Integrating Data Centricity with Customer Obsession will Drive the Future of Network Service Providers Serving the Connected Lives of Consumers

Mark Wyman, Senior Vice President for Application Development for Windstream and Chris Menier, Vice President, and Transformation Strategist at Vitria

The cable/telco sector is in the midst of a seismic shift, as new technologies and rising consumer expectations drive the radical transformation of traditional business models. One of the critical questions the industry will have to address in response to these dramatic trends revolves around how to harness sophisticated data-centric methodologies to execute hyper customer-focused strategies that generate sustainable competitive differentiation within the NSP community.

As a result, NSPs are at a critical point in their history. They need to understand how the operational side of the business is affecting service delivery and consumer experience.

While it is clear that the only way to accomplish this is by having a thorough understanding of the data that is available to NSPs, sustainable success will hinge on how best to turn that data into business insights that can be immediately acted upon by internal teams — and perhaps even by consumers. To truly optimize operations and leverage all the data available, NSPs will need to break down internal silos that exist — and persist – within their operations.

Customer-Centric Business Model

As NSPs work to stay competitive by harnessing new technologies and developing new services, a comprehensive set of measures around the full customer experience will have to be embraced. While it may be true that customer service has always been important to the industry, consumer satisfaction has traditionally been measured using proxies for the actual experience with metrics like “average handle time” or “first call resolution.”

At Windstream, a commitment has been made to capturing accurate data that can be used to see and support all aspects of the customer experience — from observing how well subscribers are able to install products, access, and use services, to monitoring and troubleshooting processes.

The good news is that companies like Windstream have plenty of data to analyze. The challenge is determining what data to focus on — among the terabytes and terabytes of information available. To address this, the company is leveraging a variety of tools — from Vitria, other providers, and home-grown applications — to ensure that teams are prioritizing their work and focusing on projects that drive customer experience improvements.

In so doing, Windstream is changing the makeup of its team. It is developing talent that can leverage value from the latest generation of database architectures, while recruiting highly skilled data scientists and data analysts.

The company is also investing in new technologies — such as IP, SD-WAN (software-defined WAN) and UCaas (unified communications as a service) cloud solutions — while moving away from legacy solutions like TDM (time-division multiplexing) or ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) environments.

The objective of leveraging these investments is to empower customers with leading services that offer robust functionality, can be readily adjusted in response to changing demands and are easy to use by both internal teams and consumers.

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