Empowering hybrid working

Hybrid working is here to stay

The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted business as usual, accelerating significant changes to every aspect of life, including to the nature of work and how it’s organised. As enterprises turned to remote working to navigate this new reality, an important paradigm shift began to unravel: work is no longer confined to a physical location. Today, while some organisations are seeking to reduce levels of remote working, it’s far from being over. In fact, many employers have developed corporate policies for the post-pandemic world of hybrid working—a term used to describe the mixture of remote/home and on-site/office working.

This report focuses on hybrid working and the opportunities it presents for telecoms operators to support their enterprise customers as they adapt for the long-term. We believe that operators can and should expand their role in assuring hybrid working is optimal. They should build on connectivity provision, through applications and all the way to workforce empowerment. We define the latter as providing end-to-end support to enterprise customers evolving their organisations to a thriving hybrid working environment- this can include best practice process design, advisory services, privacy-compliant user analytics, coaching and end-to-end solution delivery.

To inform our thinking, we have conducted a global enterprise survey with 400+ respondents and an interview programme with 11 telecom operators. The research has confirmed what we have already observed anecdotally and in existing studies (e.g. home working to become a legal right in the Netherlands) — hybrid working is here to stay. Employees seem to be embracing this change with open arms: ~ 79% of survey respondents indicated that, for the most part, their teams have some members working from the office/on-site and some working from home/remotely. In fact, the majority of employees surveyed (54%) claim to have some autonomy over the location from where they work while a further 36% indicate that they have total autonomy over this issue. The interview programme with telecom operators echoed these findings as all 11 interviewees mentioned that they practice hybrid working.

When it comes to employees’ experiences with hybrid working, the surface level findings show that across the board, people are generally quite satisfied. When asked to evaluate its impact on the quality of their lives, 91% of survey respondents said that it has been overall positive. This figure was slightly lower for people working in HR and Sales and Marketing roles. The biggest benefits of hybrid working, as stated by survey respondents, included reduced commute time, greater autonomy over one’s schedule/time, as well as fewer distractions and interruptions.

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Top benefits are reduced commute time and autonomy over one’s time

Source: STL Partners

On top of this, according to the survey, hybrid working has helped organisations attract more talent for existing roles and appeal to a wider talent base:

Hybrid working has allowed my organisation to…

Source: STL Partners

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Hybrid working is here to stay
  • Workforce empowerment: A telco opportunity
  • Why are telcos well positioned to enable workforce empowerment?
  • Conclusion: CSPs shouldnt waste the hybrid working opportunity
  • Index

Related research:

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A3 for enterprise: Where should telcos focus?

A3 capabilities operators can offer enterprise customers

In this research we explore the potential enterprise solutions leveraging analytics, AI and automation (A3) that telcos can offer their enterprise customers. Our research builds on a previous STL Partners report Telco data monetisation: What’s it worth? which modelled the financial opportunity for telco data monetisation – i.e. purely the machine learning (ML) and analytics component of A3 – for 200+ use cases across 13 verticals.

In this report, we expand our analysis to include the importance of different types of AI and automation in implementing the 200+ use cases for enterprises and assess the feasibility for telcos to acquire and integrate those capabilities into their enterprise services.

We identified eight different types of A3 capabilities required to implement our 200+ use cases.

These capability types are organised below roughly in order of the number of use cases for which they are relevant (i.e. people analytics is required in the most use cases, and human learning is needed in the fewest).

The ninth category, Data provision, does not actually require any AI or automation skills beyond ML for data management, so we include it in the list primarily because it remains an opportunity for telcos that do not develop additional A3 capabilities for enterprise.

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Most relevant A3 capabilities across 200+ use cases

9-types-of-A3-analytics-AI-automation

Most relevant A3 capabilities for leveraging enterprise solutions

People analytics: This is the strongest opportunity for telcos as it uses their comprehensive customer data. Analytics and machine learning are required for segmentation and personalisation of messaging or action. Any telco with a statistically-relevant market share can create products – although specialist sales capabilities are still essential.

IoT analytics: Although telcos offering IoT products do not immediately have access to the payload data from devices, the largest telcos are offering a range of products which use analytics/ML to detect patterns or spot anomalies from connected sensors and other devices.

Other analytics: Similar to IoT, the majority of other analytics A3 use cases are around pattern or anomaly detection, where integration of telco data can increase the accuracy and success of A3 solutions. Many of the use cases here are very specific to the vertical. For example, risk management in financial services or tracking of electronic prescriptions in healthcare – which means that a telco will need to have existing products and sales capability in these verticals to make it worthwhile adding in new analytics or ML capabilities.

Real time: These use cases mainly need A3 to understand and act on triggers coming from customer behaviour and have mixed appeal to telcos. Telcos already play a significant role in a small number of uses cases, such as mobile marketing. Some telcos are also active in less mature use cases such as patient messaging in healthcare settings (e.g. real-time reminders to take medication or remote monitoring of vulnerable adults). Of the rest of the use cases that require real time automation, a subset could be enhanced with messaging. This would primarily be attractive to mobile operators, especially if they offer broader relevant enterprise solutions – for example, if a telco was involved in a connected public transport solution, then it could also offer passenger messaging.

Remote monitoring/control: Solutions track both things and people and use A3 to spot issues, do diagnostic analysis and prescribe solutions to the problems identified. The larger telcos already have solutions in some verticals, and 5G may bring more opportunities, such as monitoring of remote sites or traffic congestion monitoring.

Video analytics: Where telcos have CCTV implementations or video, there is opportunity to add in analytics solutions (potentially at the edge).

Human interactions: The majority of telco opportunities here relate to the provision of chatbots into enterprise contact centres.

Human learning: A group of low feasibility use cases around training (for example, an engineer on a manufacturing floor who uses a heads-up augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) display to understand the resolution to a problem in front of them) or information provision (for example, providing retail customers with information via AR applications).

 

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
    • Which A3 capabilities should telcos prioritise?
    • What makes an investment worthwhile?
    • Next steps
  • Introduction
  • Vertical opportunities
    • Key takeaways
  • A3 technology: Where should telcos focus?
    • Key takeaways
    • Assessing the telco opportunity for nine A3 capabilities
  • Verizon case study
  • Details of vertical opportunities
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix 1 – full list of 200 use cases

 

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