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Over the last ten years or so, the telecoms industry has changed massively- and networks are having to come to terms with that fact, fast. Thanks to the rise of smartphones and tablets, consumers are approaching technology in a whole different way.
They are also much better adapted to fast changes in the technology available, and as a result, they are more likely to switch carriers if they don’t like the service. Carriers therefore need to be as competitive as possible, offering a high-quality service for the best possible price. Otherwise, they could well find that their customers all start to migrate elsewhere.
It’s not just other telecom carriers that companies need to worry about, though. Several online companies have started to offer “voice-over-internet” services. The most notable of these is Skype, which offers free audio and video calls within the app, and Google is also prepping its own contender, Google Voice.
The iPhone is as popular as ever, and not only does it enable consumers to easily access these apps, but it even offers a free calling service, Facetime, included with every phone shipped. Clearly, the market is getting increasingly crowded, and carriers need to take action to combat this issue.
One approach to this problem is to outsource carrier network management. This can have huge advantages in terms of keeping costs low, since carriers are only paying the outsourcing vendor for capacity use, instead of the highly expensive equipment. The impact on customers is minimal, since the vendors are still using high quality equipment.
It’s also an effective way of overcoming the skills gap which has emerged in the telecoms industry, as skilled workers switched to other industries where their abilities were much more in-demand. Working with IT outsourcing vendors is therefore an excellent way for the telecom industry to build and maintain a truly next-generation network, while still keeping costs low.
The benefits don’t end there, though. On top of plugging this skills gap and providing expert engineering staff on the ground, outsourcing can also help telecom companies save money in areas like procurement, logistics, and maintenance, by removing the financial pressure of keeping these services in-house.
Effective outsourcing is only possible by choosing the right partners, though. Telecom companies will want to select outsourcing vendors who can deliver value at every stage of the project. Outsourcing isn’t just about bringing in some extra manpower in an emergency- when carried out properly, it can form a long-lasting relationship that is beneficial to both parties.
In the last decade, almost every major telecom operator has tried outsourcing in some form or another, mainly as a way of cutting costs.
However, not all the results have been adequate. While many have indeed managed to lower their expenses, this has come at a cost- loss of control over operations, less business flexibility, and fewer opportunities to make the most of the latest innovations.
Clearly this is a bad position for operators to be in, especially when the telecom industry as a whole is going through a disruptive period, and competition is increasing on all fronts.
Those operators that have been let down by outsourcing deals should certainly consider second-generation outsourcing deals, to help them take back control over their operations, restore key capabilities to the carrier, and help foster a new era of telecoms innovation.
Doing this requires a clear action plan and the right choice of partner, as well as dedication to executing this new approach. While they can be tricky to manage, the benefits are enormous, both in terms of saving money and boosting growth.
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