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Why CSPs Should Embrace Digital Transformation Now

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes
“Organizations no longer have the option to continue on as they have — they have to adopt and accelerate digitalization.” A bold statement straight from the horse's mouth: Gartner, a leading technology research and consulting company, then continues by saying that business acceleration is more important than ever because of three reasons: COVID-19, costs and operations, and results.

After almost two decades working in the telecoms industry and seeing with my own eyes so many transformations and huge changes, I couldn't agree more with Gartner. "By 2025, 70% of new applications developed by organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020."

It’s no secret that telecommunications service providers have seen better days. On one hand, over-the-top (OTT) providers have grown bigger and bigger by investing on research and development without the need of paying for infrastructure. On the other hand, CSPs have seen their profits dwindle while their expenses have increased exponentially. They have had to invest constantly on faster, bigger, better data networks to keep the business running while maintaining all these data-hungry services that OTTs have to offer, but without seeing a dime of what they make. All while paying huge sums to keep their core telephony services up and running. An untenable business if I may say.

But it's also no big secret that, with the restrictions on physical activities, COVID-19 forced us to see the benefits of going digital. From e-commerce to M2M to IoT to work-from-home to automation to shorter time-to-market, we all had a sneak peek at the good results digital transformation brings. And that is just the tip of the iceberg: Empowered with low code, CSPs embracing digital transformation can really outpace OTTs at their own game. How? I have listed some of the biggest advantages of going all digital. Feel free to comment and write back your questions and feedback.

Due to the nature of the telecoms business, most CSP networks have a heterogeneous mix of legacy platforms and island solutions for various products. It is not unusual that many of those platforms have already reached end-of-life/end-of-service and their maintenance translates into huge operational costs. A digital transformation that enables virtualized services not only lowers OPEX but allows individualization for key businesses that can drive customer retention up.

With the advent of low-code and no-code platforms for telecoms, citizen developers (product owners and business people with no or little programming skills) at CSPs can create and individualize services and applications. These apps, either OSS or BSS, are directly and securely integrated to the local telecoms network, all with single sign-on (SSO), and unified billing.

Moreover, the possibility to tailor their solution to the exact needs of a certain group of users, CSPs improve customer retention. While global OTT services can't be tailored to the needs of, for example, the SoHo and SMEs markets, low code allows differentiated solutions even for different verticals. By offering real product differentiation from their competitors and not only a better pricing strategy, CSPs can achieve higher margins per user.

Lastly but not least, with privacy protection and data compliance taking the spotlight around the world, CSPs have been dealt a winning hand against OTTs that host user data in foreign countries (mostly in the US). After all, CSPs are a local, secure and familiar business both for the public and private sectors, and they can offer convergent services that interact with all third-party AI and IoT apps, as well as open APIs that comply with the local regulations and requirements.

Reaction times in the telecoms industry have been historically long: The complexity of the telecoms networks, the huge number of third-party vendors involved in a project, the amount of decision-makers … But COVID also showed CSPs that they could react faster to stay competitive. And CSPs now have low code.

As low-code platforms use preprogrammed building blocks and microservices that are simple to understand and modify, they allow an 80% reduction in effort when compared with traditional coding. At the same time, the active participation of business managers and product people allows a faster reaction process to the actual needs of the customer. Plus, if the project requires advanced programming skills, there is always the opportunity for experts to join in.

Long gone are the times when CSPs needed to invest time and resources to be able to make the jump to a different environment (development, testing and live) to bring new services online: going from development to user-acceptance to live environment, everything was costly and slow. Now, with continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), CSPs are able, with the push of a button, to move whatever they want between different environments, reducing time, resources and costs, while delivering results much faster and with better quality.

A low-code platform for telecoms allows CSPs to help their customers embark on their own digital journey. As low-code and no-code user interfaces are based in building blocks, customers themselves can create and individualize their own services to better serve their business outcomes. And, if their end customers are getting better business outcomes, CSPs' businesses will be doing just as good.

If you are interested in learning more, we have e-books and videos that go deeper into this topic. You can also get in touch with me via our website or connect through my LinkedIn profile
Metin Sezer