The telecommunications industry is constantly faced with umpteenth challenges in its mission to provide communication services to its customers.
As per the EY digital transformation (2020 and beyond) report, disruptive competition from vendors in the technology, service management, and other spaces, is the biggest challenge facing telco companies in the present times.
The increased competition in the market from the Over The Top (OTT) players such as Facebook, Amazon and Google, cutting into the profit pools, has made it mandatory for telcos to focus on their core competencies and understand the competitive market environment.
One surefire way of getting that done is by realigning the internal management by harnessing the capabilities of robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline time-consuming and cumbersome operational processes, monitoring data, controlling cost, increasing business agility, improving workforce, and developing new products and services.
RPA allows companies to transform operational processes, achieve organizational growth and leverage customer service by enhancing agility and scalability, improving data communication and transmission with high levels of data security and cost-effectiveness.
A report by Forrester suggests that RPA will be worth a $2.9 billion industry by 2021. By integrating RPA to override the complexities of legacy systems, telecom companies can focus on better managing operational tasks and generate sustainable revenue streams by offering fast high-quality and affordable services.
RPA use cases in telecom cover extensive services such as on-time billing, payment processing, customer service, number portability, simplifying document verification and SIM allotment process, data entry, data processing, data management, and much more. The key areas where ICT companies could benefit from PRA are:
Telcos are constantly collaborating with complex technologies from various suppliers and bringing them to the market. End users both consumers and enterprise require simple solutions in complex fields such as Machine to machine (M2M) and sensor networks, cloud and network security. The high reliability and accuracy of process outcomes is a must for telecommunication companies that are keen on boosting their customer service.
RPA can help companies in customer relationship management by providing assistance in after-sales support, behavioral data analysis, and allowing employees to offer accurate and timely functional solutions. It can also be beneficial in the development of better technologies, product and business model improvements to support customer relationship function.
Today’s customers have a low tolerance for drops in quality and performance. The ability to monitor data in real-time and check the quality of call traffic will be critical if communication companies serious about making a difference in their offerings. Communication services need to be faster, more agile, and more dependable than ever.
Security and the risk of data breaches
For telecommunications companies, data security and privacy are a key priority. Sensitive customer data form the backbone of its telcos core operations. Organizations capture data containing personally identifiable information (PII) and need to recognize procedures to ensure they are compliant. RPA and intelligent capture solutions can auto-classify a document and extract data and apply a record policy to help meet General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If PII data does not meet an established policy, an alert could be generated to intercept and resolve the issue.
RPA will allow volumes of data from multiple systems to be managed more easily by using interactions with user interfaces that mimic human mouse clicks and keystrokes.
The market landscape in the telecommunications sector is anything but stable, thanks to the emergence of various disruptive technologies, changing customer demands, and increasing competition. In such a situation, telecom operators should constantly look for new competitive positioning strategies that will give them the edge to be on top of the market.
With reduced repetitive, time-consuming tasks to take care of, telecommunication employees are better positioned to focus on high-value tasks that add to successful deliveries. From accurate comparative price analysis to competitor insights, RPA can monitor and analyze at individual, category, and brand level that provide added value to the competitive outlook.
Furthermore, telecom companies are dependent on third party brokers to promote their services. A lot of communication takes place before a deal is finalized. Since RPA based software robots are designed to respond to simple queries, read emails, and redirect complex questions to humans making the overall process of query resolution much simpler. RPA also assists in customer service as it can automate call sharing to human employees instantly so that they can serve the customer immediately to ensure better work efficiency, increased profits, and overall enhanced customer service.
The telecommunication environment is no doubt becoming sophisticated and heavily interconnected by the day. The ability to monitor and analyze data in real-time will be critical for the growth strategy for communication companies. To stay ahead, companies have to deliver the results that their customers and shareholders expect. Instead of embracing the latest trends just because they are available do not guarantee success. However, planning growth through intelligent automation seems to be the way forward for the telecom industry as it would lead to a big reduction of manual processing effort, improved information flow, reduced costs, elimination of human error and streamlining of the processes.
Also, RPA in the telecom industry can help the process of backing up client phone system configurations by managing hundreds of technical tasks to create a seamless backup system for all clients resulting in significant time and cost savings. Additionally, the cost of implementing an RPA solution is far less as compared to other automation solutions.
Communication services need to be faster, more agile, and more dependable and RPA seems to be the best available option to deliver that. As the telecommunications industry continues to expand and develop on the global front, proper implementation of the RPA frameworks will determine the health and wealth of the industry players as well as the stakeholders.