Features and Analysis

From going vegan to going digital: What’s your 2016 resolution?

Ahead of his participation at TM Forum Live!, Amdocs’ Vincent Rousselet looks at what communications service providers can learn from New Year’s resolutions.

So, did you manage to quit smoking, stop drinking caffeine, and go to the gym more? If not, you’re not alone – by the time we get to February, for a third of us, those optimistic New Year’s resolutions will have fallen by the wayside.

But here’s a resolution that stuck.

Last year, my eldest daughter, then 16, suggested we go vegan. It would, she rationalized, have four advantages: it would be good for us, and good for the planet, we would discover new foods and flavours, and we would possibly also make new (vegan) friends. To soften the blow – my wife was born in Argentina and was raised on steak for pretty much breakfast, lunch and dinner – we agreed we would do this for one week, every month. And one year later, we still do! In fact, we are considering upping it to two weeks a month for 2017.

Why? I’d say it’s because we had agreed on three things in advance:

  • The four outcomes we wanted
  • A pragmatic, measurable change of behaviour,
  • To take our time.

I think there’s a lesson here for communication service providers.

According to Ovum’s Clare McCarthy, 82% of executives in our industry have identified digital transformation as an immediate and critical objective. The enthusiasm is palpable but what’s driving it? What’s the objective behind “going digital”?

In their recent Gartner report, Ed Thompson and Jake Sorofman make a strong case for customer centricity to be the end goal. Customer experience, they write, will be a sustainable source of competitive differentiation. In a digitally-defined world, I would argue (as do many operator CMOs), that customer experience is the only source of true advantage. Everything else – device, network quality, price – can be either copied or bettered.

And just as with the Rousselet household’s transformation to veganism, telecom executives are being pragmatic about the duration of their transformation. In new Amdocs-IDC research results unveiled this week about operators’ thoughts, concerns, expectations and strategies regarding digital transformation, 50% of C-level and other senior decision makers predict it will take them more than five years.

To paraphrase Lao Tzu, a journey of 1,825 days (or five years) begins with a single step, and a good place to start is to structure your digital transformation around your answers to four strategic questions:

  1. What form will your customer engagement take?
  2. What new services and offers will be relevant?
  3. How can you build and monetize a data-centric business model?
  4. How can you reduce time to market and time to value?

For 2016, make customer centricity your business resolution. Or go vegan.

Vincent Rousselet will be taking part in the panel discussion: ‘Creating a first-class customer journey in a complex value fabric‘ at TM Forum Live! 2016


About The Author

Vincent has more than 20 years of strategic and operational marketing experience in IT and telecommunications.

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