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Updating legacy systems amongst biggest challenges in telecoms
Tue, 20th Jun 2023

Cloud enterprise software company IFS has announced results of its global State of Service research study of Communication Service Providers (CSPs), which uncovers the biggest field service challenges, technology adoption plans and top focus areaIFSs for the telecommunications industry this year. 

From improving customer experience to compete with new market entrants to updating legacy service management systems to optimise field engineers, the report reveals how the world’s leading CSP and telecom infrastructure brands will navigate their service transformations this year.

Shifting industry regulations is the number one challenge cited by 49% of respondents, made even more prominent in light of the recent trend towards open RAN (Radio Access Network). This pressure facing the industry highlights the need for CSPs to increase collaboration in order to lower operational costs and deliver advanced 5G services to more of the world’s population.

Spurred partly by the shift to 5G networks and the inability to meet customer SLAs, another key concern cited by 42% of research respondents is the need to update insufficient or outdated legacy FSM systems. The lack of skilled workers, caused partly by agieng workers, a competitive labour market and the rapid evolution of technology—specifically, 5G—shortening the list of qualified candidates, compounds the pressure facing CSPs .

Encouragingly for the industry, service management solutions have the potential to drive revenue growth and revolutionise employee experience. The report cites that CSPs adopting advanced FSM technologies have improved; customer experience (67%), revenue growth (64%) while (49%) report a greater ability to attract new skilled workers. Other findings also show CSPs were able to improve their ability to plan, forecast and optimise their workforce (45%) and develop new service offerings (42%).

Faced with increasing competition and a lack of skilled workers, there has never been a more critical time for CSPs to implement emerging technology solutions such as AI and machine learning that seamlessly optimise people, parts and service fleets. Positively, the research reveals that technology firms are aware of this trend, with (53%) planning to adopt scheduling optimisation and automation, and nearly half (49%) looking to adopt AI and machine learning in 2023. Additionally, the research shows emerging technology priorities such as simulations (47%), Wearables (38%) and Parts management (38%) are appearing on CSPs innovation roadmaps for the current fiscal year.

There are common threads amongst these solutions that are echoed in the top-ranked benefits that CSPs derive from the adoption of new FSM solutions: the need to revolutionise the employee and customer experience and to develop new digital offerings to drive revenue growth.

“We are seeing more and more CSP brands recognising the need to embrace optimisation and automation technologies in order to work smarter and increase agility," says Markus Persson, Global Industry Director of IFS.

"Leading telco organisations from around the globe are partnering with IFS to adopt our industry-leading field service management and AI-powered scheduling optimisation solutions because they enable them to deliver on their customer promises and grow profitable revenue.”