By Jennifer Toomey, VP of ERP Product Marketing at Oracle
The telecommunications industry has undergone a massive transformation over the past few years, and as advancements in speed, accessibility, and security promise even greater shifts in global connectivity, many major telco players are searching for ways to drive greater efficiencies, improve operating costs, and unlock new business models.
For many telcos, the next frontier of 5G services will require a rethink of their core business processes. They need to be able to efficiently embrace new business models and handle billions in subscription revenues across multiple service offerings. Managing the scale of transactions and usage from billions of connected devices with manual processes is no longer viable for finance teams.
Here are the ways that telco companies are reimagining business processes in the cloud to drive growth and maximize revenue in the 5G era:
Consolidating disconnected finance applications
As telco companies redefine themselves in our new 5G era, the ability to make strategic and forward-looking decisions rooted in data is what separates industry leaders from those who fall behind. Telcos that are reliant on disconnected legacy systems will face data quality problems and latency issues and find it nearly impossible to react quickly to market shifts.
Telco companies cannot support the impending wave of innovative 5G-based services without restructuring finance processes to be more flexible, agile, and connected. Instead of multiple disparate systems, consolidation on an integrated finance platform can help telcos gain a better understanding of profitability, costs, and revenue, and enable them to adopt new business models faster. With one unified view of operations, it’s much easier to track KPIs across the organization and introduce new services that will power next generation autonomous vehicles, smart factories and live event viewing capabilities.
Embracing automation to help manage complex finance processes
Cloud solutions also give companies greater access to automation and artificial intelligence (AI) for mundane and repetitive finance tasks. For instance, built-in automated account reconciliation and transaction matching allows businesses to dramatically increase efficiency and speed the financial close process. This facilitates faster SEC reporting and allows teams to spend less time each quarter compiling data—and more time driving operational strategy and unlocking new revenue streams.
For global telco companies that are operating in multiple markets and managing billions in subscription revenues, eliminating manual processes can have an outsized impact on overall business output.
Leveraging AI to improve the speed and accuracy of insights
Today’s market dynamics require telco companies to turn their businesses on a dime. As a result, it’s critical for leaders to not only have accurate information in a timely manner, but also information they can trust to make the right business decisions.
Leading cloud solutions help accelerate decision-making with predictive analytics, AI, and machine learning that improve the speed and accuracy of business insights. This helps finance teams uncover the underlying drivers of profitability, improve the use of working capital, and control business expenditures.
Optimizing for recurring subscription revenues
As consumers continue to demand ease and simplicity, many major telco players are searching for ways to unlock more value from subscription-based strategies. Subscription models are win-wins for both customers and industry leaders, offering customers convenience and flexibility, while allowing providers to track revenue and cash flow more predictably.
However, transitioning to a subscription model can present several major challenges. Accounting and financial reporting standards differ for subscription models compared to traditional models, and they require proper oversight to ensure orders are fulfilled and billed correctly and revenue is appropriately recognized. Without the proper digital backbone, companies could get lost in the financial fray.
Cloud ERP solutions can power subscription models more seamlessly and open new doors for telco companies to drive growth and maximize revenue. This includes seamlessly connecting touchpoints across the entire subscription lifecycle, facilitating recurring orders, enabling automated billing, and allowing for accurate pipeline forecasting. When managed effectively, subscription services open an entirely new avenue for customer loyalty and satisfaction as well as a predictable stream of revenue.
Creating stronger customer relationships
As telco companies embark on bold strategies to transform the way they do business, it’s critical to keep customer satisfaction at center stage.
Leading cloud solutions that include customer experience (CX) capabilities allow telco companies to personalize the customer experience with customer data platforms that create dynamic views of each account and deliver real-time insights. When every interaction is data-driven and personalized, business leaders can easily measure customer intent and engage customers with relevant content to help improve their overall experience.
Mobile operators are expected to invest more than $600 billion in their 5G networks between 2022 and 2025. While building out this important gateway to cloud services, telcos need to be thinking about how the cloud can help drive efficiency and agility in their own business to support new services that allow them to outpace the competition and maximize their returns.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.