Updated: Oct 12
Looking to gain a competitive edge in the telecom market?
The year 2024 offers small operators ideal opportunities for digital transformation!
Get to know what the three targeted strategies can significantly boost efficiency and revenue streams. Keep reading to discover the business-centric actions that make your organisation stand out.
Why do small telcos need to catch up in digital transformation?
Financial limitations and lack of income
One of the most significant challenges hindering small telecom businesses from fully embracing digital transformation is the constraint of limited financial resources. Also, rising inflation is making things challenging as well.
Another significant concern is the increase in operational expenses. Energy charges account for nearly 3% of a European telecom company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation. Moreover, rising wages pose an additional financial challenge, as they typically make up around 16% of a company’s overall revenue.
The financial limitations result in a heavy reliance on outdated digital tools. For example, many still use basic spreadsheets as makeshift CRM systems, alongside elementary billing processes and rudimentary service catalogues. Such limitations prevent these companies from establishing a robust Business Support System (BSS), a vital component in staying competitive in today’s fast-paced telecom landscape.
In many cases, small telecom businesses are family-owned or employ a significant number of older individuals. The workforce in these organisations often displays a strong attachment to longstanding work processes and tools, creating a cultural barrier to the adoption of new technologies. Because these employees have spent decades working with certain apps and methods, there is often resistance or even active sabotage when it comes to implementing technological innovations. This internal resistance complicates the company’s journey toward digital transformation, further hindering its ability to compete in a modern marketplace.
“Sabotage can pose a significant obstacle to digital transformation, particularly for small telecom companies where employees may not be ready for technological changes. I know a real-life case where a telecom company aimed to implement a new technology product across five affiliates. The business had successfully done it in one of them. However, due to acts of sabotage, they ultimately chose to backtrack and cancel the newly developed product. Naturally, this project resulted in zero return on investment and had a detrimental impact on the employee experience.”
Delivery Head, JEVERA Software
3 actions to help small telcos start the digital transformation
Initiate digital transformation with local SaaS solutions
Often, small telecom operators lease infrastructure from larger service providers. While this model eliminates the need to navigate complex restrictions and architectural challenges, it also necessitates vigilant management of integrations with such equipment.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) offers an economical yet effective approach to this issue. It has emerged as a fundamental change, providing organisations with a cloud-first flexible and scalable mindset.
Such an approach empowers business leaders to collaborate seamlessly with IT and marketing teams, enabling them to develop scalable solutions that are agile and responsive to market demands.
“One of the most effective ways for small businesses to begin their digital transformation journey is by selecting an appropriate SaaS solution. By doing so, small companies can enhance their competitiveness, delivering more value to their users. When one organisation implements a proven and efficient SaaS solution that demonstrates impressive business results, it's only a matter of time before its competitors follow suit. In such cases, everyone benefits — both businesses and customers.”
Head of Digital Transformation, JEVERA Software
Important: It is crucial to opt for SaaS solutions that are geographically close to the rented infrastructure to ensure optimal performance and seamless integration.
Prioritise customer experience
If a task takes longer than a day to complete, telecom companies see a significant 30% decline in customer satisfaction. The client remains the most valuable asset for any telecom operator, large or small. Consequently, enhancing the customer experience should be a top priority.
Small operators can take immediate and impactful steps by developing user-friendly self-service portals, deploying responsive chatbots, ensuring streamlined and accessible customer support channels, and implementing analytics to understand clients’ behaviour. These improvements may not require significant investment but they offer immense value in customer satisfaction and loyalty, bolstering the business’s long-term sustainability.
Educate employees and foster a culture of innovation
One of the persistent challenges for small telecom operators is cultivating an organisational culture that readily adapts to change. To address this, businesses must invest in raising awareness among employees about upcoming technological shifts and potential transformations. But it is just the first step.
The ultimate aim should be to transform the team into advocates for innovation. To achieve this, employees should not only be educated about the changes but should also be motivated to be the driving force behind the adoption of new technological solutions. This internal culture of enthusiasm for innovation will serve as a catalyst for the company’s digital transformation journey.
The year 2024 offers small telecom companies an opportunity to begin their digital transformation. Enterprises can break down financial and cultural barriers by focusing on three key areas — local SaaS integration, customer satisfaction, and employee innovation.
These straightforward yet powerful steps will make your operations more efficient and boost your revenue. If you follow these measures, your company will be well-positioned to prosper in the developing digital market.