Saturday, 20 October 2018

Leveraging the power of digital to redefine service delivery and customer experience in B2B telecommunications

A knowledge network article by Vivek Manglik, SVP & Head Voice, Mobile, Roaming Solutions, Airtel Business
Monday 08 October 18

Today, innovative digital platforms are enabling service providers across all businesses to sprint ahead towards a digital tomorrow that offers enhanced business efficiencies, convenience and agility. Everyone is increasingly accessing products and services on demand via digital channels and mobile apps and multiple industries are being transformed by this unprecedented wave of consumerization. Telecommunications is aiding and driving this evolution with state-of-the-art technologies. The sector itself is also transforming extensively on the B2C front with rapid use of digital platforms and processes which has enriched the lives of customers with a digital experience. The conventional B2B segment is however still largely offline. The user experience therefore remains suboptimal, as the manual processes for client acquisition, onboarding and support in offline channels often hamper operational efficiency and customer convenience…

Today, innovative digital platforms are enabling service providers across all businesses to sprint ahead towards a digital tomorrow that offers enhanced business efficiencies, convenience and agility. Everyone is increasingly accessing products and services on demand via digital channels and mobile apps and multiple industries are being transformed by this unprecedented wave of consumerization.

Telecommunications is aiding and driving this evolution with state-of-the-art technologies. The sector itself is also transforming extensively on the B2C front with rapid use of digital platforms and processes which has enriched the lives of customers with a digital experience.

The conventional B2B segment is however still largely offline. The user experience therefore remains suboptimal, as the manual processes for client acquisition, onboarding and support in offline channels often hamper operational efficiency and customer convenience.

This needs critical attention and telcos must tweak their playbook to be able to deliver a superior, differentiated B2B customer experience across all of their touch points across services especially wholesale voice services. A failure to do so will prevent them from addressing growing customer demands for better transparency, faster speed, enhanced reliability and increased coverage–in terms of product breadth and geography reach. Adopting a low-touch model will help the industry scale up the wholesale voice business, without hurting margins.

Recognizing the need to keep step with the fast-evolving consumer and technological trends in the digital online ecosystem involves not just creating online platforms but also the business model and organizational structure which would support the new digital way of working. Thinking ahead of time and designing a strategy for creating the digital experiences that customers will expect in the coming years is imperative. Success of strategy is dependent upon working closely with customers and collaborating across business units and functional boundaries through constant experimentation and a willingness to learn in order to create unique digital experiences -all with an eye on the ultimate goal of creating value. 

In line with this, we have also been on a transformational journey to simplify business, adapt to digital ecosystem and transform the way wholesale telecom industry operates. We are constantly endeavouring to design the ‘businesses of tomorrow’ keeping pace with the ever evolving business scenario and consumer behaviour. We recently launched a first-of-its-kind carrier digital platform which enables global carriers to do wholesale voice business with us at the click of a button. The innovative digital platform [www.airtel.in/global-voice] offers paperless sign-up, quick voice interconnects and real-time traffic analytics for global carriers across the world. To offer a unique model to global carriers, the platform not only allow customers to buy voice termination services from Airtel but also enable them to propose sell rates for their target markets. The platform received stupendous response with 100+ Interconnects in 100 days of launch and continues to be a success story. 

The wholesale carrier business is not just about buying – it is also about selling and innovating with the end-user in mind. At Airtel we are thus constantly endeavoring to put this equation in place with innovation at the core of the transformation. We have thus enabled deeper collaborations across business units and functional boundaries with an objective to create unique and superior digital experiences with a focused goal to empower customers and deliver greater value to them. In parallel, we have also revamped our business model & organization structure to support the digital way of working.

Reimagining a company’s entire way of doing business is a strategic process and requires stitching together of not just the digital strategy but other elements as well - customer experiences, products, services, operating model and the requisite technology to design and implement the strategy. The most challenging exercise is to change and replace legacy systems. At Airtel, we have put in a lot of time and effort in conducting strategic workshops on not just technology up gradation but also on fostering a mind-set of learning, experimentation, and discussions with customers focusing on agility, transparency and execution excellence. We have connected with customers to gauge their requirement and understand what would delight them so we can scale up promising options faster.

In short, digitization is an opportunity to rebuild their market positions, reimagine their business systems, and create innovative offerings for customers. If we were to try and simplify this further, the three important pillars to digitization would be - Digital Sales, Digital Service and Digital Processes. These pillars can help service provider to leverage digital technologies to develop innovative platforms that have transformed the service experience for its wholesale voice customers.  These innovative digital platforms will disrupt the way wholesale voice business are conducted and will offer enhanced business efficiencies, convenience and agility to customers by reducing time cycles by 90%.  

Digitization - in the very near future, businesses will be able to use relevant and real-time 360-degree data on customers to deliver personalized products, services, rates, that will help service providers in making the entire customer journey – an exciting experience

About Vivek Manglik
 
Vivek is Senior Vice President & Head Voice, Mobile, Roaming Solutions for Global Business at Bharti Airtel Limited. He spearheads strategy, innovation, and development across voice, mobile solutions, roaming and global carrier partnerships.
 
Vivek is seasoned business leader with 24 years of work experience in telecommunication industry in variety of roles. He also represents Airtel in Bridge Alliance. He has been instrumental in driving digital technologies to develop innovative platforms that have transformed the service experience for wholesale voice business.
 
About Airtel Business
 
A leading telecommunication provider and third largest mobile operator in the world, Airtel is engineered for speed and dedicated to delivering tailored solutions for your business. We provide state-of-the-art voice, data, cloud and digital solutions unlocking the business value in emerging markets with complete agility, transparency & execution excellence. For more information click here
 

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