Prior to our LOOP14 APAC conference, taking place this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we had the chance to survey a number of our communications service provider (CSP) attendees about what’s on the horizon for telecommunications in 2015. Last year, there was growing awareness about how marketing and sales can be improved through Big Data initiatives, but only 16 percent of CSPs surveyed said that they had launched a Big Data project.
This year, there’s a big focus on how to ensure that every bit of data is collected, processed and put to use for the business, most of all, to build new kinds of consumer experiences. Every CSP surveyed recognised that the consumer buying experience will play a greater role in CSPs’ service creation and delivery processes – so in order to improve time-to-market and innovate and target personalised service campaigns in real time, CSPs first have to leverage the organisation’s data.
How are they planning to do it?
Processing Every Bit of Data
As we described in our recent blog post about the need for a data refinery, CSPs are increasingly focusing on ways to make the most out of all of the network, subscriber and other data flowing into their IT systems. Unsurprisingly, our survey revealed that one big focus in the APAC region is Big Data and analytics.
A vast majority (82 percent) of respondents said that Big Data and analytics play a “moderate” or “large role in company operations. Big Data analytics has become a cornerstone in personalising the experience for consumers – 55 percent of respondents said that they were planning to use Big Data analytics to improve product and service sales with targeted marketing.
What’s keeping CSPs from doing it? More than a third (36 percent) of respondents said that they only have a limited internal understanding of how to use Big Data analytics.
This all links back to the broader effect to improve the customer experience. When respondents were asked about consumer journeys:
- 100 percent said that interacting with customers in the right way at the right time and in the right context will help create a frictionless experience.
- 100 percent said that their organisation is consistently working towards improving customers’ journeys.
- 91 percent said that their business depends on the ability to know and understand customers at an individual level
- 82 percent said that customer service is more important than the latest handset or network technology for customer retention.
- 73 percent said that Big Data analytics are vital for prompting responses to customers at ‘moments of truth’ in their journeys.
Big Data and the Customer Journey
CSPs are thinking about breaking out of “telecommunications” as we know it. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents said that their businesses were becoming diversified service providers by moving into adjacent markets through expansion, acquisitions, joint ventures and equity investments.
The sample size for the LOOP14 APAC conference was by no means the size of the worldwide telecommunications industry, but the findings still offer valuable insight for CSPs. It’s clear the telecommunications industry is heading in a direction where the customer takes front and centre of all initiatives. The real question becomes whether or not CSPs have the knowledge and technology to leverage the data they need to do it.
Want to see the full findings of our LOOP14 APAC Survey? Download the full report.