Sure, saving money and doing what we do already better is important, but the real point of transformation is being able to exploit new opportunities. The universal principle is build everything round the customer and strive to improve constantly.
At the end of a hectic but enlightening few days in Nice at TM Forum Live!, a bunch of stalwart delegates came together to pool their thoughts about how customer centricity and analytics could accelerate business success over the next year. TM Forum’s Aaron Boasman facilitated.
He highlighted the following challenges for using analytics and improving digitization with the focus predominantly on the end customer:
- having the right tools for, and to balance, personalization;
- bringing business models back to the customer;
- gaining C-suite support is essential to drive transformation within companies and transform the wider industry;
- learning how we can best exploit AI;
- properly implementing and enabling omnichannel;
- security and guarding against data breaches;
- innovating through machine learning and analytics; and
- using APIs to enable the customer journey.
What did we learn this week?
Delegates were asked to discuss what they learned this week from a business, market, technical and innovation standpoint. Here are some of their insights:
- “We need to define the customer experience, have a consolidated vision and get the organizational support. We’re going to find a way to communicating visions across partners and break through silos to get business on board.”
- “We thought about what service providers can offer in terms of security, privacy and identity.”
- “Service providers need to revitalize business models and to collaborate with telco and other industries, and they need to define the value of their customers.”
The challenges ahead
Next, attendees considered what challenges they face in the long- and short-term, and what they could perhaps do in the next round of Catalyst projects:.
• Regulation will become more and more intense.
• Maintaining reputation remains a crucial challenge for commerciality.
• OSS and BSS need to be much more flexible to help ecosystems shed as much complexity as possible.
• Firms need to align when introducing next-generation solutions while trying to build and maintain customer loyalty.
As one attendee stated: “We’ll need to figure out how to mine and then turn data into information that will help companies add value to the customer experience.”
Food for thought
Boasman then suggested these high-level considerations that underpin the overall needs of customer centricity and analytics:
Customer experience in open ecosystems needs to be carefully considered.
Business models are changing and will change the consumer experience.
Open data enables new analytics driven markets (for example, in smart cities).
Personalization is becoming a reality with the power of analytics and omnichannel.
Omnichannel enablement is key in a digital world where telcos compete against digital natives.
APIs are becoming an important part of the customer experience and analytics discussions.
NFV/SDN have a big operational impacts so their potential effects on customers need to be thought through carefully.
Data analytics are key to the successful operation of SDN/NFV.
Privacy and security are still causes of concern for customers.
Advances in machine learning and data analytics will power omnichannel.