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Managing scale in a 5G world
On January 27, CloudSense’s Global telecommunications lead, Vish Kumar, and Industry Principal Consultant at Infosys, Shri Krishan joined one another to investigate and discuss the coming challenges to the industry brought by 5G, and how B2B telcos in particular should manage the greater complexity that is coming their way.
Focusing on the key impacts on tech architecture, Vish and Shri explored considerations around order management structure and what telcos need to be aware of to see how scale is impacting business.
So what do we mean by “scale”? Scale refers to the number of orders that can be processed at any given time and how telcos are able to manage them. Thus far, telcos have struggled to process large orders, with customers now accustomed to orders taking days, weeks and even months to be processed, having a knock-on effect on customer experience and business operations.
Any changes consumers require, for example when it comes to rate plans, force the sales operations team to figure out what creates a better customer experience; whether it be re-rating bills or applying credits.
Major changes in consumer demands require a sophisticated system that is capable of handling large orders. Telcos now must look at their order management systems to ensure that they are able to not only scale, but enhance customer experience. The big question that remains is if telcos are still able to do so when 5G fully enters the picture.
“When we see large orders come through, we see telcos struggle when it comes down to processing them, and they turn to human glue to solve these problems,” - Vish Kumar, Global Telecommunications lead, CloudSense
Entering the 5G Realm:
With 5G, both B2B and B2C realms experience greater connectivity to objects. Nevertheless, telcos are still faced with the same problem; how to scale their processes and meet customer expectations.
Within the 5G world, telcos see even larger orders come through, with an extensive ecosystem that interconnects more things than ever before. With more orders come greater complexities, as telcos end up relying on a full ecosystem of security, monitoring, data and policies that make everything work together.
So what is the solution? How do telcos keep things simple? How do they hold everything together so the customer has the best experience possible?
An important development is that B2B telcos are shifting towards giving their customers the ability to create their own solutions, and process them in their own time whenever and how often they want. Both the B2Bs and B2Cs are seeing consumer demand for things to be delivered in real-time, allowing them to change carriers and devices seamlessly and quickly.
Telcos need to be prepared for these mass changes. Today with 5G we see high volume changes occurring very frequently. The key to making 5G truly work is to both automate and simplify things as much as possible: commercial products, upgrades and processes.
Through simplifying commercial products and upgrades, telcos are able to create quick new versions and re-use them across multiple offers, tapping into new revenue streams, and allowing their customers to define their own journey.
“5G is not only about its high speed, high capacity and low latency, it’s also about opening up new opportunities for telcos to innovate and tap into a new set of customers and address new revenue streams,” - Shri Krishan, Industry Principal Consultant, Infosys
The architectural structure:
With 5G coming in, consumers are expecting to be provided on-demand and real-time results and services. Customers want to have control over how they can use, manage and configure the services that they pay for. This is where self-service comes in, helping telcos keep their operational costs low, forcing them to create an architecture that is prepared to handle all self-service functionalities.
Systems need to gear up to take on these new sets of change requests at a higher volume. In order to realise the true value of 5G, telcos must have a flexible and open architectural structure, allowing them to innovate and tap into a new set of customers. Telcos need to start thinking how they can be BSS/OSS-compliant for the partner ecosystems, and how they can seamlessly integrate third-party systems into their processes.
The response to market changes, and the ability for them to handle quick changes at scale are key to ensuring telcos are ready to operate efficiently and at scale in the 5G world. If telcos are able to react in real time to a customer's request, they will be able to realise the serious impact in terms of revenues. It is important for communication services providers to make a positive impact on their revenues and adapt to these architectural changes so they can monetise and leverage the power of 5G where possible.
“All of these demands we’ve heard before, but have always treated them as projects, tomorrow we are going to see this as a standard offering…As a telco we need to be prepared for that and be prepared for these mass changes quickly and easily.” - Vish Kumar, Global Telecommunications lead, CloudSense