BT is bolstering its customer experience capabilities with the deployment of additional tools from Alcatel-Lucent's Motive software suite. The British operator has been using the Motive remote management software for some years but has now signed a new four-year deal that includes use of the Motive Data Collection Manager, part of the vendor's Customer Experience Solutions portfolio. BT will use this Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) tool to identify and gather information about the connected devices in the homes of its broadband and TV/video service customers so that customer relationship representatives can check on the performance of those devices as part of any support request. A recent survey conducted by Heavy Reading showed that operators are set to increase their investments in customer experience management (CEM) systems in 2013. (See CSPs Go Shopping for CEM, AlcaLu Gets Motivated About CEM and BT Deploys AlcaLu's Motive.)
Italian operator FastWeb, part of the Swisscom group, has struck a five-year strategic agreement with Huawei for the joint development of next generation fixed broadband access technologies and applications. The Italian government has valued the deal at US$557 million, according to Reuters. FastWeb is aiming to offer what it calls "ultra-broadband" to 5.5 million homes and businesses by 2014 and intends to develop a network that will ultimately be able to offer downstream speeds of 1 Gbit/s. The operator, which intends to strike similar agreements with other partners, has earmarked €2 billion ($2.6 billion) for "investments in innovation and network development" during the next four years. (See Fastweb Plans €400M FTTx Investment and T Italia, Fastweb Team Up on FTTX.)
Telefónica Digital, the technology innovation and next generation applications division of the giant Spanish telco, is the lead participant in a $25 million series C round of funding for HTML5 mobile applications platform specialist Everything.me (also known as DoAT Media). Other investors in the round include SingTel Innov8 and Mozilla , a Telefónica Digital partner. For more on this, read Money Matters at Telefonica Digital. (See Telefónica Bangs Its Digital Drum.)
Swisscom has launched Switzerland's first 4G services, offering the mobile broadband service in 26 locations. The operator intends to reach 70 percent of the country's population with its LTE-based 4G services by the end of 2013. (See Swisscom Upgrades With Ericsson.)
Let's hope the Heavy Reading survey results are matched by actual increases in investments by comms service providers (CSPs) in SPIT (service provider IT) systems, and the relevant specialists, that can help them provide better levels of customer service -- it's as much a people & culture thing as it is technology.
The main things CSPs appear to need are heavy-duty analytics software systems that can actually help them make sense of the data they already have and which are easy to use and intuitive. This industry appears to be a way from having that at the moment.