Are you sick of hearing about “digital transformation?” Good, you should be.

It’s been used ad nauseam over the past several years, as CSPs across the globe have heard about their need to transform to meet the changing needs and expectations of their digitally savvy customers. At Comptel, we’ve certainly said our fair share about the topic, starting two years ago, with our first book “Operation Nexterday” and continuing with last year’s edition “Nexterday: Volume II.”

However, you are defined by what you do, not by what you say you will do someday. Fortunately, it appears that plenty of service providers have heeded the advice and taken action to become Digital Service Providers (DSP).

Leading DSPs have implemented new strategies aimed at increasing customer engagement, adding rich, dynamic services from outside traditional telco boundaries, improving market competitiveness and gaining new network advantages and operational efficiencies.

Put simply, digital transformation isn’t on the horizon – it’s happening right now. If there is any advice you need to take seriously, it’s to stop overthinking the necessary change and start doing it. Most frequently, we have seen the most forward-thinking service providers embark on two essential and transformative journeys: the digital customer journey, and the digital service lifecycle journey.

The Digital Customer Journey

Implementing new strategies, capabilities and models that will enable you to offer truly individualised B2B and B2C customer engagement across the whole customer journey, provide living digital services that are created and sold at the right moment, and win the hearts and minds of digital customers.

The struggle of being truly omnichannel and delivering good customer experience has led to situation where the average net promotor score (NPS) for a global CSP is as low as 6, compared to new market entrants and overthe- top service providers (OTTs), who are closer to 70. This gap is huge and scary. The only right decision for any CSP is to focus on the digital customer journey and make customers happy again. Every service provider CEO and executive needs to commit to saying no to bad customer engagement.

The Digital Service Lifecycle Journey

The evolution of telco networks has come the inflection point and the introduction of living digital services is at hand. With the introduction of software-defined networks and end-to-end hybrid service delivery models, operators will achieve new levels of innovation, flexibility and agility. This will improve their ability to compete with internet-scale players like OTTs, while also improving service delivery costs and allowing them to dream bigger from a service perspective.

No one knows what the service and competitive landscape will look like in a few years. Looking to that future, we at Comptel want to make sure CSPs don’t make the same mistake again and build a new set of “franken-systems,” monolithic technology architectures provided by a single vendor. These are yesterday’s solutions, and they don’t work anymore. DSPs need to focus on transitioning from physical to virtual, closed to open and taking services from the ground to the cloud and so on. These are all aspects of Nexterday and every CEO and executive needs to commit to saying no to a monolithic future.

The top service providers in the world are making changes to their business along these two lines. As you evaluate your own business, are you on either journey right now?

Transformation is still an important theme in digital telco – you won’t hear the word any less over the next few years. But, ideally, operators will soon view transformation less as a massive, vague vision statement and more as a series of immediate, actionable steps they can take to improve their business.

Remember: it’s time to stop overthinking and start doing.

Ari Vänttinen, Comptel
Moving Telco companies in Europe and Asia from ground to cloud. Born 1969, M.Sc. (Economics). Joined Comptel in 2014, member of Executive Board since 2014. Has previously held various marketing executive and management roles at McAFee and Stonesoft Plc since 2010. Before that management consultant at Talent Partners 2007 – 2010 and marketing management and business development roles at Nokia Networks 2004 - 2007.
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