Openserve launched a first-of-its-kind wholesale connectivity app to provide self service capabilities to customers on its broadband network while creating a direct channel for consumers to engage and enhance their experience. The app, which is based on TM Forum standards, Open Digital Architecture and Open APIs, has improved customer satisfaction and service delivery while providing a platform for new promotional opportunities.
and rated the best fixed network operator in South Africa*
of active customer base
leads to connect and upsell
and resolution of stuck orders
Chief Digital and Strategy Officer
“The launch of the Connect App disrupted the traditional wholesale model and provided an innovative platform that facilitates solutions to customers, by not only addressing their pain points but also driving the strategic goals of the company.”
Improving customer experience is one of the highest priorities in Openserve’s transformation strategy.
The South African broadband infrastructure wholesale provider, which is a division of Telkom SA, needed to address a number of challenges to meet this goal.
With increased service level demands during the pandemic and the need for greater transparency across its broadband network, Openserve had to quickly reconfigure its historical business-to-business engagement model that did not cater for end customers. Customers had to log faults via resellers through a complex process with no visibility to track orders or resolutions. This created a situation where there was no clear accountability for the issues the customer faced, impacting the customer experience and the overall perception of Openserve in the market.
With continued power cuts across South Africa resulting in connectivity outages, coupled with theft and vandalism of infrastructure, it became imperative for Openserve to find an innovative solution that not only created a platform to engage and communicate with customers directly, but also provided multiple self-service capabilities that improved their experience.
Openserve designed, developed and launched the first-of-its-kind wholesale connectivity app. With this new digital channel, the company was able to innovate across business models, and reconfigure its end-to-end fulfilment and assurance processes to better serve customers. It is also a way to attract new customers and send relevant promotions.
The company took an incremental, agile approach to deliver fast. The Openserve Connect App provides the ability to: manage a profile with biometric sign-in; check connectivity coverage; request to connect a premises with fiber; track orders, faults and appointments; and test and heal the network line.
Other capabilities include automated fault logging for failed test issues; notifications for orders, faults and appointments; the placement of internet service provider deals and the ability to generate sales leads.
The app also includes a chatbot virtual assistant.
To bring the app together, a cross-organization ‘fusion’ team was formed and took an innovative approach to integrate a mix of new and ageing back-end systems, creating a microservices layer using TM Forum’s Open APIs.
The app was launched in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown period within 16 weeks. It is under continuous improvement, and an active user community and staff engagement are driving new ideas and use cases.