By Michelle Nowak,
Director of Product
Mgt, CSG International.
I love end-of-year lists. Whether we’re looking to the year ahead or evaluating the one behind, we’re always seeking the trends likely to influence our global markets. This year is no exception. I see four significant and evolving trends that will have an enduring effect on the way communication service providers (CSPs) do business around the world, effects that will be evident in 2015 and beyond.
#1: POLICY MANAGEMENT TO DRIVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Policy 2.0, first coined by Stratecast, speaks to a move in policy management from a network control function to a customer experience function—and the move makes sense. For one thing, the smartphones that most people now rely on use more than 50 times the data of old-school mobile phones; for another, increased consumer demand for personalized video and content drives the opportunity for enhanced customer experiences. To meet these increasing voice, data, content, and personalization needs, networks have to be updated and modernized to support policy monetization. Policy 2.0 will increasingly be woven into brand loyalty strategies and will support increased revenue streams from consumer-friendly offerings such as premium speeds, tiered quality of service, multiple application support, and self-care help options. It focuses on real-time online charging to enable service innovation for pre- and post-paid traditional and digital services. Three, a major service provider in UK, for example has made the switch to agile, cost effective BSS tools that support Policy 2.0 and fit the growth dynamics in the various countries it serves.
#2: STRONG GROWTH IN WHOLESALE AND B2B SERVICES
Telco 2.0 promotes the use of expansive new networks and digital technologies to bring retail and wholesale markets together. It uses the fast-growing adoption of mobile, social, and location services to open up powerful business-to-business and direct-to-consumer digital experiences online across mobile connected devices. It supports multisided B2B2X business models with the CSP at the center to act as an enabler between upstream partners and downstream consumer and enterprise customers. Telco 2.0 continues the current shift to wholesale and business-to-business services growth to drive revenue through avenues that include broadband measurement and monetization.
Director of Product Mgt,
#3: ENHANCED DIGITAL CONTENT EXPERIENCES
The global digital economy demands device ubiquity and seamless consumer experiences across those devices. CSPs are increasingly expected to offer the content consumers crave through interactive online, mobile, and social experiences from any connected device—and they are expected to support those cravings by giving customers easy access to information, vouchers, loyalty points, and electronic payment services. Powerful and flexible direct-to-consumer digital content experiences further enable personalized interactions that adapt to changing customer preferences and demands. To get there, providers will have to support content monetization options that are consistent across devices and offer more choice and more ways to pay for content. Comcast has already made great strides here with Xfinity On Campus, which allows students to access thousands of current-season TV shows, hit movies, and premium sports content using their university credentials across devices.
#4: ENTERPRISE SEGMENT EVOLVES TO WIDER SERVICES INCLUDING EMPLOYEE MOBILITY AND IOT
The enterprise segment continues to evolve a wider range of services in such areas as employee mobility and the Internet of Things (IOT). More and more businesses are recognizing the value of solutions delivered using cloud infrastructure and applications that boost productivity and innovation. To serve the “new” enterprise customer, CSPs include tailored, targeted service bundles and support for huge numbers of disparate devices that enables clients to segment spend between personal and work use. Verizon for example leverages on a single convergent platform to improve customer satisfaction through a single set of processes from order to book - enabling the CSP to handle complex customer, billing, and accounting relationships and invoice accuracy and consolidation while supporting detailed multilayered contracts, high usage volumes, complex hierarchies, and partner management capabilities across 98% of the Fortune 500, including operations in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
As you evaluate how your organization will serve the next-generation of customers in 2015 – which of these trends will be at the top of your list?