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Survey: Telecom Service Providers Aren't Keeping Pace

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NEW YORK, Dec. 17 -- Telecommunication service providers say they are behind in making changes required to survive in a highly competitive marketplace, according to a global survey by Deloitte, a professional services firm. Deloitte said industry leaders acknowledge they must make numerous organizational improvements to keep pace with changing customer needs, new regulatory philosophies and accelerating technologies.

The study, "Waking Up to Competition," finds more than half of those polled believe "significant improvement" is needed in seven critical business processes: revenue assurance, IT management, new product development, business information, customer service, service provisioning and billing/collections. Three-quarters of survey respondents say their existing internal processes make it difficult to react quickly to market demands.

"This survey shows an industry still scrambling to manage extraordinary change," said Phil Asmundson, a partner in Deloitte's Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Group. "Since the 1990s, telecom service providers have been pressed to evolve from a static, monopoly model to a more agile, retail-oriented approach. The overall picture is bright for operators who rise to these challenges. But it's become increasingly clear today's telecom market is swiftly separating into two kinds of players - the winners and the losers."

Most of the executives surveyed admit customer service is the biggest challenge, in part due to an inability to understand customer needs, resulting in poor product and service innovation. North American executives were more likely than executives in Europe and the Asia Pacific region to say they needed to do a better job of managing customer information and were less likely to voice concerns about service provisioning.

The survey also shows industry executives anticipate a rapid migration from voice to data products. While 53 percent of executives regard voice as their "most significant" source of revenue today, only 38 percent expect it to be the most significant contributor by 2007. However, Deloitte said, three years may be unrealistic, given the lack of viable revenue models for data products.

"These responses may be indicative of an industry unsure of its future direction, rather than the shape of things to come," said Asmundson.

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Dec 2003
CommunicationsDeloitteNews & Featurestelecom industrytelecom service providerstelecom surveytelecommunications

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