Telecom’s future is social

The value of social business for communications service providers

The telecommunications industry has facilitated the rapid adoption of social networking and social business on a global scale. But to what extent have communications service providers (CSPs) used social networking and social tools to transform their own businesses? The adoption of social media by CSPs to engage with customers is still very low. And with respect to applying social tools to drive innovation, CSPs are clearly outpaced by over-the-top service providers. A new IBM Institute for Business Value study reveals to what extent CSPs use social approaches to adapt to the evolving marketplace.

CSPs in the forefront are doing more than developing a presence on major platforms. They are taking their external social tools and embedding them into core business processes and capabilities. They are using social approaches not only to communicate better with their customers, but also to share knowledge with their suppliers, business partners and, perhaps more important, their employees. They also realize the relevance of social tools in driving innovation for competitive differentiation.

We define social business as embedding social tools, media and practices into the ongoing activities of an organization. Social business enables individuals to connect and share information and insights more effectively with others, both inside and outside the organization. Social business tools facilitate engagement in extensive discussions with employees, customers, business partners and other stakeholders and allow sharing of resources, skills and knowledge to drive business outcomes.

To better understand how organizations are taking advantage of social business, the IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed more than 1,100 businesses around the world, 57 of them from the telecommunications industry. In addition, extensive interviews were conducted with more than two dozen widely recognized leaders in social business.

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About the authors

  • Rob van den Dam

    Rob van den Dam

    Communications Lead, IBM Institute for Business Value

  • Bob Fox

    Global Telecom and Media & Entertainment Industry Consulting Leader

#Watch a video about Social Business (00:06:50)
Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Analysis - Current Analysis interviews Rob Van Den Dam, IBV Global Telecommunications Industry Leader, IBM Global Business Services on Social Business and Communications Service Providers

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