The telco industry is undergoing a fundamental shift, with new opportunities emerging on network services and network virtualization. As the demand soars, they find tremendous growth opportunities and pressing challenges in maintaining high-quality service and customer satisfaction. The confluence of new technologies such as edge, cloud, and 5G creates significant opportunities for telcos to encounter the challenges of today’s fiercely competitive markets and meet rising customer expectations.
COVID-19 is a wake-up call for companies to accelerate their digitalization and cloud transformation. Most industries have redefined the business landscape with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML). This has influenced surgery, made vehicles autonomous and helped install intelligent factories with Virtual Reality capabilities. Not surprisingly, it is the telco industry that has helped revolutionize the way all organizations create value. The telco industry has been forced to choose between tinkering around the edges or taking bold steps forward with advanced digital technologies. Telcos that choose wisely will be able to create new opportunities and leap ahead. At the same time, those who do not may find themselves left behind.
To design a unique, value-added role for themselves in a post-COVID world, operators must first define ‘reimagined telcos’. Thinking outside-the-box helps. It is recommended to have a “greenfield” approach. Create a clear, vivid picture of how Telcos will reimagine the following five critical areas to transform into Intelligent Enterprises.
- Core Business and Service Models
As hybrid networks, edge computing, and complete cloud migration become a reality, how we connect in an increasingly mobile world will matter. Operators will need new ways to generate revenue from their assets. They cannot just sell network services, but also outcomes like security/resilience, measured by performance on cloud data stores.
- Customer Experience and Engagement
New customer experiences are the norm as digital natives set a new benchmark for customer service across industries. Operators can capitalize on recent behavioral shifts and rethink their approach to providing customers with more satisfying solutions to deliver faster than ever before.
- Talent Management
The telco industry is not like other tech companies. Though it has unique structures, businesses cut through established decision-making frameworks to enable change to happen much faster and pervasively; this will be critical for future success. In addition to hiring new skilled workforce, there is a need to provide the right training and identification of talents to catalyze the change.
- Network, IT, and Data
Data and analytics will be the new driving force in telcos’ success. The industry has always relied on data to some extent. Now it’s going towards advanced AI algorithms that can automate tasks or even learn from human decisions over time, so they become smarter themselves.
- Stakeholders Relationship
Operators have played an essential role in society throughout the pandemic, connecting people to work and family and helping create features like contagion heat maps and virtual clinics. As we advance, there’s an opportunity to cement this critical societal role by engaging stakeholders and offering public health, education, and connectivity across communities.
The telco industry has had to undergo many transformations over the years. Operators have transformed themselves into able companies, not just in one day but over time with consistency and patience for the change – to drive down costs while still introducing new digital channels or deploying the latest technologies as they become available. The next wave of change for operators is expected to be more fundamental than ever, with the next decade becoming the era of telco disruption.
Telcos need operational excellence and revenue stream diversification so that they can continue offering quality services while staying competitive on price points. And lastly, digital connection throughout all aspects of a company’s business will enable it to become an “Intelligent Enterprise.”