Light Reading
Service providers need to get to grips with Customer Experience Management (CEM) and figure out what it means for them

Time for a New Experience

Ray Le Maistre
10/21/2011
50%
50%

The buzz has been building around Customer Experience Management (CEM) for several years now as many operators in mature markets, along with some in fast-growing markets such as India, look for ways to differentiate beyond tariffs and bundles in their efforts to hold on to valued subscribers. (See SPIT Week Focus: Customer Experience Management and India Needs Radical Rethink.)

As Heavy Reading analyst Caroline Chappell notes in her recently published Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) Insider report, Customer Experience Management Still Needs to Bridge the Chasm, "the ability to capture and understand the events that can affect the customer experience in time to be able to influence and optimize that experience is a major source of differentiation for telcos."

She adds:

    At this stage of the market, operators face the challenge of implementing the right, future-proof CEM solution. It is no longer sufficient for a telco to collect silos of customer experience-related data in customer relationship management (CRM) systems or fault management systems and to ship them off to data warehouses where they are analyzed -- in isolation -- days or weeks after the event. They need solutions that will collect the comprehensive set of data about the customer experience in near-real time from a wide range of sources across their organization, correlate and analyze this data as rapidly as possible and disseminate the resulting intelligence to the multiple stakeholders in charge of the relevant business processes, who can act on it.


But it isn't just a case of deciding which SPIT tools need to be added to the back office and customer care centers. As Chappell notes, "for CEM to succeed, operators need to overcome the political barriers to such a solution. CEM ought to be the ultimate unifying initiative that spans the business/IT/network chasm that exists in most telcos. Yet telcos report that network functions are unwilling to share sources of customer experience data with other organizational domains, and vice versa." (See Turf Wars Threaten Telco CEM Initiatives.)

In essence, "many telcos lack a joined-up view of their customers across networks, processes and lines of business, so an end-to-end view of each customer's experience with their organization is beyond them. CEM is often being tackled piecemeal by individual telco functions, which reduces its effectiveness and can cause duplication of instrumentation, analytics engines and dashboards in an organization," writes the analyst.

As well as engaging with key CEM technology suppliers, then, service providers need to look at the way they are organized and their internal cultures. In particular, they need to start bringing their network and IT teams closer together to enable that "joined-up view" referenced by Chappell.

That process of bringing networks and IT together is something Light Reading calls Bridging the Chasm. (See Bridging the Chasm: A Manifesto and The Top 20 Bridge Builders.)

That particular cultural shift and the deployment of new CEM tools still only scratches the surface of what service providers need to address, though. Automation, long the goal of many OSS and BSS managers within telcos, is key to providing the right people with the right information at the right time. "Those telcos that are successfully addressing CEM increasingly want to cut the manual element out of the feedback loop between CEM systems that create intelligence and the management processes/systems that control, respond to and optimize the customer experience," notes Chappell.

So what do service providers need to know to develop their CEM strategy? Here are some key points and issues to consider from Chappell's report.

  • CEM is still a nebulous and misunderstood concept -- it is not just real-time CRM. It is arguably larger in scope than CRM, not a subset. CEM is all about building an emotionally weighted relationship with each customer and is as much about managing services, and the infrastructure they run on, as it is about managing CRM-related customer touchpoints.

  • From a technical perspective, CEM is about collecting the complete set of near real-time event data that has an impact on the customer experience; correlating and analyzing this data, including matching it with historical data about individual customers, such as their historical experience of the telco, their predicted lifetime value and their known needs and desires; and using this combined intelligence to take appropriate management actions.

  • The key challenges telcos face in implementing a successful CEM strategy are: dealing with internal political issues; dealing with the fragmentation and volume of data being gathered and processed; implementing greater real-time automation of processes; and identifying and communicating the CEM strategy that best suits an individual telco (CEM is not a "one-size-fits-all" scenario).

  • The shift to CEM will have a profound impact on the OSS/BSS stack, particularly the service assurance function.

  • Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) looks set to take CEM to the next stage with its AIDA (Amdocs Intelligent Decision Automation) engine.

  • Among the major telecom systems suppliers, Nokia Networks stands out as having a well thought out and articulated proposition, though it could face challenges from Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) (with its Motive platform) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) (once it closes its acquisition of Telcordia Technologies Inc. ). (See NSN Gives Facebook a New Status, Ericsson to Buy Telcordia, Ericsson + Telcordia: What the Analysts Say and Motive Touts Device Milestone.

    CEM vendors of note, as profiled in Chappell's report, are (in alphabetical order):

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

    (1)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    jagadishbs
    50%
    50%
    jagadishbs,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 4:50:22 PM
    re: Time for a New Experience


    Realizing the CEM benefits is more about proper Data governance and a data management strategy and it requires a lot of commitment to the programme.Are Service Providers ready to bite the bullet?

    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
    LRTV Interviews
    CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

    12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


    At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
    LRTV Interviews
    Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

    12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


    Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
    LRTV Documentaries
    EE: The Road to 5G

    12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


    Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

    12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

    12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


    Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
    LRTV Documentaries
    US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

    12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


    US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
    LRTV Interviews
    How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

    12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


    Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

    12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


    Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

    12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


    Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
    LRTV Interviews
    How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

    12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


    Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

    12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


    Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
    LRTV Interviews
    TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

    12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


    TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
    Upcoming Live Events
    February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
    March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
    April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
    May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
    May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    Hot Topics
    T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
    1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
    Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
    Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
    US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
    T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive