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No Second Chance To Get It Right the First Time

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Danica Cullins By Danica Cullins

There is a very important competition happening in London this week. Officially named “Visa International Gymnastics" as part of the “London Prepares Series," gymnasts from Olympic-qualifying nations get a chance to train and compete in the North Greenwich Arena (also known as The O2).

Exciting videos are now all over YouTube, showing the first glimpses of greatness that will be on display this August. Being seven months out from the biggest competition of their lives, these athletes have some kinks to work out. They don’t want to peak in January, but in August when the entire world is watching.

Service providers all over the globe know how this feels.

In fact, this competition came to mind as I read recently about a service provider who heavily rehearses change before rollout and utilizes shadow systems as part of its strategy. Having an opportunity to test your performance in the actual arena, but not quite in front of the whole world (and the media) is an important step to building the confidence to perform to maximum potential.

A new report from Insight Research predicts global telecommunications services revenue will grow from $2.1 trillion in 2012 to $2.7 trillion in 2017 at a combined average growth rate of 5.3 percent. Consumer and business spending for wireless services will continue to fuel the growth, the report says. Wireless subscriber growth, particularly in Asia and other emerging markets, will raise wireless revenues by 64 % from current levels, Insight forecasts, while wireline revenues show only modest growth.

Nearly all the growth in both sectors is expected to occur in broadband services, with wireless 3G and 4G broadband services projected to grow at a compounded rate of 24 % over the next five years and wireline broadband services projected to grow at a 13 % compounded rate over the same span.

"Despite global economic uncertainty, the telecommunications industry is showing strong revenue growth, which is being driven by consumer Internet usage and business mobility solutions. These are enabling new applications," says Fran Caulfield, research director for Insight Research. "Even amidst so much economic uncertainty, the fact remains that telecommunications is a key factor in economic growth. Telecommunications facilitates socio-economic advancement and is a critical utility for economic development, much like water and energy."

It takes time to prepare well, and your reputation with your customers and prospects depends on it. Communications service providers find themselves in a complex marketplace, with convergence and competition at the forefront. Media attention around the impact of major M&As, bill shock regulation, and  pressure on pricing plans are external factors that service providers have to combat indirectly with flawless service levels from the network team, the billing team and the customer care teams. Despite excellence in one area, weak performance by another team will drop a service provider from contention in the competition for customer loyalty. This is why it’s important for leaders in service provider organizations to contribute to the work and rehearsal of each event.

The benefit of taking the time to discover – and test – the kinks in your systems will indeed have an effect on your performance when it matters most. But just how many Olympic events does a service provider participate in? Here are four that could add up to a gold medal all around customer experience performance with strong scores across each.

  1. Service Assurance
  2. Network & Data Security
  3. Billing Accuracy
  4. Personalization

At the Olympics, there are generally two athletes that get the most attention. There’s the tragic story of the athlete who feels the medal slip through his or her fingers. And then there’s the victorious athletic who finds years of hard work all coming together to dramatically ascend to the top of the podium. Olympic athletes have to get it right when it matters most. As with rolling out any kind of change to operator customers, there is no second chance to get it right the first time.

Danica Cullins is publisher of Billing & OSS World, part of VIRGO ’s Communications Network.

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