“To stay ahead of new agile competitors that aren't burdened with legacy infrastructure, CSPs are looking for new revenue sources from new service and business models. Digital transformation is finally in high gear.” - James Messer, Founder and CEO, Gotransverse in Forbes

In a recent article for Forbes, Gotransverse founder and CEO James Messer explores the telecommunications industry’s ongoing digital transformation — and its impacts on telecom businesses and their customers. Despite telecom’s reputation for being at the forefront of tech innovation in recent decades, he notes, the industry itself has been slow to embrace the changes that would bring them fully into our new, digital world. Instead, they’ve been hanging on to “legacy business and support models with hastily added web interfaces.”

But now, Messer says, communications service providers (CSPs) are shifting their focus toward agile, cloud-based systems, omnichannel customer experiences, and vertical offerings integrations in an effort to attract and retain customers in a rapidly changing, increasingly competitive market.

In his article, Messer highlights three trends he’s seeing as CSPs begin the migration into the digital age. Read the full article here

Integration and Expansion into Adjacent Markets

“To increase satisfaction and promote customer stickiness,” Messer says, “CSPs are also becoming multiservice providers and moving into adjacent businesses.” Customers can now purchase services — from cell phone plans to their favorite streaming subscriptions — individually or in bundled packages as disparate CSPs team up and integrate to provide personalized customer experiences with both on-demand and subscription services.

Of course, while these integrations and partnerships are growing more and more critical for attracting and retaining customers, they also complicate billing in big ways for CSPs:

“That means CSPs will need to be able to track revenue sharing, as well as paying taxes and related fees. Supporting dynamic revenue sharing requires agility, extensibility, and intelligent business and billing systems that only native cloud tools deliver.”

And it’s not just the revenue sharing that puts added pressure on CSPs to upgrade their billing endeavors:

“In addition to new services, CSPs need to support more data capacity options. More data demand from IoT and 5G mobile data, including 4K/8K resolution video content, is going to require providers to throttle bandwidth up or down and charge users for different capacities.”

Migration to Cloud Services

Between the complications of revenue sharing, the growing shortage of IT talent, and the agility required to keep pace with customer demands, Messer says CSPs are beginning to realize the limited benefits of using and maintaining a legacy billing system aren’t worth the costs and frustrations.

“CSPs are fighting a growth trend of reduced revenue per customer and higher churn rates. As average revenue per user (ARPU) decreases, the cost of billing using legacy systems becomes more of an issue. Hence the cost-to-invoice can quickly exceed the ARPU, especially with legacy systems. Part of the rationale for cloud migration is to abandon legacy IT infrastructures and address the growing shortage of IT talent.”

Native cloud-based business models, on the other hand, make it easier for CSPs to integrate third-party services, automate revenue sharing, minimize time-to-market, and dramatically reduce time-to-revenue.

Customer Obsession

As in any industry, telecom’s innovations and evolutions must be driven by a laser focus on customer needs and preferences. Today’s consumers have limitless options for just about anything they want to purchase — including telecom services. They do heavy online research before making any purchasing decision, and they’re looking for transparency, convenience,  and streamlined experiences at every turn.

“To retain customers and expand sales, CSPs need to enhance every touchpoint for the customer, making it easier to subscribe and change services on demand. That includes automating business processes such as new subscription offerings, billing, and payments as part of the overall CX.”

According to Messer, CSPs’ only hope for meeting customers’ demands for seamless experiences and on-demand services (including billing) is to reinvent themselves “as a single-source provider of a diverse range of digital services, powered by a native cloud infrastructure.” And, of course, that includes the billing platforms that empower rapid growth and change. You can read Messer’s full article on Forbes, and when you’re ready to talk about how Gotransverse can help your telecom company embrace the digital transformation, we invite you to call us to schedule your complimentary, personalized demo.