A year ago, we began to evangelise about operators’ transformative journeys toward becoming the perfect digital company. We branded this journey as “Operation Nexterday”. To be honest, we never thought it would be such a groundbreaking initiative, but the figures do not lie.

Almost 5,000 copies of last year’s Operation Nexterday book have been distributed, 500 decision makers participated in our Nexterday workshops around the globe and the grand finale in 2015 was when nearly 50 communications service provider (CSP) brands from 40 countries attended our anti-seminar, Nexterday North, in the slushy and (literally) cool city of Helsinki in November 2015.

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The whole industry has come to an inflection point where thinking ahead, again and beyond has become the permanent state of mind, where transformation and innovation are a practicality and not just an aspiration. Looking ahead into 2016, one inevitable conclusion must be drawn: 2016 must be the year of execution.

It is the year when operators take what they have learned about the opportunities of tomorrow and put fresh new strat- egies into action, re-crafting legacy institutions into modern, disruptive forces and reshaping the nature of digital experiences. From here on out, the mission is to finish what we started and build the perfect digital company.
Are You a Sitting Duck, or A Fighter?

There are two ways to navigate in the perfect storm of transformation and disruption brought on by digitalisation: by display- ing leadership, or surrendering to crisis. Operation Nexterday is the playbook that tells you how to navigate through leadership, with steps on how they can build a better customer experience.

If we look at the recent digitalisation success stories across different industries, common factors emerge. First of all, winners have their eyes on what’s next – not where it was in the past or where it is now. This foresight requires creativity, intuition and courage – qualities you can’t learn in business schools. Historically, the telecom business has been driven by CAPEX concerns and risk avoidance, where return on investment and business case calculations preceded any major decision. Unfortunately, this mindset fits poorly with what’s needed in Nexterday.

Secondly, winners have realised that getting ahead of the curve cannot be achieved just by developing and improving what already exists. Sooner or later, every industry will hit a wall – a “disruption break” – and we need to fight back before it is too late. Fighting back means disarming potential disrupters by finding the next curve first. The challenge is typically that the people who brought their companies to their current states are the most adamant defenders of the status quo, and they are unwilling or unable to find the next curve in disruption. They become sitting ducks.

Thirdly, winners are typically headstrong. They love to chal- lenge the status quo and make life difficult for those who are un- willing to adapt. They are ready to push aside the establishment and say “Long live the underdogs.” These companies thrive on finding different and better ways to do things in areas that others might others might find intimidating.
A practical example of this is the way marketing campaigns, sales and customer care interactions are built. If the well-established and the leading campaign management systems (CMS) have scored dismally low in “customer satisfaction” rankings for operators all over the world, it would be plain silly to continue relying on those playbooks, CMS technologies and unknowledge- able vendors. Something radical needs to be done.

Now, here’s the big question: In the middle of the perfect digital storm, are you a sitting duck or a fighter? Comptel has made up its mind and taken a stance. We live in Nexterday – we are strong-willed and will fight until the establishment falls.
Nexterday, from Aspiration to Execution.

In 2015, our customers and partners were still focusing on the big picture and mainly wanted to discuss the four fundamental transformation themes we introduced in our first book. In 2016, we will move towards execution, with and for our customers. We built this execution framework around the customer experience and its different sub-experiences. Together, these experiences form a cyclical chain of customer experience:

Interaction Experience + Buying Experience + Delivery Experience + Service Experience

Introducing Four Parallel Transformations
To become a lovable brand and a perfect digital company, and to revitalise their business and regain their disruptive spirit, operators need to transform in all four areas in parallel.

  • Interaction Experience: Transforming from a mass market approach to a personalised omni-experience
  • Buying Experience: Transforming from static and slow to elastic and accelerated service lifecycles and innovative monetisation models
  • Delivery Experience: Transforming from ground to cloud in service orchestration and fulfillment
  • Service Experience: Transforming from big data and standalone analytics to Intelligent Fast Data

Transforming the Interaction Experience

The first and the most profound transformation in the new playbook for Nexterday is the move away from mass market ap- proaches to a focus on the Segment of One and the “consumerisation” of interactions. We hear a lot of operators talking about their customers, but many seem only to describe them as numbers. Listen to yourselves! Conversations about customer segments, ARPU, subscriber numbers and churn rates are not what you’d find in a truly customer-driven culture. We need to talk about how we can better interact with each individual customer, not a generic, poorly understood grouping of customers.
Digitalisation has created a generation of empowered, en- gaged and demanding buyers – “Generation Cloud” – who don’t follow service providers’ rules and instead define the digital mar- ket as they see fit. All these customers want are highly person- alised digital services and content that are served to them at the perfect moment. Generation Cloud resists one-size-fits-all service plans, and wants to create their own. Who wouldn’t? These con- sumers are less and less tolerant of mass market approaches, and brands applying them are experiencing increasing levels of customer dissatisfaction, churn and inefficiencies.

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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