NFV’s ambition of zero touch could sound death knell for the customer call center
NICE, France – Business travelers know that activating international voice, text and data can be a frustrating — and expensive — process marked by protracted interactions with customer service reps. But it doesn’t have to be.
RCR Wireless News, based in Austin, Texas, is currently providing team coverage of TM Forum Live from the Acropolis in Nice. Facilitating the connectivity needed in a digital media world, in this particular case, required a nearly half-hour conversation with customer service representatives for an American carrier.
One of the primary thrusts of this telecom software-centric exhibition is how communication service providers can take advantage of network function virtualization to fully automate business processes and essentially remove two-way human interaction from the equation.
Consider cloud-based BSS/OSS provider ItsOn, which counts Sprint and Virgin Mobile among carrier partners.
VP of product marketing Robert Oberhofer demonstrated how ItsOn technology empowers an end-user to easily pick and choose the plan and services he or she needs in real time, as in seconds, not minutes.
Oberhofer, building on the business traveler use case, attempted to make an international call using a Virgin Mobile plan that did not include international voice.
His device initiated a pop-up message indicating international calling was not a current feature and offered access to a menu of relevant service options. Tap one on the touch screen.
Oberhofer selected a service option allowing for international talk. Tap two.
The ItsOn software platform then accessed Oberhofer’s stored payment information and asked for confirmation of the new charge. Tap three.
He then placed an international call. What takes many smartphone users 20 or 30 minutes, ItsOn accommodated in less than a minute with no need for a call to customer service.
“If you can find a way of building that stack where the components talk to each, then you have a lot of power,” Oberhofer told RCR Wireless News in an exclusive interview. “This is a full digital experience from end-to-end. You’re in full control.”
And that’s just one example. Remember going into a carrier-branded store to purchase a new device and sitting, usually on an uncomfortably high barstool-type seat across the counter from a sales rep, to have the device paired with you plan? With Virgin Mobile USA phones equipped with ItsOn software, you can buy your phone and easily set it up with no help or hassle.
“You can literally take the device off the peg and go through the process without calling a person,” Oberhofer said. “It’s very easy for the end user. Having all this in a mobile interface is very valuable.”
Read the rest on RCR Wireless News.