OSS/BSS transformation in telecom is a shift from a product centric to a customer centric model with the aim to improve customer experience and hence increase loyalty. Bringing change in BSS is about enabling the systems required to improve customer experiences, while change in OSS orchestrates the technical side of things in a seamless fashion, ensuring quality and efficiency of operations, besides taking care of business and service demands. While legacy OSS/BSS were largely siloed, next generation OSS/BSS takes a more holistic view of operations enabling innovations and operational efficiency, driving OPEX/CAPEX costs down and improving financial performance.
Why fool-proof OSS/BSS transformation?
Unlike earlier, telecom operators now have to deal with increasing complexity resulting from decreasing ARPUs, highly competitive markets, complex products and increasing consumer needs and wants from their service providers.
Also, today, the customer is comparing their operator’s standard of service to that of the best in the industry and finding it short of their expectations. Things have come to a pass that the customer would rather choose not to report an issue than dial customer support and deal with an un-empathetic agent on the other end of the line. The only time when a customer calls customer care is when they have been overbilled or when there is a service disruption. The reality of the day is this – the customer is more loyal to their devices than to their operator.
Then, there’s the age old question – is there enough demand in the market? It seems there isn’t. In many parts of the world, the telecom market has entered the maturity stage, which is characterized by growth prospects that are few and far in between. In markets like these, operators are finding it tough to add new customers with unmet needs. Undercutting price hardly helps in the long terms as margins are already low. However, with customer loyalty at an all-time low, operators must find a way to differentiate their product from that of their competitors or risk becoming irrelevant.
Indeed, in the present situation, the biggest dilemma before the operators is – how to do more with less?
The answer to this question probably lies in the substantial telecom investment made on networks as well as on OSS/BSS. Operators must transform their OSS/BSS according to telecom realities of the day – linking organizational and technological silos and taking a more holistic approach to day to day operations. Any such transformation will not be complete without taking cognizance of the three important cogs in the organization – people, processes and systems.
Fool-proofing people, processes and systems
Ultimately, it is all about driving efficiency. It is about empowering employees to deliver efficiency and better customer experience, time after time. For example, operators can improve “first-time resolution rate” and decrease “average hold times” by providing a single unified view of customer’s usage of data and intelligent tools that would help in tracking and resolving the issue faster.
Similarly, fool-proofing process is about by establishing common ways of working, bringing in more automation and generally simplifying things in business process implementation. Automatic service fulfillment, service and network assurance, and increasing time to market lie at the core of OSS/BSS transformation. Better real-time reporting tools help in incident management and thus assuring network and services. It also leads to less system downtime and hence better customer experience. Similarly, operators can cut costs as well as increase efficiency by automating processes that are repetitive, high volume and that adds complexity to operations.
Finally, systems have to become convergent, service and business-oriented. For example, while tapping alternate revenue streams, operators are faced with the challenge of maintaining uniformity in their business processes and in customer experience, while ensuring minimal change to the existing ecosystem. With BSS transformation operators ensure uniformity across all major business processes like customer interaction management, billing and provisioning. This simplifies the overall business management and aids decision making via converged reporting and analysis.
By fool-proofing OSS/BSS transformation, operators can actually do more with less, improving customer experiences, managing costs and thus improving financial performance.