It’s time telcos took a leaf out of the OTT book

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Attn: The world is being taken over by OTT players

Off the top of your head, if you were to name five apps that are being used the most today – there is no doubt that at least one of these would figure in your list – Netflix. WhatsApp. Spotify. Amazon. Apple.

A big part of the reason why OTT platforms have gained lasting value is that they base their reputation on not just their products, but also on crafting innovative, intuitive and memorable customer experiences and by creating a lasting impression, employing design thinking principles, engaging customers across channels and making each customer an unequivocal champion of their brand.

The way things are shaping up for telcos today, they can no longer take the do-nothing approach. Isn’t it ironic that messaging platforms have outdone telcos through efficient communication platforms for sharing video, audio and chats, while using the connectivity offered by them?

OTT platforms’ business models revolve around pause-and-play subscription models that give users flexibility to choose what they want, pay for what they use and how often they use it. There is a value attached to the freedom that comes from paying for One-Day of Spotify Premium. It is a hidden value, but it is value nonetheless, that compounds overtime.

Four ways you can join the OTT party

  • If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – A lot of telcos in India are already partnering with OTT players as they see immense potential to offer rich, immersive experiences. Telcos have the infrastructure and can take advantage of OTT players’ repertoire of digital offerings through an effective revenue sharing model.
  • Monetise – To make the most of partnerships, telcos must make technology their best friend. Moving away from traditional infrastructure, and toward a customer-centric BSS/OSS platform can help them monetise effectively. A modern platform can make it a breeze to introduce new partnership offerings with no additional costs and manage them effectively with self-service applications, flexible customer relationship management tools and seamless billing and charging applications.
  • BYOO – Build your own OTT platform. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, content is king and it is also one of the key reasons why OTT players are successful. Due to consistently delivered original content. There will always be demand for meaningful, engaging content that also entertains and makes people think.
  • Diversify – One of the key advantages of platformication is that telcos will be better prepared to ride the rising wave of emerging tech – be it blockchain tech, IoT or AR/VR. It will become easier to launch new services as well as manage and monetise effectively

It can’t be ignored that OTT players are winning right now. But, telcos can certainly learn from them and take steps to reap more value and grow their business through any or all of these steps.

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