A Deeper Look at Analytics-Driven Policy Control and Charging

Posted: February 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights, News | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Today, we announced a joint real-time policy control and charging solution with Procera Networks, Inc. I thought this was an opportune time to sit down with Comptel’s resident policy experts, Malla Poikella and Tinakaran Ramdas, to discuss the state of policy – how it’s changed, the important elements involved, and what our partnership with Procera means for policy control and charging.

Q: How have we seen policy management mature, and how will this area continue to evolve in 2013?

Malla: Policy management will be present everywhere. Traditionally, it was just used to control network activities like bandwidth and usage. Now, it’s no longer constrained to the network and is effecting a much larger scope with charging, for instance, playing a greater role. Adding another layer to this is analytics, which enable more actionable intelligence that can be used to determine which individuals to engage, when to engage and the proper message to send to them. This type of targeting will, in turn, work to prevent churn and generate revenue.

Q: How important is real time to this?

Tinakaran: Throughout the whole cycle of policy control and charging, real time has played a huge role. But, you must understand that there’s a difference between real time and what we call ‘online’. Whereas real time can experience somewhat of a lag, online communications happen immediately. To illustrate this point, imagine streaming a video that keeps stalling. Operators can send a message in that exact moment saying that they are going to give you a boost because you’re a valued customer. This is an online communication – something that is relevant to customers while they are experiencing issues like this. It not only helps alleviate that certain problem, but drives loyalty gains in the long run. Real-time communications, on the other hand, takes a little longer, so you might receive an offer ten minutes after you’ve already finished the video – making it much less relevant.

Q: Policy control was a hot-button topic two to three years ago. Why is it still relevant and critical for communications service providers (CSPs) today?

Malla: Policy control is a key enabler of revenue generation, but data is also an important part of this – which has presented a problem for operators in the past when it comes to how to best harness and manage it. With today’s tools, though, operators can more easily do this, as analytical capabilities provide both user and network insights. This holistic view means operators have the clearest path to rate and charge intelligently.

Q: Why did Comptel and Procera decide to engage in this partnership?

Tinakaran: This partnership allows Procera further granularity into different services offered and, as a result, more opportunities to generate revenue. For instance, a user may want a special package for social services – now, with Comptel, Procera can understand user needs like this and target them accordingly with a specialised package. This granularity is enabled with both DPI and policy capabilities, allowing Procera to offer various packages, monitor that usage and then charge for them accordingly.


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