It's no surprise that the cloud has taken over just about every industry and completely disrupted the way people and organizations do business. The telecom industry especially is in the midst of making a major move to the cloud in hopes of taking advantage of the serious benefits that it provides.
Salesforce.com Inc. , for example, has notably positioned itself as one of the go-to cloud platforms for telco companies looking to enhance their legacy infrastructures and provide better experiences to employees and customers. Telecom customers looking to take advantage of Salesforce unlock a host of additional add-on products from the Salesforce AppExchange that can help solve a number of business challenges.
However, in the haste to digitalize their business, introduce new avenues to better service and access all that the cloud provides, communication service providers (CSPs) can forget to strategically and thoughtfully implement cloud technology and cloud computing applications. Before jumping headfirst into the thoroughly promising and equally complex world of the cloud, telecom operators should consider some best practices prior to implementing a full-scale cloud infrastructure.
In order to make the most out of the time, investment and resources are needed to successfully implement cloud platforms. What best practices should telco providers consider before and during implementation? Here are a few:
- Divide and conquer: It's all about incremental success. Companies need to identify a couple of different departments where it's easiest to apply change initially. By identifying a few different use cases and picking those off one by one, telcos can remain focused and achieve quick success. With this strategy, telcos can see roundup to deployment in six months. For example, one California CSP, Telnexus, just recently implemented the Salesforce Sales Cloud to enhance its legacy infrastructure. By doing this, in addition to using Conga's document generation app, it ended up increasing productivity.
- Continually update: Once implemented, telcos must continue to enhance functionality. With Salesforce in particular announcing about three releases every year, companies would be remiss not to bring that technology forward and enhance its functionality. Each of these releases feature numerous enhancements as varied as incremental steps to ease lead conversion to broad updates to user interfaces.
Telco gets cloudy
The telecom industry is notoriously known for having extremely complex, legacy IT infrastructures. These systems are bogged down by costly on-premises data centers that are difficult to upkeep. Enter the cloud, which has completely shaken these systems up and changed the way telecommunications organizations are replacing legacy IT systems with new technology. Seeing the advantages of a cloud-enabled future, the telco space has been fairly quick to adopt cloud technology for different use cases. Unlike other industries that are entrenched and slow to adjust (ahem, financial services) the telecommunications industry has a stronger mind to be innovative and adopt this type of technology. Why? The telco industry is in charge of the datacenters that are essentially the backbone of business.
The cloud and applications provide much faster speeds to market and innovation capabilities over legacy IT systems. The old deployment lifecycle in telecom usually included a three-year build out of complicated technology across many different departments. For example, with Salesforce’s demand and expand strategy, it gives companies the ability to very quickly deploy the technology and subsequently, make changes and updates to the various applications that run on the platform. This gives executives and IT administrators the ability to incrementally address different solutions one at a time, therefore making innovation quick and efficient. Furthermore, by adopting and regularly updating cloud applications swiftly, it gives the telecom industry the opportunity to be nimble and remain competitive over OTT providers like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL).
A cloud-enabled future
The cloud as a whole is critical to bringing the telco industry forward in today's digital age. What's truly great is that this is possible by adding to and taking advantage of existing lane infrastructure. By adopting this cloud technology, telecom providers will find that it can craft a much better customer experience -- far better than the experiences they're known for.
Even as subscribers and consumers continue to "cut the cord," it's a simple fact that these services will always require some level of infrastructure from telecom providers. By adopting new platforms, telecom providers can reduce costs and better position themselves to provide the service and technology that subscribers expect.