Something very interesting is happening in the Telco digital transformation market. Increasingly, our customers are focused on moving faster, going to market with digital pilots and new brand launches rather than engaging in the usual open-ended technology discussions around building a digital capability. This new action-oriented focus on moving quickly has changed the nature of our Telco digital transformation engagements. What will the mobile app screens look like? How are key customer journeys supported out-of-the-box? And, what core systems must be integrated to launch a minimum viable product in less than six months?
451 Research, a preeminent information technology research and advisory company with a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, recently completed a whitepaper looking at some of the drivers behind this shift to faster execution models. In their paper, they argue that Telcos need to reimagine their business and operating models to address customers’ increased expectations if they want to make the transition to digital. This step-change will require an investment in new systems of record and engagement, and a move to more agile product development methods.
We have seen this change first-hand in recently announced launches, including a new digital brand from a North American carrier and Ooredoo in Oman. In both of those operators, as well as others that we will be launching later this year, conversations involved both commercial and technical sponsors from the outset, and often included a CEO mandate to get things done as quickly as possible. As 451 indicated, we saw common threads across these recent deployments.
Ending the Slow Pace of Telco Digital Transformation
The executive teams were all frustrated with the pace of change in Telco and the long cycles between decision and execution. In each case, they created a new digital IT stack that operates independently of their existing infrastructure. This new stack uses a simpler architecture, modern configurable software and API-based integration. The new stack together with a dedicated team and a blend of digital and Telco skills allowed for rapid progress.
Getting Customer Experience Right
Consumers are getting frustrated by an outdated Telco experience model that is largely based on what legacy systems and processes can support. Today’s consumers want real-time access to services they can personalize and control, through an intuitive app, and they will move if they don’t get it. Our customers wanted to quickly incorporate many features from our demo app into their launch plans, as they felt this offered the type of on-demand experience required. The ability to configure these use cases on a platform without any coding allowed rapid prototyping and a quick transition from design to user trials.
As Telcos get a taste for these faster development cycles, we don’t see much appetite for going back to the bad old days of multi-year digital transformation programs, and we believe the speed of execution will increasingly be a key KPI for digital projects.