“Many organizations assume complexity is inherent,” remarks Catherine Michel in her talk at the BCN 2017 Latam Summit. “That complexity,” she continues, “is then built up…into [an organization’s] own operating infrastructure.”
There’s no doubt the communications industry is marked by complexity; there’s little that’s simple about offering a dizzying array of digital services to a vast and ever-more-demanding customer base. But there’s also no doubt, as Michel suggests, that this complexity is often overestimated and magnified by organizations who neglect to use the tools available to simplify the systems they have in place.
How, then, might legacy systems – laden by obsolete, slow and inefficient practices – reverse these cumbersome business models?
Agility. It’s a term that seems to have invaded every CSP (Communications Service Provider) boardroom – one that is used with such frequency that its actual meaning is often blurred and misinterpreted by even the most experienced industry pro. What does agile mean, then? Speed? Certainly. Insofar as it hastens services and erases logistical roadblocks, an agile approach to B/OSS projects is, without a shadow of a doubt, defined by speed – and the inherent power of that speed.
But that’s only half the story.
Defining the Agile Business
Something that’s “agile” is more than just something that’s fast. Agility encompasses a set of fundamental practices that underpin the new approach to providing communications services, all branching towards the goals of reducing costs, decreasing time to market, and enhancing customer service.
What, then, does the modern DSP do to become agile? Here are five ways that your organization can embrace agility.
To be agile – and to embrace the power of the digital revolution – the modern CSP must:
1) Be Catalog-Driven
The new generation of consumers – the digital natives – demand a seamless, up-front selling and servicing process.
When we talk about a service provider that embraces the digital natives, we’re talking about an organization that encapsulates their business – the things they sell, the services they offer, what they have in their portfolio – and articulates it in the clearest terms possible for the customer. Why? Because every agile digital service provider clearly defines and standardizes what they’re selling.
There are a variety of benefits to a catalog-driven approach, but few have a greater impact than simplifying, clarifying, and expediting all interactions with the customer.
2) Embrace Your Ecosystem
When you sell in omni-channel and when your services are underpinned by a consistent customer experience, your digital garden starts to grow. But these agile business processes aren’t just outward, customer-facing executions. Emphasizing the value of every end-contact with a customer lets you start to exploit your network investment, and suddenly an amazing growth in your partner ecosystem can begin to flourish.
When agile business practices are used to consistently and persistently define what your business does, your name becomes synonymous with those services, allowing your portfolio to be more easily interpreted by relevant partners.
Embrace over-the-top providers of content, devices, and new services and incorporate them back into your own portfolio. DSPs connect what they can sell with other ecosystems.
3) Be Omni-channel
Building an underlying consistency around business processes that define how customers interact with your portfolio deepens customer loyalty, boosts sales, and enhances your exposure. When every contact point with the customer is driven by a consistent business process, it helps DSPs embrace create a seamless customer experience.
Being an agile business means selling seamlessly through every sales channel so you can reach customers when and how they want to be reached.
4) Be Context-Aware
Agility is to speed what intelligence is to context. When you have a set of services that tell you – regardless of the interaction or channel – what is required to sell a product to a customer and get it delivered, you have a far deeper insight into the sales process from start to finish.
Think about it this way: when you know who your customer is, what their location is, what’s in their existing portfolio, what their financial details are, and what their availability/serviceability requirements are, you have an incredibly powerful and insightful set of data. But you have to act on it.
Armed with this data, the agile DSP strikes – automating processes that target customers based on what offers they’re eligible for and compatible with. Regular systems gather data. Agile business systems propose actions to execute on that data with powerful customization – and therein lies the remarkably powerful difference.
5) Deliver Flawlessly
You’ve simplified, standardized and rationalized what you’re selling in your catalog. You’ve created data-driven rules for what’s required, what’s compatible, and what has to be available at the time of sale and delivery. Now, by the time you create the order for upfront selling, everything’s pre- and post-validated – everything is compatible and feasible for delivery across any channel. It’s the pinnacle of an agile business: it’s governed by an orchestrated order management process that produces automatic, actionable commands.
The fallout rate is low-to-none because you’ve assured feasibility from the get-go, ultimately meaning your customer is satisfied from start to finish. Easy interaction on their terms (in their channel of preference), customers understand what you sell, have received a simple timeline, and then they get it.