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How Communications Service Providers Can Take Command of the Digital Ecosystem and Connect with the Digital Consumer
Accenture examines the unique positioning of the communications service provider within the digital ecosystem and outlines an approach that providers should consider pursuing to take advantage of the opportunities presented by their vast web of digital consumer touchpoints.
Unlike other industries—from electronics manufacturing, to retailers, to software/app developers—telecom providers are well-positioned to benefit from a high volume of customer interactions and resulting insights into customers’ behavior and needs. Telecom providers can redefine how to connect with the digital consumer, on their own terms.
Learn more about Accenture’s services, research and client successes for the communications industry.
Communications service providers are well positioned to connect with digital consumers. They have an unparalleled array of consumer touchpoints that other services providers do not have. However, telecom providers feel that they are operating at a disadvantage compared to more innovative products and services companies that are taking ownership of the customer relationship. In order to win the competition for digital consumers, telecom providers must think strategically about how to best coordinate these touchpoints into a memorable and compelling customer experience.
Telecom providers have tremendous opportunities to seamlessly integrate the customer intelligence they extract from across the many channels at their disposal. In order to grasp these opportunities, they need to take into account the three levels of the digital ecosystem, each of which offers different opportunities for customer engagement.
The network is the core to the telecom providers’ offering. It is a relatively predictable yet regional business.
The services business is unpredictable, very different and quite frequently global.
Customer relationship management and channels offer many new options for consumer interaction.
There are different ways in which telecom providers can respond to this emerging digital landscape. As networks become increasingly pervasive and consistent, enabling services to move to a cloud computing approach, the services themselves are becoming the basis of differentiation and competition.
One extreme route is for telcos to focus on their network and have all of the services delivered by third parties. Another way is to focus on a two-dimensional model in which the first dimension is the evolution of digital platforms—devices and solutions—over time. Some of these solutions the telecom providers will choose to brand and develop themselves; some they will resell; and others they will certify to work over their networks. Therefore, one dimension of growth is to determine how the telecom industry can be relevant across all these digital platforms.
The other dimension is value—value-added services that telecom companies are positioned to bring to the consumer, beyond the provision of basic network services. The growth starts with sales then moves to support, integration and lastly, performance enablement. Value over time will move to the CRM cloud. The telecom industry will increasingly add value by both supporting a broader assortment of consumer electronic devices and offering a deeper dimension of service.
Communications service providers are not competing with product and service innovators, instead they are enabling these companies to better deliver their products and services, and allowing customers to derive the full benefit of these solutions.
No other industry connects to the customer in as many ways as the telecommunications industry. Telecom providers should realize that they are in a strong position to reach and be relevant to the digital consumer. They can redefine how to connect with the digital consumer on their own terms.
October 1, 2011
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