A challenge for many telcos, particularly incumbents and those that operate multiple business units like broadband, fixed line, mobile voice and data, and other OTT services, is the challenge of understanding the customer as an individual and delivering services that the customer wants.
Frost & Sullivan associate director for Telecoms and Payments Strategy – ICT, Mei Lee Quah commented that it has been critical for the longest time for telcos to have a single view of the customer.
She foresees this becoming even more critical with 5G promising to bring more innovation to industry through 5G enterprises and this will undoubtedly escalate challenges to greater heights for telcos.
“With 5G, enabling ecosystem-centric services is an important requirement for telcos. I don't see much development with this, to date, particularly in the area of billing and if you consider billing issues as being a key trigger for customer complaints, I really do think that this is an area that telcos need to pay more attention to,” she added.
A move Singapore operator StarHub is familiar with and is at the core of effort to accelerate transformation.
In a press statement, StarHub chief executive Peter Kaliaropoulos acknowledged the company’s effort to expedite digitalisation and transition into a more agile, efficient and customer-centric company.
This necessitates simplifying its IT landscape end-to-end rather than making incremental changes that may results in islands of solutions that create more complexity.
It was concluded that bringing in a technology partner would deliver the desired business outcome – financial benefits, agile, new IT capability, the ability to focus on core IT competencies and the connection to regional skilled IT resources.
“After a strategic review, we concluded that a technology partnership with PCCW Solutions will give us the desired business outcome – financial benefits, agile, new IT capability, the ability to focus on core IT competencies and the connection to regional skilled IT resources,” said StarHub.
What happens now
PCCW Solutions will operate StarHub’s IT applications and infrastructure. It is revealed that there will be a rationalization of legacy IT platforms and systems, and the delivery of agile, new IT capability to enable simplification of processes and operations.
As part of the agreement, a team of technology talent from StarHub will transfer to PCCW Solutions. StarHub’s in-house IT team will continue to be responsible for developing and implementing IT strategy and architecture, safeguarding cybersecurity and supporting strategic projects.
According to StarHub, the choice of PCCW Solutions came down to the latter’s understanding of the info-communications and media businesses, being part of PCCW Limited that operates in a similar market and run a similar business as StarHub.
“It is familiar with market opportunities and the IT challenges that we are addressing. Combining our insights and expertise, we believe both companies can grow together, flexing and pivoting when market conditions change. This will be key to the success of our IT and digital transformation,” said StarHub.
In addition to creating a leaner IT stack, the transformation is anticipated to improve time to market and customer experience. Measurements for effectiveness will include rise in efficiency in handling IS operations service level agreements and key performance indicators, which will lead to enhanced customer satisfaction.
“I think that there might be obvious benefits to doing this but as to whether this will be a success, it will depend very much on the ability of both companies to really draw on each other's company experience in IT strategy, planning and operations,” concluded Frost’s Quah.