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Looking Beyond … Complexity

December 5, 2013 1:28 PM | Category: Happier SubscribersBetter Services,  | by Jim DeMarco

I sat on a panel discussion at the TMF Americas “Digital Disruption” conference in late October.   Our topic: How to leverage BSS/OSS to become an “Agile” operator in light of digital disruption.  The panelists were asked how operators could become more agile and adaptable to the increasing pace of customer demands and of evolving technologies.  The usual technology arguments were posited – from outsourcing, to leveraging cloud technologies, to building frameworks and applets, to the use of service delivery platforms – without much interest or value.  When finally I had the chance to speak, I decided (against the better judgment of most panel discussions) to speak my mind.

I stated that, in my opinion, if we are looking to technology to make an operator more agile then we are missing the point.   Technology can surely slow an operator down, just as it can speed up operations if an operator is capable of using it properly.  But the operator has to choose to act in a business manner that lets the technology support already agile decision-making.  In other words, I said, you can use the best, most adaptable and rapidly deployable software in the world, but if you still use old fashioned business processes or fail to adapt to customer-oriented thinking then the software will produce no improvement in results.  As they taught me back in my very first programming class decades ago, “garbage in, garbage out.”

In our business, large operators frequently fail to move with the speed and adaptability of smaller operators.  Why?  Complexity of governance.  The more people who have a say in how to treat a customer, the more layers of complexity are added to the decision process.  Responsive software doesn’t help here. 

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