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Digital Transformation Of Telco’s Reduces Cost

Paolo Colella, President, India Region, Ericsson talks about digital transformation of telecom operators and the potential of India market

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Paolo Colella has been spearheading the India operations of Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson since September 1, 2015. Colella, President, India Region, Ericsson talks about digital transformation of telecom operators and the potential of India market. Edited Excerpts:

What is Digital Telco transformation?
In relation to Service Providers , the term ‘transformation’ refers to a change in how the Service Provider interacts with customers, suppliers, and partners; and how the company competes in the marketplace. The prefix “digital” simply means that in a world where all-IP networks are pervasive, where Big Data and analytics are key to competitiveness, this transformation can only occur if it happens using the latest architectures, technology, know-how, channels and is user centric . To be considered a digital telco, an operator must provide a consistent experience across all customer interaction channels – ranging from mall-based service centers to the internet. Digital telcos should also be capable of seamless sales, upselling and customer retention – and provide subscribers with the highest possible levels of self-care. Other prerequisites include near real-time service delivery and activation processes, effective and integrated management of data assets from both within the company and external channels, and the ability to deliver the highest levels of customer experience.

Why should Telco’s consider digitizing their operations?
Telecom industry plays a key role in digitization across sectors and industries. Most organizations are dependent on telecom networks to provide online/mobile experiences personalized as per customers’ preference for experience enhancement and retention. However, the telecom industry’s self-digitization, in terms of how it interacts with consumers, has lagged so far. With emergence of Networked Society, consumers are increasingly expecting digital experiences from telecom operators much like other industries. Digitization provides tangible benefits to operators such as better customer experience, streamlined business processes and ultimately the ability to stay relevant to customers. It enables telecoms to design and invent products, services and discounts to match the requirements of each customer. Further, clubbed with omni-channel experience, customers will see value creation leading to superior consumer experience and hence retention. Digital transformation of a telco is enabling radically lower cost of operation.

Are there examples of digital Telco’s transformation that Ericsson has done recently?
Most operators, globally, are realizing the importance of digitization and its impact on overall business performance. We are working with many of our customers, around the globe, to help them adopt digital capabilities. In October 2015, Ericsson announced that Entel, based in Santiago, Chile, will undergo a Digital Telco Transformation that will position the operator for speed, efficiency and success in the Networked Society. The transformation will be enabled with a broad range of OSS/BSS solutions from Ericsson and its partners, as well as consulting and systems integration services that support Entel’s full business and portfolio.

The Ericsson solution will help Entel subscribers to carry out a wide range of activities digitally. For example, they will be able to find information online, compare offerings, make online purchases, and get fast and automated deliveries. They will also be able to receive promotions, share shopping and usage experiences, enjoy a seamless experience, use self-care or self-provisioning solutions, and self-configure services and devices.

Entel saw the need for a Digital Telco Transformation following a period of sustained subscriber growth and the acquisition of Nextel Peru, which resulted in disparate network operations. Through the transformation, Entel expects to provide consumers with a consistent omnichannel experience - thereby helping to increase its Net Promoter Score® while reducing the cost of customer interactions.

Entel also aims to reduce time-to- market for new product launches and empower business customers to self-manage their corporate accounts. Ericsson will automate and align back-office processes to reduce costs for Entel, while implementing and providing application development and maintenance for a comprehensive suite of Ericsson OSS/BSS solutions.

AT&T has launched AT&T Digital Life with Ericsson, which focuses on home solutions like home surveillance solutions and in home experiences. Similarly, Verizon, through its digital strategy, is focused on digital stores and on how to make digital experiences better than physical ‘in store’ experiences.

What sort of solutions and services Ericsson can provide to Telco’s?
We are combining consulting and systems integration services with the industry’s most comprehensive Operations Support Systems/Business Support Systems portfolio to support a telco’s digitization journey. We are enabling telco digitization through our offerings in cloud, analytics, product, solutions, system integration and services. With 66,000 services professionals in 180 countries speaking more than 100 languages, we are, supporting operators in creating competitive, attractive and appealing offerings for consumers.

How do you see India as a market? What sort of potential do you see in a market like India?

More and more operators are realizing the need to transform to Digital Service Providers, which will enable them to change the way they interact with their customers. Digital telco is a new operation model for creating services enabling Omni-channel sale success, improving operation agility and cost efficiencies. Herein, new products must be created from many moving and changing parts -- and brought to market quickly to give customers the services they want, when they want them. Ericsson is already involved with leading service providers to stream line their business process operations to provide up-to- the-minute, end-to- end order visibility. In addition, most of the operators are already looking at our advanced analytics solutions to better understand the customer; with increased capabilities to analyse data in real-time are as a first step to increase customer loyalty. As operators seek to boost their Net Promoter Scores, Ericsson’s patent-pending Service Level Index (SLI) offers a real-time view of how the customer experience measures up at any given moment, offering opportunities to make quick changes with positive impacts, and close the gap between technical KPIs and NPS.