The cloud presents a wonderful opportunity for players in the telecommunications industry to generate new revenue streams and capture loyal customers.

Africa’s economic prospects are on the rise. East Africa in particular can boast some of the fastest growing economies in the world thanks to taking steps to improve trade competitiveness through the improvement of the general quality of the business environment. Mobility and ICT in particular is enjoying a golden period of growth. Penetration is at an all time high and continuing to snowball.

Such an environment should be a lucrative one for telecommunications companies but fierce competition and price wars mean that many operators need to rethink their strategies. Even as mobile is projected to continue to grow in Africa, telecoms are finding it more and more difficult to generate income from services.

The subscribers are there but they are not being harnessed to their full potential. Telcos must find ways of fostering advantage in a competitive market by adding new revenue streams, but this is easier said than done. What practical measures can these companies take to grow their businesses and bring in new revenue streams?

The answer lies in technology, specifically those centred around the cloud. Consumers and businesses are fast discovering the amazing potential that new technologies to transform their situations and clamouring for services based around the cloud. Telecoms that give these consumers what they want are assured not just of a plethora of new revenue streams but market domination.

Savvy telecommunications companies who implement enterprise management solutions architected around a cloud, such as those that can be found in SAP’s portfolio of software geared towards the communications industry, are able to roll out innovative new services and applications much faster than their competitors. At the same time they are able to improve the efficiency of their operations, allowing them to generate greater upstream and downstream revenue.

The competitiveness of the communications market means that today’s telecoms need to implement faster than ever before to satisfy an increasingly demanding customer-base that has an array of choices to turn to should it not be satisfied. The speed and adaptability of cloud-based solutions mean that telecoms can implement new products and services fast and with greatly reduced risk. In addition, the integration that the cloud enables facilitates customer service so that companies can engage clients quickly and comprehensively, engendering loyalty in the process.

Telecoms would do well to take note of business clients in particular. There is a demand among businesses for sophisticated cloud services that is not yet being met. Telecoms which are themselves plugged in to the cloud can more easily expand their existing offerings to satiate these companies.

The time to make the leap into cloud technology has never been better. As it is not yet fully established in East Africa, early adopters can establish themselves as market leaders and clamp down customer loyalties.

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