What you need to know about customer experience assurance

Telecom Asia special projects team
26 Oct 2015

Rajesh Rao, VP of Asia Pacific Japan, Viavi Solutions, explains the transition from JDSU to Viavi, and discusses the difference between customer experience management and customer experience assurance

First things first – you were JDSU, now you’re Viavi. Why the change?

Viavi Solutions was officially introduced to the marketplace on August 1. We are establishing a new chapter in the successful legacy of JDSU. With a new, more defined focus and a $7b+ market opportunity, Viavi is positioned around the capabilities of our JDSU’s former Network and Service Enablement (NSE) business. The new company expands upon the original NSE vision by introducing more first-to-market solutions that address critical gaps in the industry, adding new customer segments, and focusing on a solutions-led approach directed to executive-level buyers.

What do wireline/wireless service providers, enterprise it organizations, cloud services and data center operators, as well as network equipment manufacturers, have in common?

At least four things:

They need to consistently deliver high quality services over their network; they are inundated with increasing volumes of network data and user traffic; their network and service environments are becoming more complex and advanced; and they are under pressure to reduce operational costs and capital investments, while continuing to satisfy customers and innovate.

Viavi Solutions provides unparalleled visibility across our customers’ entire network and service ecosystem. We also provide the precision intelligence they need to continuously deliver optimum performance and quality of experience, create new service offerings, and diversify revenue for greater profitability.

Our solutions are designed to address the unique needs of each customer segment. We offer a tightly integrated and interoperable portfolio of cloud-enabled instruments and systems, software automation, which customers use to support their network build, turn-up, monitoring, optimization, assurance, and revenue diversification strategies.

At any stage of the network lifecycle, Viavi provides a unified view of performance from the physical to the application layer and from the end-user device to the core. In addition to an in-depth intelligence and insight about their network, applications and services, that they can use immediately to resolve performance issues with greater speed and precision. This allows our customers to make more informed design and spending decisions, increase the efficiency of their engineering and technical support teams, and capitalize on network and service data to create new opportunities.

With decades of expertise in addressing the toughest network challenges and strong partnerships with standards bodies and equipment manufacturers, we are uniquely positioned to help our customers keep pace with major technology shifts and adapt to industry transformation.

We hear a lot about customer experience management (CEM), but not customer experience assurance (CEA). What’s the difference?

CEM means a lot of different things to different people but the generally accepted definition of CEM is the management of all customer “touch points” with the service provider. These touch points are many and examples include visiting a retail outlet (to order a new service) or contacting the customer care desk (with a service problem). However, by far the biggest touch point that a customer has with any service provider is use of the actual service itself, that is, using their device to make calls, surf the web, watch videos, etc. This is the focus of CEA – ensuring the customer receives the best possible quality of experience in using the actual service itself. So, in summary, CEA is a sub-set of the much larger CEM market space. Note also that the broader CEM typically incorporates initiatives to grow customer usage of services – this is not generally a focus of CEA solutions, although the intelligence that CEA solutions generate is very useful for these customer-usage-driving CEM initiatives.

What are the kinds of challenges operators are facing in regards to customer experience assurance?

The era of mobile broadband, with smartphones, downloaded applications and large traffic capacities, is significantly different from the previous mobile service eras dominated by voice-calls. Operators are therefore facing a lot of new challenges in regards to assuring customer quality of experience.

First, the variety of how mobile subscribers use operator services is exploding. Even grouping the hundreds of smartphone data applications into those delivering similar functions (eg. video streaming, shopping, social media), and therefore requiring similar network performance to deliver a good quality of experience, would typically amount to ten or more categories. This makes identifying, prioritizing and diagnosing performance problems that impact customer experience more difficult than before. Due to the use model explosion, traditional assurance solutions are not capable of driving real improvements in customer experience. With service experience responsible for 40% of all customer churn according to a analyst report (Analysys Mason, October 2013), solving this assurance tool issue is critical for operators.

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