Most Telcos have recognised that Mobile Broadband is the biggest growth segment in the telecommunications market .The next generation of customers expects their services highly personalized, with names and images of their own choosing, integrated with their community and able to support self–expression and viral models
Telcos confront rapidly evolving new technologies even as they grapple with network privatization, liberalization, and significant changes in the regulatory framework. While most operators have mastered their own profitability economics and subscriber value, many lack insight on the economics of adjacent or competing business models. Consequently they fail to understand how to monetise the Data Tsunami.
The current “smokestack” view of network and service management is not well-suited to the demands of today’s converged networks and services. Increasingly revenues are being lost to poor systems integration and operational problems, such as database inefficiencies. These problems are contributing to increased operational costs and delays in service introduction.
Today, we see many leading operators around the world making public statements about their commitment to transform but addressing different drivers: transforming the legacy network to support , growth assets, transforming cost structure (CapEx, but mainly Opex streamlining business processes, customer experience product portfolio, focusing on investments for growth.
Some carriers are replacing large parts of their infrastructure to remain the low–cost provider. The carriers are also changing how they go about network renewal, shifting from a product to a program focus, and creating a quite different kind of platform. (BT has been a very public example with 21C). Starting from the center and working outwards towards customers, the easy items marked for renewal are:
• Optical Transport
• MPLS Core
• Softswitches and Media Gateways
• Multi–service Edge
• 4G Wireless Access
• Wired Access va Fibreoptic
• OSS / BSS
There are 3 catalytic technological drivers for the 2020 Network and which must be taken into consideration when we embark on the transformation journey :
1 : A new dynamic approach to networks that creates the sense of seemingly infinite capacity by pushing beyond current scientific, informatics and engineering limits to create a new cloud integrated network (CIN) that not only provides the essential input and output mechanisms, but also, intelligence.
2:The rise of Internet-connected machines and devices that will send and receive a massive amount of new digital information, as well as reshape the manufacturing landscape with a diverse array of 3D printers — reversing the current trend in developed countries of off-shoring manufacturing to lower-cost countries.
3 : New data analysis techniques based on inference of needs and information, instead of seeking “perfect knowledge”. New augmented intelligence systems will use the smallest amount of digital information, derived from the massive amount of data collected, to infer what is needed in each situation and context, to assist − not replace − human intelligence.
Transformation means transforming from a bureaucratic to a customer-focused and market driven corporation capable of competing in a liberalized market .To create workable blueprints for guiding this transformation, we must take into account the web of inter-relationships between markets, products and services, core processes, technology and systems, organization, staffing, metrics, and services models.
Network transformation encompasses strategic technology, architecture, and implementation plans to gracefully transition access, aggregation, routing, and transport networks to an all IP infrastructure. The transformation program must set a clear vision for the entire organization as it improves operational excellence and moves towards the defined target architecture.
The Transformation agenda is based on the following pillars :
1. Analysing the current and future technology investments from business and technical viewpoints. In addition review the key customer drivers and applications that generate fast ROI based on understanding the needs of target markets. Conduct a network inventory to identify and retire and redundant network elements
2. Investigate how to incorporate Web 2 / Telco 2 paradigms into the creation of your product portfolio. Web2.0 is the new generation of web services, characterized as more open, flexible and participatory in terms of creating content, applications and collaborative alliances.
3. Strategise capabilities to overcome OTT net players to make money from higher value added services by implementing “ smart pipe “design. We must assess every aspect of the network from its underlying hardware and systems to its configuration, capacity, traffic flow, and survivability.
4. Perform a thorough evaluation of the operations, identify the gaps between the current methods and the future vision, define new job functions and processes, prepare a road map for transformation, and facilitate the migration process.
5. Streamline the architecture with the judicious use of web services and services-oriented architecture (SOA). In addition to streamlining the network management systems environment, platforms and tools that enable service and customer management need to be introduced.
6. People and human resource skills must be upgraded to meet the needs of the new organization structure and new IP based technologies .Nimble, efficient operations rely on modern business processes, management practices, and human resources
7. Have a clear view on the risks and formulating mitigation strategies. Risk assessment must extend beyond the usual financial and regulatory risks to consider the wider environment in which the organization operates and the full extent of its operations, now and into the future. A failure to shift the business model from minutes to bytes , misunderstanding the changing customer mindset and insufficient insight into latent data assets are such risks.
At a minimum, telecom companies must learn how to work at a much faster pace. That means, in part, evolving from today’s relatively regimented organizations into more free flowing entities that support concurrence of engineering, project management, sales, and service. Carrier cultures will also need to expand their risk tolerance, more readily accept constructive mistakes, and resist the impulse to reject breakthrough thinking as impractical and unrealistic.
The most adaptive company cultures will balance their traditional emphasis on execution with the new imperatives of fostering speed and creativity, nurturing the many different kinds of talent required to actualize convergence, and creating the cohesion to make it all work together.
Transformation means retooling the network for Virtualisation , Cloud , CXM, reconfiguring the Organisation structure , revamping the IT Core with analytics capability , creating a new business model based on thorough understanding of the digital consumer….YES EVERYTHING AND MORE.
Sadiq Malik ( Telco Strategist )