NxM: matching network performance to customer needs, at last

matching

Network performance is finally aligning with customer needs

Mobile operators compete in a wide variety of ways, but increasingly, quality of experience is the most critical. A fast, unbroken, interactive mobile experience is the number one factor which will keep customers loyal and boost their usage, while attracting new users. Yet 80% of mobile operators (MNOs) round the world say they do not have a clear view of what subscribers are experiencing on their networks – even though 76% agree customer experience is critical to their success.

There is a gulf, then, between MNOs’ recognition of the importance of user experience, and their ability to understand and control that. Most operators have invested in certain aspects of this challenge. They may have IT systems which analyze a customer’s past behaviour in depth, in order to offer relevant promotions. Or they may have deployed optimization tools to improve network behaviour overall.

Both of these are great assets, but they are not enough on their own. They address aspects of user experience in isolation, while what operators really need is a holistic view. They need to understand the customer’s experience in real time, as it happens, not just historically; and they need to be able to tweak the network in real time to adapt to the user’s situation.

After all, ‘experience’ may be a simple word, but it covers a bewildering range of factors including brand perception, pricing, network quality, availability of devices and apps, customer care and so on. To complicate matters further, each customer will have a different view of the significance of each factor.

Without an end-to-end view of the network, and of the customers’ experience at any one time, operators cannot guarantee the highest level of satisfaction for high value users, or understand how a customer’s priorities are matching up with their real experience. That means an MNO risks falling behind rivals, losing subscribers, and wasting investment in networks.

A holistic approach combines many tools and services to provide a detailed, real time view which triggers network actions based on user requirements, not technical KPIs. Amdocs has combined expertise and products from many areas of its business to enable this holistic customer-centric strategy for MNOs, and it calls the resulting platform Network Experience Management (NxM).

Such integrated, customer-centric offerings will become increasingly business-critical for operators. According to a survey of 60 Tier 1 MNOs, conducted by Rethink Technology Research, there are many challenges in understanding, and optimizing, how the subscriber interacts with their networks. These are varied in scope, from managing customer experience in real time, to using spectrum and network resources efficiently, to delivering top-class quality of service for video and voice over LTE.

All of these are challenges which must be addressed urgently, since they have a profound effect on the way a mobile service is regarded by its users. These challenges may be diverse, but they have one thing in common – they involve every link in the network, and so require integrated, end-to-end visibility and analytics to be addressed effectively.

That is where NxM comes in, not only reducing churn and driving increased usage, but also reducing total cost of ownership because network resources are harnessed optimally. But this must not just be a new acronym in the operator’s dictionary. It needs to inform an MNO’s culture and processes throughout the organization. Only in that way will operators be able to redefine what network quality stands for, and ensure their networks deliver.

Explore how an effective NxM strategy can help match network performance to your customer needs.

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