Vitria's Chris Menier Describes State of Digital Operations in the Cable/Telco Sector and the Keys to Enabling Successful Transformation

Broadband services offered by leading companies in the cable and telecommunications industries have provided critical enabling platforms for organizations implementing digital transformation strategies. However, the network service providers (NSPs) themselves have remained mired in legacy operations, according to Chris Menier, Vice President and Transformation Strategist at Vitria, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based IoT analytics platform provider, in a podcast interview for journalists.

Podcast Interview with Chris Menier

"Over the last several years a lot of companies have utilized the network service providers to launch their own digitally transformed companies. I'm thinking of companies like Netflix and WhatsApp and even Uber. However, the NSPs themselves have actually fallen a little bit behind in their own transformation efforts. And that can be a major problem since transformation is going to be critical for NSPs that want to avoid becoming 'dumb pipes' or falling victims to 'cord cutters,'" he explains.

Much of the challenge has to do with the overlapping generations of systems that loosely coexist to underpin the operations of carriers who have been in business for many decades.

"The new entrants don't have the burden of legacy infrastructure that must be transformed. NSPs, by contrast, have the daunting task of updating their internal systems and -- a lot of times -- updating their skill sets to acquire the functionality and capture the insights necessary for adapting to a constantly changing landscape," he says.

Among cable and telco companies, that landscape has never been more dynamic. Beyond addressing new threats from players who use NSPs' own networks to offer competitive offerings that siphon off revenues, subscriber preferences for how to consume content and communications is also shifting. To address these growing challenges, NSPs recognize the need to develop a real-time understanding of how marketplace changes are evolving. It also requires a fundamental mindshift away from an engineering-oriented focus on process optimization, to a more market-centric focus on customer experience.

"There is an absolute demand for an enhanced customer experience from NSPs today. Everybody relies on their internet connectivity and mobile devices for virtually all aspects of their personal and professional lives. This creates an imperative for operators to quickly identify opportunities and deploy new services in new ways that introduce new revenues. If they rely on legacy systems to support's just going to take too long; NSPs will see more competitors emerge to capture market share," says Menier.

That is why it is so important for NSPs to design and develop customer-centric digital transformation strategies on agile platforms that can be deployed -- and expanded -- on an enterprise-wide scale.

"At Vitria, we have developed an approach to digital transformation that allows NSPs to bring together -- in real-time -- data about: how customers interact with services; how the network is performing; how maintenance may impact service; and more. We work closely with business and technology staffs of NSPs to expose what is actually happening in their networks and provide actionable operational insights," Menier says.

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