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Communications Providers at Risk from Lack of Customer Understanding

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Operators need to harness the potential of their subscriber data or risk becoming obsolete as new players in the communications market encourage superior brand loyalty according to a report commissioned by Apertio a subscriber data management firm which was acquired by Nokia Siemens earlier this month.

The majority of respondents (62%) agreed that competitive pressures from areas such as ISPs, search and software providers are demanding that CSPs improve their subscriber intelligence. Whilst communications businesses are more adept at service delivery and infrastructure, the disconnect comes from the Internet brands who have started encroaching upon the telecommunications market and are more accustomed to nurturing subscriber relationships and customer value in real-time.

The survey found CSPs feel that to effectively compete with newcomers, as well as traditional competitors, they need to unlock the vast amount of subscriber data they hold and utilise it in real-time to create an integrated service and marketing model. The respondents recognised the value created by an informed view of the customer, with 76% stating that customer profiling is one of the most relevant areas where they can use the data, closely followed by identity management (64%). Such information puts the service providers in a privileged position, by being able to provide the user with services that are more useful and relevant to them, rather than the standard one-size-fits-all offering.

Further findings from the report include:

  • 67% of respondents cited personalisation of services as the main driver / revenue opportunity for IP and data services to mobile users over the next 24-36 months
  • 61% saw the main benefits of real-time subscriber data management as differentiation from competitors and the ability to make services more relevant respectively (on a sliding scale)
  • Only 13% of respondents have a single view of customer data in real-time

"Despite storing a vast amount of information about how their services are being used by their subscribers, the CSP sector does not hold an impressive track record in harvesting subscriber information to improve services," said Andrew Wyatt, chief product operations officer at Apertio. "Now, with the acknowledgement of wider competitive threats and a considerable momentum behind the need to better understand subscriber activity, time is running short for those businesses failing to nurture customer value through real-time subscriber data management."

Dr. Ray Barghi, Sr. Group Manager, Subscriber Data Management, at Sprint, and Chairman of the Subscriber Profile User Group, said: "By unifying subscriber data in a single repository, application complexity and integration issues are eliminated. CSPs can then take advantage of the expanded ecosystem of application and service developers open to them. Such moves will provide the catalyst for the creation and delivery of a new generation of innovative, relevant and personalised services."

The survey questioned over 70 global communications service providers (CSPs) on real-time subscriber data issues and focused on how CSPs can gain maximum benefit from their subscriber data.

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Tags: compete  subscriber data management