[Please note: Originally posted on MyBroadband]
The ISP landscape in South Africa has changed significantly over the last 3 years. The arrival of fibre and LTE, as well as the subsequent changes in business and consumer usage demands, have been monumental.
Businesses have moved towards VoIP and cloud productivity services, increasing the demand for Internet connectivity. Identifying this, new ISPs are launching monthly to supply this increasing demand. At the same time, average prices are dropping and traditional “enterprise ISP” profits are shrinking.
Consumers have embraced video streaming, and although bandwidth prices are decreasing, a rapid increase in capacity demand is resulting in an increasing average price. This, along with ever-expanding FTTH coverage, is driving the launch of new “consumer ISPs”.
The ISP industry is changing fundamentally. In addition, improvements in technology are driving an increased demand for a great customer experience. Clients demand fast, excellent service, and everyone on Facebook will know if you get it wrong.
With low barriers to entry, competition in the ISP space is traditionally fierce and efficient operations are key to ensuring your ISP not only survives but thrives. To achieve excellent overall services whilst reducing support costs, you need automation (and thus, capital investment).
How to improve ISP operations
SOLIDitech is a South African software automation company who’s working with some of the top ISPs in Africa to improve their operations.
They build SOLID, an end-to-end automation platform, which unifies the ISP lead-to-support process. SOLIDitech boasts some of SA’s most progressive ISPs on their client list (MWEB, Vox Telecom, XDSL, and Cybersmart), so they know what’s up.
Businesses who have transformed their operations in the last 3 years by leveraging automation are the ones who will reap the benefits of this insatiable demand for Internet services.
They are able to offer improved customer/self-service and deliver innovative products at reduced costs and in record time. Look at how MWEB managed to launch LTE-Advanced in just 10 days.
It’s about the network, technical support, and customer experience
Charles Musto, SOLIDitech COO explains that “operationally, it’s about three components – an excellent network, great technical support, and a slick customer experience – all of which need to improve daily.
Business process automation supports that goal by introducing operational efficiency, visibility, and most importantly, a consistent customer experience – all at reduced costs”.
Most notably, automation enables customer self-service, which is fast becoming a cornerstone of the ISP customer service experience. Look at how self-service enabled Vox Telecom to improve sales response time with a real-time feasibility wishlist.
“You can’t run an effective fibre ISP on spreadsheets with manual project management and billing processes. Coordinating service delivery, field engineers, and fibre suppliers manually does not scale – errors will result in unhappy customers and higher operational costs to fix them and appease customers,” says Manuel De Jesus, SOLIDitech CEO. “Responsive, effective operations that connect processes and enable a great customer experience is key”.
Automating field engineer scheduling, calendar appointments, SMS reminders, Mobile App electronic signature, and RICA document capture are not only nice to have, they are essential.
So, who will win the ISP race? Those who can deliver services in a modern era.