Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast:
Building Lifetime Customer Value

APIs that deliver data from one place to another can be added to any BSS, OSS, CRM, or ERP without disrupting any current processes.
The old, oft-cited solution to the problem of integration is a wholesale rebuild of the company’s systems. The thinking goes like this: When faced with an intimidating integration to your business support systems (BSS) or operational support system (OSS), re-create the systems from scratch so you can be sure the new approach is compatible. Unfortunately, such thinking puts us right back to the problem of digital transformation solutions being dreadfully expensive, highly laborious, and painfully time-consuming. Thankfully, there is another way. 

The Age of Off-the-shelf Solutions

There was a time not long ago when any company that wanted an accounting system or inventory processing software had no choice but to build a one-off custom software that they managed themselves. Then came the advent of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and now there are several options for off-the-shelf accounting and inventory systems. The same goes for customer databases and the rise of customer relationship management (CRM) programs. Can there be a comparable, off-the-shelf solution for digital customer engagement? Or are CSPs still faced with ground-up software rebuilds every time?

By taking an approach based on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), CSPs can aim to isolate their specifically needed areas of improvement instead of rebuilding the entire system. APIs that deliver data from one place to another can be added to any BSS, OSS, CRM, or ERP without disrupting any current processes. This way, CSPs can use their existing data and systems to achieve new, exciting digital transformation in the areas of customer engagement without needing a full overhaul of their software. All it takes is access to the systems, and the right way of connecting the data.

So, if an API-based approach to digital transformation is so quick and easy, why isn’t it common? In short, it’s because a company still needs to create the APIs that will best serve the purposes of a major telecommunications provider. This task can be tricky. In order to be effective, the APIs need to account for customer preferences in aiming for informed, intentional communication. Users demand tailored, relevant touch points that meet them where they are on their customer journeys, and those kinds of high-value interactions take time and expertise to develop.

New customer engagement efforts thrive when they are personalized, cross-functional, and integrated. Simply put, customer communication efforts that are siloed are unlikely to work. Addressing this, however, can involve accounting for hundreds of different user personas and customer journeys. In other words, the digital communication suite needs to meet the preferences of an 18-year-old student just as well as a 75-year-old retiree. Accomplishing this level of diversity is heavy lifting for an internal IT team, and alien territory for software companies or systems integrators.

This is where the concept of an off-the-shelf solution comes in. With enough experience and expertise in the realm of CSPs and their needs, the right collection of digital engagement integrations can be pre-built into a solution that can match the needs of whatever business segments, personas, or communication channels a given CSP would want. So, not only is an ideal software specially created with CSPs in mind, but the APIs are all pre-designed up front and ready to go, complete with dashboards and analytics to measure success. The ideal is having a CSP customer engagement digital transformation kit that will produce measurable results in a matter of days, not years.

Putting it all Together

Digital transformation does not need to be a long, pricey, and complex task to produce meaningful results. By embracing new opportunities that aim for consumer-facing digital engagement from the perspective of customer lifetime value, CSPs can find meaningful value by increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. The best part is that the new era of digital engagement suites will be off-the-shelf, API-based solutions that meet their unique needs right away. CSPs can bypass the daunting task of complete BSS or OSS system overhauls, enabling them to integrate new digital engagement tools with their existing IT infrastructure easily and efficiently. This direct approach not only mitigates the risk and uncertainty often associated with digital transformation projects, but also promises a quicker ROI by prioritizing projects with easily identifiable benefits. By beginning with modest initiatives, CSPs can accelerate progress, avoid headaches, and ensure their digital transformation efforts yield significant results up front. Think big, start small, move fast.


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