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Industry Research : The Bumpy Road to Digital

#contactcenterworld, @upstream_works, @realwire

75 percent of telecommunications (telco) operators are increasing their digital transformation investments following the unprecedented connectivity demand across the globe brought in by the Covid-19 pandemic. Around 65 percent of telcos have developed a roadmap for their own digital transformation but only one in four have established by what metrics they are to measure their own success. Operators still rely predominantly on physical channels to sell their products and services but know of the value that digital sales can create for them. That’s according to a new report from the Technology Innovation Council (TIC), commissioned by mobile technology providers, Upstream.

The report, titled: "The Road to Digital" provides a snapshot of how telco operators are walking the digital transformation path so far and how they are adapting for 2021 and beyond to create value, enhance top line growth and achieve quick wins in their digitalization journeys.

Connectivity heroes

"During the pandemic telecom operators worldwide worked around the clock to meet a never-before demand for connectivity in order to keep economies going and allow work-from-home for whole industries. At the same time, they supported access to critical health information, distance learning as well as offered online entertainment", says Upstream CEO, Dimitris Maniatis. "This", he adds, "has caused them to step up their own efforts to become more digital, bringing their more mid to long term plans forward".

According to the "Road to Digital" report, the majority of telco operators (75%) agree that Covid-19, still in full-force, is expediting their digital transformation journeys, with nearly 65% of them having already coined their digital strategy roadmaps and change management blueprints and more than half (57%) having assessed their technology needs. At the same time though, only one in four (25%) profess they have determined the metrics (KPIs) by which they are to measure the effectiveness of their digitization strategies, pointing to a gap between top line strategy and tactical digital project deployment.

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Value from digital: Opportunities & hurdles

Upstream’s report notes operators across markets identify the following as the top five benefits to their business from digital transformation, in this order: Cost reduction via automation (66%), improved customer experience (59%), improved revenue growth (46%), efficiencies through automation and more effective marketing.

At the same time, telcos’ top five perceived challenges for turning to digital are: integrating new solutions with existing technologies and platforms (73%), privacy and data concerns (54%), cost of new solutions (46%), establishing the Return on Investment (ROI) (43%) and, lastly, internal skillset (34%), or rather the lack of it.

"These are totally legitimate concerns. For instance, how can you improve customer experience by going online, when you still haven’t figured out how to make online transactions safe? To succeed in creating value from digitalization and fast, telcos need to indeed balance a fine line, overcome the big organization inertia, escape the drawing board and aim for smart quick wins and solutions", says Maniatis.

Are telcos selling online?

The evident disconnect between telco digital strategies and action also manifests in the chief reliance of operators on physical channels to peddle their own goods. During a year with enforced lockdowns and closure of physical stores, telecom operators did go online to sell their products. However more than 70 percent of them say they still generate revenues predominantly from physical stores and call centres.

"There is a quick win to be made for telcos in digital sales. They are less costly than stores and call centres, have proven higher success rates and allow more accurate targeting than physical channels", says Kostas Kastanis, Upstream Deputy CEO. "The consumers are already online, some will never return to close-up transactions, as they did before the pandemic", Kastanis, adds.

Making the case for switching to digital sales channels, the report cites the capability of telcos to use multiple channels for any given customer reaching campaign - SMS, RCS, e-mail, push notifications etc- as a key upside. Campaigns can be proactive and customizable while analytics and testing allow digital customer journeys to constantly improve.

Telcos have already started to employ data to strengthen and grow their customer base with digital sales, using it for upselling and cross selling to their existing customers (66%) as well as to acquire new ones (55%) digitally. Around half of them (52%) say they have already discovered the power of targeting and retargeting, an essential tool to connect with your customers, help them make the decision to buy, increase sales and loyalty.

The world is not flat

Not surprisingly North American telcos (USA & Canada) have the highest digitally driven revenue percentage in the world (45% from digital channels already), followed by APAC (including Japan & Singapore) (39%). In the Middle East and Africa physical sales are still king (72% physically driven revenue) while in Latin America 100% of telcos say they mostly rely on physical channels to derive revenues most of the time. European operators are somewhere in the middle (57% having switched from physical channels and deriving 29% of revenues mostly from digital sales). Interestingly American operators have jumped headfirst into digital sales (switching to digital channels is the number one step 91% of them report in their digital transformation journeys) while their European counterparts, have prioritized their digital transformation roadmaps and change management strategies.

"The world is not flat. It is evident that multichannel campaigns, the power of analytics and in some cases security and privacy are on the radar of only a few, more progressed telcos. As the so-called ‘new normal’ takes shape and millions continue to rely heavily on their mobile devices for work, entertainment and communication, there’s never been a better time for telcos, particularly MNOs, to take note of the ones ahead of them and work out solutions for the hurdles they see, i.e., integration with legacy systems or working out ROI, to start seeing the benefits of the digital road in their top line and customer experience sooner rather than later", Kostas Kastanis says.

#contactcenterworld, @upstream_works, @realwire

About Upstream Works:
Company LogoUpstream Works provides Omnichannel Contact Center software. We are passionate about creating solutions that help organizations exceed their customer experience goals. . We bring the omnichannel customer journey together across all applications and platforms with a single, integrated agent desktop with management simplicity. For over 15 years, organizations around the world and across all industries have benefited from Upstream Works’ experience and expertise, gaining operational efficiencies and transforming the customer journey.
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About RealWire:
Company LogoRealWire is an online press release distribution service with over 10 years of expertise and is first choice for many of the UK’s top digital PR and internet marketing professionals. RealWire has been the UK’s leading innovator in press release distribution introducing a Social Media News Release option in 2007 and its patent pending targeting system, PRFilter, in 2010.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Every Contact Counts

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Wednesday, February 3, 2021

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2021 Buyers Guide Recording


ASC Recording Insights and neo
ASC Recording Insights guarantees legally compliant recording and analysis of all communication channels in Microsoft Teams - including audio calls (internal and external calls), chat conversations and video meetings.

neo Recording, QM & Analytics address all enterprises with recording needs, especially contact centers. The content of communication becomes accessible and critical information and trends are revealed, providing real-time business intelligence for immediate management action.

Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.


Microsoft Teams Cloud Recording Service
Geomant offers a fully managed recording service for those organisations who need to address compliance or quality management while working on Teams. The Service utilises Verint’s market leading recording technology and is hosted by Geomant in Microsoft Azure. Our managed service approach is unique in that it allows organisations to benefit from advanced recording features, all while being free from any technical infrastructure or maintenance requirements that come with a traditional on-premises set up.

Lieber & Associates

Recording System Consulting
L&A provides vendor-independent consulting services to select, contract for, test, and implement contact center recording systems. The firm's consultants specialize in contact center I.T. and have several decades of experience each with all major and many smaller makers of phone and call recording systems.


Numonix's IXCloud is one of the first fully managed compliance recording solutions for Microsoft Teams. IXCloud securely records, stores and analyzes interactions in the cloud without physical or virtual servers. As a fully managed Azure-based, Software-as-a-Service cloud interaction recording solution, IXCloud takes interaction capture into the future. It enables instant and elastic scalability to support business growth and provides the necessary tools to enhance business performance while maintaining compliance. IXCloud redefines versatility with its OpenAPI framework that enables application development. Companies and third-party developers benefit from IXCloud native capture technology, whether it be integrating with internal systems or building a third-party application.

Nuxiba Technologies

Enterprise recording management for storage, retrieval, playback, and monitoring communications throughout your contact center.

Record screen activity and calls across agent workstations, measure and monitor quality levels across all campaigns and analyze recordings to capture first-hand customer data and requirements.

Easly access all recordings and critical information to provide improved customer experience, sales, and productivity!


Oreka TR
Oreka TR total recorder includes all of the call recording capabilities you will need, at about half the cost of competing for call recorder solutions, including screen recording, mobile phone recording, live monitoring, on-demand recording, multi-tenancy, multi-site recording, audit trail, call exporting, retention management, auto-tagging (for speech analytics and phrase spotting) and so much more.

PCS Software

Call recording solution fully integrate to all main pbx solutions.

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS enables organizations to adhere to all compliances with its inbuilt call recording software and also has an option for screen recording. With centralized repository of all voice logs, its easy to maintain & retrieve all voice files and have a central control in case of multiple branches set up.

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