One year on and not much has changed in the world of real-time responsiveness and charging. Or so it would seem, if you read the update of the TM Forum’s annual survey and report. (Infographic here). The biggest barriers remain ‘integration’ and ‘transforming internal processes’ which, if last year’s interviews are anything to go by, actually means ‘politics.’
There is a definite shift in one area, and that is what operators will use real-time functionality for in two years’ time. Last year, the majority said that ‘OTT collaboration’ was top priority. This year, in perhaps a more positive or combative stance, the priority was collaboration with third parties (non OTT), VoLTE, IoT and Carrier Billing. It seems that operators’ strategies are becoming clearer, which is good news.
Meanwhile, by far the most cited reason behind implementing real-time is ‘greater pricing and charging flexibility.’
Hopefully, this means that operators have finally realised that they must avoid commoditising data. Hopefully, also, it means that they are seriously thinking along the same lines as discussed in a recent paper from real-time specialist, Openet. If operators are implementing real-time functionality, they should be looking at how best to create personalised offers. And whatever the pressures within operators ‘not to impose’ on customers with personalised offers, it is, according to Openet’s paper, exactly what 63 percent of all age groups want.
Operators should, as we pointed out before, take the ‘Google stance’ and try things. Customers expect their service provider to know what they are doing and where they are, so make use of that knowledge. Make use of their habits, their historical data, think like retailers, think like digital service providers. Rebuild the business around the customer, not the network.
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