Choose the right vendors and solution providers that can contribute to a successful and comprehensive network, OSS/BSS and customer facing system transformation. Also ensure that service delivery partners see a stronger benefit of working with you and your customer base, than trying to connect with customers on their own.
Lastly, and most importantly, ensure that all of these steps still put the customer needs first. Transformation initiatives must focus on creating the agile digital user experience (on-demand, online, real-time) for each customer by ensuring that all people, processes and technologies within the operator are aligned around a common goal; to deliver digital services to any customer, on any device or end point, and ensure the customer journey is personalised and impactful.
The author of this blog is Paul Hughes, director of strategy, Netcracker Technology