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Complex and Aging Legacy Applications Spelling Doom for Telcos Worldwide

Complex and Aging Legacy Applications

Spelling Doom for Telcos Worldwide

Mckinsy-logo

A McKinsey study conducted on 80 telecom companies worldwide discovered that leading companies had done away with redundant platforms, stepped up the automation of core processes, and merged overlapping capabilities.

The telecom industry as it stands today is at crossroads.

user-left

On one side, it has customers’ expectations – slick interfaces, value offers, high-speed connectivity, and 24/7 support systems.

user-right

On the other side, it has to deal with rigid legacy systems with their sluggish form and function that simply don’t belong in the 21st century.

To become a successful multiservice provider, telecom companies should seek to -

  •   Offer a well-structured value proposition
  •   Base it on standard services and platforms
  •   Choose automated processes over extensive personnel
  •   Extract more value from current assets and competitive edge
  •   Speed up processes through multi skilling and dedicated sales support
  •   Develop a unique portfolio of bundled services to gain traction

To become a successful multiservice provider, telecom companies should seek to -

Develop-specialized-Active Develop-specialized-Active

Develop specialized, customized offerings

  •   Offer a well-structured value proposition
  •   Base it on standard services and platforms
Develop-specialized-Active Develop-specialized-Active

Minimize production and delivery expenses

  •   Choose automated processes over extensive personnel
  •   Extract more value from current assets and competitive edge
Develop-specialized-Active Develop-specialized-Active

Elevate sales tactics to posit demonstrable advantages

  •   Speed up processes through multi skilling and dedicated sales support
  •   Develop a unique portfolio of bundled services to gain traction

Our Client

Our client is a Cloud-based Communications Provider serving thousands of businesses in North America, providing custom-built Managed Connectivity and Cloud Communications solutions by partnering with over 20 major network providers. Looking to penetrate into the South American markets, the company wanted to scale up and refine their sales portal to sustain the proposed expansion.

USERS

users

Users
  • Part of the sales team
  • Responsible for connecting with businesses
  • Understanding varied business requirements

the-work-they-did

The work they did
  • Document those business requirements
  • Manage and build quotes as per requirements
  • Have them reviewed internally
  • Share the final quotation with the prospect

Their incentives would be aligned along with the health of their pipelines and stages in which different quotes were in.

process-diagram

process-mobile

The Client Company in collaboration with Koru conducted a UX Audit that highlighted:
  1. Misalignment of the existing portal’s product workflows with that of the business.
  2. Usability issues and challenges which made the portal difficult to use.

As the business was looking to scale it was important that they acknowledge the challenges that were beginning to impact the inflow of new customers and deals by fixing these challenges.

problem-statement
IMPLICATIONS

For the Agents

Difficult to use

They would prefer collecting the data and managing it on offline systems like creating separate Excel sheets until they had to create it on the sales portal.

Misaligned workflows

Workflows and features defined on the sales tool were misaligned with actual scenarios where multiple rounds of iterations would be done.

Lack of process monitoring

Other collaborators in the process had no way to review margins and identify vendors. They are unable to view tasks lined up for them or view the progress stages of a particular deal.

Poor usability demotivated their Agents

who had to spend several hours adding information and creating the quote, than focusing on delivering a better experience to their customers.

For the Business

Reduced accountability for lead tracking

Being integrated with the CRM, leads assigned to individuals on the Sales Portal would be taken offline by the Agents for their ease of use, which reduced the accountability and tracking for each lead.

No tracking available for active deals

in the pipeline and their status.

Trends and market needs would show up with a delay

reducing the business's ability to make critical decisions in marketing or diversifying their business offerings.

Poor usability led to poor service

as the Agents would get visibly agitated with the customer who’d make multiple iterations to their request.

The Brief

We were called upon to revamp the quote creation and management workflows within the Sales Portal.

Our key focus areas based on the UX Audit were
For the Business & Users

business-clients

  1. Align the solution to integrate with the actual journey of the process
  2. Increase visibility and tracking for stakeholders
  3. Help involve stakeholders’ view and gauge what’s coming their way
  4. Enable the business to easily gauge customer trends and enable planning and packaging of services
  5. Easier integration with other tools within the ecosystem, such as the CRM
For the Product and its Usability

business-clients

  1. Make the workflows intuitive for the users
  2. Ensure retained as well as new workflows reflect a consistent experience
  3. Ease in documentation of requirements, accuracy especially in areas where the data was manually documented
  4. Engage a standardized design system that made it easy to scale the product
  5. Institutionalize the product usage experience to set guidelines

Telecom companies are often guilty of assuming that the client experience is a compilation of independent touchpoints.

That customer service, sales progress and promotional materials are somehow unrelated to each other.
On the contrary, the client is the focal point of all activities. The product journey and the customer experience are essentially two sides of the same coin.

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Individual touchpoints may perform well even if the overall experience is poor.

User-centric

User-centric design allows telecom companies to map the entire client journey and gain an in-depth understanding of what their users actually want and deliver a refined user experience.

To do this well,

Field Agent

Identify the user journeys that matter most to key segments

For Applicants

Map these journeys to understand their flow across functions, channels, and devices

For Applicants

Identify and resolve the biggest pain points

ENSURING SUCCESS

Koru was to play a critical role in ensuring that the approach recognized and addressed factors that led to previous failed attempts made by individual stakeholders along with the business’s internal product and design teams. These factors revolved around.

Stakeholder Buy-In

The sales process involved multiple stakeholders across sales, access management, finance, procurement, legal and so from different business units. In order to make an impactful shift, it was important that Koru was able to ensure their participation.

Definition of Scope and Milestones

There is a fine alignment between the vision of the business and what the product teams are capable of delivering. Koru’s role was to act as a mediator between both and design goals in a way that aligned with the interests and capabilities of both.

Technology

Our customer had scaled their product ecosystem and built their internal capabilities around them. Koru’s role was to actively work with the product team and make a case as possibly to help leverage capabilities of existing technology, off-the-shelf solutions and new technology that enabled them to deliver better experience and scale in the future.

Experience to the end customer

Being a service-based company, the value delivered to the end customer was key. The business wanted to ensure that the engagement helped them establish a product and process-driven approach to delivering the end value than diverting that responsibility solely on human touchpoints wherever appropriate.

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Stakeholder Buy-In:

The sales process involved multiple stakeholders across sales, access management, finance, procurement, legal and so from different business units. In order to make an impactful shift, it was important that Koru was able to ensure their participation.

Definition of Scope and Milestones:

There is a fine alignment between the vision of the business and what the product teams are capable of delivering. Koru’s role was to act as a mediator between both and design goals in a way that aligned with the interests and capabilities of both.

Technology:

Our customer had scaled their product ecosystem and built their internal capabilities around them. Koru’s role was to actively work with the product team and make a case as possibly to help leverage capabilities of existing technology, off-the-shelf solutions and new technology that enabled them to deliver better experience and scale in the future.

Experience to the end customer:

Being a service-based company, the value delivered to the end customer was key. The business wanted to ensure that the engagement helped them establish a product and process-driven approach to delivering the end value than diverting that responsibility solely on human touchpoints wherever appropriate.

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DESIGN PROCESS

The design process at Koru is focused on improving the usability, accessibility, and delight provided in the product interaction.

Keeping the user in the center of the creative process leads us to create designs that are clutter-free, easy, intuitive, scalable, engaging and provide a fabulous experience to the users.

RESEARCH

  • One-on-one interviews were conducted with stakeholders across departments to understand the process and see how they leverage the tool in their day-to-day process. This identified specific areas where they struggled with the process or the system.
  • Planned and conducted cross-functional workshops to help stakeholders define the process from their perspective. This also allowed for them to build empathy and share the vision of the business.
  • Focused on areas where the processes were offline and had excessive reliance on an individual and team driven process.

SYNTHESIS

We began by assessing the data to understand the users and the nature of their needs from the system. We broke them down further by different milestones in the sales process where they would engage digitally.

The research helped us establish:

  • The process and the areas where they were aided by the existing ecosystem
  • User expectations, potential, and capabilities
  • Overlaps, areas which lacked accountability and confusing ownerships
  • Product and workflow specific challenges encountered by the users in their day-to-day interaction with the process and system.

RESEARCH

  • One-on-one interviews were conducted with stakeholders across departments to understand the process and see how they leverage the tool in their day-to-day process. This identified specific areas where they struggled with the process or the system.
  • Planned and conducted cross-functional workshops to help stakeholders define the process from their perspective. This also allowed for them to build empathy and share the vision of the business.
  • Focused on areas where the processes were offline and had excessive reliance on an individual and team driven process.

SYNTHESIS

We began by assessing the data to understand the users and the nature of their needs from the system. We broke them down further by different milestones in the sales process where they would engage digitally.

The research helped us establish:

  • The process and the areas where they were aided by the existing ecosystem
  • User expectations, potential, and capabilities
  • Overlaps, areas which lacked accountability and confusing ownerships
  • Product and workflow specific challenges encountered by the users in their day-to-day interaction with the process and system.

Usability issues in the portal led to confusion and conflicts between collaborators in the process

Confusion

IDEATION

We chose specific areas for enhancements considering the workflow-specific challenges and proposed features that make for a standardized product experience.

low fidelity

low fidelity

high fidelity

Usability-min

DESIGN

Transforming the wireframes and prototypes to actual images with themes, components, and styles applied to them.

Ui design

Highlights

.


Ease of finding location
Ease of finding location
The user can type to find an existing location or enter a new one.
Suggestion prompts for locations
Suggestion prompts assist the user in choosing the right location and help avoid incorrect inputs.
Suggestion prompts for locations Suggestion prompts assist the user in choosing the right location and help avoid incorrect inputs.
Seamless navigation between multiple locations
Seamless navigation between multiple locations
Users can pick multiple locations at one go with ease.
Ease of access to service offerings
The split-screen ensures that the user gets to view the service offerings while creating the right bundles.
Ease of access to service offerings
Compare prices across providers at a glance
Compare prices across providers at a glance
Choosing a provider becomes easier with the cost comparison visible in a row.
Chat function to discuss the quote with the client
Chat function helps both, the client and the provider to indulge in a quick discussion over the quote and resolve queries with ease.
Chat function to discuss the quote with the client

Ease of finding location
The user can type to find an existing location or enter a new one.

Ease of finding location
The user can type to find an existing location or enter a new one.

Ease of finding location
The user can type to find an existing location or enter a new one.

Ease of finding location

Suggestion prompts for locations
Suggestion prompts assist the user in choosing the right location and help avoid incorrect inputs.

Suggestion prompts for locations
Suggestion prompts assist the user in choosing the right location and help avoid incorrect inputs.

Suggestion prompts for locations
Suggestion prompts assist the user in choosing the right location and help avoid incorrect inputs.

Suggestion prompts for locations Suggestion prompts assist the user in choosing the right location and help avoid incorrect inputs.

Seamless navigation between multiple locations
Users can pick multiple locations at one go with ease.

Seamless navigation between multiple locations
Users can pick multiple locations at one go with ease.

Seamless navigation between multiple locations
Users can pick multiple locations at one go with ease.

Seamless navigation between multiple locations

Ease of access to service offerings
The split-screen ensures that the user gets to view the service offerings while creating the right bundles.

Ease of access to service offerings
The split-screen ensures that the user gets to view the service offerings while creating the right bundles.

Ease of access to service offerings
The split-screen ensures that the user gets to view the service offerings while creating the right bundles.

Ease of access to service offerings

Compare prices across providers at a glance
Choosing a provider becomes easier with the cost comparison visible in a row.

Compare prices across providers at a glance
Choosing a provider becomes easier with the cost comparison visible in a row.

Compare prices across providers at a glance
Choosing a provider becomes easier with the cost comparison visible in a row.

Compare prices across providers at a glance

Chat function to discuss the quote with the client
Chat function helps both, the client and the provider to indulge in a quick discussion over the quote and resolve queries with ease.

Chat function to discuss the quote with the client
Chat function helps both, the client and the provider to indulge in a quick discussion over the quote and resolve queries with ease.

Chat function to discuss the quote with the client
Chat function helps both, the client and the provider to indulge in a quick discussion over the quote and resolve queries with ease.

Chat function to discuss the quote with the client
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CONCLUSION

To round up, the redesign resulted in the effective management of the work processes, increased data accuracy, process integration, increased accountability, and sharper decision-making. Reporting was made easy and trends easily accessible.

For Agents

Increase in individual user’s productivity by

(Measured through time comparison of key workflows between old and new solution)