In a continuously growing market such as telecommunications, operators around the world need to find a way to survive and reinvent themselves. With traditional services increasingly becoming commodities, offering CSPs only limited opportunities to differentiate themselves, space for competition, expansion, and increased market share are to be found instead in the B2B area.
Opportunities and challenges for the telecom industry in the B2B market
We believe that one of the keys to success in the B2B market is to understand that the needs and challenges of the telecom industry are different than in other sectors. This is true even between B2B clients, who may each have their own distinct business models, operational processes and requirements. In this respect, it is important for next generation telecom operators to understand the concept of customized packages, offers that are designed for specific customers. This means having the flexibility and openness to create a personalized portfolio for any customer that requires one.
Potential technology offers constitute another area on which CSPs can focus. This will depend on the country, market and level of development. For example, in a market where wireless technologies and infrastructure are out of date, new streaming or downloading technologies won’t work properly, however attractive they might be. This will result in very poor customer experience and lead to resentment towards the operator, which will in turn translate into higher churn rates.
Better SLA terms are highly appreciated by B2B customers too. This might include shorter response times, immediate substitution of SIM cards/devices, and service guarantees. These are particularly crucial in a world where M2M and IoT connections are in increasing demand.
Last but not least, telecom operators need to embrace the digital world, which means preparing systems and networks for the next stage in the M2M and IoT revolution, in which everything will be connected and remotely managed.
Becoming a next generation telecom operator
The concept of the next generation telecommunications operator encapsulates all of the ideas presented above. Such an operator is no longer a wholesale provider, but a business partner who understands the market and its needs, and can offer the appropriate solutions to B2B clients. This is possible only when the operator has the right network and systems in place, is flexible, offers professional services, and is open to alliances and partnerships to provide more content and services (Next generation operator concept from Machina research, 2015).
A robust and effective physical network is certainly a requirement for the CSP aiming to manage and provide all these features. But telecom B2B solutions are the real key, for without new generation IT platforms, none of this can be achieved.
Operators need a reliable, trustworthy and flexible BSS system in order to create new packages and bundles, and a customer interface that shows historical and proactive information, even providing advance notifications of possible problems with the service. Above all, such as BSS system must be capable of managing new digital platforms such as M2M and IoT, with flexibility at the level of charging, billing and invoicing.
On the OSS side, operators can benefit from a system that assists them in responding swiftly to device repositioning, rapid deployment of new technologies, and handling inventories at the product and service level well. This is an area in which Comarch has a proven reputation as a partner, not only in terms of providing IT systems, but also in respect of know-how and experience in many deployments around the world. It all translates into excellent consultancy services and delivery of the appropriate systems that enable CSPs to become next generation telco operators.