The era of pervasive, high-speed wireless connectivity presents a plethora of challenges and opportunities for telecom companies. As network pressure escalates and cyber threats become increasingly severe, operational obstacles such as customer on-boarding delays, issue resolution, and billing inquiry clarifications can undermine customer experience and loyalty. Fortunately, the ongoing digital revolution offers opportunities for telcos to enhance customer service through intelligent technologies and robotic process automation (RPA), ultimately boosting operational efficiency, cost-effectiveness, customer experience, and cybersecurity. With these essential aspects in check, telcos can concentrate on driving innovation and revenue growth.
Automation can revolutionize every aspect of the telecom value chain, including customer fulfillment, network management, back-office operations, and contact center operations. Functions like customer onboarding, KYC data management, customer communication, and billing can all benefit from automation. Enhancing both customer and agent experiences, automation can streamline call routing, ticket management, and query resolution in contact centers. Data-driven insights on customer profiles can unlock new upselling and cross-selling opportunities, while HR, finance, and accounting teams can optimize their processes with automation tools. Even vendor contract management can be digitized and automated to mitigate supply-side risks.
From a network management and service assurance standpoint, automation is increasingly crucial. It assists in identifying the root cause of disruptions, enabling telcos to deliver exceptional network assurance. Companies can simplify network planning by automatically collating and analyzing data across multiple areas, such as consumption, network quality, and market growth. Migration from legacy platforms to new systems or cloud platforms becomes faster and more efficient with automation.
RPA can bolster the cybersecurity posture of telcos by identifying malicious links and emails; flagging sudden increases in requests to investigate potential DDoS attacks; measuring compliance with security requirements against industry regulations; building DNS attack monitoring systems; and regularly generating security reports with recommendations for enhancing cybersecurity strategies.
Automation ultimately improves productivity and job satisfaction by freeing employees to focus on tasks that require human expertise, such as problem-solving, creative thinking, and interpersonal relations. In the past, telcos often outsourced back-office jobs to minimize costs, but this model’s cost benefits have diminished. Moreover, outsourcing presents reputation risks, as vendor errors and poor service can tarnish the telco’s brand. RPA empowers companies to bring much of this work in-house, delivering equal or superior customer service.
Like any solution, RPA comes with its own set of challenges and requirements. Ensuring robust security infrastructure is a top priority when outsourcing RPA implementation to third-party vendors. A lack of understanding of RPA’s functionality can result in low acceptance, while unclear or unrealistic expectations may lead to disappointment and disengagement. There is a demand-supply gap in skilled resources for RPA implementation, and RPA professionals can be costly. Lastly, a one-size-fits-all approach to selecting an RPA partner is ineffective, and choosing the right vendor can help RPA implementation and outcomes.
The demand for telecom services is skyrocketing as the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and edge computing become mainstream. Telcos must evolve beyond being mere network providers and reinvent themselves as hybrid cloud platforms capable of scaling to support the growing volumes of data, voice, and multimedia services. RPA can accelerate the business transformation necessary to capitalize on these opportunities, fostering agility, innovation, and profitability within the telecom industry.
Embracing a connected enterprise approach, automation can help telecom companies become more customer-centric and digitally enabled organizations. By integrating automation and other intelligent technologies across the value chain, telcos can connect their end-to-end operations seamlessly, providing comprehensive insights into their businesses anytime.
To embark on the journey towards a connected enterprise, telcos must:
- Identify areas where automation can improve efficiency and customer experience across the value chain.
- Implement RPA and other intelligent technologies that align with their specific needs and challenges.
- Invest in training and upskilling employees to support the adoption of automation and the connected enterprise mindset.
- Continuously evaluate and optimize processes to ensure maximum benefits from automation and other digital transformation initiatives.
By adopting a connected enterprise mindset and leveraging the power of automation, telcos can unlock new growth opportunities and thrive in the highly competitive telecommunications landscape.
Authored By- Arvind Rao, CTO, Edge Platforms, EdgeVerve