This week Amdocs announced the release of CES 9.1, their Customer Experience System suite of products, covering a number of BSS and OSS functions. What’s new? And where does Amdocs think we should be applying their OSS/BSS technology?
The main thrust of this new release seems to be in better supporting the SMB (Small Medium Sized) communications market. The need here, according to Amdocs, is to be able to bundle up services to address the needs of these businesses. This could include, for example, VPN, broadband and cloud based services. CES 9.1 also enables BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and self-service.
Why is this important? Without large IT teams, but with an agile/flexible workforce, SMB’s need to be able to control both service profiles and who is able to access those services. Self-service also benefits the CSP: Margins on SMB services can be improved by avoiding the need for the CSP’s planners or engineers to provision and modify services on behalf of the customer, reducing time-to-revenue and operational costs.
Similar bundling, self-serve and price/promotion capabilities are also offered to consumers as part of the CES 9.1 Amdocs Multiplay solution.
Amdocs Social Care is an interesting addition to Amdocs CES 9.1. This allows customers to opt-in to connect their social accounts (presumably Twitter, Facebook et al) to the CSP’s BSS systems. At the back end, real-time analytics are used to identify and address the customer interactions allowing service providers to rapidly resolve care issues across social networks.
That’s pretty cool. You might not be a Twitter fan but, I can assure you, it’s far easier to send a tweet to @YourCSPsSupport then it is to wade through web-site support forms or call a busy support line. That said, it’s also easier for them to ignore their customer (yes, I’m talking about you, tier-1 UK-based broadband provider).
What else? Some network analytics, and a nod to the previously announced Small Cell and Smart Net solutions (see previous post here).
Taking up from where the typically dry press release leaves off, Amdocs blogger Rafi Kretchmer adds some colour.
Rafi paints a picture of the modern customer persona. To quote directly from his blog post:
- Today’s customers are social
- They expect service and communications to be immediate
- They have multiple choices and personas
- They expect personalized service that enhances their lifestyle and experiences
So true. Who ‘wants’ a PSTN service? No-one. So long as I can call my friends and family it doesn’t matter if it’s over mobile, broadband using an OTT service, my device’ s built-in video calling capability, or a plastic handset connected to a copper wire. Customer expect a choice, not just of service provider, but also a choice of application (in the broadest sense of the word) to fulfil their communications needs. And the choice of application may vary by time, location or social group. Skype for work, FaceTime for family, cellular for ubiquity and PSTN for… well, I’m not sure.
Rafi suggests this SIMPLE approach (see what he did there?) to understanding the customer can ultimately put them in control of their services, which is how CSPs are going to continue to make money in this increasingly competitive market.