Catering to the «always on» customer

Howard Woolf, Comverse
25 Sep 2007

Today's power users are embracing "always on" communications to meet their 24x7 digital lifestyles. At the same time, they are demanding unparalleled choice, convenience and control. How can operators best cater to these "always on" digital customers‾

For today's communications and content providers, winning and retaining customers is a high-stakes game in which new services, offers and promotions must be continuously rolled out to meet the lifestyle needs of a new breed of user.

These customers are power users with a mix of personal, business and family communication needs who require "always on" communications so they can access everything they want, anytime, with total control and immediate satisfaction.

They are highly mobile users whose lifestyles demand leading-edge voice, video and data services, personalized account management and flexible spending control. They want to choose how and when they pay for different services, and real-time cost controls to optimize their overall spending, whether it's for one or multiple accounts.

Nourishing these digital customers requires providing unparalleled multi-service, multi-payment convenience and personalization - a level of service that is impossible to achieve with a conventional infrastructure. For example, traditional IT-based BSS and "silo" architectures originally built to support postpaid voice services fail to support real-time promotions or authorizations. Meanwhile, network-based prepaid-only systems are unable to incorporate customer traits, nor can they cope with the robust financial management, auditing and tracking functions needed today.

This creates daunting challenges for a legacy infrastructure - challenges that require an overall business transformation for many operators. A critical step in this transformation is to move the BSS from its traditional place in IT into the network itself.

Billing as a network-based service

Moving BSS into the network offers operators a number of important advantages:

Real-time notifications, authorizations, promotions, usage monitoring (by both operator and customer) and other real-time activities are supported 24x7. Now the "always on" digital subscriber is supported by a real-time billing and customer care environment that is also always on.

Operators can offer a new world of choice, convenience and control that strengthens customer loyalty and increases ARPU. Improving and facilitating the customer experience to locate and order a product or service will increase the likelihood of purchase.

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