Customer Interaction in the Telco Industry


Digital technologies are enabling an ever more connected world – in a private as well as business context – and have a significant impact on the telecommunications industry. Services are becoming more readily available and convenient for telco customers and businesses are able to optimize and automate processes. Increasing digitization, however, also leads to new and different customer expectations in B2C and B2B interactions. These developments lead to a growing urgency for innovative ways to turn insights on telco customer behavior into future-proof business models. This report presents current trends in the field of customer interaction in the telco industry. Four scenarios are derived from these findings that vividly depict possible futures. In the final part, five business ideas are elaborated and validated in each of the four future scenarios.

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"Data Privacy": Data privacy can be defined as the appropriate use of sensi- tive personal information. In this report, the focus lies on the extent to which personally identifiable information of con- sumers can be accessed by corporations and governments for their own interests. The extent is mainly influenced by two factors: government regulations and consumer aware- ness regarding sharing and processing of personal data. Laws and policies define the regulatory framework in terms of data protection in which consumers, companies, and governments operate. Consumers’ concerns influence both the extent of their sharing behavior and the election of policy makers who align with their interests. Additionally, technical capabilities, economic viability, and public safety influence the extent to which sensitive information is accessed by governments and corporates.

"Customer Access": Customer access is defined by the intensity and directness of the interaction between customers and companies. The term “customers” refers to both individual persons and compa- nies. Precisely, the customer access of an individual company is measured by the number of active access points as well as the specialization and frequency of interaction with custom- ers. This number is for instance determined by the compa- ny’s marketing channels and the addressed customer groups (B2B/B2C). Direct customer interaction is predominantly in- fluenced by the number of intermediaries and the strategic roles these intermediaries play in the market. Intermediaries act as a link between supply and demand of goods and ser- vices, thus decreasing the transaction costs in the market. Their number and importance is dependent on the economy as well as regulation and law. Intermediaries reduce the num- ber of direct owned customer access points by companies.

“The Eagle’s Eye” describes a world where customer access is centralized in one platform and there is no data privacy. Telco providers thereby lose end-customer access and are focused on the B2B business. In the second scenario, “Caged Lion”, all online interaction is channeled through one central platform, but are fully anonymized. Telco providers will be challenged to integrate into this unified ecosystem and interact with a customer that demands to remain unknown. “Deep Ocean” illustrates a world where full data privacy exists, however customer access is decentralized, which leads to various difficulties for telco providers in reaching the end- customer. In the last scenario, “Wild West”, customer access is also decentralized, but data is not kept private, leading to highly personalized customer interaction in the telco sector.

Business models

1. AXONO: A mesh network bridging connectivity gaps through device-to-device communication

2. DATA HUBBY: Data management and transparency platform with personalized offers from partners

3. Orchestra: The trusted platform for industrial IoT

4. TELCC: Differentiated and customized solutions for customer care

5. OMNIA: Providing the first true computer-as-a-service solutions

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