CSG International- Empowering Telecoms to Monetize India’s Digital Economy

CIO Vendor Communications service providers (CSPs) are under relentless pressure to compete in the digital economy, facing competition from digital powerhouses such as Amazon, Google and Apple who have set the standard in customer interaction and experience. CSPs also face a multitude of challenges to improve operational efficiency and simultaneously generate more revenue. Network utilization is growing quickly, and CSPs are seeing resources strained with the rapid take-up of video and other content. And as mobile revenue growth is not keeping pace with the increasing cost of delivering data services, high-bandwidth offerings from over-the-top (OTT) providers also threaten the future prosperity of CSPs.

CSPs have an opportunity to change the equation by going beyond offering connectivity services like voice and data to providing premium services to take on their OTT competitors and generate new revenue streams. To do this, their businesses, systems and processes will need to be agile and open to be continually adaptive – and at the same time it is imperative that CSPs deliver these new offerings at significantly lower costs. Headquartered in Colorado, with Indian offices in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, CSG International (NASDAQ: CSGS) provides global solutions enabling clients to launch and monetize communications and entertainment services in the digital age. Leveraging over 30 years of experience and expertise in voice, video, data and content services, CSG delivers noted revenue management and customer interaction solutions in licensed and managed service models.

Engaged in operations for over 20 years in India, CSG International has worked with the majority of leading CSPs in the country. “Our solutions across mediation, charging and billing, wholesale business management and digital services are ideally suited for telecom operators intending to lead competitors in the fast paced Indian market,” says Ian Watterson - Managing Director and VP Asia Pacific, CSG International.

From fixed lines to mobile, messaging to data services and value added services to the exploitation of the data rich capabilities of 4G networks, CSPs face continuous challenges as they embrace the latest networking technologies to serve customers. To delve deeply into the subject, CSG recently conducted research into the Millennial market to identify the next generation’s expectations from their CSPs in forthcoming years. This survey, ‘The Future of the Digital Experience: Mobile Edition’ evaluated the future of mobile service through the lens of the rising generation of mobile subscribers, popularly called ‘millennials’. Through an independent research firm, CSG polled nearly 1,000 millennials (aged 18-35) across the US, UK, Brazil and Australia on their expectations for mobile services by 2022. The survey results indicated that millennials have clear priorities for their mobile needs, some of which were an increased focus on personalization, broader adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), and a high quality and intuitive experience when it comes to entertainment viewing. The survey also foretold that CSPs, with their connectivity services, are always going to be a part of the transaction and remain well positioned to take a central role in enabling a B2B 2X ecosystem. But beyond that, CSPs are driven towards understanding and seeking solutions to operate in a digital economy.

The Two Sides of the Indian Digital Economy
To power the digital economy, CSG sees two broad components. The first component is the connectivity required to manage the vast volumes of digital transactions on a traditional network and edge network while pulling, correlating and processing all transaction data together. This is followed by using that data to drive every digital transaction from authorization, fulfillment of a service, analyzing behaviour, to charging and settlement across one or many parties.

The second component is service aggregation, which is essentially making it easier for customers to find and consume products and services through a centralized catalogue. The service aggregator bundles together its own products, combines them with partners’ offerings, and takes them to market as unique end-to-end value-added solutions to customers. These solutions may be targeted at any segment from consumers to businesses and wholesale providers, thereby creating a B2B2X environment.
As CSPs are in a prime position to function as Service Aggregators and tap into premium revenue streams, CSG works towards enabling CSPs with new, adjunct systems that provide the flexibility and agility to create a B2B2X catalogue, and to engage consumers across devices and collect insights about their service utilization.

Managed Services for Business Sustainability
As CSPs and other verticals deploy B2B2X infrastructure, the focus shifts from internal operations to building a sustainable ecosystem while monetising their digital catalogue and ultimately delighting customers. A need arises here to find ways to free skilled resources from the back end systems to support these market initiatives, without compromising the efficiency of internal operations. This calls for a fresh approach to managed services to add significant value. Managed services can be used to transition traditional business environments to be more lean and agile, while driving innovation for new digital businesses. Creating a lean operating infrastructure that is fit for the digital economy often results in significant cost savings for CSPs, so that funding is available to feed back into digital innovation. Enabling this kind of operating infrastructure, CSG brings together its portfolio of solutions to support the evolving revenue management needs of CSPs worldwide. These solutions are an integral part of consumer, business and partner revenue management for many of the world’s most dynamic CSPs. By leveraging these solutions in a managed services model, CSG continues to deliver flexible methods for a business to grow, evolve and thrive.

CSG International provides global solutions enabling clients to launch and monetize communications and entertainment services in the digital age

At the same time, there is a growing demand for cloud-based, Software-as-a-Service solutions that can overlay existing infrastructures to help CSPs to get to market quickly with new services while monetizing new revenue streams quickly.

The Silver Lining of the Cloud
With CSPs under pressure to innovate, launch new digital services swiftly, and create wealth from those services, they are often hamstrung by their existing systems. As a rule, legacy infrastructure is not geared for B2B2X models. Offerings need to be launched fast, and if necessary fail fast and be replaced, which is a very different culture to traditional market offerings. This nimble approach usually requires new, adjunct systems to engage customers across devices and collect insights about how they use their services. However, owing to the nascent business model, CSPs venturing into the digital economy are aware of the risks of investing excessively and early in a platform whose ability to meet the organizational future needs is unproven. This has resulted in a growing demand for cloud-based, Software-as-a-Service solutions that can overlay existing infrastructures to help CSPs to get to market quickly with new services while monetizing new revenue streams. SaaS solutions offer flexible pricing models that minimize the upfront costs the CSP has to incur to get to market.

A Solution for the Digital Economy
To help CSPs generate new revenue streams in the digital economy, CSG has developed the Ascendon platform. The platform enables providers to participate in the federated internet economy while purposefully moving towards a methodology that dramatically reduces operational expenses, fully digitizes front and back offices, and unites a portfolio of existing and new services into a single customer relationship experience. A cloud based SaaS platform, Ascendon gives providers the ability to launch, monetize, and scale new digital services in a span of 60 to 90 days.

“We believe that the right balance of employing skilled resources to add value, agile and adaptive processes, and robust and open technology, are at the core of creating wealth in the digital
economy,” adds Ian. With experience across a wide range of vertical markets—including cable television and direct broadcast satellite, fixed-line and mobile telecommunications, CSG International has been transcending expectations by striking a balance between superior customer service and operational efficiency.