Globally, Communications Service Providers (CSPs), including MNOs and MVNOs, are adopting analytics programmes in ever-increasing numbers. With growing pressure to reduce costs, increase efficiency and transform operations, CSPs need to make better and faster decisions – and analytics can help by enabling the processing, filtering and interpretation of the rich data that CSP’s possess about their customers and their networks. This need is equally true for MVNOs, which are typically faced with even more challenging market conditions.
A recent survey from the TMF (TM Forum Quick Insights Report “Smart Analytics”, 2018) shows how adoption is spreading through the industry – but what is really driving this? In other words, what is the key use case that motivates CSPs? According to the survey, the primary factor is the need to optimise customer experience – which now counts even more than the basic goal of increasing profitability. That’s because profit is all very well but, fundamentally, if customers receive a poor experience, they will typically leave for another network so, ultimately, profit will disappear in any case.
Ranking the drivers for advanced analytics
This focus on customer experience, which is central to the relationship providers have with their customers and the mutual value they can obtain, shows that CSPs are starting to understand that they need to take a long-term view of their customer relationships and that subscribers are not simply factors on the balance sheet.
So, how can analytics solutions help CSPs optimise customer experience? Put simply, they provide a stream of insights about the ways in which customers interact with providers, from network performance to service consumption and application usage. But, while these insights are necessary to create a better understanding of customer relationships, something else is required to secure the maximum benefits from them.
We need to be able to not only analyse, but also to act. What’s required is the ability to automatically generate responses and actions to the insights gleaned, and to learn from the accumulated data set, so that new actions can be taken.
CSPs need to be able to collect and analyse data and then to integrate the analysis with solutions that enable them to act. And that’s what’s happening. However, the report also indicates that it’s the largest CSPs that are pushing hardest for the adoption of such solutions. Smaller CSPs and MVNOs may be lagging behind. Similarly, some CSPs, such as mobile network operators, that host MVNO partners, may not be enabling them with the capabilities to perform the analytic operations they need to optimise and improve customer experience.
There are several reasons why this might be the case. First, time pressure may mean that smaller providers lack resources to manage the implementation and operation of analytics solutions. Second, they may baulk at the perceived cost.
While both are valid responses, they are also misleading. There are solutions, like Digitalk Mobile Cloud, which contain a fully-integrated analytics suite combined with automation and machine learning tools. These tools provide easy access to rich analytics data, spanning the entirety of the customer lifecycle – but are affordable, as they are tightly integrated with other OSS / BSS and infrastructure elements. So, there are ways in which the advantages of an analytics-based approach to customer experience can easily be unlocked, provided that CSPs and MVNOs take the right steps.
What’s clear from the research is that it is no longer tenable to ignore analytics as a key element of automated operations. CSPs and MVNOs cannot function without a clear analytics strategy. So, if you are struggling to add new analytics capabilities to your MVNO or hosting business for your MVNO partners, then you need to start now.
Why not talk to the Digitalk experts, who can put you on the right track and show you how you can capitalise on analytics to optimise and enhance your business?