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How to Deliver the Digital Transformation Promise

November 2, 2016 11:46 AM

Category: Better Services | by Melahat Elis

On October 13-14 the annual ETIS event – a global Community Gathering - took place in Zagreb, Croatia. This year was the 25th anniversary and more than 160 participants attended, more than in recent years. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Delivering the Digital Transformation Promise’.

ETIS truly delivered on its promise for being the trusted forum for sharing knowledge, by creating an open atmosphere for discussion. Redknee followed this tradition of sharing and presented jointly with Hrvatski Telecom, the local Croatian affiliate of the Deutsche Telekom Group. The presentation discussed why the modernization of their convergent charging solution was necessary, how the upgrade was performed and new use cases for newly created business segments. Redknee highlighted how the new solution could help charging new application areas including the Internet of Things (IoT). The shared examples are based on Redknee’s expertise in current engagements in smart home system, healthcare services, in-vehicle services and prepaid energy services.

Based on interviews among the ETIS members, CSPs have two strategic objectives in common, 1) grow or at least stabilize the top line and 2) reduce costs. To grow or stabilize the top line many companies are looking at opportunities in digital services and IoT. Many attendees described the impact of digital transformation as disruptive to telco and beyond. I tend to agree with some statements, for example fraud prevention might need to be redefined and credit scoring, as well as dunning could disappear due to pay-as-you-go models in the digital business. It was interesting to hear that CPQ, Configure Price Quote, to bridge the gap between lean to order, was seen as essential to serve millennials but also older segments as the differences among the subscriber segments vanish.

CSPs heavily debated whether they are telcos or enablers for new businesses. Some admitted to gaining new revenue sources and preferred to work with start-ups rather than relying on slow company internal machinery. So, agility and speed matter and especially in IoT scenarios where start-ups are more frequently utilized. Real life IoT examples from Smart Parking, Smart Waste and eVehicle charging were shared and showcased. B2G (business-to-government) business models have also developed to try demand based and recurring pricing.

HT Croatia and Lattelecom are early adopters in this area introducing models that deal with 3rd party services and invoicing. Lattelecom started to generate separate invoices for electricity services and is considering the combination of energy and telco services for cross promotion. 

It was also discussed whether bills are appropriate and are needed at all when compared with OTTs that avoid sending bills. On the other hand customers accept that they pay a CSP bill, but not a bill from an OTT which is symptomatic for the trust in CSPs. The business models are different, but is this an option for CSPs ?

Please see ETIS’s own blog about the event and new strategy, here.