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 Documentaries
    The Rise of Virtual CPE

    1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (1) comment


    As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Optical Is Hot in 2015

    1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


    Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Policy Control in the Fast Lane

    1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


    What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
    LRTV Documentaries
    Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

    1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


    In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

    1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


    At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

    1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

    1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Pay-TV's Networked Future

    1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

    1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
    LRTV Interviews
    Cisco Talks Transformation

    1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


    In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
    LRTV Interviews
    Bob Wilson, Arsenal Legend: The Light Reading Interview

    1|16|15   |   35:36   |   (3) comments


    Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson was Light Reading's guest interviewee at the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in December. See what the former soccer star and sports broadcaster had to say when he took to the stage in Iceland.
    LRTV Custom TV
    What MEF Third Network Initiative Means for SDN & NFV

    1|14|15   |   6:13   |   (0) comments


    Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss discusses the importance of the MEF Third Network initiative and why it's good news for SDN/NFV industry initiatives.
    Upcoming Live Events
    February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
    February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
    March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
    April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
    May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
    May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
    September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
    September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
    November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
    December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    Infographics
    Hot Topics
    BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection – That's Just Sad
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
    Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/22/2015
    FiOS Picks Up Pace Again
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/22/2015
    Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
    Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
    Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm
    Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/22/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive