Operator survey: legacy technology a key inhibitor of digital transformation

Operator Survey on the Move to Digital -- Global survey of 101 Operators
Majority of operator respondents think they should be doing more to exploit the revenue-generating potential of targeted real-time offers

DUBLIN, Ireland –– A survey of more than 100 operator respondents today reveals the extent to which the limitations of legacy technology are restricting the creation, targeting and distribution of revenue-generating digital services. The study, carried out by global real-time BSS leader Openet, reveals that while operators want to target customers with personalised, relevant offers in real-time in order to drive upsell opportunities, they are let down by the inflexibility of existing systems.

The survey highlights the frustrations faced by operators who recognise the need for more real-time functions, better customer engagement and faster product development, but who cite a lack of BSS agility as their biggest barrier.

Key findings:
  • Operators now view VoIP and messaging OTTs as their fiercest competition in maximising the effectiveness of digital services.
  • 57 per cent of operators feel quite well prepared for the battle, citing their network as their key area of competitive advantage.
  • More than half the operators surveyed have tried to leverage real-time data to create targeted customer offers and services.
  • However the majority (70 per cent) confessed that they are either worse, or much worse, than OTTs at personalised customer engagement.
In the survey of 101 operators undertaken by Openet, large-scale billing transformation projects that take too long, and the problems of trying to adapt legacy systems to cater for digital services were cited as the largest hindrances in the move to digital. 37 per cent see the biggest challenge for operators in 2016 as the need to become more agile, reducing product lifecycles and getting more products and services to market in a shorter time period.

The survey also found:
  • 63 per cent of operators think it should take between one and seven days to create and send targeted and personalised offers
  • 64 per cent admitted it actually takes up to 6 months in reality
“These findings highlight a real mismatch between positive intentions from the operator community to leverage all the advantages of targeted, real-time offers and the technical realties of making it happen,” said Barry Marron, GVP Marketing, Openet. “In an age of virtualised BSS technology, technology need no longer be an inhibitor to digital transformation and customer centricity.”

Operators surveyed anticipate that their most lucrative new revenue sources in 2016 will come from providing multi-play offers. This is closely followed by selling digital life services (e.g. home automation, and security services) to their existing customer base – providing their BSS can keep up and monetise new offers. Operators recognise that there is a significant level of danger and a need for rapid BSS transformation, with 65 per cent fearing mobile data commoditisation in the next two years.

“Operators recognise the latent value that exists in the networks they run and the data they can extract and analyse related to their customers’ behaviours,” continues Marron. “This significant advantage will count for nothing however unless they use this data to create, target and monetise these digital services. This is critical virtualised BSS value-add.”

To download the research report: Operator Survey on the Move to Digital click here.

About Openet
Openet is the leading independent supplier of real-time BSS (business support systems) to communication service providers. Openet software ensures that more than 600 million mobile telecoms users around the world enjoy the best network and data experience while enabling operators to monetize data use in ‘real-time’. Since its foundation in 1999, Openet has constantly been at the forefront of telecoms software development and innovation. This is characterized by its open platform, domain experience and engineering expertise. Its success is personified by the many long-term relationships it has fostered with the largest, most progressive, and demanding operators across the globe. For more information, please visit www.openet.com.
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