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David Sims - TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist[February 2, 2005]

Getting Sirius About Subscriber Management

By David Sims
TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist

Hey, if you had Howard Stern coming on board you’d need subscriber management upgrades too.

Sirius Satellite Radio, which amidst great hoopla last October announced the signing of noted shock jock Howard Stern to its stable of on-air talent, is bolstering its dynamic subscriber management platform.

The New York-based satellite radio corporation today announced that billing and revenue management software provider Portal Software, Inc. will be given the job of providing a dynamic subscriber management platform for Sirius’s satellite radio service.

Sirius has been enjoying phenomenal growth and is expected to reach 1 million subscribers by the end of this year. When the station signed Stern it estimated he would need to generate an additional 1 million subscribers to cover the estimated $100 million yearly price tag for the costs of the deal, including the Stern show’s total production and operating costs, staff compensation, construction costs for a dedicated studio and development of additional programming and marketing concepts.

The Cupertino-based software provider is tasked with enabling Sirius to to rapidly deploy and manage its customer care, pricing, order-entry, and subscriber management functions for a growing selection of music, news, sports, and – hi Howard – talk show programming.

Sirius CIO Bill Pratt said Sirius selected Portal “for their reputation as a software provider for some of the largest subscriber-based communications and media companies in the world, such as Vodafone, AOL Time Warner, and Deutsche Telekom.”

Not only the top-rated radio personality in America in the all-important 18-45 year old male demographic, Stern is a highly profitable author, soundtrack producer, movie commodity and television personality. Bracing for a subscriber surge, Sirius needed a subscriber platform with stable and proven billing, subscriber management which could be quickly integrated with leading CRM and ERP enterprise systems and scaled to support tens of millions of subscribers.

Sirius offers DISH Network satellite TV and Sirius Satellite Radio subscribers over 120 channels of commercial-free digital music, sports, information and entertainment broadcast daily from New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, Houston and Daytona.

And while the Portal partnership isn’t exactly the “most exciting and transformational event in the history of radio,” as Sirius CEO Joseph P. Clayton gushed after inking the Stern deal, Pratt says Portal will enable Sirius to “more quickly and easily manage our subscriber relationships, create and modify pricing plans and promotions, provide customer self-service, and expand our offerings.

David Sims is contributing editor and CRM Alert columnist for TMCnet.

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