Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Web 2.0 to Personalize Customer Experience

The inability of most telecom network operators to deploy robust subscriber information management platforms could put them at a serious marketplace disadvantage -- compared with next-generation service providers that are primed to attack the telecom services sector with Web 2.0 based technologies, according to the latest market study from Light Reading.

"Network operators have a wealth of information about their subscribers, and as they broaden their next-generation service portfolios, they are in a position to collect even more information about subscribers' service preferences, usage, and transactions," says Caroline Chappell, research analyst with Light Reading.

"But operators have a short window of opportunity to put in place a strategy and architecture for managing all the subscriber information they possess and using it to more fully capture their customers by personalizing the customer experience."

As over-the-top communications services become more deeply embedded in Web 2.0 platforms, and as companies such as Google build out their own networks, the advantages now held by network operators will diminish and eventually disappear, Chappell says.

"Unless network operators accelerate their deployment of integrated subscriber information management applications, they run a serious risk of losing control of their customers to more aggressive competitors from the Web 2.0 world," she says.

Key findings of the market study include:

- Consolidation of subscriber data in a centrally available repository is an essential prerequisite for enabling network operators to build personalized services.

- Network operators say vendors are 18 months behind their requirements to decouple subscriber information from individual applications.

- Relational database vendors are beginning to challenge the supremacy of LDAP directory vendors as providers of in-network subscriber data repositories.

- Identity federation is a key application needed to support personalization on top of subscriber data stores.