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
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

    9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


    In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

    9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


    Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

    9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


    At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

    9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


    Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

    9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


    At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

    9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


    Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

    9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


    A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

    9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


    If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

    9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


    More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
    Wagner’s Ring
    Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

    8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


    Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

    8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


    Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

    8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


    SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
    Upcoming Live Events!!
    September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
    October 29, 2014, New York City
    November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
    November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
    December 2, 2014, New York City
    December 3, 2014, New York City
    December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    Infographics
    A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
    Today's Cartoon
    Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
    Latest Comment
    Hot Topics
    Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
    AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/12/2014
    AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
    Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
    New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
    NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed