1 Nov 2012

Accenture: “Operators should become “supermarkets” of services”

Fernando Usera, Senior Executive, Accenture 
Fernando Usera, Senior Executive of Accenture will be speaking at AfricaCom on Wednesday 14 November. His presentation will be on “bursting the customer relationship myth” at 12:00, at the Customer Experience Management session.

What is your company’s position in the market and how do you see it develop in the coming year?
As organisations look to improve their performance, they want service providers that follow proven approaches to solving immediate business challenges. Those that can help them define and deliver next-generation innovations. Accenture is a global leader in the communications sector, having worked with 19 of the top 20 communications industry companies globally. In Africa, we have well established relationships with major telecommunications, having supported their rapid business growth and market penetration through our well-honed consulting, technology and outsourcing capabilities.

Concerning Africa, the trends that we see shaping the industry include increased challenges in connecting with digital consumers, driving revenue, quickly developing and launching innovative products and services, and jump-starting the delivery of profitable services. This will precipitate a need for solutions that improve customer loyalty, growth and profitability and in turn, enhance market share and marketplace differentiation. Benefits our clients can enjoy include increased growth, improved operations and enhanced performance.

What changes are you expecting in Africa’s telecoms/media/ICT market?
We expect much tougher competition between the different players. All providers face huge expectations about their growth and this should encourage an interesting commercial battle.

Media companies should hurry to get to know their customers better, personalize their offers and leverage all available channels (especially mobile). Telecommunication providers should aim to generate new revenue streams, becoming “supermarkets” of services that leverage their customer base and distribution channels.

Over-the-top telecommunication providers will try to push the others to act as infrastructure managers. One of the most relevant battles will be providing the right technology and telecommunications services in corporate business and SME’s, where all ICT companies will try to dominate.

How are consumers’ needs evolving and what needs to be done to address them effectively?
Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding and companies that are able to successfully manage the customer experience will succeed. Quality issues should be resolved in a way that allows consumers to opt for other services. Mobility will be a key factor in this scenario as the cellular phone becomes a personal tool to access a world of new possibilities.

In Africa, the youth is an important demographic as they are eager to use new technologies. We see a move away from consumers simply accepting services from their providers to a model where they will select appropriate services on demand, forcing providers to ensure that their services are really attractive.

What should operators focus on in order to increase revenues?
Operators should become “supermarkets” of services. They should allow consumers to customize the screens on their devices, selecting the services that they want, when they want.

In the business segment, they should act as consultants on their telecommunications services, allowing their clients to become more competitive.

Also, operators should be more agile, able to understand that the new revenue streams do not necessarily have the operational margins that traditional business once did.

What are your expectations for this year’s AfricaCom?
Accenture looks forward to meeting our key stakeholders at this global African event. It provides an opportunity for us to learn more about the market’s expectations and how we as a service provider can shape our thinking to accommodate market demand and keep up with the latest trends.

We look forward to engage in meaningful conversations and find solutions that will suit our clients’ needs.

Accenture is a proud sponsor of AfricaCom, taking place 13-15 November- find out more, visit www.comworldseries.com/africa