Like so many industries today, communications services are changing rapidly as competition soars, giving customers more choice and more power than ever before. Once fairly limited to telecommunications, the communications industry has expanded exponentially to include just about every way we can interact with each other remotely, from traditional voice calling and text messaging to OTT messaging, collaboration platforms and so much more.

There are a lot of moving pieces in the communications services industry today, so let’s take a look at some of the major trends we’re seeing.

Everything Is Going Digital

While network-based services will stay at the foundation of telecommunications, telco and other communications services providers are also focusing heavily on expanding their offerings to satisfy customer demand for digital services like data, voice and video.

But digitizing business is about more than modernizing products and services. It requires a detailed understanding of what customers need and an in-depth strategy to meet those needs. But the transformation requires significant internal work, including changes to processes and mindsets to support the customer-facing changes and ensure they’re sustainable in the long-term.

And, of course, once all that strategy and framework is in place, the final crucial step is implementing the right technology to enable the new processes and procedures that power the business’ digital transformation.

When it Comes to Change, Customers Are Key

The key purpose — and the key challenge — of digital transformation is to remain relevant to customers. While it’s often tempting to chase down the latest shiny new technology just because, that approach won’t drive success in the long run.

Instead, these companies need to shape their strategies with customers’ needs (and their constantly changing expectations) in mind, and then stand out to buyers as the top choice for a customer-centric service provider.

This is particularly challenging for Telcos, which Forrester data shows are not telecom decision makers’ primary choices for digital transformation partners. That doesn’t mean they can’t get there, but telecom companies that want to be top of mind for CIOs along with Amazon, Google, Salesforce and others, have their work come out for them.

Unified Communications Are Growing Rapidly

Unified communications platforms bring disparate channels together, making it easier for employees to message, share content and collaborate in real time, streamlining efforts and boosting productivity.

And demand for these platforms is growing fast, with research showing that 60 percent of global telecom decision makers planning to utilize or expand their usage of unified communications in the near future. This growth is largely credited to advances in network connectivity and cloud services, which encourage businesses to adopt unified communications technology as a subscription service, helping boost employees’ performance and experience and, in turn, enhancing the customer experience, as well.

OTT Messaging Is Everywhere

Would you believe that consumers today use our smartphones for communication more than for media consumption?

It’s true. It’s just that the waywe communicate has evolved, and along with old-school talk and text, we’re using mobile messaging platforms like WhatsApp or iMessage and IM apps — both standalone and embedded in our favorite social media platforms — to communicate outside the limitations of our phone plans.

And this isn’t just communication with our family and friends. Research has shown that nine out of ten consumers today want to use messaging to communicate with brands. Customer-obsessed businesses are catching on, investing in messaging platforms and pinging customers with push notifications at a higher rate.

Transformation Fatigue Is a Real Risk

In the communications services industry, like so many others, change is constant. But all that change can take a toll, and savvy companies are seeking ways to ensure their digital transformation comes without the fatigue that could jeopardize their efforts.

When we think about transformation and optimization, it’s easy to focus immediately on cutting expenses. But zeroing in too closely on cost-cutting can get in the way of reaping the benefits of transformation. While managing IT costs is very important, so is making strategic investments that empower employees to reap the full benefits of digital transformation. Striking that healthy balance between cost-cutting measures and investments is key to keeping employees engaged, streamlining back-office processes and keeping customers coming back for more. That’s what makes that transformation sustainable in the long term.

When it comes to that technology piece, Gotransverse is here to help. One of the consistent themes throughout every conversation about digital transformation is agility. Businesses need to be agile enough to respond to changing customer demands, to monetize ever-evolving offerings and stay ahead of the pack in a crowded marketplace. And one of the most important tools for achieving those goals is an intelligent billing platform that ensures seamless processes, from catalog to purchase to revenue reporting. To learn how we can help your CSP company update your billing as part of your digital transformation, we invite you to contact us today to schedule your complimentary, personalized demo.