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AFRICA BUSINESS

As the industrial advantages created by the requirement for scale combined with the cost of market entry dwindle, key advantages of successful companies in the Digital Age are rapidly becoming their ability to collaborate and source; their knowledge of and relationship with their customers; and compliant, trusted and easy-to-use transactional capabilities. The secret sauce of digital success turns out to be the ability to monetise emerging opportunities, using the right business models and pricing approaches.

CSPs are well placed for this role because of their investments and experience in charging, their trusted relationship with customers, and their ability to control, define and support a high quality of customer experience. They are also used to dealing with regulatory compliance issues that will need to be addressed, including key trust enablers such as data protection.

As we have seen, there are two sides to the digital opportunity and successful companies must be adept at both. Firstly, they will need to design, manage and monetise the customer experience; but they will also need to design, manage and monetise the partner experience. Understanding customers is one element of success; finding the right ideas, goods or services at the right price for customers is another. However, success cannot be achieved at the expense of suppliers, as attracting the best suppliers will require them to feel they are treated well, and are paid sufficiently to fairly reward their efforts.

Success in the digital world will depend on having a vision, but it will also require the right enabling infrastructure to deliver against these new relationships, business models and opportunities. Although CSPs will need to transform their infrastructure to support new opportunities, they shouldn’t fear this process. They can move rapidly towards digital commerce enablement, and in a far less risky manner, by judiciously leveraging legacy systems and supplementing these with any new capabilities required. Bridging between the old and the new can be achieved by using pragmatic strategies such as orchestration, which delivers rapid ROI without the risk and disruption associated with traditional rip-and-replace approaches to transformation.

Today without doubt, CSPs need to transition to becoming providers of digital services (DSPs) by revamping its offerings both in the retail and enterprise segments. The transition and changing dynamics within the industry is so rampant, we are not far from when we will see a DSP replacing a bank. This stands as a golden opportunity for CSPs to become enablers of digital commerce (DCEs).

Just as the move from steam power to electricity transformed the factory, so the move from the industrial to digital world will transform the ecosystem and how it is supported. Software change will be required; but a pragmatic approach can deliver the key advantages of speed and agility while minimising the risks and costs associated with previous attempts to realign and automate supporting infrastructure.

Max Speur COO of SunTec Issue 3

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Global Banking & Finance Review - Business and Financial Magazine  

Global Banking & Finance Review is a leading financial portal and Print Magazine offering News, Analysis, Opinion, Reviews, Interviews & Vid...