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Nokia 2018 Predictions: Moving to 'Digital Time' - How Service Providers will become Digital Powerhouses

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Andy Fruhling, Head of Digital Experience, Applications & Analytics, Nokia

Moving to 'Digital Time' – How service providers will become digital powerhouses

2018 will be the year in which communications service providers (CSPs) re-double their efforts to implement technologies and processes they need to better serve customers living digitally connected lifestyles.

This will be nothing short of a reinvention in the way CSPs traditionally service and interact with their customers, and the year ahead will be a critical turning point. If not, CSPs will be unable to catch up or keep up with the digital champions who are rapidly capturing the growth potential of the digital mobile lifestyle. From webscale giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook that are becoming the dominant content and technology platforms, to the array of start-ups and over-the-top (OTT) providers delivering content and services on top of the network, digital players are becoming digital winners.

Unless CSPs adopt new ways to connect people, experiences and data and then take instant action, they will falter and risk becoming bit-pipe businesses with limited opportunities for growth, or at worst, become irrelevant to most consumers.

Here are four key ways CSPs are reinventing to move ahead of the pack:

1. Operating in ‘Digital Time' - CSPs will optimize their technologies and processes to engage with customers in ‘Digital Time': delivering the right service through the right channel when the moment of opportunity arises. Operating in Digital Time means being able to act just before the moment, in the moment or immediately after the moment that a customer is at a point of inflection in their interaction with the service provider. Customers are won or lost in these moments. Digital Time also means connecting with customers naturally within the flow of their mobile experience to bring them added value, without disrupting their activity. By operating in Digital Time, CSPs will be able to enrich and monetize customer experiences with new, more relevant offers and services.

2. Harnessing the power of ‘connected intelligence' - Great digital experiences start with the customer and all of the things and people he or she connects with. In order to become true digital powerhouses that engage with their customers in Digital Time, CSPs need to thoroughly understand them - what they want, what they need and what they find valuable. To do this, CSPs need to harness the power of ‘connected intelligence' - connecting insights, people, processes and technologies. In doing so, CSPs will have a much better sense of customers' needs at any point in time, arming themselves with the information to deliver and monetize new services and delight their customers.

3. Delivering ultra-personalized customer experiences - With this wealth of intelligence, CSPs will build an accurate and detailed picture of every customer's behavior, interests and experience. They will use this invaluable insight to engage customers with highly-personalized and contextualized offerings that match their personal profile. This is the key to exceeding customer expectations and increasing customer loyalty, and allows CSPs to differentiate themselves in this highly competitive industry.

4. Utilizing automation - Delivering a superior customer experience in Digital Time will require automation, and CSPs will increasingly implement automation throughout their operations. Automation enables CSPs to make sense of the massive amounts of network and customer data at their disposal, turning insights into action. Automation will also help streamline operations and transform traditionally manual and reactive processes to dynamic and predictive ones, enabling service providers to anticipate and respond to customer needs in the moments that matter.

To see how all this works together, imagine a customer using their smartphone to watch a streamed video of a live concert. It's a sunny day, they are outside the Wi-Fi coverage area, and, unfortunately, their data allowance is about to run out. Armed with information about the customer's device and network status, the CSP can anticipate this moment and proactively send a message to the customer, asking if they would like to top up their data allowance to continue watching without interruption.

Or, imagine a sports fan entering a stadium to watch a big game. At the moment of entry, the customer receives an offer from the CSP to download the free stadium application, which offers deals on refreshments and other goods at the stadium, and capabilities that allow him to watch instant replays during the game or view stats on his favorite players. 

The ability to offer highly personalized and contextualized offers in Digital Time means customers are more likely to deliver new revenue to the CSP and its partners, and remain loyal customers for the long-term.

Moving to Digital Time is something that the successful CSPs of the future will do, and 2018 is the year when they will make significant strides in this effort.

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About the Author

Andy Fruhling 

Andrew (Andy) Fruhling has more than 25 years of experience in telecommunications and information technology. As VP Software Development - Digital Experience Portfolio, he leads the Product Engineering team (including strategy, product management, and R&D) for the market leading Motive Customer Care and Revenue Management portfolios. Under his leadership, Nokia has been recognized as the #1 for Device Management and #1 for Service Management by Analysys Mason. Prior to Nokia, he led Network Test Business Unit for Ixia and the OSS Organization for Oracle. Andy holds a Masters degree from the University of Texas and 2 undergraduate degrees from Texas A&M University.  

Published Tuesday, November 28, 2017 7:14 AM by David Marshall
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