Time for a mindset shift

Joseph Waring
11 Mar 2010

Telcos need to move from a technology-driven mindset to a people-driven mindset. "There's far too much talk about technology, such as 2.5G, Edge, 3.5G and LTE. It's irrelevant to customers. It's all about services," said Telenor's head of Asia Sigve Brekke.

Brekke, a keynote speaker at the TM Forum Management World Asia in Singapore, told Telecom Asia that there are very few examples of companies that are truly customer focused. He said it's essential operators think as consumer products companies.

"Everyone claims to be customer focused, but few really are. It's a people mindset issue, but is also an IT issue. Our industry is not good at using customer information. Few industries have this amount of data. Actually, the problem is we probably have too much information about our customers. Few take advantage of this information and are able to micro-segment their customer base to launch new types of services."

He said operators can take a larger share of the customer's wallet through micro-segmenting and at the same time reduce costs by having a more narrow marketing focus.

Brekke said that Telenor, which has operations in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia and most recently India, has no common brand across the region.

"There is a similar culture across our 13 operations worldwide - that is our brand. It's not important to have a common physical brand or identity. That is just a logo," he said. "Our model is a little bit different than some of the global players. We think every market is different. That's why you see that we don't have the same logo."

It also doesn't offer exactly the same type of services across its operators and doesn't use use the same service platforms or centralizing IT solutions.

In terms of potential economies of scale, he said the cost advantage of having common platforms across operations is less than the market advantage of being very close to each market and following how things are done locally.


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