Covid-19 And Telcos: From Business Continuity To Planning For The Future

This article was first published on  April 03, 2020.

Oliver Wyman has run a flash survey amongst its clients on March 18th (read the results here) and again on March 27th and received responses from over 25 operators from 24 different countries around the world. We will update the COVID-19 hub regularly to continue to share new findings on how the telco and other industries are overcoming the immediate COVID-challenges and how to deal with the aftermath.

We have seen a significant evolution of sentiment since our last report. Concerns are moving on from business continuity and crisis response, to what’s next.

Main findings are:

  1. Business continuity has been mostly achieved: working-from-home at scale implemented almost overnight, networks holding up well, essential customer processes sustained, fast migration from high- to low-touch customer experience.
  2. Operator concerns and areas of focus are moving on from basic business continuity:
    • Most are gearing up for a significantly longer lockup than expected two weeks ago (8-12 weeks)
    • Most have also begun to expect degraded business conditions and no return to normality for months
    • While a serious liquidity crunch is not expected, concerns are intensifying about cash collection, liquidity, and future revenues given exposure to sports rights, product downgrades, bankruptcies, bad debt, and other effects
    • Increasing sensitivity around client satisfaction, supporting clients through a rough patch and staying close to them
    • New focus emerging on employee wellbeing, morale, motivation, work-life balance and mental health, on top of the existing focus on workforce health and safety (and also on work from home productivity)
    • Growing attention to third party sustainability (vendors, outsourcers, distributors) and ability to reboot
  3. Most operators are starting to think about what’s next and what the right approaches are around:
    • Digital transformation acceleration: Customer experience, workforce, culture
    • Commercial performance: churn, cross-sell, SAC/SRC (subscriber acquisition cost/ subscriber retention cost), B2B and B2C revenue opportunities and threats
    • Operating model back to basics, simplification, cost reduction and management of capital expenditure
    • Stepping up as an industry, vindicating telcos’ role, reshaping regulation and competition policy.

This is a living document. If you believe we are missing an insight, please reach out to the authors and we will update our findings live.

Covid-19 And Telcos: From Business Continuity To Planning For The Future