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Digital Services: Partnering is Key to Success

21 November 2014

I recently had an article published in the SAMENA Trends magazine where I explained the importance of why mobile operators should implement a Digital Services strategy. The telecoms landscape is becoming increasingly competitive as mobile operators face threats from rival operators as well as internet companies. These Over-The-Top (OTT) players have eroded the operator’s revenue and brand through the introduction of their alternative Voice and SMS service offerings.

Mobile operators must move fast and find new sources of revenue to ensure they remain competitive. Implementing a Digital Services strategy is most certainly the way to do this. The operator can leverage the technology and personal data assets that they have at their disposal and offer innovative solutions to their customers that will drive revenues in addition to their core services.

The ideal scenario is for mobile operators to partner with OTT players in order to offer combined services as previous attempts to quash the threat of these OTTs have not been successful.  In this new digital ecosystem, the successful mobile operators will be the ones who are culturally and technologically agile whilst being fast moving, highly efficient and customer-centric. These operators will know how to partner in order to deliver the services that their customers want.

Earlier this week I was in Istanbul at the Zain Technology Conference (ZTC) and the theme of the event was around “Enabling an Inspiring Digital Lifestyle Experience”. Zain is changing and the direction of the Group is to transform itself from a mobile consumer only company into a digital lifestyle integrated service provider serving both consumers and businesses. As part of this initiative Zain recently announced the Zain Digital Frontier and Innovation (ZDFI) business unit. All of the Groups senior management team at ZTC were clear that they will be looking to partnerships to support the strategy as quicker time-to-market can be achieved through collaboration rather than doing everything alone, further reinforcing what I think we all now appreciate is the only way to move forward.

However partnering between mobile operators and Internet companies will have its challenges due to the presence of significant cultural differences. One way to overcome this issue is to bridge the cultural gap between mobile operators and Internet companies by introducing a third party digital services provider who manages the entire process from beginning to end.

Implementing a managed service approach means that mobile operators can safely open their data and leverage the API Economy building a robust ecosystem of new digital services that will create new revenues whilst reducing their cost and risk.

To find out more about implementing a Digital Service strategy and why partnering with OTT players is essential have a look at the full article here: http://www.samenacouncil.org/samena_trends/interactive/oct2014/


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