Optimize Operations for Digital Growth – a Managed Services Playbook

The forecasts that envision 50 billion connected devices by 2017 are simply staggering. The volume of data is one thing, but how communications service providers (CSPs) can apply valuable resources to transforming their business to support digital services, rather than managing data, connectivity and infrastructure, is another thing entirely.

It’s a given that CSPs will manage the data, devices, and services associated with the connected world, but traditional operational models won’t be going away anytime soon – traditional services still require tasks such as truck rollouts and engineers to go out onsite. So, many CSPs are struggling with how to optimize these traditional operating models, while simultaneously creating and embracing the new models required to compete in a hyper-agile digital environment. The one thing both models have in common is that both are evolving and both need to adapt to, and embrace, the CSP’s changing needs.

This need to support constant change is exactly why CSPs are turning to managed services. At the very core of any managed service is the principle of ‘continuous assessment and continuous improvement’. In fact, the notion of constant innovation sits at the forefront of any good managed service capability.

The need to constantly manage change is driving many CSPs to ask more of their managed services partnerships, and just focusing on pieces of the overall technology picture isn’t enough – consideration of the entire ecosystem of ‘people, processes and technology’ as a whole, must be at the forefront of any managed services endeavor. The ability to dive deep into the operating domain to align these three elements to support both today’s, and tomorrow’s business models, is crucial.

That’s where the next generation of managed services, with a service oriented, best-of-breed approach, fits in.

What do we mean? The service oriented ‘best-of-breed’ managed service approach:

1. Is built upon collaboration stakeholders from across the business (not just IT)

“Innovation teams” comprised of marketing, IT, product management and the managed service partner, identify business objectives, establish common goals and proactive identify issues that can create dramatic and meaningful results for the business. For example, when one of CSG’s managed services clients wanted to shorten the amount of time it took to create and launch a new product, CSG partnered with the client to approach ‘change’ as one team. By using this approach to transform their operating model, the client is now able to roll-out new product and service releases on a sub-weekly basis to meet extremely tough competitive market pressures. More importantly, the managed services solution has helped reduce cost and turn around declining revenues and margins.

2. Focuses on putting in place the people, processes and technology to work in harmony to drive business outcomes

Technology can address parts of the interaction, but often overlooks the whole. It is only through a holistic approach to people, process and technology that you can drive real harmony, optimization and service maturity. A service-driven approach looks at an entire process from beginning to end, and more importantly considers key things like ‘Fit for Use’ and ‘Fit for Purpose’ to drive services based on business outcomes.

3. Puts the customer experience at the center and forefront of any service design

In the new digital era, managing and enhancing the customer experience is not just necessary but actually crucial. Customers have more flexibility, more choice and are more empowered. So it is essential that, regardless of the operating model (whether traditional or new), that optimizing the customer experience is an inherent function.

This is why a service-oriented approach to managed services is essential – it goes deep into the operating model to drive improvements and efficiencies that deliver cost optimization, improved time to market, improved operational efficiency and service predictability – all essential components to managing traditional services alongside the consumer demand for the latest digital service experience.

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