At the end of the day, a streamlined business can witness tremendous cost and time savings, not to mention deliver better experiences for customers and employees.
Most, if not all, leaders in the communications space have ongoing initiatives for optimizing their business, whether it’s the implementation of sophisticated software and technology, or process reengineering to become more productive and profitable.
“We’re streamlining our corporate functions and pushing costs directly to the business units to drive efficiencies and respond more quickly to customers’ needs,” said AT&T’s John J. Stephens, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer. “And we’ve established a new advertising and analytics organization to enhance our overall business opportunities.”
Glen Post, chief executive officer of CenturyLink, recently said, “We’re also better positioned to improve operational efficiency and drive profitable growth through expanded on-net capabilities, automation, and simplification. The increased scale of our business further strengthens our ability to take advantage of changing technological and competitive landscapes. And we’ve said before, our success in the future depends greatly on excellent execution, and we believe we are well positioned to accomplish this in the months ahead.”
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In a Q3 2017 earnings report, Nicholas Jonathan Read, chief financial officer of Vodafone, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, said the company is investing a tremendous amount of money in technology to become more effective and lean:
Supporting customers will be far more efficient and effective, given new AI applications such as chatbots and virtual agents. In total, we spend around €5 billion today on these customer related areas. We also see scope for efficiency gains in our network and technology costs, by using the power of real time analytics to enable smarter network planning and predictive maintenance. In addition, we aim to lower IT costs by moving 65% of IT applications to the cloud, we would therefore expect to drive more productivity from the capital investment that we have to ultimately drive greater differentiation in network quality and customer experience.
Mr. Read went on to say, “We spend around €3 billion today on support activities, many of which can be simplified and automated through robotics. This will be a multi-year effort which will require some upfront investment over the next two years, and the rate of savings will depend, to some degree, on customer behaviour shifts and the need for us to reinvest, but the opportunity is clearly material.”
Vittorio Amedeo Colao, chief executive of Vodafone, reiterated his belief in the company’s need to have the best technology possible, in order to advance the business:
The technology aspect, based on data analytics and the use of all digital information to improve and personalise offers, so make the offers more effective with the customers but also more efficient for us to deliver. And finally, in operation delivery, better allocation of capex, simplifying products and services and platforms to what really delivers the higher return on investment for our money and, of course, automation, as Nick Read has described, to drive efficiency. So, Digital Vodafone, it is about costs – and, of course, the cost opportunity is big – but it is also, I think, as importantly, about revenues and about reducing churn.
There’s no question that the use of advanced technology – whether it’s analytics, cognitive computing, machine learning, or the Internet of Things (IoT) – enables companies to streamline their operations, reduce costs, provide admirable customer service, and improve the customer experience. Companies will continue investing in the latest and greatest technology to drive efficiency.
Using the insights we’ve gleaned from conversations with clients, perspectives from industry executives, and statistics from market research reports, we have prepared a guide that describes the current state of the communications sector.
Use it as a barometer to measure the impact of your own activities and initiatives. How do you compare to your peers? Are you doing the right things? Should you adjust your strategy to remain or become an industry leader?
You can download it here or fill out the form below.