5G has the potential to change the world, but with such lofty expectations also come great challenges. We all like to imagine a future powered by 5G — self-driving cars that communicate with the roads they travel on, connected factory devices that “talk” to each other, and information accessibility at unprecedented speeds.
As with all great advancements, though, the journey ahead is not without barriers. It also won’t come cheap: McKinsey predicts that network-related capital expenditures will increase by 60% from 2020 to 2025. The onus is on communications service providers (CSPs) to build the infrastructure that can support end-to-end delivery and fulfillment of 5G’s great promise to change the way we live.
So, what can CSPs do to pave the road forward for 5G and manage costs efficiently? And how can they digitally transform without disrupting current connectivity?
5G’s successful future must first start with a strong foundation — one that focuses on network deployment, maintenance and fulfillment. To do so effectively, CSPs must reevaluate their operating model and look to streamline, automate and add agility to their processes with digital process automation (DPA).
What Is DPA?
DPA is robotics, end-to-end automation, and artificial intelligence all in one powerful solution. Together, they can streamline and digitize complex operations for CSPs, while simultaneously maintaining high service levels.
With DPA, CSPs can benefit from reduced costs, increased efficiency, and improved customer experience through an expanded army of “citizen developers” — nontechnical personnel who help to build business applications through low-code tools that remove the need for coding knowledge from the development process.
This approach allows everyone to build automation in a low-code environment, while simultaneously reducing costs and increasing productivity. It digitizes code-heavy processes and uses case management to make rules-based processes that are tied to outcomes.
DPA fundamentally changes the way a business does work by bridging the divide between business operations and enhanced customer experience. With DPA, CSPs can refine three critical (albeit seemingly basic) operational elements of delivering 5G, including:
• Accelerated network deployment: According to the latest Mobile Economy report from GSMA, an astounding amount of US mobile connections will be on 5G networks by 2025 – 49 percent of them to be exact. While this impressive shift is exciting, it also requires about five to 10 times the cell tower infrastructure to support it. Connecting our businesses, homes, and communities requires extensive fiber and mobile coverage; however, spinning up new networks can be complex, expensive, and time-consuming. DPA can combine case management, robotics, and development to accelerate network rollouts while ensuring on-time, low-cost delivery.
• Continuous network maintenance: The ripple effect of a network outage can have a disastrous impact on a CSP’s operations, customer satisfaction, brand reputation and bottom line. Proactive maintenance across the delivery ecosystem can mitigate problems before they arise with little to no human interaction. With DPA, CSPs gain end-to-end visibility into complex processes and the ability to analyze live data to ensure everything is running smoothly and in concert. CSPs can keep a pulse on everything from delivery methods to equipment and vendor/contractor partners to identify and resolve problems before they even occur.
• Reliable and flawless customer experience: Businesses across all industries are striving to meet rising customer expectations for convenient, personalized and consistent brand engagements. CSPs, like companies in many industries, often suffer from siloed systems and processes that can lead to higher costs to serve, and even worse, failure to meet customer expectations. DPA can coordinate and automate orders for 5G-driven digital services by connecting the front office, the back office, partners and customers in a unique approach across all channels. Armed with this omnichannel insight, CSPs can orchestrate customer interactions and enhance responsiveness for even the most complex customer issues. This not only optimizes operations — it lowers the risk of lost business.
Many CSPs are hard at work, striving to make visions of a 5G-enabled future a reality. DPA can help to create a frictionless experience from the inside, out. With a focus on intelligent automation and outcome-focused processes at the onset, CSPs can deliver on the immense promise of 5G and all it has to offer our increasingly connected businesses, homes and communities.
Kevin Billings is industry principal, communications & media, at Pegasystems, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company offering cloud software for customer engagement and operational excellence, specializing in CRM, digital process automation and digital transformation solutions.