Cross-domain BSS/OSS based data monetisation systems are needed to generate new CSP revenues
VanillaPlus‘s Jeremy Cowan flew to Krakow, Poland to see how this software systems vendor is expanding from BSS into new areas, including the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and services, and even device manufacturing.
Here, Marcin Dabrowski, Comarch’s VP Telecommunications and Board Member responsible for Business Support Systems (BSS) talks excusively to VanillaPlus.
Jeremy Cowan: VanillaPlus reported in the summer on the launch of your Data Analytics and Monetisation solution. (See: Comarch helps telcos tackle Big Data issues with new Data Analytics & Monetisation solution.) For those who haven’t seen it, what are the key elements?
Marcin Dabrowski (MD): Comarch Data Analytics & Monetisation enables telecom operators to manage customers’ usage and relationship insights and unlock new revenue streams from targeted marketing. Data analytics must support real business value generation and thus be focused around well-defined use cases. Only such actionable approach can improve customer experience management, trigger proactive care (like up-selling, cross-selling, and churn reduction activities) and help to obtain additional revenues generated by CSPs’ own services and their partners’ products.
We have identified a couple of such use cases and centred our efforts around them in the development of the solution. In general, data analytics and monetisation can be based on customer transaction data, marketing data, customer demographic data, network performance data and so on.
However, crucial for obtaining business value is mobile location information – the main data feed describing customer activities. The movement of mobile users is the primary source of insights, location-based customer profiling, decisions and triggered actions. Delivering such valuable customer insights to third parties, while respecting data privacy, is key for successful external data monetisation.
VanillaPlus: How do you differentiate your data analytics solution in such a crowded market?
MD: Traditionally, data analytics solutions were implemented as de-centralised, targeted solutions, addressing typically one specific use case or domain (for instance: focused on billing data only, focused on network faults only). In contrast to such an approach, Comarch markets its Data Analytics solution as a centralised, cross-domain system (OSS and BSS combined). It is only possible to deliver valuable use cases which can bring a business value for CSPs when data analysed comes from both the domains.
On top of that, we utilise Comarch experience in analytical CRM systems used to predict Customer Sentiment on the basis of the analysis of subscriber comments on the customer portal or even social media. Such projects have been realised by Comarch teams in the finance and banking sector and now we are using this experience to provide a comprehensive solution for the telco sector, taking into account all possible data which may help the operator to answer the question: how to maximise the revenue stream. Only having all of this information in one data analytics platform will give the operator chance to find the right answer to this question.
VanillaPlus: Who are your typical customers for data analytics and monetisation?
MD: The typical customers for this kind of solutions are Tier 1 network operators with very concrete demand coming from everyday operational work. The example can be roaming monitoring for the countries without regulations, where income from roaming service is extremely profitable.
Comarch connects the network, service and customer information in order to monitor, point out and suggest recovery actions in roaming services like silent roamers, wrong numbers, and wrong configuration. The other example relates to VIP Customers and SLA (service level agreement) fulfilment. Comarch Data Analytics constantly monitors VIPs’ services and takes preventive actions based on abnormal network behaviours.
The unique value is the fact that Comarch plans to release a mobile application addressed directly to VIP Customers which will be able at any time to verify SLA by themselves.
But we are also supporting our customers in the realisation of their efforts in breaking silos within the organisation. With our platform we are able to start the journey with very concrete use cases providing high business value (like roaming monitoring and VIP monitoring) to show the value of the solution and convince ‘distrusters’ that they can also become beneficiaries of the solution if they provide their data to the platform. Then, step-by-step, the data analytics platform shall be extended to cover more data sources and support more use cases which are not even defined at the moment.
However, our solution is universal enough to cover the needs of both corporates and the SME (small to medium-sized enterprise) segment. Of course, needs and expectations in both are different compared to the telco industry. The solution for corporates and large enterprises is usually delivered as turnkey project. The focus is on preliminary data preparation for the individual expectations of big business.
In such cases, usually, telecommunications data are analysed in detail by units of the corporate or large enterprise, they are treated as an additional, very interesting data source. Examples of such approaches are railways, motorway administrations, bus companies, hospitals and other medical units.
On the other hand, the SME has no aspirations to create internal mechanisms for analysis purposes. SMEs expect the solution that is as simple and easy as possible, and gives them insight into its interesting conclusions. In this case, an important role is focused not only on the data themselves, but also on the presentation layer (both analytical and visualisation). Comarch aspires to provide additional value to customers in all of these areas.
VanillaPlus: What other Business Support Systems are your customers demanding?
MD: We see quite big interest in solutions enabling business and IT transformations aimed at improving time-to-market, customer satisfaction and operational efficiency, where we have a strong end-to-end BSS/OSS proposition consisting of CRM, Product & Service Catalogue, Customer Order Management, Service Fulfillment, and Billing.
There is also a growing interest in “intelligent connectivity” in the M2M (machine-to-machine) / Internet of Things (IoT) area and a shift towards application enablement, M2M service assurance, M2M device and inventory management, M2M application data management, processing & exposure. Other areas include: M2M/IoT billing of applications, customer/partner/reseller management; and B2B settlements, business support systems for handling corporate and business customers.
VanillaPlus: How have Comarch telecom clients evolved since 2005 – i.e. reflecting the growth of Comarch, the development of your services, and customers’ changing needs?
MD: During the last 10 years Comarch evolved from company focused on software design & delivery to software vendor & business partner. It is reflected by big transformation projects that we were and we are involved.
We are performing business analysis & consultancy, we do projects that includes not only design, delivery and support but fully managed services up to business processes outsourcing.
Proven track of records as ePlus, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, TeliaSonera, KPN, Telefonica, British Telecom – all of these projects involved us in very different role that “pure software vendor”. We acts partner not only supporting but responsible business party.
Comarch has always had a strategy to provide a unique portfolio of solutions bridging the gap between telco and non-telco offerings. This strategy has turned out to be quite fruitful so far. Comarch is able to offer to telecom operators a unique blend of BSS/OSS platform and solutions supporting billing for applications, analytics, smart cities, eHealth and digital services.