In team sports, you’ll always find a captain that acts as the glue amongst players and a model of enduring greatness. But the glory of being hailed as an indomitable leader doesn’t come without disadvantages of unglamorous work to carry the team to victory. Captains must have unwavering skill and offer boundless motivation despite losing seasons, unfair referee calls, and immoral competitors.
Much like team sports, in the digital transformation era, communication service providers have been appointed the role of team captain. They cannot operate solo by only focusing on their performance of becoming digital telcos. Instead, they are responsible for propelling change for their customers and the essential DNA of enduringly great digital businesses.
According to IDC, the digital transformation opportunity is massive, and expected to grow from $1.1 trillion in 2017 to $1.3 trillion in 2018, with compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.9% to nearly double to more than $2.1 trillion in 2021. More than half of digital transformation spending is expected to be allocated to operational efficiencies, an additional 25 percent dedicated to omni-channel communications, and another 18 percent for business intelligence and analytics solutions. At the epicenter of this change, service providers must take a dual-pronged approach to transformation as they are responsible for networks that scale to meet customer needs, new digital services, and a highly engaging experience, but also evolve internally --- technically, organizationally, and operationally.
Primary Areas of Transformation for Service Providers
Virtualization of services, internet of things (IoT), cloud, big data analytics, 5G -- the list of factors contributing to providers becoming “digital telcos” is indefinite. Despite the individual driving factors, there are a few key areas of transformation that dominate the global telecommunications industry.
Layering In Bigger, Faster Pipes
The industry is headed into the zettabyte era for bandwidth consumption. To satisfy the relentless demand for more bandwidth and deliver high-quality services, providers are layering in bigger, faster pipes to increase the reliability and redundancy of the network.
With everything connected, from IoT to fancier technologies like the autonomous car, the telecom network of the future will have to look different. Changes will need to be made across the board from mobile, to the fiber network, and into the cloud. Simply downloading information will no longer be the network’s main priority, instead symmetric, intent driven networks will be required to interact with information out in the real world, in near real-time.
More, and More Security
To enable dynamic transformation on the path to becoming digital telcos, providers are increasingly turning to third party vendors for services and as a way to evolve, while reducing upfront costs and time-to-market. However, removing and expanding network boundaries can lead to vulnerabilities of the telecom ecosystem, leaving it exposed to attacks, internal or contractor breaches, and malware. Additionally, with businesses of all sizes relying on telecom providers to act as their path to the cloud, the risk of data loss poses significant threats to the entire industry.
To combat the dangers, providers are placing greater emphasis on security, including use of next generation firewalls, Quality of Service (QoS) management, device management, identity management, compliance management, and visibility service with notifications. With a combination of systems and tools to secure assets, providers are able to analyze subscriber traffic flow and check respective endpoints for anomalies.
As the backbone of transformation, service providers must be able to track subscriber interactions from the network to the endpoint, and fully digitize customer engagements. Choosing the right technology to support this initiative will be the differentiator. If a subscriber were to call in with a quality issue, a lower-tier support agent should be able to triage quickly and without escalation for most issues. By embracing this level of visibility and customer care, telcos will be able to strengthen loyalty and reduce churn.
Integration and Automation
Pressures from over-the-top (OTT) and other non-traditional providers are forcing telcos to find ways to reduce the service delivery cycle to a matter of days or minutes. To adapt, integrating and automating with virtual, software-defined, and cloud networking technologies are necessary to achieve operational efficiencies that are needed for next generation services and profitability.
Moving Workloads from the Data Center to the Cloud
While it’s generally accepted that most have crossed the “cloud-chasm,” some service providers aren’t taking full advantage of the cloud. By moving workloads from the data center to the cloud, providers can extend the benefits of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) for uses such as contact center, telephony applications, or as a disaster recovery node. At the same time, providers need to support their enterprise customers in their multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud worlds. Through the cloud, providers and enterprises alike can grow at a pace they desire, have more choices for flexibility, and control costs.
Unleash Your Potential With Edgeworx
Even the best players in the telecom industry will face challenges when transforming their networks. At Edgeworx, we have built a team of seasoned professionals that are specifically dedicated to designing telecom infrastructure of the future. If you’re ready to take the leap to provide transformative services, but need some help getting started, give us a call at 1.647.793.4731.