Why Digital Transformation Is Crucial For Carriers

For modern telco operators, digital transformation is not simply a matter of technological innovation – it’s fundamental to their current and future business value.

There are myriad reasons why this is the case, chief among them the speed and scale of disruption that modern carriers face in their markets. Digital transformation is not a “nice-to-have” for telco firms. It’s now a matter of competitive necessity.

“Operators are facing unprecedented challenges and digital transformation strategies are imperative,” says Yang Yuan, Huawei’s VP of Carrier Delivery & Service in Northern Africa. “Networks become more complex, operations and maintenance (O&M) costs are increasing, experience requirements are higher, complaints are increasing, satisfaction is decreasing, O&M is more difficult, cross-domain complex problems are difficult to handle, new services are more frequent, and new business scenarios such as Fintech/ToB cannot be started.”

Yang says Huawei is investing heavily in helping carriers proactively solve those challenges and maximize their business success with a holistic, multi-pronged approach to digital transformation. That approach includes three pillars:

  1. The intelligent open platform (AI + big data + cloud);
  2. Personnel and organizational transformation (strategy, data, and application);
  3. Organization & process transformation (new organizational structure adapting to digital transformation.)

“With these three paths we will support carriers to focus on three values: increasing service revenue, improving experience, and improving quality and efficiency,” Yang says.

The three pillars also clearly reflect that Huawei’s approach is as much about business transformation as it is technical innovation – a carrier’s people and processes are as vital as its technology. Yang notes that carriers are particularly interested in seeking out Huawei’s business expertise.

“Operators are more eager for business leadership than technology leadership,” Yang says. “Huawei has built a complete business monetization system on the basis of business leadership, we can help regional operators to build digital intelligent platforms” through Huawei’s unparalleled mix of consulting, platform, and operational efficiency.

Huawei meets carriers where they are: Operators have unique requirements and challenges that must be accounted for to ensure successful transformation. One-size-fits-all strategies aren’t effective.

Instead, Huawei develops scenario-based transformation solutions based on carriers' specific requirements for different phases of the journey. Those phases can be broken down into three general timelines or stages:

Short-term: In the earlier phases, Huawei helps operators focus their digital transformation efforts on optimizing customer experience and satisfaction and optimizing O&M. Prioritizing value-added network construction and achieving network operational efficiency to improve ROI is a key facet of this stage.

Medium-term: In the middle stages, Huawei’s strategies expand to focus on digital service transformation and revenue growth, agile service operation, new digital service development, and energy saving/sustainability. A prime example of new digital service development includes the massive emerging market for FinTech and mobile banking services.

Long-term: Over the long run, Huawei focuses on “capability spillover” to enable industrial digital transformation, trusted data monetization, service asset capability spillover, and vertical industry-oriented solutions. The spillover effect generally describes the compounding benefits of transformation and innovation, accelerated by the existing expertise and capabilities of a company like Huawei.

Yang points out that Huawei has long been a leader in the ICT industry in terms of telecom technologies and standards. It is now bringing that expertise and trusted reputation to digital transformation, including the joint publication of a digital transformation white paper and a maturity assessment model that helps operators accurately evaluate their current and future state..

“Based on worldwide practice, Huawei has built a five-dimensional and five-stage assessment model [L1 through L5] to evaluate the maturity of operators' O&M digital transformation from the dimensions of strategic objectives, process optimization, data & platform, organization talent, and value measurement,” Yang says.

Looking ahead, Yang adds that Huawei will work with operators to promote digital operations based on their core business processes.

“Through [our] global best practice experience and asset accumulation, Huawei will help operators achieve rapid, smooth, and quality transformation at all stages,” he says.

The Northern African market is still largely untapped in terms of digital transformation. While more than 20 Huawei customers already have digital transformation initiatives underway, Yang says that the majority of carriers are still in “wait-and-see” mode. That’s about to change, as more and more carriers realize it’s “transform-or-die” and begin accelerating their initiatives.

“Most networks in Northern Africa are still in the early stage of L1 to L3 transformation,” Yang says. “Benchmarking with leading carriers in L4 to L5 transformation maturity in the industry, regional operators still have a large gap. Regional carriers need to accelerate their transformation to adapt to the challenges of [their] business, transform [rapidly], and make profits earlier.”

In other words: The potential is virtually limitless.

This content is sponsored by Huawei.

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