The telecoms industry seems to go through periods of intense self-loathing at regular intervals, almost like it is suffering from an inferiority complex.
Despite constantly pushing the boundaries of technology and providing fantastic services to customers whether mobile or fixed, it is an industry that is never seems quite satisfied, never quite happy with what it has (greatly) achieved.
Connectivity provided by telcos has become an essential commodity for most of the world’s population.
It has changed millions of lives for the better, is bringing health, education and commerce to people that only a few years back could never have dreamt of experiencing.
It is an industry that generates billions of dollars in revenues, is very profitable but fails to excite investors who see it as conservative, wasteful, showing poor ROI and fettered by over-regulation and spectrum limitations.
It seems that telecom just isn't 'sexy' any more.
Today it’s all about the devices and the apps.
Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
Without that ‘unsexy’ connectivity nothing else would exist.
No voice, no data, no cloud, no apps, no internet, no messaging, no nothing !
The killer app we have all been waiting for is with us already and has been for years – it’s connectivity, and it is the glue that keeps the whole ecosystem together.
So the time has come for CSPs to stand up and proclaim their rightful place in the pecking order and stop talking about threats from over-the-top players and everyone else that uses, wants and needs their prime service – connectivity.
The ability to provide continuous connectively is something that most other industries aspire to.
Our ability to track, charge, provision and deliver everything in real-time puts us in a league of our own.
The technical and business processes we have fine-tuned over 100 years are now being adopted by a wide range of government, corporate and enterprise sectors because they work.
We have not only learnt how to build networks and run them efficiently, we have learnt how to work together with suppliers to provide managed services, cloud and business systems that others can take advantage of.
It provides the type of comfort and security that other businesses need before they hand over responsibility of their data.
In fact, the underlying methodologies developed by CSPs and their partners that monitor all the processes within their operations are what make them stand out.
What started as revenue assurance, the checking of the collection, pricing and billing of call records has expanded into system-wide monitoring of all core processes into what has become known as business assurance, a term originally coined by our company.
This Enterprise Business Assurance methodology is now being adopted by utilities, manufacturers and retailers as a means of reducing, even eliminating, losses from wastage and leakage in their manufacturing, supply and logistics operations right through to point of sale.
Where periodic audits and stocktakes used to provide the only means of determining leakage, constant assessment using principles developed in the telecoms industry, are helping others to discover, recover and prevent massive losses from a multitude of potential leakage points.
It is only a matter of time before the new digital service providers, seemingly oblivious to the need for so many checkpoints, will realize that without them they risk losing vast sums to theft, fraud, illegal distribution, even peer to peer resale of their digital products.
The proliferation of social networks, online retailers and digital resellers will eventually come down to those that are able to generate revenues, keep costs low and manage potential loss.
The telecoms industry should stand tall knowing that is has provided the groundwork for the best business assurance processes and systems in existence and thbat, along with connectivity, is what makes them so special.