Giorgio Migliarina is Accenture’s Communications & Media Lead, and Growth & Strategy Lead CMT AAPAC, and will be sharing Accenture’s comprehensive digital playbook for CSP’s at TM Forum Live! Asia in Singapore next week.
In his opening presentation, he covers pervasive networks and SDN transformation, and will articulate the steps telcos need to take to accelerate digital transformation. He plans to discuss how networks can intelligently connect digital, operations, technologies and strategies for the future.
In this interview, we spoke to him about the challenges of digital transformation, suggested approaches and the role of virtualization.
Register today to join this session and to learn more about Accenture’s Digital Telco Transformation Playbook and how the company is helping firms to navigate their digital journey.
TM Forum: What are the main challenges when it comes to digital transformation for telcos?
GM: The biggest challenge is adjusting the mindset of the organization so that it looks at things differently. This includes changing the way people interact, work and acquire new skills to take advantage of the latest technologies. Next is managing the growing telco ecosystem and accepting that it is no longer confined to four or five big vendors, and as such refining their approach to partnerships. Telcos can no longer innovate via requests for proposals (RFPs), but need to adopt co-creation, and leverage the strengths of the ecosystem ‘smartly’. Redefining new business models and addressing new competitors is an ongoing task, while handling legacy technology alongside new IT is hugely demanding.
TM Forum: When it comes to managing legacy technology and building new IT, what are the alternative approaches for telcos as they transform?
GM: Communication Service Providers (CSPs) need to increase revenue, improve customer experience and decrease costs simultaneously. If they are to thrive they must change the way technology enables the new business models that will drive revenue.
The ‘gold standard’ of customer experience is set by the over-the-top (OTT) players and the digital natives, rather than by other CSPs. CSPs lag behind in this vein, and are outspent by digital natives up to 20:1 on systems that are focused on customer preference. It’s hard to compete! However, a lot of customer experience enhancements can come from relatively low-cost process improvements; using the same systems but adopting cross functional, agile methodologies focused on addressing customer pain points.
With the operating income of these improvements, CSPs can tackle more investment-heavy initiatives. Another approach is to focus on defining new products and services on new infrastructure, so that you are unencumbered by existing legacies. For demanding digital first customers, this requires CSPs to exploit virtualization, the Internet of Things (IOT), articifical intelligence (AI) and analytics.
Finally, it’s not just about killing the old and reducing cost. CSPs should look overall into having a platform based approach to networks and IT that is agile, intelligent and responsive.
TM Forum: What roles do network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) play in this transformation?
GM: NFV/SDN contribute both to cost control and flexibility in responding to customer expectations. NFV/SDN business cases today are just starting to become attractive, it will take some more time for the industry to fully capture the full potential of savings and productivity improvements, especially when you have to integrate across multiple network vendors. What’s certain though is that SDN and NFV, are absolutely key to accelerate time to market and provide the responsive and programmable network capabilities, that are prerequisites for self-service, performance-aware services that customers increasingly expect.