Unlocking future growth for CSPs
By: Manoranjan ‘Mao’ Mohapatra, CEO, Comviva
The telecom industry has been facing strong headwinds as competition from digital players and challengers is eroding the traditional business model. This is forcing communication service providers (CSPs) to accelerate time to market and deepen customer engagement by creating new business models, products and services.
As growth becomes the prime focus for CSPs, they are fast working towards reinventing themselves as digital platform enabler driving commerce rather than just a supplier of technology. And enterprise business is where most telecom service providers believe the next wave of growth shall emerge. With growth as the central context, there are three broad business priorities that CSPs are fast aligning themselves to unlock future growth:
- Being an enabler of commerce. CSPs are the new driving force of commerce, with their potential to become a centralized space for buyers and sellers. They can provide the necessary infrastructure for businesses to grow and flourish. Moreover, platforms are the new competitive battlegrounds. As 5G opens up an entire ecosystem for CSPs to involve enterprises, vendors, start-ups, and digital incumbents to develop unique products and use cases, there is no better time for CSPs to dominate the marketplace and platform models.
- Monetizing data. CSPs hold a valuable commodity in their hands—telecom bandwidth data. They can offer various services, including bandwidth-as-a-service, data analytics, network security, and cloud services for future growth.
- Providing the best-of-breed customer experience. What makes over-the-top media service (OTT) players so successful? It is their ability to blend smoothly into customers’ lives. Taking a clue, CSPs are looking to provide a seamless client management experience from onboarding and instant provisioning of compelling offers to delivering enhanced self-service and support to resolve queries, subscription renewals, billing actions, and more.
The business priorities are resulting in tectonic technology shifts for CSPs.
- Reinventing to a platform provider. Platforms are the new competitive battlegrounds. A well-thought-out marketplace platform will accelerate the entire business model for CSPs, delivering simplification, fast discoverability of services and differentiated experience to customers. CSPs must open their systems by adopting open APIs and cloud-native approaches to get there.
- Simplification of technology landscape. In a world where speed matters, CSPs must up their game. They need to simplify their monolithic technology infrastructure to match the speed of digital-native and OTT players to win new business. CSPs need a practical approach to simplification – investing in smaller-scale infrastructure that runs alongside existing systems and slowly migrating customers while delivering the existing experience.
- Adopting a machine-driven, zero-touch approach to customer experience. By adopting an automated, AI-driven zero-touch approach to customer engagement, CSPs can simplify customer service processes as everything happens in the background without customers having to think about it.
- Embracing low-to-no-code app development. Low-to-no-code platforms are democratizing how enterprise apps/ systems are built, deployed and extended. CSPs need to be on the front lines of the nearly no-code game to translate ingrained customer insights into a more purposeful customer experience
- Monetizing customer data. Data is the new oil, but CSPs have yet to find it. A single view of customers is still a mirage due to siloed and outdated data that only provide inaccurate information. CSPs must establish a data supply chain at the data generation point to mine, refine, distribute and monetize it.
We’re on the cusp of a new era for the telecommunications industry. The traditional growth models of ‘expanding the customer base’ are getting saturated, and expected to only worsen over time. This means breaking the conventional business-as-usual mindset and creating new business service models, monetizing data, simplifying the technology foundation, revamping the customer experience and embracing speed as a competitive differentiator.