LEAN TELCO #DIGITAL IMPACT. Redefining the telecom business from cost-cutting to smart efficiency BEYOND MAINSTREAM MARKETING, SALES & SERVICE

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1 BEYOND MAINSTREAM #DIGITAL IMPACT MARKETING, SALES & SERVICE NETWORK & IT SUPPORT FUNCTIONS Redefining the telecom business from cost-cutting to smart efficiency JUNE 2014

2 THE BIG 3 1 tran si tion The telco business in Europe has seen many cost-cutting rounds without fundamentally rethinking business models and organizational principles. To become fit for the future, telcos should combine growth and efficiency strategically in a "new lean" blueprint. p. 3 2 in no va tion Lean means powerful, flexible and adjustable to current and future market needs. It's not just cutting costs but delayering operations and pushing innovation. p. 6 3 de lay er ing Defining three key layers with a clear focus on strategy and steering. Every single function has to be identified as core or non-core for the company. Core functions remain the key priority while non-core functions can be outsourced or carried out in partnerships. p. 11 The lean telco matrix p. 7 2

3 The journey to lean telco. How telecom players manage the transition from cost-cutting to smart efficiency by reducing complexity and leveraging new partnership models. Telecom players in Europe are facing an unprecedented challenge. The need for transformation and change is not news in an industry that has been driven by accelerating innovation for decades but has suffered enormous pressure and stagnation in the last few years. A But the up-coming transition can't be solved like the last ones. It's not just about cost-cutting anymore, since that potential has often been exhausted. It's about a new mindset and strategically combining growth and efficiency. We at Roland Berger are known as experts for restructuring and successfully leveraging previously unexploited savings potential. This is precisely why we are intervening with an alternative approach now: Together with our clients and industry experts, we recognize that times require more drastic action. Something beyond merely cutting costs. As we developed this "smart efficiency" approach, we focused on two key questions: > What BUSINESS MODEL allows for value creation in a scenario of profitability pressure and a continuously changing environment? > Which ORGANIZATIONAL PRINCIPLES can support an efficient, customer-oriented and flexible organization that is capable of handling increasing complexity? 1 MILESTONES OF THE EUROPEAN TELECOM INDUSTRY Launch of GSM in Europe 1992 Cable internet 1997 Auction of 3G licenses in UK Rollout of UMTS networks ADLS2+ for HDTV via internet First iphone sold in Europe Cable internet via Docsis European Union recommends deregulation 1996 Deutsche Telekom goes public First smartphone Nokia Communicator 1999 Launch of DSL Fiber era is taking off, due to FTTX systems Launch of broadband VDSL Launch of LTE 90% of all Europeans own a smart - phone 3

4 A FROM GROWTH TO COST-CUTTING REVENUES OF EUROPEAN TELCOS HAVE BEEN IN DECLINE SINCE 2007 Fixed line and mobile telecom revenues [USD bn] -2% +7% e 2015e 2016e 4

5 The result is the lean telco blueprint, conceptualized by Roland Berger experts and assessed in close collaboration with international CXOs and strategy departments. Implementing this approach requires courage and risk tolerance. It will force some telecom players to turn everything upside-down and require rethinking deeply entrenched old habits, processes and structures. It will be tough, but for many players, at least the only way to become fit for the future. Fundamental shift of value creation toward vendors and partners To understand the current market needs even better, we interviewed CXOs from fixed line operators, mobile and integrated players in Western and Eastern Europe. The results were incorporated into a modularized blueprint to support telecoms' long-term transformation process. It provides guidance to a vision that optimizes operations, reevaluates delivery models and improves efficiency. More than 90% of the interviewees think that such a modularization might be a promising way to tackle upcoming operational issues. Our interviews clearly revealed that the times of pure cost-cutting are over and priorities are shifting more and more toward smart efficiency. 65% of the managers interviewed agree that both growth and efficiency are relevant, and 30% even believe that efficiency is the only priority. Many operators have started implementing and testing new models already, especially for ongoing and CAPEX-intensive LTE rollouts and foreseeable 5G investments. Examples of joint operations (Everything Everywhere in the UK or T-Mobile/ Orange in Poland) as well as outsourcing approaches (e.g. Hutchison 3G Austria with its network partner Huawei) illustrate this development. These examples correspond with another result of our survey: that more than 50% of the respondents see a strong need for partnering. "The core elements of our future operations are to increase efficiency and to foster partnering as well as outsourcing," one manager stated. Comparisons with other industries show that this is a common development. The automotive industry's answer to stagnating growth was to shift value creation to its suppliers, for example. Today, major technical innovations in cars, such as next-generation assistance or safety systems, are developed by suppliers, while large automotive manufacturers focus on car design and technology integration. This concentration on core competencies enables them to reduce the complexity of their own organization. "I believe that efficiency will gain relevance and become the main objective along with growth, if not replace growth, in the medium to long term." EXECUTIVE OF A EUROPEAN TELECOM ATTACKER 5

6 2 The new paradigm. Lean means powerful, flexible and adjustable to current and future market needs. It's not just cutting costs but delayering operations and pushing innovation. Before telecom players define their future operating model, it is absolutely crucial for them to clarify their strategy first. Which functions will be categorized as "core"? Which will be "non-core" and thus up to negotiation? Every business segment should be tested regarding market position as well as current and future financial contribution. The same holds true for product lines. When growth was driven by new services and products, managing the increasing complexity was given lower priority. As a result, telecoms started to run several services, often with additional systems not fully integrated into the IT landscape, leading to a tangled mess. Our survey revealed three key questions for clarifying the strategy and in the second step reducing complexity in products and services: > Which markets do we want to be active on? > Which services/products do we want to offer? > How do we get from here to there? The general guideline should be: Eliminate as many services and offers as reasonably possible and reduce process complexity from a value perspective. Scrutinize every function in your company: "We have analyzed every single function from two points of view: Do we need it on a local or on a global level?" a manager at a UK telecom player told us. "And do we have to control it completely or could it be managed by an external partner?" Proximity and ownership those are the two parameters that have to be analyzed on the way to becoming lean. They are easy to visualize in a matrix. B Each element of the matrix determines what strategies or approaches to smart reorganization are appropriate. Functions that have to be owned but do not need to be available on a local level will become part of the headquarters, for instance. The guiding principle is how to invest available resources in the most efficient way. Financial resources of course need to be considered, but IT capacity, workload and management attention have to be kept in mind as well to achieve the best possible return on investment and to remain flexible. Here's an example: An operator cuts off its very specialized B2B large accounts business and focuses on standardized products instead. It no longer needs to consider the complexity of individual projects. Thus, it can significantly reduce the number of client-tailored solutions and shift resources to apply comparable processes in its residential and small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) business. This assessment involves three general steps. The company has to provide transparency coping with the difficulty of allocating costs to their originator. While analyzing the possibility to discontinue certain segments in the second step, the contribution margin of each segment to cover fixed (network) cost must be considered. And once it has been decided which segments to split, management has to find the easiest way to do so. This is often determined by the technologies applied. For example, it is much easier to break up an operator into fixed and mobile than to separate SME 6

7 from small office/home office (SoHo) business, because the latter use the same network infrastructure. Becoming "lean" is about more than just downsizing an operator. Our lean telco approach aims at strengthening its core. The overarching principle is to minimize complexity on a strategic level. That's what we call "lean". Lean does not mean small. Lean means powerful, flexible and adjustable to current and future market needs. With this clarified strategy of smart reorganization, the operator can focus on growth again. This growth is not achieved with endless product variations realized through complex IT solutions, but rather with a flexible core that allows the integration of additional modules via clear interfaces. This opportunity to refocus on growth is particularly important in an industry accustomed to growth. First, the capital markets want a story with elements of growth as a major value driver. An ongoing, multi-year focus on efficiency can't be a story in itself. Second, the transformation toward lean requires various structural changes with considerable impact on the employees, as significant portions of the workforce could be transferred to partner companies or joint ventures. This might lead to relocations for employees and a modified financial structure, for instance. Therefore, growth elements should be interwoven with messages purely focused on higher efficiency and better operating models. Once the redefined strategy and its growth story are in place, the blueprint has to be tailored to the telco's specific situation. Our interviews revealed four essential components for doing so: 1. Defining core and non-core functions 2. Partnering for non-core activities 3. Delayering the operator 4. Pushing innovation B THE MATRIX Functional decision criteria High Global partnership/ outsourcing Global core/ headquarter function PROXIMITY Local partnership/ outsourcing Local core function Low Low OWNERSHIP High 7

8 "Defining clear interfaces helped us to identify the core processes. This additional transparency itself increased efficiency." EXECUTIVE OF A EUROPEAN TELECOM INCUMBENT 1. Defining core and non-core functions What should the operator look like in the future? First, management has to look at every single function to identify it as core or non-core. The core functions will focus on strategic tasks and the steering of non-core functions, such as shared and customer services, procurement or mass delivery processes. In the non-core functions, the focus will be on improving efficiency and creating synergies. This separation implies that only a minor part of today's headcount will form part of the future core. Depending on the legal structure of the non-core elements, significant transfers of employees have to be managed, as mentioned above. Additionally, the P&L will change significantly, if various former internal operation costs are externalized. 2. Partnering for non-core activities Alternative partner models are a recommended way to improve efficiencies within the non-core activities. The majority of the interviewed experts agree that there is a strong need for partnership. "It is a core element for us," said an executive of a provider in CEE. The overall idea of these alternative models is to increase synergies and share them among the partners. In our interviews, network, IT and call centers were mentioned most often as areas where partnering is already very relevant today. When asked about areas where partnering may be relevant in the future, the experts most often named cross-industry functions such as accounting and payroll. The approaches to partnering vary widely and strongly depend on the structure of the operator and the local partners available. For example: A multinational operator group can centralize its core network operations, making local centers redundant, and save on headcount and equipment. The group is partnering internally across its subsidiaries. In contrast, a standalone operator cannot apply this approach and has to look for external partners. It can partner with its 8

9 network equipment vendor by transferring responsibility for network operations to the vendor, for instance. The latter can create synergies by integrating the unit into its global operations center. Other partnership models include working with competitors and specialized service providers. If carve-out models are relevant and the carved-out units have a reasonable size, financial investors can be partners, too. Even IPOs for carved-out units can be considered with a high number of shareholders as financial partners. To foster innovation, the incentive system should incorporate it as a central element. Industries such as the semiconductor business, with its consistently defined research career paths and awards for inventions and technological breakthroughs, can be role models in this regard. The incentive system might include idea contests for all employees, innovation training and workshops and publicly announced rewards for the best inventions. 3. Delayering the operator Delayering, or removing organizational layers, aims to simplify steering and define clear interfaces. For historical reasons, operators are very monolithic in terms of organizational structure and especially IT. Redefining functional responsibilities with clear interaction and relevant steering methodologies improves transparency and therefore efficiency. Moreover, it increases the flexibility for future structural modifications of core and non-core activities. As the definition of core and non-core as well as the market environment might change over time, the operator may need a partner for additional functions. Establishing such a partnership will be much easier if the functions are clearly separated from each other via standardized interfaces. 4. Pushing innovation For both core and non-core activities, it will be increasingly important to focus on innovation. In the past, operators innovated mainly on the product level, either through large-scale introductions of completely new service lines such as DSL and mobile broadband or, more often, by offering new tariffs. In the future, process innovation will be the major driver to generate an advantage in customer perception, automate processes and provide services cost-efficiently. A look at other industries can help provide know-how in production systems (e.g. aviation) or automation (automotive industry). 9

10 C THE BLUEPRINT REDUCING COMPLEXITY BY DELAYERING BY DISTINGUISHING THE KEY SEGMENTS OF MARKETING, SALES & SERVICE, NETWORK & IT AND SUPPORT FUNCTIONS, THE BLUEPRINT MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO LEVERAGE SYNERGIES IN BRAND MANAGEMENT, NETWORK INTEGRATION AND STREAMLINED HEADQUARTER FUNCTIONS 1 MARKETING, SALES & SERVICE STRONG BRAND Marketing Sales & channel steering Customer service Shop partnerships Call center partnerships Field service joint ventures E-sales joint ventures Wholesale centers 2 NETWORK & IT INTEGRATED NETWORK Fixed network planning & management Mobile network planning Lean IT architecture Network partnerships > e.g. 2G/3G/LTE sharing, FTTx Billing partnerships > e.g. with another telco Outsourcing > Fixed network construction > Unbundled local loop platform > IT 3 SUPPORT FUNCTIONS STREAMLINED HQ Strategy Procurement Finance & Controlling Talent Management Shared services > Accounting > Payroll > Procurement joint ventures: network, devices, IT, content Outsourcing > Facility Management > Fleet Services 10

11 3 The lean telco blueprint. Defining three key layers with a clear focus on strategy and steering. Based on the four components, we envisioned the blueprint of a future lean telco player as shown in the illustration. C A lean telco core, therefore, consists of three key layers: > Marketing, Sales & Service > Network & IT > Support Functions For Marketing, Sales & Service, the focus lies on the future brand, which today is usually the responsibility of the marketing department. The unit defines the overall brand, channel and service strategy as well as product and service development. It selects and steers retail partners and negotiates contracts (especially legal terms and conditions) as well as service level agreements. Performance of mass processes is tracked and new models are continuously tested with partners. If performance is poor, then processes or partners are changed. For example, cooperating with several shopcultur partners makes it possible to test slightly different shop designs and agents as well as performance and incentive systems. Additionally, the unit provides the partner with advertising material, handsets and training. The key responsibilities of Network & IT are planning the fixed line and mobile network, selecting vendors, steering partnerships and designing the IT architecture. Regional rollout planning, especially for fiber and LTE, is performed in alignment with marketing and sales requirements. Vendor and technology partners are managed based on the service level agreements and agreed KPIs. New partnership models for the mobile and fixed segments are assessed organizationally as well as financially. This can range from passive or active sharing approaches in the mobile network to local loop unbundling platform partnering models with competitors. Regarding mass processes in network maintenance, an outsourcing model can be considered. More sophisticated partnering models bundle the maintenance operations teams of various players in one market, providing the service for all partners in a joint venture. The core IT team focuses on defining the IT landscape architecture and selecting appropriate providers. In keeping with the delayering aspect, the landscape is modularized with clear interfaces so that IT partners can be changed for selected systems. The architecture must also define interfaces for major systems such as CRM, billing and network management, so that any one of these can be changed or updated without affecting the others. The role of the Support Functions unit is also in line with a focus on strategy and steering. Therefore, key tasks will be the definition of the overall operator strategy, Talent Management, Strategic Procurement and Finance & Controlling. Additionally, legally required tasks have to remain in this core, especially teams for regulatory as well as compliance and audit management. Again, mass processes for Payroll, Accounting and Facility Management will be steered and controlled here. Lean means leveraging synergies Once an operator has defined its lean core, mass processes will become non-core. These are not 11

12 sufficient to provide significant differentiation on the market; however, a certain standard of quality has to be assured at the highest possible efficiency. For Marketing, Sales & Service processes, this can be done by tapping synergies through various partnering models. For example, operators can partner with different retail chains to set up shop-in-shop models. The e-channel can be transferred to a specialized partner that manages the online shop together with the logistics. For several customer services, outsourcing models or carve-outs can be an option. Sharing or relocating call centers alone results in total OPEX savings of % on average. Outsourced field services could be bundled with the services delivered by utilities or consumer electronic players, for instance. Within Network & IT, the major driver for synergies is partnering on infrastructure. Sharing mobile infrastructure is already a proven standard approach. Models such as the carve-out of towers into separate legal entities have been tested in some countries, too (examples: American Towers, Albertis, Millicom). Partnerships with providers for network equipment and services as well as for IT operation should be evaluated regarding their savings potential. Our analyses for European players indicate that such partnerships can realistically cut total CAPEX by 13-14%. Regarding Support Functions in headquarters, the majority can be transferred to specialized partners. Payroll Management, Procurement, Fleet and Facility Management can be purchased in a standardized way. Just the lean organization of procurement processes alone can help reduce total OPEX by up to 5%. For operator groups, shared models are an alternative: resources of various subsidiaries are pooled in one country, therefore saving on headcount. In all models, preparing and structuring the partnership is key. A thorough definition of the legal framework is time and effort well spent. Issues that seem insignificant in the preparation phase can snowball as the partnership progresses, developing into major challenges if no standard approach to dealing with them has been defined. From a loose collection of tools to a truly coherent vision Our interviews revealed that many telecoms already apply frameworks and continuous improvement approaches like Lean, Six Sigma or Kaizen. Nevertheless, complexity, ownership and silo-thinking seem to be the reasons why a centralized simplification of processes is still out of reach. "We still have inconsistencies in the long-term view within our own company," a Swiss manager explained in our survey. These inconsistencies might become a roadblock on the way to an even leaner operating model. And the strategist of a CEE telecom player conceded that there are "some parts remaining of the old silo structure". Overall, there's overwhelming commitment to leaner structures: Around 60% of the interviewees in our survey "strongly agree" with the lean telco blueprint, another 25% "partly agree". Despite such high acceptance, half of the respondents say that their corporation has no need for action. More than 40% of the interviewees believe that their company is already on track: "We operate in a lean way and our product development is similar to a lean factory," one executive stressed. This analysis might hold true when measured by former telecom standards. However, compared to other industries, and considering that most executives recognize that efficiency will become a top priority, it sounds absurd. Telecoms are in denial: Their mindset is often still growth-oriented and hence has no room for the required move to smart efficiency, even as they acknowledge that markets are shrinking. Obviously, changing such a mindset takes time. It may take even more time than a "regular" change due to the new and challenging approach. Don't underestimate the difficulty: It is anything but easy to anchor lean thinking (or to release "change capacity", as one of the interviewed experts called it) among managers used to investing millions or billions of euros in growth scenarios or developing fancy new products. Employees have to be convinced that lean means smart. That it's worth focusing on the core business, to invest energy in optimizing and refining internal interfaces and 12

13 processes. That the result will not only be lower costs but a more transparent, more flexible and more innovative company. How to set up a step-by-step master plan Transformation will take several years. Therefore, the process should be started sooner rather than later. On the one hand, communication technologies, customer demands and competition are developing faster than ever. On the other hand, it's a question of cashflow: If revenues begin to erode faster than costs can be reduced, it may already be too late. Every change costs money. So it's much easier to become lean as long as there is sufficient financial leeway. Based on a clarified strategy with a leaner product and service portfolio, a step-by-step master plan with emphasis on the various partnering approaches needs to be devised. The blueprint, or its elements identified as key for an operator, can be implemented in a modular approach, understanding that there is no golden rule for which functions to begin with. This depends on the status of the preparation, the available partners and an assessment of management regarding the highest need for action. However, each year clear transformation targets should be defined and a review, including an update of the strategy with regard to changes in the market environment, needs to be conducted. At the same time, as argued above, a growth focus has to be included. The key is to generate commitment for the master plan within top management, including the supervisory board. This is a challenge for international players in particular, as one interviewee reported, because "we need a global as well as a local alignment". A second source spoke about the problem of internal turf battles: "We have to fight hard to overcome regional kingdoms." We see two kinds of potential risks that have to be assessed: organizational ones (if employees rebel against the new approach, for instance) and operational ones (securing delivery). Hence, mitigation strategies should be in place and a failure-tolerant atmo- sphere should be instilled as the transformation is complex and depends on external partners. Additionally, innovations normally have a certain failure rate. To account for that fact, an ongoing communication and compliance with these guidelines is key during the implementation. Trial and error and the acceptance of failure are crucial if companies want to foster a culture of innovation and dare to promote bold managers. "The process to a lean telco provider will be a very slow one. Many still think in their old structures and lean thinking is not anchored in their minds." STRATEGIST OF A EUROPEAN TELECOM ATTACKER 13

14 D A APPROACH OFFERS HUGE SAVINGS POTENTIAL OPEX [arb. units] 100 up to -20% Key success factors and why it's worth becoming lean As our interviews revealed, the transformation toward a lean telco is a key topic on European CXOs' agendas in saturated markets. Some elements of the lean approach have been tested, but this radical approach requires a new organizational setup, an open-minded attitude as well as operational and financial backing from stakeholders. Based on the definition of the core, partnering approaches, delayering and innovation, future telecoms will look and act completely different. The strategic lean core will steer selected partners that carry out mass processes for the operator. The speed of implementation and the scope of the transformation will vary widely, but the blueprint will provide guidance for the overall direction. D To summarize the necessary steps, telcos will need: > Top management sponsorship to communicate and support the idea > A central "lean team" with sufficient experience to coordinate and support all projects > A change in corporate culture to embrace the idea of continuous improvement and manage the expectations of all stakeholders accordingly > End-to-end optimization of operational, administrative and management processes > Lean initiatives initiated bottom-up and integration of the employees in the process to foster a motivated and innovative culture. The path to becoming lean might be bumpy, but it's worth the effort: In total, a successful implementation will enable annual OPEX reductions of up to 20%. Thus, EBITDA margins will increase significantly. These figures and the ability to create a flexible and modern telecom player with a clear focus are the ingredients for promising prospects, which are appreciated by shareholders and financial markets alike. Thus, even in times of shrinking margins, a lean player can plausibly tell a new growth story. before APPROACH after 14

15 Roland Berger Strategy Consultants ABOUT US Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, founded in 1967, is one of the world's leading strategy consultancies. With around 2,700 employees working in 51 offices in 36 countries worldwide, we have successful operations in all major international markets. Roland Berger advises major international industry and service companies as well as public institutions. Our services cover all issues of strategic management from strategy alignment and new business models, processes and organizational structures, to technology strategies. Roland Berger is an independent partnership owned by around 250 Partners. Its global Competence Centers specialize in specific industries or functional issues. At Roland Berger, we develop customized, creative strategies together with our clients. Our approach is based on the entrepreneurial character and individuality of our consultants "It's character that creates impact!" Tablet version Further reading Links & likes DOWNLOAD OUR KIOSK APP To read our latest editions on your tablet, search for "Roland Berger" in the itunes App Store or at Google Play. Download the Kiosk App for free. TELCO 2020: How Telcos transform for the "Smartphone Society" While usage and associated data volumes continue to grow exponentially, telecom operators are under the price pressure that inevitably accompanies commoditization. So what can they do to fight their battle against Internet giants like Apple, Facebook or Google? DELIVERY MODEL 2.0: Vision for the future business model Merely reacting to new competitors, to growing complexity, and to increasingly detailed customer requirements does not answer the fundamental question for telcos, which is where and how they aim to earn money in the future. A reorientation of the entire company is required. CONNECTED MOBILITY 2025 The answer to how to get a grip on the problem of increasing passenger transportation lies with networked mobility. Integrated offers and a comprehensive management function will play a central role at linking transportation data and modes of transportation ORDER AND DOWNLOAD STAY TUNED RolandBerger LIKE AND SHARE RolandBergerStrategy Consultants 15

16 Publisher ROLAND BERGER STRATEGY CONSULTANTS GMBH Mies-van-der-Rohe-Str Munich Germany Our experts welcome your questions, comments and suggestions CARSTEN ROSSBACH Partner PHILIPP LEUTIGER Partner TIM BOTTKE Partner Special thanks go to Dr. Marcus Steiner and Philipp Schaefer for their valuable contributions. MICHAEL TRENKWALDER Project Manager This publication has been prepared for general guidance only. The reader should not act according to any information provided in this publication without receiving specific professional advice. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants GmbH shall not be liable for any damages resulting from any use of the information contained in the publication GMBH. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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