Agile in telecom

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Information about Agile in telecom

Published on March 10, 2014

Author: cvjinto



It is a article wrote by me for LOS magazine Christ University,Bangalore about agile movement in telecom.

Agile concept in Telecom The moment we hear the term agile, one thing which comes to our mind is agile software development. The concept is a very hot subject across industries. The dictionary meaning of the term agile is “able to move quickly and easily”. Looking from the industry’s perspective, agile means how an organization changes its processes and procedures faster according to customer needs to get business advantage or competitive edge. Agile concept can be applied in various industries. Why Agility is important in Telecom industry Telecom is one of the dynamic industries in the world. Products and services in this industry change very quickly. Indian telecom industry is the second largest in the world based on total number of subscribers. The tariff rate is cheapest in the world enabled by hyper competition. The bargaining power of the customer increased significantly after the introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP). Are telecom companies prepared to face and handle fast changing customer needs? What are the strategies and processes adopted by companies to face rising competition? To address the above said questions, should companies adopt agile methodology? The price war between the companies became aggressive with the entry of Tata DOCOMO into the market. They introduced 1Second/1Paisa tariff. The same situation is expected with regard to internet data, with 4G launch planned by “Reliance Jio” by the end of this year. To cope up with any change or competition the back end of these service companies should be very agile. They have to change the billing system, core network hardware, infrastructure plans, project roll out plans, revenue calculation model, marketing plan and customer care processes. Suppose if they cannot change the billing system what would happen? The customers may get wrong tariff rates in their bill, which will lead to customer dissatisfaction and churn. If there is no agility in the communication processes towards the customers, the competitor will take advantage of this weakness. The ARPU(Average revenue per user) rate in India is very less compared to other countries, so it is important for the company to retain large number of customers in the network to get their desired revenue. The 1Sec/1Paisa is only one example, in real life situation. The backend changes happening in telecom industry is highly dynamic. The offers change almost every day and on a

customer to customer basis. Only the company which has strong agile back end processes and systems can sustain in this race. Increasing demand for packet data forced the companies to change their core business from voice to data. All the companies realize that packet data is the future of their business. It is evident from the spectrum auction that all telecom companies plan to launch 3G and 4G services throughout India. The companies invest aggressively to win the market. They are ready to change quickly to satisfy customer needs and in return to generate high revenue. Since MNP increased the customers bargaining power, they are also demanding for good quality service. In today’s highly competitive world it is important to address customer issues instantly by breaking the traditional and conventional approaches. This traditional processes and procedures will take lot of time and your customer may not wait until then, if he has the option of availing the same facilities from the competitor. Engineering department has a major role in reducing customers churn. Projects (like 3G and 4G implementation) should be executed well ahead of the competitor. Attending customer complaints within a short notice is very important. In agile system, the front end teams (sales and engineering) should be able to take inputs and feedback directly from the customers, for improving the quality of services before it turns into a complaint. Knowing the pulse of the customer is important for agility. All other departments have the same significance in the company’s agile efforts. Marketing department should be able to come up with new plans, Sales force should train their retailers about the new plan and procedure, the Service Delivery department in terms of addressing the customer issues, HR in arranging proper recruitment and training, Finance to support and change the revenue model and so on. In total, the company should be agile with respect to all departments and its processes to win the customers and competition. Is it only competition and customers that force the telecom companies to become agile? No, there is another factor which always threatens the telecom industry and it is none other than Government agencies like TRAI (Telecom regulatory authority of India), DOT (Department of Telecommunication) and others. They change their policies and rules quite often. Some of the rules are regarding the transmission power of the radiation from each tower, document verification of new user, Tariff limitation, Intended call jamming and SMS limitation to stop or

control communal violence, Spectrum limitation and utilization etc... They also heavily penalize the companies if there is any violation of rules. This penalty may lead to the cancellation of license in severe cases. All the departments should be able to change their procedures and systems according to the new rules if they want to continue business in the country. Now what do you think of the Telecom Industry, is it agile or not?

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