Customer dissatisfaction, inflexibility, and slow adoption of new technologies are common issues plaguing telecom companies worldwide. But here's the secret: the most successful telcos are the ones that quickly adapt their internal processes and embrace new tech solutions to overcome those pain points.
As a software development company, Flyaps have been in the telecom game for a solid 10 years. We've seen countless telcos facing similar telecom industry challenges and helped them build effective solutions like CRM/ERP systems, prediction analytics apps, and automation tools to stay ahead of the curve.
In this article, we're going to dive into the biggest telecom industry challenges in 2023 and the smart ways to solve them. We'll share real-life examples from our clients' companies to demonstrate how timely digital transformation decisions can become a game-changer, saving businesses from potential pitfalls. Let's jump right in!
Complex data analytics
Telcos deal with a massive amount of data. They gather information on how customers use their services, their interactions with the company, and the details of their billing. However, the real challenge lies in sifting through this vast data ocean to extract valuable insights and make accurate predictions.
Data analysts work tirelessly, spending hours upon hours going through countless spreadsheets, crunching numbers, and using complex algorithms to make sense of the data. Their goal is to uncover patterns, identify trends, and discover hidden opportunities that can propel their companies forward. But despite their efforts, there can still be inaccuracies in the results.
At Flyaps we often see how many ready-made analytical tools work for different industries, but do not align with the complexity of the telecom. We tackle these big data challenges in telecom by leveraging advanced technologies and approaches like microservices architecture, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotic process automation (RPA) to create custom solutions that reckon with telcos' needs. Custom systems that effectively segment and categorize data is a key answer to data analytic challenges in the telecom sector.
Case in point: developing predictive analytics tool
Many telcos around the world rely on various business intelligence tools and Excel spreadsheets to gather data from different sources and make predictions based on limited information. However, this approach is time-consuming and often not as accurate as desired. As a result, these companies often seek BI solutions tailored specifically for telecom.
Nextgen Clearing is a well-known provider of such solutions and global roaming services, catering to over 160 customers across 55 countries. While they excel in offering discounted IOT tools, they lacked a service that could meet the budgeting and simulation needs of operating companies (opcos). To address this gap, Nextgen Clearing turned to Flyaps for assistance in developing a customized predictive analytics tool.
Our team at Flyaps successfully created a solution that combines predictive analytics and budgeting capabilities specifically tailored for Nextgen Clearing. It can forecast future traffic volume, allowing the company to predict the potential profit of their roaming services. By giving the understanding of which types of services brought in the highest and lowest revenue, the solution provides detailed revenue analysis.
To evaluate operator agreements, our tool helps identify the most promising partners in each country based on the amount of traffic distributed among local operators. It also compares inter-operator tariffs (IOTs) to determine the most cost-effective operators to collaborate with. With our tool, it's also possible to create budgets for future years. These budgets are based on historical traffic data, forecast rules, and IOT agreements. Users can customize their budgets by including different sets of components. This allows for easy comparison between budgets and helps in defining the best path forward.
Additionally, we created a user-friendly dashboard that presents relevant data clearly, making it easy for Nextgen Clearing's customers to navigate and utilize the solution effectively.
Using microservices architecture, we seamlessly integrated Nextgen Clearing's existing systems with the cloud-based system we built. The development process is still in progress. The solution has not been released yet, but we are actively engaging with Nextgen Clearing's customers who are eagerly awaiting and planning to use the product.
Lack of flexibility in system integration
Picture a telecom company that relies on various systems to keep their operations running smoothly, from customer management to inventory control. They faced one of the common problems of telecommunication when they tried to integrate these systems with one-another for better efficiency. They're stuck using complicated coding and point-to-point integration methods. It's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. This rigid approach becomes a headache when they need to collaborate with external vendors, suppliers, or warehouses. The whole process becomes inefficient and filled with difficulties.
Working closely with telcos, we at Flyaps often see such pictures and know that with an agile approach, telcos can overcome integration problems. Traditional integration involves using the so-called enterprise service bus (ESB), which acts as a hub for applications to share resources. However, this approach has its limitations. The applications still operate separately, and the system isn't easily scalable. It's more suited for legacy applications that follow a rigid structure.
Nowadays, we have modern cloud-based applications that work differently. They allow you to break down their functionalities into smaller services that can be accessed independently. These smaller services are called microservices. But to make this work smoothly, we need a flexible way for these microservices to communicate with each other. This is where agile integration comes in.
Agile integration takes a different approach. It decentralizes communication between the microservices. This means we can easily add or remove services without disrupting the rest of the software.
Challenges in Telecom Industry: Complex business models and billing procedures
Telcos face one of the biggest challenges in the telecom industry when it comes to the complexity of their business models and billing procedures in the M2M (Machine-to-Machine) and IoT (Internet of Things) fields. M2M refers to devices communicating with each other without human intervention. IoT is about connecting devices to the Internet. As these markets keep growing, it's essential for all participants to figure out how they can make money from their specific domain.
One particular challenge in the telecom industry is marketplace billing, which means making sure that the right providers get paid the correct amount for the exact amount of usage. This is tricky because M2M/IoT involves a lot of automation and complexity. To handle this, telcos need a robust and flexible system for keeping track of accounts receivable and managing billing. This system should be able to adapt easily as the number of connections and devices increases.
Case in point: developing user-friendly platform for Internet of Things for multinational telecom holding
BT Group is a British telecommunications holding with a strong focus on IoT connectivity and solutions. To manage this critical area of their business, they initially relied on a popular platform called Cisco Jasper. But they soon realized that this solution wasn’t meeting their expectations in terms of functionality and user experience and was hindering their productivity and growth. Determined to provide their clients with a superior IoT experience, BT decided to invest in a custom solution.
BT wanted to create a powerful platform that would let their clients effectively utilize IoT devices in their day-to-day operations. For instance, a company specializing in agriculture solutions could leverage this platform to automate their business operations: login, purchase IoT SIM cards, receive invoices and even resell the service. They could invite their own customers, and other agribusinesses that had purchased devices with IoT SIM cards, to manage their operations seamlessly through this platform.
To bring this ambitious vision to life, the Flyaps team adopted a microservices architecture approach. This allowed us to break down the complex system into smaller, more manageable modules known as microservices. Each microservice was responsible for specific functionality, such as device purchasing, invoicing, or customer management. Dividing our development team into dedicated groups, each focusing on a specific module, ensured independent development and faster progress.
The solution turned out to be so successful that the company announced the launch of its IoT national roaming service. Now we are working with them on the newer, even more advanced, releases of the product.
Low-quality digital customer experience
If it takes more than a day to get something done, customer satisfaction for telcos drops by a massive 30%. On average, smartphone users need around 4.1 days to fulfill their requests to their telecom providers. This data shows that front-office operations in the industry are generally slow, which is a major problem in telecommunications. However, the sooner a telco starts prioritizing user satisfaction and adopts certain approaches and technologies to enhance it, the greater competitive advantage it will have.
Here are some ways to improve client loyalty:
- Implement self-service options for both B2B and B2C customers, especially on mobile devices.
- Utilize AI-driven chatbots.
- Use analytical tools to understand customer behavior.
To delve deeper into the digital customer experience in the telecom industry read our article.
Poor efficiency and high operational costs
Imagine a telecom company that has been operating for many years using outdated analog back-office procedures and technologies. This approach is slow, costly, and prone to errors.
When customers request changes to their service plans or report billing discrepancies, the company employees have to manually input data into different systems. This tedious and error-prone process often leads to mistakes, such as incorrect billing or service disruptions, causing frustration for customers.
By adopting automated systems, cloud-based storage, and digital workflows, they can eliminate the reliance on analog transactions. This would streamline processes, reduce errors, and enhance the overall efficiency of the company. Additionally, such measures will help to eliminate another risk in the telecom industry, which we’ve already discussed – low customer satisfaction.
Implementing a digital back-office system would enable the company to digitize customer records, automate data entry, and integrate different systems for seamless information flow. This would result in faster response times, accurate billing, and improved customer service.
One of the real-life examples of how to overcome similar challenges in the telecom industry is NetSpark IP & Telecom. Read further for their success story.
Case in point: back-office tasks automation for telecom enterprise
NetSpark IP & Telecom is a US-based telecom consulting company. Before they approached us, they didn't have any tools to automate their workflow or oversee projects in place. This meant that their employees had to do all the tasks manually. It was particularly challenging and time-consuming when they had to calculate the best tariff plans for each client. They needed up to 10 employees working on a single project just for this task.
As their business began to scale, NetSpark IP & Telecom decided it was time to automate their back-office tasks and came to Flyaps to help them build an automation solution – a custom CRM/ERP system.
Our developers built a CRM/ERP system that completely aligned with the company's needs and the specific processes in the telecom industry. Additionally, we created an RPA-based calculation tool that performs calculations, analyzes client data, and suggests the best combinations of tariff plans for each client.
This transformation of their core business processes helped NetSpark improve efficiency and increase revenue in the long term.
Why telcos choose Flyaps
Telcos choose our software development company to mitigate the threats to the telecom industry, and here's why our services are so compelling:
We know the industry: We have a track record of developing products that are actively utilized by more than 100 telecom opcos, including major corporations such as Orange Group. With 10 years of experience working with telecommunication organizations, we have acquired a deep understanding of the specific challenges and requirements within the telecom industry.
Utilizing advanced technologies for fast and flexible development: Flyaps employs cutting-edge technologies like the microservices approach, frameworks, and tools to ensure speedy and adaptable development. This enables us to create solutions that can handle the large volumes of data generated by your telco and provide real-time analytics and insights.
Prioritizing communication with end-users: Flyaps recognizes that effective communication with the final users is crucial for success. We engage with telecom businesses and present prototypes of their products in the early stages of development. By involving end-users, we gather valuable feedback and ensure that the final solution meets the specific needs and expectations of the telecom business.
Ready to overcome the challenges in the telecom industry? Discover how Flyaps can help you tackle these obstacles and drive your business forward. Reach out to us today and unlock the solutions you need for success.