Amdocs’ Sanjay Sharma on how telecoms can personalize every experience with real-time insight

Amdocs, which works with Indian mobile operators such as Reliance Communications and Tata Communications, says telecoms need to personalize every experience with real-time insight, and allow customers to take control of their experiences across any channel, network, service or device.

Sanjay Sharma, regional vice president and head for South West Asia Region at Amdocs, said service providers are leveraging social networks to enable a personalized interaction with their consumers, but this is about more than merely opening a Facebook page.

Service providers have realized that social networks have become a legitimate support and care channel. The key here is linking between customers’ social network profiles to their BSS data, and putting all this information in context so the customer service representative can anticipate, detect and respond to customer complaints via the channel that best suits the consumer.

With the increase in mobile data driven by smart devices, social media and streaming video services, mobile operators are looking for new ways to keep up with the rapid introduction of new technology, while continuously expanding network capacity.

Sanjay Sharma, Regional Vice President and Head for South west Asia region (10)

Many service providers are deploying small cells to improve the user experience by increasing capacity and coverage. But high complexity and sheer volume of tasks mean operators are challenged to meet their time, cost and quality targets. They need process automation to cut costs and speed up time to design and deploy small cells.

Amdocs claims that its Small Cell solution can reduce network deployment time and costs by up to 35 percent and network design time by more than 50 percent.

Latest technology trends

Telecoms are increasingly depending upon Wi-Fi. The volume of data traveling through overburdened 3G and 4G networks has caused service providers to turn to Wi-Fi to alleviate congestion and provide coverage extension quickly and efficiently.

The challenge is to intelligently determine which consumers to offload/on-load and how to provide the best customer experience, taking into account network QoS, revenue optimization and cost.

Social networks have become the most common communication channel and trusted advisors for many consumers. With crowd sourcing, sharing and personalized feeds, consumers are heavily influenced by what their social network and other consumers tell them.

Consumers demand real time communication and expect to always be best connected, with zero tolerance to any failure.

For service providers, this expectation for immediate, real-time communications doesn’t come at zero cost. To accommodate consumers’ demands, service providers need to deploy advanced network technologies like small cells, and intelligently offload consumers to cost efficient Wi-Fi networks.

Because consumers are so sensitive to network failures, it is imperative for service providers today to integrate between real-time network insights and customer intelligence (such as profiles, usage patterns and consumption habits) to modify and improve the experience of a specific customer or group of customers.

Consumers hate restrictions and want to feel empowered. They expect full control over their service – anywhere, anytime, using any device, through any channel. Service providers must enable a unified experience to consumers and present multiple offers, devices and service bundles.

Amdocs’ customers include AT&T, Sprint, Bell Canada, Vodafone, SingTel (Singapore), VTN (Vietnam), China Mobile, Reliance Communications (India), Tata Communications (India), CSL Hong Kong, True Corporation (Thailand), XL Axiata (Indonesia) and Globe (Philippines).

Customer Experience

XL Indonesia

XL, Indonesia is the first APAC operator to offer direct carrier billing for Windows Mobile Phone store.

Virgin Media UK

Travelers on the London Underground enjoyed Wi-Fi from Virgin Media. Targeting the London Olympics 2012, the exclusive Virgin Media service delivered more than one million tweets, Facebook posts, emails and web pages every day as well as keeping travelers up to date with news, travel updates and results from The Games.

EE UK

On October 31, 2012, EE celebrated the launch of its new 4G network. If launching the first 4G network in the UK wasn’t enough, combining it with a complete rebrand meant there was absolutely no margin for error. So overcoming the challenges in delivering both on time took meticulous planning, teamwork and the unwavering commitment to succeed. Since its launch, like EE’s 4G, rave reviews are coming in fast.

Bell’s iPhone 5 launch

On September 21, 2012, service providers in Canada were challenged with order volumes during Apple’s launch of iPhone 5. At Bell, a record number of new handsets were activated; offering a better customer experience.

MetroPCS US

MetroPCS became the first in the world to bring Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Rich Communication Services to customers.

AT&T

In 2012, AT&T introduced their Mobile Share plan, which allows customers to share data across up to 10 devices. AT&T added 2 million customers in the first five weeks, while a third of them opted for 10GB+ plans.

TIM Fiber in Brazil

TIM Fiber in Brazil launched LIVE, their new fiber-based consumer broadband operation in 7 months from start up to activating their first order. This achievement also included the ability for LIVE to deliver speeds up to 10 times faster at a highly competitive price while seamlessly managing the customer experience from order to activation. LIVE is seeing double digit growth in new subscribers.

Sprint

The American Customer Satisfaction Index showed Sprint was voted the Number 1 most improved US company in customer satisfaction across 47 industries for the last four years running. Combined with the accolade of J.D. Power Highest Ranked Wireless Purchase Experience, Sprint has embraced the customer experience challenge to reach the top.

Challenges and opportunities

There are nearly 900 million mobile phone subscribers in India and this number, as well as the number of mobile apps they are using, is continuing to grow with the spread of affordable 3G and 4G networks. Service providers will need to differentiate based on the experience they offer to their customers. They will also need to ensure they have capabilities to address customer complaints received through social channels and proactively deal with service issues, said Sanjay Sharma.

Though the Indian government is investing in rolling out a national broadband network, there are still a lot of challenges in terms of actual rollout costs and return on investment (ROI).

M&A among Indian service providers is imminent, and they will be looking for solutions to help them integrate and optimize existing systems and network assets in order to drive operational cost-efficiencies. In addition, to remain successful and competitive, they will need solutions to allow them to deliver a seamless customer experience no matter which network or device the customer is using.

The continued adoption of outsourcing and managed services operational models by communications service providers worldwide will be additional contributors to growth of IT business in Indian, which has long been a major source of IT outsourcing services. Large and also smaller enterprises will increasingly look to reduce expenditures and concentrate on core business activities such as sales and marketing by outsourcing parts of their operations to experienced vendors and by using software-as-a-service type of offerings.

Customer demand is a megatrend that is driving the evolution of the IT to become more app-based and to enable more mobility. That in turn is driving IT to become more cloud-based. Cloud-based solution developers will be poised to benefit in the industry of 2020.

IT security will present an additional big opportunity in the industry of 2020. Hyper connectivity puts highly sensitive information and services at risk from cyber-attacks at both the personal, industrial and government levels. In the future, the range of threats to individuals, organizations and governments from online sources will be greater than we can imagine right now.

Baburajan K
editor@telecomlead.com