Telco transformation drives Huawei professional services

Telecom Asia Special Project Team
06 Jan 2017

The move to cloud and virtualization, ICT convergence and changing customer expectations are pushing telecoms operators worldwide to move towards operational transformation. Meanwhile, new services such as video, cloud and IoT are imposing new requirements on networks and operations, requiring greater agility and intelligence.

While these present great challenges for operators, the shift is creating business opportunities for Huawei, said Wei Bing, CMO of global technical services at Huawei.

Huawei has been seeing strong growth in its professional services especially in overseas markets in the first three quarters of 2016, driven by the increasing needs for integration and outsourcing services from telcos, Wei told the company’s Operational Transformation Forum in China.

The company’s managed services business is also seeing increasing demand for IT integration, especially in China and Southeast Asian countries, where there is strong demand from the government for IT integration solutions, including data center solutions and cloud services. For instance, Thai mobile operator True recently partnered with Huawei to offer cloud services for SMEs in Thailand.

Huawei is also seeing increasing demand for network problem troubleshooting services, after the company working with operators to cloudify and virtualize their network infrastructure over the past few years.

“Two years ago, the questions our customers usually asked were ‘shall we do virtualization and how?’ etc,” Wei said. “Now the questions shift to ‘how do we operate after virtualization? How do we maintain and restore the services after disruption?’.”

The challenge now is to restore the services first to keep the business running and resolve problems later, he said.

Other major challenges facing operators during their transformation are to become more agile while finding new ways to reduce costs amid slowing growth in revenues, Wei said.

Huawei is helping operators reduce costs and improve operational efficiency through back-end collaboration, integration of online and offline services, and use of big data and artificial intelligence technologies.

For example, fixed-line operators have spent quite a considerable amount of money on server rooms, and all the expenses associated with them – such as rental fees, electricity and water bills. Huawei can help operators save costs by deploying new technologies to decrease the area of the server room needed, thereby bringing down rental fees and turning some of the server rooms that are not in use into data centers.

On the customer service front, operators can significantly improve efficiency and save costs by providing more self-service and giving end users online access to their monthly bills and invoices, eliminating the need to send them by post or print out at the operators’ retail stores. They can also improve the customer experience through big data analytics and artificial intelligence technologies, which provide fast trouble shooting and allow operators to quickly resolve problems as they arises.

Be the changer first

In order to better understand operators’ needs and help them resolve the business challenges arising from the transformation, Huawei is transforming too, Wei said.

"We want to change [our role] from being a product and solutions provider to becoming a problem-solver for our operator customers. We do not want to just sell products and services to our customers, but also help them with their business problems during the transformation,” Wei said. “First [we'll change ourselves]…and then we can draw on our own experience to work with our customers to address challenges arising from the transformation.”

Huawei has deployed digital technologies in its own R&D, supply chain, and other domains. It has as a result, for example, improved its order fulfillment efficiency by 50%, Wei noted.

Another example is video, which is now becoming a basic service for operators around the world.

According to Wei, most of the company’s internal meetings are now broadcast live through a unified cloud platform, which connects over 100 countries around the world. This not only helps the company save costs but also enables it to work with operators to jointly develop innovative and better video solutions.

“Since we’ve brought down our own costs and improved our efficiency, we can provide our operator customers with better solutions and services at lower costs, which in a way can also help operators save costs,” he noted.

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