Telecom operators and service providers face more scrutiny today for their customer relations than in the past, thanks to increased pressured from the digital world’s consumer-first approaches to business. Competition among communication service providers has placed more importance on metrics such as customer experience and satisfaction.
But as expectations around customer experience have risen, telecom operators need to upgrade their legacy BSS/OSS and CRM infrastructure in order to begin delivering new and improved customer journeys. These system migrations can be a slow and painful process for service providers and their customers. Such transformations are huge undertakings with high stakes and often yield pricey – but underwhelming – results.
Agility has become an important competitive tool for helping forward-looking service providers remain competitive in today’s digital environment. An agile layer can ensure telecom operators realize the business impacts of a customer-first approach in a matter of months, all while reducing the “rip and replace” risk of migrating entire legacy systems at once. That agility helps communications service providers focus more on providing a stellar experience for the customer, and less on the technology behind it.
Agile Software Removes the Risk in System Upgrades
Agility is key to upgrading legacy systems and reducing the risk associated with deploying new business-critical architecture. Adding an agile layer to legacy systems enables a service provider to de-couple the customer experience from the backend support systems and allows the service provider to define the customer interactions independent of BSS/OSS and CRM architectures and their limitations.
Agile platforms can offer a valuable mix of customization and out-of-the-box configuration for telecom operators, giving operators a solution that can be up and running in a matter of months, while leaving room for tailored outcomes and customized offerings. Out-of-the-box capabilities for engagement platforms can include efforts focused on retention, cross-sell, upsell, marketing, sales and CPQ, customer service, field service and fulfilment.
These features can help telecom operators shave off months of building time for things like data models, logic, and user interfaces, which are all important pieces of modernizing legacy systems. And agile architecture can give operators more flexibility in future upgrades and in enabling operators to specialize the platform for specific regions, products and customers, as needed. An agile layer can help to ease the reliability, maintenance and future scaling of these systems, too, giving operators the freedom and flexibility to replace systems at their own pace.
An agile customer engagement platform enables service providers to see the business impacts and benefits of a forward-thinking, customer-first interaction philosophy, more quickly, with minimal time spent building and integrating new customer-facing platforms with the behind-the-scenes legacy systems.
Pegasystems Leverages Agility with ‘Wrap and Renew’ CEP
Software provider Pegasystems’ Customer Engagement Platform (CEP) takes a new approach to modernizing business stacks by offering communication service providers the ability to modernize the customer experience without relying on an all-or-nothing migration approach.
Pega’s CEP is based on the principle of wrap and renew: the platform wraps an agile and intelligent software layer around legacy systems on the backend. That agile layer is able to leverage new technology features such as increased automation, data virtualization and AI-driven omni-channel approaches to customer interactions to deliver best-in-class customer experiences throughout the entire customer lifecycle, all while integrating with legacy BSS/OSS and CRM systems. Pega can even wrap multiple underlying systems, particularly important in telecoms given that most operators have grown (or are growing) through acquisitions.
For communications service providers, upgrading the extensive billing and ratings systems can become a messy endeavor, as these systems are often incredibly complicated. Pega’s CEP offers a variety of pre-built marketing and communication applications built specifically for telecom operators, such as out-of-the-box connectors that easily link up with telecom operators’ legacy systems like billing and fulfillment, further smoothing integration pathways between technology stacks.
Pega’s CEP can also help align goals and strategies between IT and business divisions. The platform’s design ensures that both a business person and an IT person can understand it, which removes some of the pain points in upgrading legacy systems by ensuring that each party is speaking the same language.
The Customer Journey, Transformed
Communications service providers can both exceed customer expectations and realize operational cost savings by establishing intelligent, customer-centric workflows that transform the customer journey. But what does it look like in action?
Operators can upgrade the customer journey by delivering a personalized and frictionless experience to the customer. When a customer is having issues with a router, for example, Pega’s agile CEP and its centralized intelligent “brain” delivers all the pertinent account history and customer information to the support agent, across external or non-integrated systems, as well as steps already taken to resolve the issue. The rep is then able to immediately begin working to resolve the issue, without need for backtracking with the customer, or manually retrieving relevant information across systems.
This omni-channel approach to customer case management helps to reduce AHT for calls and delivers a much improved experience for the customer. The CEP’s AI “brain” is also able to determine if an issue cannot be resolved over the phone, if a truck roll is required, or even if there’s an opportunity to upsell the customer to a new router or service plan.
Using Pega’s CEP, service providers are able to leverage agility to yield better results across the business: the customers are happy with the new set of experiences that puts them first; and the operator is able to reduce redundancies, eliminate inefficiencies, and realize cost savings by streamlining operations between legacy systems and next-generation customer experiences.