One of the biggest attractions of OSS and BSS is their ability to automate and scale processes to operate large networks. The automation factor is often what drives the business case. The business cases are approved because of the Return on Investment (ROI) that comes from taking humans out of the loop (and out of the cost-base). What many people don’t realise is that the opposite can also be true. OSS and BSS can be a platform to drive customer personalisation. Can you make an OSS and/or BSS business case based on personalisation? It’s rare, but definitely possible. All it takes is a mindset shift.

Unlocking the potential: leveraging OSS/BSS for revenue growth and customer personalization

Tom Goodwin said, “About $800bn a year is spent by brands on advertising. And as little as possible is spent by companies on customer service It makes no sense. One is considered an investment, the other a cost. One is considered something to craft and hone, the other is something to outsource, automate, dismiss and redirect. We talk about the holy grail of advertising being personalized one on one communication at scale, yet if someone phones us up to ask a question we want to pass them to a bot.”

Whilst not talking about the telecom industry specifically, Tom makes a great point. Could he be arguing that, “the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing” in many organisations? Does the marketing team do all it can to get closer to the customer, whilst technical and customer support teams do all they can to push customers further away? It all comes down to KPIs. Marketing is targeting revenue growth. Tech and Customer Support are targeting cost reduction via customer deflection to digital self-service. 

What if Tech and Customer Support were also given the remit of getting closer to the customer and being jointly responsible for the revenue growth of customer personalisation? What if OSS and BSS, if leveraged intelligently, could actually show a direct link to contributing to revenue growth and customer personalisation? Would it have the opportunity to share in even a fraction of the advertising budget? Or even have its own additional budget allocated?

Opportunities for OSS/BSS investment

According to Statista, “A study on the global telecommunications sector suggests that in 2021 the industry will spend US$18.7 billion on advertising. The figure represents a 4.7-percent growth compared to 2020 when the ad spending reached US$17.8 billion.” This is a significant spend on customer attraction and personalisation. According to Statista, it appears to be growing. This is a big pool of funds for OSS and BSS to potentially tap into. Not that the advertising folks are likely to readily relinquish any of this funding pool, unless your OSS/BSS investment can be shown to contribute to their KPIs. Like we said, a mindset shift.

Choosing the right path in OSS and BSS strategies

Interestingly, right now appears to be a great time to consider that mindset shift. Through the increased consciousness that ChatGPT has brought to generative AI (Artificial Intelligence), we’ve now entered into a new generation of imagining what’s possible. In the same post as the quote above, Tom Goodwin went on to say, “AI will see the arrival of a new way of thinking about customer service. It will be used by many to do far faster, far more efficient, terrible customer service with the hope that automation can satisfy people. And it will see some companies use smart systems, proper data and AI to augment their staff, to empower their staff and to help their humans be brilliant. Be careful which one you choose.

In their OSS and BSS, telcos already have incredibly smart systems and proper data at their disposal. They also have the ability to augment and empower their humans to be brilliant. They have the tools and data to help customers in highly personalized ways. Or they could use technology to push customers away into digital self-service channels and reduce the humans having contact with customers.

Which of these paths are your OSS and BSS business cases favouring currently? Is there an opportunity to try something different?