FROM TM FORUM LIVE, NICE, FRANCE: European operator KPN is halfway through its ‘simplification’ programme of business and operational transformation, and arguably faces some of its biggest challenges ahead as it braces for a complete overhaul of its core operations.

Bouke Hoving, EVP of simplification and innovation at the Dutch incumbent, said KPN is pleased with the progress made so far in simplifying its product portfolio and improving customer interactions through digital channels such as the mobile app.

The first three years saw it realise a 20 point increase in its Net Promoter Score (NPS) – an established method of measuring customer experience within the telecoms world – as well as achieve cost savings of €450 million over three years and phase out 80 per cent of its products.

Over the coming three years, targets include shaving a further €300 million from costs, gaining an additional 20 NPS points through “redesigning its OSS from scratch”, and continuing the shift of customer traffic towards digital products and services, said Hoving (pictured, left), who spoke to Mobile World Live this week on the French Riviera.

The overall objective is to create “future-proof OSS,” he said, noting the operator is working with China’s ZTEsoft on this process.

Killing silos
Although challenging, Hoving said the six-year process is required to enable “true end-to-end digitisation” by breaking down product and operational silos within the company: “Killing those silos is a prerequisite for digitisation,” he said.

Opportunities will include the ability to provision more mobile and fixed services on a real-time basis, such as disconnecting and reconnecting fibre services when people move home in a different way from the current situation.

“We can think of a massive number of use cases,” observed Hoving: “We’re still in discussions on what the exact services will be.”

As all operators know, the challenges of this transformation process are not to be underestimated: “At some point we will have to move away from the legacy,” said Hoving, adding: “That will be challenging.”

While new technology creates opportunities, aligning this with the culture of an organisation and its people is a complex task.

“There is no way you can skip this,” said Hoving, echoing the message of all operators at TM Forum Live: “We are at least making progress in the right direction.”

– Anne Morris, contributing reporter to Mobile World Live