Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, November 16, 2007

Building Value with Subscriber Management

Broadband service providers must learn the art and science of how to apply all the wonderful insights that reside within their datamart, and for very good reasons.

As information becomes a more valuable asset in the effort to win more profitable consumer and business customers, subscriber profiles and associated information are the crown jewels for service providers (SPs) striving to succeed.

According to new research from IDC, SPs will invest heavily in next-generation technologies to manage subscriber information, analyze behaviors, and ultimately deliver usable content to ravenous marketing executives and advertisers.

"While critical to the success of SPs, subscriber management remains fragmented within the telecommunications infrastructure," said Elisabeth Rainge, director of IDC's Network Software research. "New services and usage patterns are expanding the scope of subscriber management, and the consolidation of information is creating a powerful, and lucrative, information source."

Understanding subscriber preferences and usage patterns reduces operational costs and opens up an array of market development opportunities that are going largely untapped. "In the race to compete with Internet players -- from content owners to advertisers -- SPs must leverage their subscriber data assets," Rainge said.

Frankly, I couldn't agree more with IDC's assessment. The opportunity to apply these assets in meaningful and creative ways -- especially with third-party developers -- could be the key to establishing significant new growth business models.

Additional findings from IDC's research include the following:

- Subscriber management has been largely a mobile SP activity.

- In terms of scale, speed, and accuracy, mobile SP subscriber management accomplishments are strong but not enough.

- Efforts around converged services and converged infrastructures increasingly hinge on a subscriber management strategy.

- Customer management is distinguished from subscriber management by the kinds of processes and systems involved.

- The lack of information around identity has become a liability in the age of local number portability.

- A new generation of vendors are educating SPs on the advantages of subscriber management.