Telecom companies have come a long way from the days when they provided basic telephony services. This sector is now a ~$1.5 trillion market that makes all communication possible. This sector is now providing internet services, mobile enablement, and network services and fulfilling the soaring demand for digital services. As customer demands evolve, this sector has to evolve and embrace new technologies too. It must modernize its tech strategy to leverage the multiple opportunities in the market and improve profitability while innovating to deliver greater value to consumers and businesses.
Telecom companies have identified the need for digital transformation to drive competitiveness in today’s complex business environment. However, legacy technology is severely impeding their capacity to pursue a digital-centric future with 70% of telcos struggling to integrate digital channels while others express concern over data security, short-term profit loss, and poor customer experience.
Updating legacy technology makes sense because telcos now must:
Leverage new, cutting-edge technologies to drive competitive differentiation
Giving legacy technology an overhaul is essential to drive competitive differentiation in a cut-throat business environment. Technologies such as AI, M2M, and big data have the potential to disrupt the telecom landscape and enable those operating in this space to improve their business opportunities, increase their customer base, and improve brand recognition opportunities in the face of rising competition from OTT platforms.
While a complete overhaul of the legacy systems might seem improbable at first, building a strategy that enables the gradual adoption of these technologies through applications and processes is a good starting point.
Identify new revenue streams
Increasing competitiveness demands telecom providers proactively identify and capitalize on new revenue streams. At the same time, it is equally important to identify and plug revenue leaks. Legacy technologies and systems are usually siloed and fail to provide a comprehensive 365-degree view of all revenue interactions.
Modern-day technology applications come to the rescue here and provide comprehensive, data-backed insights into performance, areas of improvement, and new revenue streams. This becomes essential since MVNOs are facing stiff competition not only amongst themselves but also from the rising proliferation of OTT providers.
Elevate customer experience
Driving elevated customer experience is another frontier to conquer for telecom operators be it by improving service and driving personalization or making the right product or service offerings.
Modern-day technologies, for example, can help telecom operators upsurge their revenues on SMPP Bulk Messaging, reduce operational costs, and enhance the customer experience. Using the right technology infrastructure, telcos can also elevate enterprise customer experiences by ensuring that the business connects with the customer more seamlessly.
Offering capabilities such as 5G, robust A2P messaging, or enabling RICH messaging also needs a technology upgrade as legacy technologies are not capable of handling the demands of these services.
Drive security and compliance
Given the increasingly complex regulatory and compliance landscape, telecom providers need to drive greater data security. That apart, telecom companies must also work towards improving their security posture to address grey routes and making the network safe as enterprises move towards hybrid work and mobile payments adoption accelerates.
Legacy networks and tech stacks are now unsuited to meet the needs of an expanding threat landscape. Network security attacks, for example, have been a point of concern and remain so in the face of rising cybersecurity threats. Network virtualization is in fact, imperative to thrive in today’s threat landscape to allow operators network slicing to separate network resources and guarantee greater security.
Proactive route testing, home routing, and re-routing capabilities are also essential to improve the security posture. It helps operators analyze the information exchange between two parties and identify discrepancies that reveal suspect routes and direct proactive attention to the same.
Address enterprise needs proactively
Enterprise needs are changing as the world of work continues to experience constant disruption. Digital transformation for telecom operators thus becomes non-negotiable if they want to improve their topline and fulfil the demands of the new normal.
Telecom companies now need to address enterprise unified communication needs along with the usual suspects of connectivity and messaging and develop their capabilities to provide greater customization across services.
Whether it is enabling e-KYC, improving security, providing customized billing, etc.- they need new technologies such as AI and ensure that their IT systems can adapt to the changing needs. Legacy technologies and systems, given their monolithic nature, make it harder to drive agility in today’s fast-paced business environment.
Telecom companies need to identify how they will integrate with legacy technologies to leverage the advantages that new technologies and digital transformation offer. Telecom companies have experienced the greatest challenge in a generation where they have to keep businesses and individuals connected while meeting unprecedented demand for connectivity. Moving along the path of digital transformation and updating the legacy stack is the only way forward.