Technology-heavy product development cycles no longer make sense in a converged and dynamic market environment – operators rather need to move towards converged organisational structures and provide a fully integrated approach that is consistent, if they want to retain customers.

This is according to Johan van Huyssteen, communications leader at PwC, who says: “The customer’s role has changed and successful communications operators need to put customers at the centre of their business objectives. To do so, they have to simplify their operating models into an integrated program.”

By addressing the issue of integration, operators can get the most out of the lifetime value of their customers and deliver what customers are demanding.

“The market is demanding consistent, customer-focused services across all platforms. From now on, the operators that can successfully meet these expectations will be market leaders,” says van Huyssteen, adding that simpler operating models will also create opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling.

Accordingly, operators should leverage relationships to target converged offerings. Customer data is vital, as it helps understand customer behaviour and enables better service delivery. Mass-market approaches that address customers’ concerns should also be forgotten. “There should be a more personalised approach to address these needs,” adds van Huyssteen.

To be successful, operators also need to form solid relationships with traditional and new advertising players. They should exploit digital advertising opportunities on established online platforms. Their content also needs to be served across all platforms, even if operators don’t have plans to launch television and mobile content services.

“Most importantly, the customer needs to be put first,” says van Huyssteen.

To ensure the process is successful, companies must define a business model for common processes, set goals for workforce efficiencies and look at downsizing the corporate overhead.

“The latter can be a real test of management’s desire to fundamentally change,” concludes van Huyssteen.