Globally, telecom operators have been engaged in digital transformation programs for almost a decade, with a range of views on what it means to transform and the best way to go about it. In the related whitepaper that this blog is covering, we emphasize the need to digitally transform the core business process of telecom operators, namely: 1) producing and 2) monetizing products and services, as referenced by the Enhanced Telecom Operations Map (eTOM) business process framework. Adopting eTOM concepts enables a consistent globally recognised approach from which to compare and contrast the status of digital transformation among telecom operators.
Driven by a need for greater agility, coupled with defence against potential disruptive new entrants, digitisation has become a core strategy for many industries. Digitisation helps industries to reconstruct their service model and enable operations methodologies to become more agile and efficient.
The telecom industry has played a key role in enabling industries to digitalise, yet often, telecom operators themselves have not maximised the benefit of digitalisation and are “leaving money on the table”. As a consequence, telecom operators are vulnerable to disruptive new entrants with fully digitised business models.
Telecom operators have digitised processes for support functions and enterprise management but only a few have tackled digitisation of the two core value creation processes of producing and monetizing products and services. Major transformation programs that have been initiated by telecom operators involve enhancing customer experience by increasingly shifting customer interactions to mobile apps and digital self-service. Competitive pressures and more challenging economics mean telecom operators must accelerate digitisation of these two core value creation processes to grow enterprise value.
Digitisation will empower the alignment and synergy among the telecom operator’s strategy, business and network through transforming SIP and OPS processes. The entire value chain must also be included by an interconnected ecosystem of vendors, sub-contractors and channels. A new model of ecosystem partnership, openness and collaboration will be possible and the business relationship between telecom operators and vendors will be reshaped and more agile.
Data has become a driving force for business success and is even more important as the telecom industry evolves towards maturity in 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). Telecom operators need enhanced capabilities in utilizing AI, Big Data and algorithmic models to effectively integrate and process the massive volumes of data generated by sales and marketing, networks, and from third parties. The opportunity is for all divisions of the telecom operator to benefit from these insights. A data driven decision making culture is needed at the corporate level, where rapid and more accurate decisions can be made at the right time.
Network Planning, Deployment and Operations & Maintenance process need to be fully digitalised and automated to improve efficiency and shorten time to market. Telecom operators need to enhance network planning accuracy using cell level AI traffic forecasts to proactively apply all required capacity and coverage expansion activities in parallel before congestion occurs. The entire planning and delivery process must be streamlined, automated and monitored online in near real-time through digitisation and made available in a single view platform. The sharing of data and insights empowers different teams to take the required action, at the right time. Executives will have clear visibility to both producing and monetizing products and services. Digital transformation undertaken in this way will ensure customer experience is taken to new heights and investment returns are maximised.
Digital transformation is a MUST, and not an option for telecom industry. For telecom operators to unleash the power of digital transformation, a shift in focus is needed by first recognising that the two core business activities of creating and monetising products and services must first be aligned then digitally transformed end-to-end.
— Kourosh Ghassemi, Principal Consultant, APAC, Omdia