Most CSPs understand the importance of vertical industries, and the enterprise segment more broadly, for a successful 5G return on investment. But how are CSPs’ existing systems and assets fairing in terms of providing zero-touch enhanced CX to newfound customer segments?
A recent survey by Telecoms.com found out that more than three in five industry professionals believe the main business driver behind 5G is the support to the digitalisation of large enterprises and IoT deployments. Additionally, a study by TM Forum found out that 87% of Communication Service Providers (CSPs) believe 5G is important or critical to their revenue growth strategies.
Against this backdrop, enterprise customer experience (CX) expectations are also gaining in significance, so much so that many CSPs admit they need to upgrade their existing Business Support Systems (BSS) in order to support a quarter or more of the 5G services they plan to introduce. This means optimising BSS for the new B2B requirements is expected to be at the top of the agenda for telcos.
Underpinned by a new take on digital transformation, four key pillars can fast forward CSP business systems into the 5G era. Namely: new technical BSS capabilities, service personalisation through AI, new ways of working through automation, and outcome-based monitoring and progress evaluation.
1. New technical capabilities simplify complexities
While complex new service capabilities such as low latency and network slicing unleashed by 5G standalone bring about new commercial opportunities, they also demand agile, configurable, scalable, and flexible solutions from CSP business systems.
In terms of agility, for instance, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system requires integrated end-to-end and lead-to-cash process flows which can manage customers’ needs in real-time. They also must consider the diverse needs of enterprises and provide automated service configuration. Small office or home office enterprises will likely demand self-service configuration while larger enterprises often have their own support desks and will require self-sufficient service configuration with mass-manipulation functionalities. There is also a strong need for scalable and flexible operations systems. These will support enterprises to continuously upgrade and improve their system functionalities, as new needs and opportunities arise.
Enterprise CX, just as in the consumer segment, must also deliver on the frontend effortlessly, no matter what channel is being used. As such, omnichannel digital frontends enable customers to engage with a product or service seamlessly and consistently from any device and the most convenient channel to them.
Traditional BSS spaghetti systems hamper such much needed flexibility and maximum configurability for services. In expanding their offers to the B2B sector, telecom operators that are yet to embark on or complete their digital transformation journey will struggle to service their customer’s unique needs. As network assets evolve even further, future-proofing business systems through cloud-based, open, modular and composable solutions will ensure changing and diverse service needs are taken care of.
2. Service personalisation powered by AI
The digital transformation of IT and network systems in the past couple of decades has increasingly unleashed a key aspect of customer service management: data as a currency. Telecom operators around the world regularly collect a host of data on their customers. However data on its own, regardless of volume, adds little to no value to the operator if it is unstructured. Advanced analytics can structure and evaluate data so that it is returned to CSPs as digestible and strategic information which can also be monetised.
Using data collected from customer interactions and by monitoring new customer channels allows advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to discover customers’ real desires and needs. Structured analysis from such data collected then enables service providers to understand customers’ user behaviour, predict purchase intent, anticipate needs, and personalise offers and services in competitive and unique ways that were unfeasible before.
3. New way of working - speed and efficiency through automation and employee empowerment
Digital transformation, as the word transformation implies, is a journey rather than an isolated flick switch technology. This means transformation starts at the heart of the business including employee mindsets, working processes and approaches, as well as the technical side of it.
While employees are often presented with fait accompli transformation goals, these may seem unrelatable to specific divisions or individuals’ own careers or their immediate tasks. Yet, relying on actual employee experiences from different business segments is valuable for the transformation and can enrich a business with improved solutions and ideas. Getting employees involved and empowered in new processes can also improve productivity and work culture.
For instance, in response to the ever-changing customer needs driven by the COVID-19 pandemic Turk Telekom embarked on an omnichannel transformation journey creating a new e-commerce channel. In that the Turkish fixed and mobile operator transitioned all its purchase and care functionalities to one single online service platform to ensure long-term customer acquisition and retention in a new digital environment. New, simplified, automated processes were created based on detailed discovery of customer pain points, where field experiences and inputs from employees played an important part.
As part of this process, Turk Telekom also saw the unification of business divisions that previously acted in silos. This has helped create a digital culture across those involved business units that is now underpinned by speed and efficiency.
4. Outcome-based success and KPIs measurements
As mentioned earlier, digital transformation is a journey which sees an organisation continuously progress with technological evolution and advancement of work processes. As such, outcome-based objectives should be defined for each business and technical area and progress should be monitored, measured, and evaluated.
In doing so, organisations should consider the main areas they must focus on, both on the technical and the business areas, and ensure the KPIs set out are interconnected for an aggregated business outcome. This means, businesses must be able to quantify the bottom line, understand impact on revenue and profitability as well as market share and efficiencies gained.
Monitoring and understanding impact on the bottom line will in turn allow to identify which projects are more scalable and which digital initiatives should be prioritised.
HOW CAN ETIYA HELP IN YOUR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION?
Etiya provides turnkey, end-to-end digital transformation to CSPs worldwide with its CX-focused and AI-driven Digital BSS. Its products have been successfully implemented and proven in Tier1 service providers and have the scalability to handle millions of orders per day. Its microservice-based architecture, DevOps methodology, and AI-driven portfolio provide a competitive advantage to its customers by bringing agility, scalability, and flexibility into their businesses.
Etiya's business processes and business entities are certified to the latest TM Forum standards, TM Forum Frameworx version 21.0 and achieved the highest number of conformant TM Forum Business Process Framework Level 3 Certifications and SID entities of any vendor.
It incorporates innovative AI technologies, with natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning services, including prediction and recommendation, in its portfolio. It has won many awards from 3rd party independent institutions like TM Forum with its product portfolio and the customer experience-based projects that are provided to customers.