Telcos have to make tough choices over several years in order to bring about their goal of radical simplification. Frédéric Debruyne, who leads Bain's Telecommunications practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, explains the key elements of successful transformations and what these companies can gain by being faster and stronger.
Read the Bain Brief: Simple and Digital Is Calling—Will Telcos Answer?
Read the transcript below.
FREDERIC DEBRUYNE: Telcos are critical for the digital economy. If you think about it, they are in charge of deploying and maintaining smart, secure networks. Now telcos have also a lot of work to do on themselves to transform and become more simple and more digital.
In our experience, there are three things that really matter to do it successfully. First of all, they need to be very customer-centric. You want to start from the customer and build the future telco from a customer perspective. Second is actually embracing the notion of radical simplification, and making sure that you dramatically simplify the business model and that you don't digitize unneeded complexity.
The third key element is to actually become much more open to the ecosystem and to other digital players. Telcos, in the past, have been very often pretty closed businesses, and the job is now to become much more open. Now, how do you really succeed on those transformations?
First, in terms of the what. It's super important to be extremely clear about the future vision, and what is it you're trying to create, notably the future value propositions, your future customer episodes, and your future channels. It's also very important to make sure you can actually make the hard choices and the hard decisions along the way, so you actually catalyze the transformation.
In terms of how, the most important point is actually that you get your technology teams and your business teams working together at speed in an Agile way. It's also important to realize that it's going to be a multiyear transformation, and so being very thoughtful about what are the major steps along these years, along the transformation, and making those steps in the right sequence is crucially important.
Telcos that do this well get two major benefits. One is actually that you improve dramatically customer experience in the range of 30 percentage points [in Net Promoter Scores], but also revenue increases. The second major benefit is actually you get dramatic cost reduction in the range of 20 to 30 percentage points. As a consequence, telcos that do it better and faster than the competition will be the ultimate winners in the market.