Writes Matt Brewster, Chief Technology Officer at Strategic Imperatives
Communication Service Providers hold an immense source of information that can deliver valuable business intelligence, predict opportunities, and create a rich engagement model with their customers, however, this goldmine mostly remains untapped and its potential unrealised. By unlocking the value this enables agile service providers to create and proactively offer innovative and targeted propositions at a price point and time when customers are most likely to respond positively based on their behaviour, demographic or geography.
Commonly referred to as Big Data, this information has the potential to place service providers in a uniquely powerful position, to not only help with customer acquisition and retention, but to also help with the creation of new revenue streams, manage network assets more efficiently as well as reducing fraud and revenue leaks.
Big data is not about reporting, nor is it about providing a multitude of downloadable excel reports. It is the capability to analyse and reveal patterns, trends and associations relating to human behaviour and interactions.
Beyond the buzz, the virtues of Big Data for most service providers have so far remained elusive. High expectations have fallen short when facing the huge amount of effort required to implement Big Data solutions which are normally unreachable for all but the largest network operators due to the level of complexity and prohibitive costs. Our vision is to utilise our cloud native architecture, commitment to innovation and a dose of fresh thinking to make this insight available to operators and resellers of any size through our billing and monetisation platform, Elevate.
Our big data project is still in the R&D phase, so this is no sales pitch but with our strategic collaboration with Amazon-AWS and utilising RedShift, the world’s most advanced Business Intelligence and Datawarehouse platform we are already seeing results that will transform how our customers do business.
Monetising data for future success
A successful monetisation strategy encompasses both automating customer journeys and internal processes, as well as using data to drive real insights. Service providers often invest in the former, but it is the two together that enable a real transformation and deliver valuable and measurable benefits including:
- Smarter decision making
- Improved risk management
- Increased sales
- Optimised network assets
- Enhanced customer experience
- Increased average revenue per user (ARPU)
- Reduced Churn
The above may seem like a panacea for challenges faced by service providers, they are words used by many solution providers, white papers, and analyst reports so it is important to understand how these benefits are derived from use cases that are common to service providers.
Classic use cases of where analytics add real value
- Customer segmentation and targeted marketing – Targeting and contextual marketing allows service providers to predict their customer’s needs according to their preferences and reactions to the services and products on offer to them. It enables service providers to offer highly targeted propositions to an intelligently segmented customer base according to behaviour, preferences, geographical location, and revenue potential.
- Fraud reduction – Telecom fraud is a major challenge in the telecom industry. Data mining algorithms and usage pattern analysis help to tackle this problem by discovering and tagging fraudulent customers and suspicious behaviour in almost real-time.
- Predictive Customer Churn – Effective use of analytics is key when it comes to the all-important customer retention and improved customer experience, where behaviour, network performance, usage patterns and billing information can help build rich customer profiles, allowing telco’s to address satisfaction-related issues and proactively help prevent customers from churning.
- Real-Time Analytics – The connectivity revolution and its impact on OTT services, social interaction and cloud applications means service providers are facing the very real challenge of a constantly changing customer landscape. Real-time analytics can help to ingest, analyse and correlate data such as customer profiles, network, location, traffic and usage to create a 360-degree user-centric view of the product or service they are using.
- Customer Lifecycle – The ability to map the user’s journey with data such as customer demographics, purchasing behaviour and clickstreams, combined with data such as location and preferences, empower service providers to respond quickly with tailored product offerings and promotional campaigns.
- Product innovation and optimised pricing – Analytics and data mining can be used to improve the products offered by the service providers and optimise their pricing. For example, customer usage can be analysed to offer new bundles and prices are tested among different segments of customers from various demographics to decide on the most optimal price. This is a win-win situation for both the customers and the service provider, as customers get the price they want, and sustainable revenue is generated for the service provider.
Data is one of the most strategic assets for a service provider. With a treasure of data at their fingertips, service providers are sitting on a goldmine of information and have an immense opportunity to reap financial benefits and enhance market competitiveness.
For more information on how Strategic Imperatives monetisation and billing solution, Elevate, can transform your business, visit our Elevate web page or contact me on 0333 800 4800.