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May 27, 2011

Telecommunications Industry yet to become Fully Responsive to Customer Demands

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributor

Progress Software has released research revealing that while the telecommunications industry recognizes the value of real-time information, there is some way to go before it can become fully responsive to customer demands.

Independent market research firm Vanson Bourne carried out this global study across 107 senior IT decision makers in Telecommunication companies from 10 different countries.

A majority of respondents, 95 percent, believe that reacting to events in real-time is important, according to the findings of the research. However despite this, only 18 percent claim that they always have adequate visibility into the processes that their business uses to function effectively, and as a result, only 16 percent of respondents feel that business processes always keep pace with changes in the business.

The study reports that nine out of every ten respondents admitted that the current levels of visibility they have across their core order management systems are less than substantial. And, a higher percent, 78 percent, of decision makers state that the visibility they have into provisioning processes across bundled service offers is less than excellent.

Moreover, only a third of telecoms providers think that they have systems that always alert them when orders fall out, according to the data gathered by the study. A significant amount of money is lost because of this inadequacy. Respondents said that on an average about eight and half per cent of their yearly IT budget is set aside to deal with order fallout and exceptions.

Sanjay Kumar (News - Alert), industry vice president of Communications and Media at Progress Software, noted that as products in the industry have become more homogeneous, the services offered are no longer a competitive advantage.

In addition, events such as number portability have resulted in the service providers having even less 'stickiness' to retain their customers, Kumar said, adding that the industry needs the tools to help them redefine excellence in customer service.

For communications service providers (CSPs), the level of overall customer experience that builds a loyal and long-term customer base is the key differentiator, and if the service providers are not aware of the customer’s issues and are unable to respond, it affects the the overall customer experience. The study says that CSPs know these issues exist and a tremendous amount of their budget is allocated to fixing issues before it even happens.

Kumar said that CSPs need to provide customers with interactive experiences to build stronger loyalty such as tapping into customer call patterns correlated with customer preferences to provide value added services to customize each customer's experience in a unique and intimate way.

“Offering services such as real time situation based marketing has been proven to increase their ARPU but more importantly it will strengthen their long term relationship with their customers,” Kumar said.

Additionally, Progress Software (News - Alert) has announced the availability of the Progress Insurance Information Model (IIM) solution accelerator.


Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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