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Becoming a 2020 CSP: How to seize the opportunity

In this new video, TM Forum’s Deputy CEO, Nik Willetts, discusses the need for operators to transform to capitalize on the “boundless” new opportunities that are opening up and how TM Forum will help them get there.

We’re all familiar with the mega-trends which are impacting every business on the planet. Unprecedented evolutions in technology are enabling higher levels of entrepreneurship and brand new business models. The communications industry, which has underpinned so much of this digital transformation, must transform too.

TM Forum’s Deputy CEO, Nik Willetts, comments, “We are on a very clear path to becoming more than just a communications service provider industry to being a true digital service provider industry, providing a whole suite of digital infrastructure capabilities. We can be that provider and act as the digital services enabler. That requires us to embrace new platform-based business models…where we are enabling business and commerce for others and playing a core role within an ecosystem — serving as partners not just providers.”

The 2020 CSP

Nik describes the ‘2020 CSP (communications service provider)’ as, “a company that can provide the underlying infrastructure and a rich set of capabilities that meet customers’ expectations and powers many of the ecosystems we are looking at today, [such as smart city, smart health etc.]”

He adds, “Simply put, we are taking businesses on a journey from being a traditional business of the 20th century to a 21st century software-defined business that is underpinned and has IT at the very core of how it operates.”

Capitalizing on 5G

Nik stresses that the transformation needs to be holistic: It’s not just about technology. Take 5G, for example, which should bring huge opportunities for communications service providers and be a truly “ground-breaking technology”. However much of the focus today is on how we technologically innovate – on things like spectrum and regulation and the underlying technology.

Nik comments, “These are all important topics but 5G monetization demands business transformation, not just new technology, to capitalize on the opportunities. Only delivering on the technology as we have done traditionally will mean that we miss many of the true growth opportunities that 5G represents.”

For example, companies will need to look at the structure of their organizations and the culture: “We have to embrace people who can really change the game in our businesses,” Nik says.

We also have to think about radically new ways of automating operations through new age OSS/BSS systems and the automation of operations overall. And we have to think about how we change the approach and the position of the customer, using concepts like design thinking to put out customer at the center of our process and then use deep analytics to understand that customer lifecycle, continuously engage them and provide services they want dynamically at the time they want.

Nik says, “All of that leads us to a business that is continuously evolving; one that embraces open innovation and agility and increases the ability of the whole business to respond at the speed of the market. That allows us to drive truly adaptive digital businesses.”

TM Forum is developing a new Digital Business Maturity Model that will help companies understand where they are in this complex transformation journey and to map out the next steps. It will also enable them to benchmark themselves against others in the industry and to find the right practical tools in TM Forum’s rich asset library.

Find out more here.



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Sarah is a freelance writer and editor with an interest in new technologies and how they impact our everyday lives.

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