What does the word “disruption” mean to you? It’s undoubtedly laced with a few negative connotations: ideas of agitation, of forcing change, and of disturbing old ways of life all spring to mind. Nobody wants to be “disrupted,” especially if that disruption means they’ll have to drop their old business routines, rethink everything about them, and summarily toss them out of the window.
No industry, no company, and no professional is completely immune to the tidal wave of change brought on by “digital disruption”: the type of change that happens when new digital technologies and business models shift the status quo of how goods and services are exchanged. Think Uber, think Skype, think mobile phones writ large.
Business has always been a game of anticipation – though anticipating the next phases of the world’s digital transformation isn’t exactly a straightforward task. But if you look around, there are companies who are already doing just that. They’re companies that don’t just stand by and watch technological advancement; they don’t just react to changes in contemporary communications – they enact them. They trail-blaze, they spearhead, they innovate. The ability to adapt is, more than ever, a critical skill in the world of CSPs; considering the global changes bearing down on the industry, it’s likely to be one that decides many companies’ very existence.
TELUS is Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, boasting $12.8 billion of annual revenue and $12.7 million subscriber connections.
|HQ||Vancouver, BC, Canada|
|Chief Executive Officer||Darren Entwistle|
As part of its multi-billion dollar investment in Canada’s telecommunications infrastructure, TELUS has begun connecting homes in one Canadian city to its fibre optic network, a move that will, according to TELUS executive VP Tony Geheran, “dramatically improve Internet speed and capacity for residents… as well as health care facilities and schools.” Why? “Fiber is the future,” he observed. The TELUS Pure Fibre network is one of the world’s most advanced communications networks of its kind, producing radically increased web speeds: up to 150 megabits per second.
Create, sell, deliver. It’s a mantra that emphasizes the agility needed for modern digital service providers to actually succeed in rolling out a project or service. Speed-to-market means rapidly packaging and launching quality products to customers, but that all falls by the wayside unless it’s just that: rapid. Fibre networks illustrate how digital disruption isn’t just the source of conceptual changes in how we understand technology. It’s a catalyst for very real and practical changes that are transforming the technological infrastructure used by service providers. If fiber is the future, then companies better start preparing for it.
T-Mobile is the USA’s third largest wireless carrier, serving 71.5 million customers and operating with annual revenues of $37 billion.
|Chief Executive Officer||John Legere|
Phone scammers stole $7.4 billion from some 27 million victims in 2015. It’s a digital epidemic and a serious security challenge for all modern CSPs. T-Mobile’s recent response, called “Scam ID”, runs a security check on its customers’ calls using a database of scammers’ numbers to issue a warning during incoming calls.
It’s a brilliant example of a product-centric approach: one that lets modern service providers respond with agility to address their customers’ challenges. Rapid and effective customer service is a key differentiator of the new generation of CSPs: not laden by complex B/OSS, they’re not only keenly aware of the customer’s experience, but aggressively and perpetually seeking to improve it. Scam ID is logical, sensible and simple – but most importantly, it was rolled out seamlessly to millions of users overnight. That kind of rapid implementation encapsulates the clarity, consistency and agility that define modern digital service.
Likewise, it represents the omnichannel customer experience in action – a catalog-centric approach that simplifies the complexity of multi-network, multichannel and multi-device environments by simply giving customers what they want, when they want it, and where they want it.
By far the leading name in Japanese telecommunications, NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation) is the third largest CSP in the world.
|Chief Executive Officer||Hiroo Unoura|
NTT recently announced a partnership with Japanese auto giant Toyota. Together, the companies are creating high-speed communications technology for “connected cars”: self-driving, autonomous vehicles equipped with smart technologies. It’s an understandable collaboration; both CSPs and automakers are hungry for data from their customers as vehicles become increasingly connective.
One of the key pillars of digital disruption is the emergence of the “Internet of things” (IoT), the global network of physical devices, vehicles, and buildings that are embedded with digital systems and software enabling them to collect and exchange data. Service providers, though, are often puzzled by the question of how to harness the IoT’s revolutionary power; a modern CSP needs to innovate, but that innovation has to be compatible with the existing digital ecosystem. The IoT has inconceivable potential to organize data, predict patterns, and exchange information seamlessly – and even do so completely free of human oversight. But these powers aren’t just statistics: they can end up delighting customers by producing real-world results: in NTT’s case, by giving drivers faster, more up-to-date, and more accessible information. Likewise, “connected” vehicle technology emphasizes the trend that, increasingly, it’s the products people use – and not the communications infrastructure itself – that will define consumers’ relationship with CSPs.
So, while these profiles highlight specific examples of how the world’s businesses are being disrupted digitally, what’s more pertinent is the philosophy behind these enterprising projects. If you’re a modern CSP, your services should be underpinned by the very same philosophy: instead of ignoring or waiting for the digital revolution, companies should be taking part in it. Don’t let your company just watch the digital revolution. Participate in. Take advantage of it. Revel in it.