4 steps to start the digital reinvention journey for your telecom organization

By Saul Berman

The telecommunications industry is in the throes of a digital shake-up as digital invaders upset the status quo. These digital disrupters are players of scale, effectively competing with telecom organizations by benefiting from what internet-based ecosystems and “as-a-service” technologies create. To stay relevant in this evolving landscape, telecom organizations must evolve along two trajectories: serving the customer as a digital services provider (DSP) and serving an extended ecosystem as a digital services enabler (DSE).

To become DSPs and DSEs and thrive in the face of disruption, telecom organizations need to embrace digital reinvention. This transformation is no longer defined by the products telecom companies sell, but rather by the experiences they provide for customers, employees and business partners.

The most successful digitally reinvented telecom organizations establish a platform of engagement for their customers and partners, acting as enablers, conduits and partners. All this has to be supported by a digital reinvention plan and framework. In fact, digital reinvention is no longer a choice: It’s a survival skill.

Time for a new way of business

For successful digital reinvention, organizations may need to pursue a new strategic focus. This focus would require new customer experiences, business models, ways of operating and talent.

Customers are now the biggest influencers in business strategy. Their expectations have never been higher, and the companies they interact with are held to constantly increasing standards. The new digital economy requires reinvention for the sake of customers and their experiences. For example, after moving from physical media to digital storage, companies looked to digital transformation to incrementally improve their customer experience. However, the new digital economy requires a holistic reinvention of the customer experience. It’s all about constant progression with the customer always in mind.

Not only should your front-facing interactions with customers improve, but you must also discover new ways for your company to work. Even the best digital customer experience can be undermined if employees don’t have the resources they need to provide further support. This means gaining actionable insight to make decisions based on metrics and using technology platforms that are fit for that purpose. Reinvention is never finished — it’s a continuous journey that calls for ever-evolving support from new technologies.

Start your digital reinvention journey

Digital reinvention is not easy to take on alone. It’s vital to look at the process holistically rather than in segments. All aspects of reinvention fit together like a puzzle. Investments made in one area will not be realized without investments in another.

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For example, you can’t implement new systems without training your workforce on how to use them. Organizations often have a hard time orchestrating the entire process and end up with noncohesive pieces of a plan.

Here are four steps to help you get started on a holistic digital reinvention journey for your telecom organization:

  1. Envision the possibilities: Have envisioning sessions to map out a digital reinvention blueprint. Use these sessions as a chance to bring in external viewpoints, gain better understanding of customers and imagine unanticipated circumstances.
  2. Create pilots and prototypes: Use agile development to create pilots and prototypes to test on customers, quickly get them to market and obtain feedback for iteration. Build a foundation of scalable capabilities as you build experiences. Focus energy on scaling successful innovations and quickly taper off unsuccessful ones.
  3. Expand your capabilities: Further develop successful capabilities while continuing to build and deploy applications that support your digital reinvention initiative. As impediments and limitations emerge, continue receiving feedback and devising iterative strategies to add new, successful capabilities.
  4. Orchestrate your ecosystems: Stay focused on the needs and expectations of customers. Create and foster a network of people to produce and execute on that customer vision. Ecosystems should encourage innovation and create captivating customer experiences.

Successful digital reinvention starts with a holistic approach. From there, you can craft a solution that is uniquely designed to beat customer expectations and reinvention cycles through data analytics. By combining the right skills, experience, strategies and insights, you can become the next disrupter.

Written By

Saul Berman

Chief Strategist, VP & Interactive Experience Partner for IBM Global Business Services

Saul J. Berman, Ph.D. is the Chief Strategist, VP & Interactive Experience Partner for IBM Global Business Services. He was previously Global Lead Partner for the IBM Strategy & Transformation Global team within IBM Global Business Services (GBS). Saul built a forward thinking…

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