Sunday, October 2, 2011

Telecom Strategy: Sourcing as a Differentiator

Can Sourcing Strategy be a competitive advantage for Telecom Operators?

Bharti Airtel has build its leadership position in India with innovating sourcing approach. First with IT and Network Outsourcing and later with Tower Outsourcing. They were among first few operators in Asia to debundle the products sourcing for eg. first debundle Power system from BTS and then debundle Battery from Power Systems to avoid vendor markups. Now Bharti is following similar approach in Africa too!

Will other operators follow the suit?

Telenor Group has learned a trick or two from Bharti in India to concentrate on sourcing.

What about Customer Service as a differentiator?

As Telecom sector is consolidating and approaching "Rule of Three", the customer satisfaction is becoming less as a differentiator ( Subscribers are finding that all operators are equally pathetic!). In one of research, I observed Churn correlated to number of players in the country !

What about innovation?

Innovation in pricing, services , marketing can easily be copied in Telecom. So not a differentiator.

Sourcing Strategy even if not a major differentiator it is necessary for survival. "Survival of Cheapest !"

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