Openserve, Falcorp Technologies: Revolutionising the B2B2X model through digital transformation
Openserve, South Africa’s largest and most popular broadband infrastructure wholesale provider, has partnered with digital solutions specialist Falcorp Technologies to bring a modern B2B2X engagement experience to the market.
Pushkar Gokhale, Chief Digital and Strategy Officer leading digital transformation within Openserve, says: "It was important for us to create the right channels with the right design, delivering the right customer experience. Our marketing and technical teams, working in true partnership with Falcorp Technologies, designed and developed the Openserve Digital experiences as channels that measurably improved the customer experience."
Addressing the wholesale provider experience challenge
The wholesale model (B2B2X) presents a few nuances compared to retail (B2C). Vishal Phlad, Business Unit Head: Communications, Media & Entertainment at Falcorp Technologies, explains: “A key difference is that the B2B2X relationship consists of three parties instead of two, ie, the wholesale telco or network provider, the ISP partner, and the end customer.”
Gokhale elaborates: “We realised that with this three-party relationship, we need to innovate with a retail mindset of being customer-centric, while at the same time enabling our more than 200 resellers and ISP partners.”
A guiding principle was that the Openserve model would remain a B2B2X model and any digital transformation initiative must therefore reduce friction and improve experience for all parties involved. “With this principle in mind, our strategy was to provide as many self-service capabilities as possible. We have effectively opened up communication channels, improving customer experience, driving sales, brand value and reducing the operational burden for Openserve and ISPs. There has been a lot of investment and effort involved, and it is heartening to see the tangible results,” says Gokhale.
Shaping digital transformation
Instead of immediately diving into code, Falcorp Technologies began with a consultative and collaborative discovery approach utilising user experience (UX) and design thinking.
By focusing on user research from three perspectives, ie, Openserve’s internal users, the ISP partner users and the end customer, Openserve and Falcorp Technologies gained a deep understanding of user frustrations, needs and goals. The research revealed vital insights into user satisfaction with current journeys and expectations of a future digital experience. This enabled Openserve to identify, solve and innovate around real problems and ultimately deliver concrete value through digital transformation.
Industry research was conducted to investigate best practices in the global wholesale telco space, but it uncovered only fragmented attempts at improving relationships with ISP partners and their end customers.
In the absence of an industry playbook, the project team set out to create a blueprint consisting of the product vision, desired user experience, features backlog, an initial roadmap and conceptual solution for Openserve's digital landscape.
Openserve's digital transformation vision materialised as the implementation of several integrated channels, ie, the Openserve website, Connect mobile app and Unified Partner Platform (UPP). There was an immediate positive impact on the customer, employee and partner experience. Stakeholders are empowered with information and comprehensive self-service capabilities for marketing, assurance and fulfilment interactions with Openserve.
These digital channels improve customer experience and operational burden via capabilities that range from coverage checks, communicating network-wide problems, creating, tracking and managing appointments, orders and faults as well as enablement tools that enhance self-service troubleshooting, testing and diagnosis capabilities. Visual aspects include Uber-like capabilities that show customers and ISP Partners progress on installations and faults.
The 70+ ISP Partners that have been onboarded onto the UPP now utilise a single application for fibre broadband needs on the Openserve network. Openserve is supporting sales for ISP Partners by providing partners with the ability to create marketing content for deals and offers via UPP, which are published through to the mobile app and website. The loop is closed, with ISP Partners being informed of end customer requests for their deals.
Leveraging the power of the cloud
To implement and host the digital channels, Openserve adopted Microsoft Azure in collaboration with Falcorp Technologies, leveraging its scalability, flexibility and its wide range of Azure PaaS services, such as Azure Active Directory, Azure AD B2C, App Services, Azure Databases, Container Registry, API management, Data Factory, Logic App, Azure Bot, Storage Account and Azure DevOps.
The adoption of Microsoft Azure played a pivotal role in enhancing Openserve's user experience, operational efficiency, cost-effectiveness and speed-to-release capabilities.
Openserve’s digital transformation journey has revolutionised the B2B2X model for broadband infrastructure wholesalers. Their customer-focused approach and innovative strategies have earned international acclaim, with the Connect App receiving the TM Forum Customer Experience and Trust Excellence Award.
The partnership between Openserve and Falcorp Technologies serves as a compelling example of how collaboration, innovation, a customer-centric approach and willingness to venture into unchartered territories can drive successful digital transformation.
Falcorp Technologies continues to support Openserve in the quest for continuous improvement, innovation and transformation.