In 2020, internet usage increased by 70%, online communication by 10x, and online streaming by more than 50%1. Yet, “during the pandemic, telcos have created less value for shareholders than every sector but one, financial services.”2
Despite forming the foundation of most communications during the pandemic — when nearly every business and government was forced to work remotely — telecommunications as an industry is not showing corresponding growth.
To overcome this, telcos need to address their critical challenges:
Unreliable network: With the entire world going digital, pressures on the network have also grown. And network resilience has come to be a significant differentiator among telecom operators.
Cybersecurity concerns: The sudden shift towards digital-everything has worsened cyberthreats, forcing telecom providers to invest in security measures to build long-term trust and loyalty across customer segments.
Process inefficiencies: Delays in onboarding a customer, resolving issues, clarifying billing queries, etc., are having a pronounced impact on customer experience and loyalty.
Weak customer engagement systems: Without personalized communications based on customer needs and concerns, cross-sell/up-sell opportunities are lost.
However, the rapid digital transformation due to the pandemic has opened significant opportunities for the telecom sector, both with enterprise customers and end-consumers. With improvements in operational efficiency, cost-effectiveness, customer experience, and cybersecurity, telcos can turn their businesses around quickly.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can play a significant role by accelerating the business transformation required to leverage these opportunities.
Robotic process automation refers to deploying bots (software robots) to emulate user behavior, thereby automating repetitive and rule-based tasks. Telecom as an industry offers multiple opportunities across internal and external processes for automation, resulting in measurable business outcomes. Some of these opportunities are as follows.
Telecom providers have an SLA of hours, if not days, to resolve outage issues. This is because much of the root-cause analysis, diagnosis, and solutioning are performed manually by network experts, which is time-consuming and significantly increases the FTE needed on rolls for maintenance.
RPA can improve network resilience by:
Enterprises do this by regularly sending emails to users, conducting seminars, running internal tests, etc. However, threats still enter the system as an unsuspecting user clicks on a harmless-looking link.
RPA can prevent this and strengthen cybersecurity posture by:
Telecom operators handle millions of operations and many million megabytes of data every day. This scale often causes delays, expenses, and customer dissatisfaction. RPA can help optimize these processes by:
A large customer base and growing usage of digital products automatically mean that the number of calls coming to the contact center is also likely to go up. Without automation, this might result in long wait times and disgruntled customers. RPA can help telecom providers overcome this with:
Leveraging the power of automation can undoubtedly help improve a vast number of inefficient and unproductive processes, across various functions within the telecom industry.
Read more on how RPA can transform the telecom industry.