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No one said transformation was going to be easy. This holds true for all large, established enterprises that are undertaking a digital transformation, and telecom service providers are no exception. This blog post addresses the gap between telco Marketing and IT departments. Ericsson's portfolio gives Marketing departments the tools to work with IT on the same infrastructure so Marketing can then go off and do its job.

In the video below, Rick Mallon and Dez Blanchfield discuss the competitive landscape that telcos operate in. They dive into the barriers between Marketing and IT, and how these need to be removed. Rick Mallon is Head of BSS Catalog and Order Management at Ericsson.

 

 

 

Continue to read below for my summary and reflections of the video interview.

Telco customers call and ask for more

"The customers of our operators are expecting them to provide new experiences so they can order products, manage their services with the customers in a better way." [Rick Mallon, 0:48]

Rick and Dez talk about the recent report from Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab titled "The zero-touch customer experience" (find the report here) and its insights into how the telecom industry needs to live up to customer expectations to be on a par with the rest of the digital world.

Addressing the gap between telco Marketing and IT departments

"To operate at that speed they do need new technology but they also need to change the way they work so instead of having Marketing be a silo and IT be a silo, it's a partnership that's required." [Rick Mallon, 1:43]

Rick and Dez talk about the substantial cultural, behavioral, and organizational shift most Telcos face as they need to adopt new ways of working across their large organizations and infrastructures. Rick emphasizes the gap between Marketing and IT as critical for Telcos to address to become more agile and responsive towards their customers.

Significant progress over the last two to three years

"If I look at IT, they want to deliver more to Marketing. They want to be a better partner for Marketing." [Rick Mallon, 2:22]

Rick explains how he has seen a lot of change over the last two to three years in how IT wants to deliver more to Marketing, wanting to be a better partner for Marketing. Marketing at the same time accelerates its focus on speed to launch new products quickly and with new bundles to respond to the competitive threats in the marketplace. According to Rick, some early adopters are starting to enjoy success in this process, while others still need to come along.

Wouldn't it be better if we could give Marketing tools to work with IT on the same infrastructure?

"We've had product catalogs for a number of years but the challenge with that is it's tended to be an IT tool." [Rick Mallon, 3:20]

Rick sees his own area of catalog management as ripe for change. While we have seen product catalogs deployed with telcos for many years, the challenge is that they tended to be IT tools. With catalog configurations done in the back office, Marketing has to engage in a long conversation to tell IT "Here's what I want you to do; you go and code it." Then, a few months later, the products might be launched. Rick says this is too slow and asks a rhetorical question: Wouldn't it be better if we could give Marketing tools to work with IT on the same infrastructure so Marketing can then go off and do its job?

This is exactly where Rick and the team are taking the Ericsson Catalog Manager offering, a key integrated component of Ericsson's Digital BSS. Read more about Digital BSS and Ericsson Catalog Manager.

What do you think?

I would be interested in hearing your opinions on the topic of digitalization in telecom and more specifically around how to address the gap between telco Marketing and IT departments. Please engage with us on Twitter and LinkedIn or:

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Michael Martinsson
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Michael Martinsson

Michael Martinsson is Director, OSS BSS Marketing for Ericsson. He joined Ericsson in 1997 and has held various positions in sales, marketing and business development. His recent focus has been on the converging business landscape, service provider strategies and the transformation of cloud, network and IT infrastructure. Martinsson holds an MSc in electrical engineering and a degree in marketing.