The Top 5 IT Challenges For The Telecoms Industry
The explosion of information technology over the last two decades has radically transformed the telecoms industry. Telecoms is no longer about (just) making phone calls–with the proliferation of smartphones and the internet, people are in direct contact with each other, their devices and the web every day.
Telecoms companies need to keep up with the rapid pace of change dictated by technological developments and customer demands to remain competitive and continuously improve their services.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 IT challenges for the telecoms industry.
The Top 5 IT Challenges For The Telecoms Industry
Digitalization: Customer Needs in Focus
Today, the primary concern for telecoms customers (residential, small business or corporate) is to make the process (whether it’s about contracting, appliance replacement, tariff package change or anything else) as quick and simple as possible – no one likes to spend hours in a branch office. Thus, the use of digital devices in the field of customer acquisition and portfolio expansion can already be the source of competitive advantage for a service provider.
The ongoing trend is to move customer relationships into the digital space. Customer portals and mobile applications can significantly improve the customer experience and reduce costs by enabling customers to manage their telecoms transactions at the time and place that suits them best – instead of time-consuming personal administration.
Replacing paper-based customer communication with digital means also brings significant cost savings, as paper, printing and postage costs can all be saved.
Compliance: Meeting Strict Regulations
One of the cornerstones of legal compliance for the telecoms sector is the protection of personal data, which, thanks to the GDPR regulation, has been a top priority since 2018 at the latest.
As service providers store and manage large amounts of personal data (think of customer databases with hundreds of thousands, even millions of records!), maintaining GDPR compliance alone involves serious IT tasks. In this context, the GDPR-compliant registration of personal data and the appropriate anonymization of personal data in development and test environments are particularly important.
Modernization of Legacy Systems: Outdated Technologies–Real Risks
As a technology-intensive industry, the telecoms sector was at the forefront of IT deployment a few decades ago. However, this also means that many operators still have tried and tested legacy systems in place that are less and less up to today’s requirements – these may include billing, CRM or even network management systems.
It often happens that behind the attractive and modern user interface used by customers, data is stored and managed by a decades-old technology–linking these two together is becoming increasingly difficult, and the slowness of outdated technology used at the backend negatively affects the frontend system and thus the customer experience.
Legacy systems are becoming increasingly difficult to scale and their performance (most importantly, speed and reliability) falls short of today’s expectations.
Moreover, the number of experts who are skilled in these technologies is dwindling: The pool of experts that could be relied on to operate and develop these systems will soon retire. These systems are no longer taught at universities, so there is no fresh supply of specialists.
Finally, the use of obsolete technology can often entail IT security risks (cyberattacks, data leakage, etc.).
More and More Customer Data: Challenges and Opportunities
Telecoms companies store more and more customer data–this is fueled not only by the growth of their customer base, but often also by the fact that more and more data is available about a single customer.
This huge amount of data needs to be captured and stored in the right quality (and free from duplications), managed in compliance with data protection regulations, and analyzed using tools that are easy to use for a wide range of users in-house which also imposes additional IT tasks on service providers.
Instant Demand for IT Staff: Good People, Fast and at Reasonable Cost – Is It Possible?
Each of the above challenges can trigger a sudden increase in the demand for IT staff. If, for example, rapid custom development is needed to respond quickly to a competitor’s move, and thus more people with experience in the sector and the right technological knowledge are needed, the traditional internal recruitment process often cannot keep up with demand. In such cases, bringing in external expert resources with significant experience in the telecoms sector seems to be the only viable solution.
DSS in the Telecoms Sector: Decades of Experience
At DSS, we “speak telco”: After the foundation of DSS Consulting in 1998, our very first client was Magyar Telekom (now fully owned by Deutsche Telekom), the flagship of Hungarian telecommunications. Since then, we have worked with the largest telecommunications companies in Hungary–most of which are owned by major international operators.
Thanks to decades of cooperation with these customers, we have deep sector-specific business knowledge and a good understanding of the typical processes and systems used in telecommunications.
Let us briefly summarize our experience in addressing the challenges detailed above.
- Custom software development: We deliver solutions tailored to specific telecoms processes. For example, for Hungary’s leading operator, we built a data mining-enabled solution to predict network equipment failures, reducing unexpected outages and increasing customer satisfaction. We also developed a customer portal to better serve VIP customers and a single, automatically updated business databank using external and internal databases to support sales, marketing and segmentation processes. Typically, we use Java, .NET, Angular, etc. technologies.
- IT contract staffing: We typically provide developers and testers (individual experts or even entire teams) according to our clients’ needs. In each case, we effectively complement the customer’s project teams with staff having the required competencies.
- Software testing: We have extensive experience in manual and automated testing of almost all systems used in the sector (customer portals, mobile applications, web shops, etc.).
- Data warehouse and BI development: We have been involved in the development of Oracle-based data warehouses, data marketplaces or related ETL processes, typical reporting systems and dashboard solutions in the telecoms sector.
- Data quality assurance: By improving the quality of customer data and eliminating duplicates, we have helped to reduce the number of duplicate invoices, improve the efficiency of sales and marketing processes, and restore and maintain the data quality of various internal systems (e.g. billing and CRM systems).
- Data protection: Out of our two data privacy solutions, we are preparing for the implementation of our data anonymization software, DSS Data Anonym, at a leading telecoms operator – Data Anonym enables the use of properly anonymized data in test and development environments.
Is your company facing similar challenges? Why not discuss them over a great cup of coffee?
…Last But Not Least, Why Should You Work with a Hungarian Company?
Because Hungary has best-in-class software developers. For this, there is no better proof than HackerRank’s ranking based on their own statistics: Hungary ranks 5th on the Best Developers list globally, head to head with Switzerland and Japan and well ahead of not only Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania but also France, Italy, Germany and the UK.