Systems and networks that have served telcos well for years are starting to show their age and limitations. Meanwhile, new entrants have access to newer, feature-rich networks. Also, many telcos are experiencing low customer satisfaction.
We see two objectives for telco transformation: improving customer service and reducing costs.
Improving the customer experience starts with acknowledging that the old paradigm of technology stovepipes is obsolete and can't provide the required customer experience in a multi-service environment. The next step is gaining a deep understanding of how consumers actually want to use the telco network and how they want to order, report failure, etc. This can now be done in new, creative ways, including human-centered design and ethnographic research available through BCG Digital Ventures.
Remaining cost competitive and profitable requires telcos to transform their processes, IT architecture, and network infrastructure. This includes legacy systems that are costly to maintain and result in long lead times and subpar customer service.
A key challenge is finding a way to build a technology stack that is fast and fully integrates existing data without incurring undue risk. Another is staying consistent in how the network and IT stack are built and ensuring that the new system radically reduces complexity and cost.
While telcos have to determine the optimal scope for their operations based on well-known prioritization approaches, the amount of change required can be substantial. It can be painful to revamp legacy IT, network, product, and organizational structures, but the investment will pay off with next-generation resources that deliver faster, better customer service and higher productivity. Transformation also means reorienting managerial staff and reducing operational complexity through Smart Simplicity.
In short, a deep customer understanding, combined with a new, non-product-specific stack, can deliver the customer service and lower costs that are required.