With the huge investment in Telecommunication that is being done, and still pouring into Pakistan, consumers are reaping the benefits in the form of extremely cheap calls within and as well outside the country, bit cheaper DSL services etc.
Now the question is, what will be at least one of the key differentiator between the different service providers? Moving forward, is it going to be the price, new service offerings, or is attention going to be paid to customer service, or in other words Ã¢â‚¬Å“Service OperationsÃ¢â‚¬Â?
Based on my industry experience and even stated in quite a few publications, the key differentiator is going to be Ã¢â‚¬Å“how well a service provider captures and manages customerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s experienceÃ¢â‚¬Â
Based on my limited exposure to Pakistan’s telecom industry, it seems that the current focus is still on managing individual elements of the network. Telco companies are implementing bleeding edge technology (or at least planning to), but thus far no long term vision has been defined on Ã¢â‚¬Å“how such services e.g. HSD (High speed data, VoIP, Wireless Broadband etc) will be managed End-to-End?Ã¢â‚¬Â.
The only thing that might be in place is that O&M (Operations and Management) contracts might have been granted to the given vendors from whom the given technology/equipment has been purchased. This approach of O&M handing over to the vendors can be helpful to any start up service provider but only for short time. If such approach is not backed by thoughtful and planned SLAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (Service Level Agreements) the infrastructure is not able to scale.
So why should a service provider support O&M in-house? Among many factors, two main factors are:
1) Better product management/deployment
2) Able to capture true customer experience (i.e. better Service Assurance and Service Delivery).
Keeping these 2 factors in mind, service providers have to start making investment in Operations infrastructure. This means investment in setting up e.g.
Service Operations Center (e.g. setting up highly skilled Services DeskÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s with tools infrastructure (OSS) in place to provide both preventive and proactive monitoring of Services instead of just individual network elements).
In my next post I will further highlight components of Service Assurance and Service Delivery and managing End-to-End customer experience with respect to broadband services.