Bimodal demographics represent a challenge and an opportunity for CSPs

Yesterday’s blog spoke of the challenges faced by traditional service providers to simplify their product stacks when compared with their OTT counterparts. Unlike the OTT players, removal of product lines tends to be revenue dilutitive.

The other challenge facing the traditionalists is the demographics they serve compared with the OTT players. The OTT players tend to serve a digitally-savvy demographic. Take Amazon for example. They service a demographic that is happy to self-serve for all demands (buy, use, bill, support, etc) online. But for the demographic of book readers who don’t want to use the internet, there are other analog channels such as libraries and bookstores (in dwindling numbers).

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) for the incumbent CSPs, they service both demographics – the digitally savvy and the digitally petrified (and every shade of grey in between). Unless they want to cut off one of those lungs, the modern trend of focussing on achieving 100% digital self-serve is not going to satisfy their customer base.

An interesting challenge for our OSS / BSS is to identify customer self-serve preferences and build user journeys to suit.

We no longer live in the world of a single process flow (omni-channel destroyed that dream for us), so we now need workflow packages that monitor flows from start to finish in a user journey (see the earlier post on Sankey diagrams). The benefits of monitoring all flows is three-fold:

  1. It identifies fall-outs – transactions that haven’t been successfully handed over between systems;
  2. It prospers from natural variations – being able to identify the variants that were most effective and feed that back into the system as decision support; and
  3. Identifying who (or which system) gets each task done in the flow allows for skills-based routing, which will be an essential attribute for the workforce of the future that is defined by blockchain-based smart contracts

The first challenge comes in building an identifier that allows journeys to be tracked through every channel and every system in your stack! The second comes in the machine learning engine than can leverage the mass of data. (Third is implementing smart-contracts, but that’s a whole other story).

The digital-only providers miss out on providing a great customer experience for both lungs of the demographic continuum.

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