Customer service has always been a top priority for telco companies; however, this has also been a common source of user complaints. Inconsistent customer support, disturbing networks, massive network latency, poor messaging speeds, and unsatisfactory digital experiences have hindered the quality of services provided by telcos. Nonetheless, in this juncture where competition is at its peak across the telco industry, and customer experiences are no topics for compromises, it has become imperative to embrace digital transformation in order to raise value for telco brands and offer perfect user experiences.
As organizations realize this truth, the recent past has witnessed the telecom industry at the forefront of technological innovation, transitioning from traditional telephone lines to the latest 5G wireless networks. Additionally, as phones have become indispensable, catering to entertainment, e-commerce, and productivity requirements, the industry has geared up to build systems that can match this need at a rapid scale.
What are the benefits of digital transformation in the telecom industry?
An effective digital transformation roadmap offers a wide range of benefits for telco companies that include—
Improved customer experience
Digital automation has been a major driver of rich customer experience and customer relationships through increased engagement, cross-selling, and up-selling opportunities. Moreover, automation can help evolve offerings to be at par with changing customer needs and ensure seamless issue resolution.
Some of the elements helping this are:
- Digital CRM that helps serve as a holistic 360-degree platform for managing customer interactions
- Digitized customer journeys
- Interactive omnichannel self-care with integrated chatbots for social media platforms that allow customers to engage 24*7*365, making them self reliant
Obtaining accurate data-driven insights
Digital automation helps deliver critical data insights for continually measuring customer experiences, modifying plans and offerings accordingly, and modifying business strategies and goals. Additionally, telco companies leveraging Business Intelligence (BI) insights help improve ROI and revenue. Also, a BSS platform offers granular and customizable reports for advanced customer segmentation, and by leveraging the data from these reports, one can create customized and personalized offerings, improve the plan pricing, and build customer loyalty.
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Automated processes and accelerated sales conversions
Automating workflows and processes enables enterprises to reduce operator dependence on employees, lowers the risk of errors, and keeps operational costs low. Digital automation in telcos helps automate sales processes for reducing workload, saving time, reducing OPEX on creating workflows, setting up alerts and notifications for tracking sales pipeline, centralizing all day-to-day operations, organizing customer databases, and much more—these help in improving sales conversions and enhancing brand value.
Agile and virtualized network environment
Digital transformation helps enterprises adapt swiftly to changing market requirements with innovative services by creating an agile network environment. With increased agility, response time gets faster, enabling telcos to stay ahead of their competitors.
An agile network replaces the traditional hardware through Network Functions Virtualization and a software-based approach for executing multiple network functions. The advanced BSS transformation solutions are cloud-native and NFV-compliant, assisting telcos in reducing operational costs, increasing agility, and reducing OPEX and costs by eliminating continual expensive hardware upgrades.
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Importance of digital automation amidst the global recession
The recent economic downturn has massively impacted enterprises worldwide with severe financial constrictions. In several scenarios, organizations have laid off employees and shut down different departments to cut down various costs; this often results in inefficient utilization of existing frameworks and reduces investments into required technologies.
At this juncture, adopting the right digital automation technologies and telco testing solutions can be a boon for telco organizations, enabling them to significantly reduce operational costs, maintenance costs, and other associated costs while ensuring superior customer experiences.
The focus areas that require digital automation include
The core business model, including the value pool and service model
As hybrid networks, cloud migrations, and edge computing alter traditional enterprise-grade connectivity, the operators need to modify the way they monetize their assets. From selling network services, they need to shift to selling outcomes as gauged by cloud performance, security, and resilience.
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Approach to customer retention and engagement
As today's digital and cloud natives set a new benchmark for customer experiences, it is recommended that operators capitalize on the recent behavioral shifts for rethinking approaches to serving, satisfying, and delighting customers.
Network, IT, and data
The success of telco companies can drive their capabilities to leverage data efficiently and deploy advanced data analytics, automation, and AI technologies to help drive new sources of business growth.
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Improving relationships with stakeholders and society
Telco operators play a critical role in connecting people, and especially during the pandemic, they have been a major source of human content and also helped deduce critical databases, and heat maps, locate clinics, offer vaccination details, and much more. Moving forward, this creates a major opportunity to engage stakeholders and enhance global connectivity.
Ensuring operational and infrastructure excellence
An integrated and efficient telecom service provider helps capture the real-time value of data and simultaneously optimize the network's total cost of ownership and physical footprint to provide high-quality, stable, and reliable connectivity services. With a commodity-driven approach, teams can prioritize efficiency and reduce costs. Similarly, there are multiple approaches that can make digital transformation the most optimum.
What are the critical digital automation technologies that drive the success of telcos?
The following are some of the crucial digital technologies that are redefining the telecom sector
AI and machine learning
Artificial intelligence enables enterprises to optimize predictive maintenance, network maintenance, and customer service costs in the telecom sector. AL and ML algorithms help identify patterns in historical data and assist in predicting probable hardware failure risks through advanced algorithms.
Additionally, conversational AI platforms like chatbots and virtual assistants can significantly help improve efficiency in the telco industry by monitoring and managing large volumes of customer queries. Different AI tools help test user experiences, personalize them, and improve customer satisfaction with the ability to process and analyze enormous amounts of data while ensuring complete security.
AI also enables the detection of work issues and helps in self-healing and protecting networks from fraudulent activities.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) has significantly altered the roles of telecom service providers by enabling seamless connectivity between people and devices. Adopting IoT helps telecom companies in monitoring base stations and data centers remotely, which ensures minimal downtime for the network and improves business processes, and drives revenue.
One of the most crucial niches in the realm of IoT has helped offer incredible mobile and network services to multiple smart home mobile apps, devices, and real-time monitoring systems.
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Big data extensively aids companies in enhancing their decision-making processes and delivers accurate and more actionable insights for telco companies. For example, companies can leverage network traffic data for better evaluating and understanding user behavior that consequently helps improve the delivery of media content, improve quality of content, and, therefore, the overall user experience. And with increasing IoT technologies, telecom companies are obtaining voluminous data with the help of IoT sensors in mobile devices and apps. As a result, deploying effective Big Data technologies is essential for efficiently managing these data, deriving business insights, and evaluating customer usage patterns. By managing these efficiently, companies can utilize the data can for improving customer services, monitoring and optimizing networks, and achieving competitive advantage in the industry.
Robotic Process Automation
The telco industry is one of the biggest users of RPA technology. RPA provides opportunities to increase scalability and agility by eliminating repetitive and rule-based tasks for responding to customer queries, price-tracking, report generation, and rendering accurate results. Efficient use of RPA helps maintain the integrity, security, reliability, and safety of the telco services and helps improve brand value.
Today billions of people use smartphones to manage several vital tasks in their lives. Consumers are looking for high-capacity networks that ensure faster access to apps and richer quality services. This is enabled by 5G and wireless broadband that accelerates data transfer speed significantly.
WiFi 6 refers to an extended range of network connectivity that is reshaping the way we connect and consume information. This enhances the strength of earlier sessions of WiFi and improves efficiency, flexibility, scalability, and reliability.
Telecom service providers can utilize WiFi 6 to optimize traffic across the access networks. Additionally, WiFi 6 helps ensure improved signal strength for enabling IoT deployment and support the always-on-devices. It optimizes resource congestion across high-capacity networks, allowing seamless data transfer among IoT devices.
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How HeadSpin helps enterprises to streamline testing for the telecom industry?
HeadSpin closely works with leading telco organizations across the globe and helps monitor and improve the 5G user experience and OTT streaming experience, test data and messaging services, validate device compatibility and also deploy software edge.
With HeadSpin's unique data-driven test automation Platform, telco companies:
Perform continuous QoE/QoS assessment framework
- Monitor roaming client experience-inbound and outbound
- Ensure device-IS-carrier-app compatibility
- Build better digital apps for user experience & cost reduction
- Assure full streaming experience on OTT apps
- Test, monitor & analyze data, voice, and messaging services
- Drive/walk test for local experience – cellular/WiFi handoff
- Test, monitor & analyze data, voice and messaging services, and much more.
In the era where delivering perfect digital experiences is imperative for organizations, digital automation across the telco industry is crucial. This helps telco enterprises and their QA teams, SREs, CTOs, and developers to efficiently test the quality of telco services, network strength, content quality, messaging and calling features, and overall user experiences and monitor their performance and functionalities. Investing in effective digital automation technologies drives a continual improvement of the telco services,helps ensure optimal customer satisfaction and enhances the brand value and business ROI.
Q1. What are some of the major use cases of RPA in telecommunications?
Ans: Following are a few key telecom use cases of RPA —
- Network management
- Invoice and purchase order processing
- Manual sales order processing
- Expense control
Q2. Where is data analytics most utilized in the telecom industry?
Ans: Some of the primary applications of data analytics in the telecom sector include—
- Predictive churn analysis
- Price optimization
- Attracting new subscriber
- Fraud prevention
Q3. What are software-defined networks (SDNs)?
Ans: SDN refers to an approach that utilizes software controllers, which can be driven by application programming interfaces (APIs) for communicating with hardware infrastructure to direct network traffic.