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The Evolution of Telco Cloud Services: Where it’s been and where it’s going

Written by Alec Berry, VP Consulting and Technical Services at ClickSoftware

Alec Berry

The concept of using cloud services in the telecommunications industry isn’t new, but it hasn’t yet reached its full potential. The adoption of new technology is helping companies to gain an advantage over their competitors, yet the constant introduction of new technology ensures that companies must continue innovating or be at risk of falling behind. In the telecoms industry, the cloud is introducing new offerings for customers to improve the way that services are introduced and managed. Providing companies with unlimited capacity, telco cloud services allow suppliers to manage the expansion of data and provide customers with the best user experience possible.

So why do companies use telco cloud services? It is becoming more and more important for telco companies not only to keep hold of their existing customers, but to also appeal to prospective ones, as their marketplace becomes increasingly competitive. Globally, telco companies are concentrating on coming up with innovative business approaches and services that support the digital transformation for customers. Predominantly, companies are sourcing new ways to help businesses improve efficiency and reduce costs through migration to cloud-based solutions.

So, where was telco cloud services five years ago? And where will it go in the future? One certainty is that the telco industry must stay well-informed when it comes to cloud technology advancements and the progression of new offerings in the cloud space.

1. Where has it been?

The origins of telco cloud:

When the concept of using cloud in the telco industry emerged about five years ago, it received a warmer welcome than it got from, say, the utilities industry. This is due to the generally tech-savvy nature of telco companies. Their day-to-day handling of complicated infrastructure means they are more predisposed to adopting new technology.

The telco industry has enjoyed a range of benefits from using the cloud. These include reduced costs in maintaining functionality, since customers can be automatically updated to the latest version of the technology on the cloud, rather than manually downloading expensive updates. In addition, the telco industry can innovate more efficiently and at greater speed with the cloud, which keeps customers loyal while also attracting new ones. Telco cloud services undoubtedly bring an attractive flexibility to customers, offering a better user experience.

This said, despite telco customers being a more receptive audience to cloud services, telco companies still face the same challenges as other industries when it comes to cloud, including data security and keeping up with new technology.

2. Where is it going?

Heads in the cloud

It is realistic to say that telco cloud services will proliferate to the point where most telco companies are operating on a predominantly cloud service basis. As an increasing number of companies adopt the Internet of Things (IoT), telco services will be at the forefront of the innovation race. Associated benefits should include improved business income predictions and reduced costs, especially when it comes to running physical data centres or managing large IT teams.

Unless serious about operating in the cloud space themselves, this divorce from physical data centres makes sense. Telco companies can form strategic alliances with IoT specialists to get the necessary resources, especially when forming their own cloud services. For example, several brands are already looking at activity in the market to see if they can leverage the software themselves, or take it to market with a smaller vendor.

In short, when moving solely to cloud services, telco companies will either attempt to form partnerships and provide a managed service offering which they operate internally, or they will go to market and buy from vendor to eliminate the need for a physical, ‘back-office’ kit. Either way, the telco space will continue to be a competitive industry, and companies that are forward-thinking and adopt cloud faster will stay ahead of the game.

Tackling the rise of social media

The rise of social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, has already started to have an impact on telco cloud services. When a company underperforms, word spreads like wildfire on social media, so companies are eager to deliver the best customer experience to maintain a good net promoter score. Many large telco companies have already become the victim of a viral ‘outing’ for poor customer service, and social media channels emphasise these slip-ups.

To tackle this risk, all technology companies—including the telco industry—must strive to improve engagement with end users through social media channels. The telco companies that do this successfully will be demonstrating efficiency by quickly acknowledging any issues that crop up. In these situations, time is everything, as well as the ability to turn negatives into positives by offering to reconcile with the customer.

The pressures of negative social media coverage will force organisations of all kinds to be more savvy about engaging with customers via new media. In the telco space, field technicians will want the latest features available from suppliers to drive customer experience, with the hope of avoiding the possibility of bad press.
Since its advent, telco cloud services have been a desirable offering in the telecommunications industry. The companies that do not adopt cloud services are now certain to fall behind in the race to retain and attract customers. Cloud services can reduce costs and speed up innovation for telco companies, but the constant introduction of new technology will see the telco industry needing to stay on its toes to succeed.

 

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If you would like to hear more the latest from the Telco Cloud space then don't miss out on  Telco Cloud Forum 2017, 25-26 April 2017, at the Radisson Blu Portman, London.  You can register for your free FREE OPERATOR PASS here or purchase a full ticket for the event HERE

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