Page 1 APRIL


CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Destination: Delivery and Differentiation

Virgin Mobile on Bill Shock Putting customers in control

Understanding the Age of the Customer Focusing on the entire journey generates positive results

business support solutions that

accelerate business. anywhere.

like here. here.

and here.

At CSG, we excel at delivering revenue and customer management solutions to progressive CSP clients around the globe. Clients just like you. Our unparalleled set of business support solutions can help you launch new services, strengthen customer relationships, optimize revenue and stay competitive in today’s transforming environments. Simply put, our solutions and services can help you accelerate business. anywhere. Contact us today: +1 303.200.2000 or



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Across the Desk Welcome to the Customer Experience issue of CSG’s SPECTRUM magazine. We’ve filled this issue with thought-starters, best practices, case studies and articles designed to help you profit from delivering the very best experience you can for your customers. After all, regardless of the company name on your business card, you are in business to deliver an excellent experience to your customers that makes their daily life better; at CSG International, we’re no exception. Each day, we challenge our employees to innovate, find new ways to optimize our clients’ operations, and support our 500+ clients in three distinct ways: •

CIRCULATION For general inquiries, or if you wish to change your address, request a copy or be added to the circulation, please visit


Copyright © 2014 CSG Systems International, Inc. and/or its affiliates (“CSG”). All rights reserved. The information contained within this document is the property of CSG, which is protected by international copyright laws and any unauthorized use of this document or its contents may violate copyright, trademark, and other laws. No part of this document may be photocopied, reproduced or translated in any form or by any means, or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted electronically or otherwise, without the prior written consent of CSG. Although every endeavor has been made to ensure that the information contained within this document is up to date and accurate, CSG cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracy or error in the information contained within this document. CSG makes no warranty of any kind with regard to the information and CSG shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages which may arise in connection with the publication, furnishing, reliance or use of the information contained within this document.

Delivering results. We aim to ensure our clients’ ability to change, adapt and succeed in today’s world. This means that our teams are willing to go above and beyond to deliver a project on time, proactively resolve an issue or flawlessly execute the deployment of a new solution. Being a strategic business partner. Our acquisitions of Intec, Ascade, and recently Volubill, are examples of how we have expanded the breadth and depth of our solutions portfolio to address current and future business needs of our clients. We’ve leveraged our 30-year heritage to expand our managed services offerings into Europe and Asia, helping our clients focus on their business while leaving the management of their Business Support Systems to us. Leveraging our expertise to grow our clients’ business. CSG has a proven reputation for running large-scale operations for some of the world’s leading service providers and we do not take this responsibility lightly. We dedicate more than 14% of our annual revenue to Research and Development, ensuring that our solutions portfolio not only supports the business needs of today—but those of the future.

While you are focusing on how to deliver the best experience for your customers, know that we are too. And that effort comes through in the services and solutions we deliver, and the innovative approach we bring to our clients’ organizations every day.

Peter Kalan President and Chief Executive Officer CSG International

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In this Issue FEATURES



12 14 16

APRIL 2014







Virgin Mobile Australia decreases bill shock to increase customer satisfaction

CSG Employees Reveal All


Cybersecurity Improves Customer Experience

Bob Machin lets you take a virtual seat in the Mobile World Congress auditorium as he shares his notes from around the event

Customer Experience: Intelligent Analytics

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP FEATURE CSG VP Dale Knipp discusses how to avoid potential pitfalls and hazards when crafting the customer journey

LET’S TALK CSG’s Scott Dutton explains how automation is ‘hitting the streets’ and driving higher levels of customer satisfaction









Brave New World of the Internet of Things

Customer Experience and the Back Office

David Heaps

We’ve Been Busy at CSG


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What We’re Reading

READER: Phil Siddorn Business Development Director EMEA

READER: Terry Blair Senior Solutions Consultant Americas

READER: Neil Griffin Director Sales Operations

READER: Warren Ledingham Vice President Sales Asia

The Symbolic Species

Lennon: the Man, the Myth, the Music— The Definitive Life



Just Listen

The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins, Hero of the Golden Age of Polar Exploration

AUTHOR: Terrence Deacon

AUTHOR: Tim Riley

AUTHOR: Dr. Mark Goulston

AUTHOR: Simon Nasht

REVIEW: Most animals have the apparatus for complex communication, so why are humans unique in having developed language? Our brains co-evolved with language to manage symbolism, so we can form associations and determine context. Deacon challenges received wisdom and the anthropomorphic view of nature, saying the search for knowledge is often impeded by faulty assumptions that stop us from asking more creative questions.

REVIEW: It goes without saying that the Beatles had an enormous impact on cultural growth, political governance, and individual awareness that inspired and continues to inspire a large portion of the population. This comprehensive biography of John Lennon showcases Lennon’s undaunted approach to music and how he shared his most trying, thought-provoking and very painful life experiences through his lyrics.

REVIEW: This book provides interesting insight into the ability to really listen to people, not just hear them. Seeking to help improve the reader’s ability to connect with people and engage with them, it’s certainly enlightening and interesting. Some of the information is challenging, and some of it gives you that forehead slap because it was too obvious not to miss, but somehow you did. Overall, it’s a simple but beneficial read.

REVIEW: Possibly the most unrecognized adventurer in modern history, George Hubert Wilkins explored the world in unique and fascinating ways. If his achievements were not true, they could be considered a fiction too unbelievable for storytelling. The initial chapters are detailed on first pass, stay with it to uncover an incredible voyage.







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Deploy Best-in-Breed Cybersecurity Technologies to Improve the Customer Experience A CAUTIONARY TALE The fun and flurry of retail discounts during the high-volume holiday shopping season were marred last year by the muchpublicized breach of customer data at popular U.S. retailer Target. The holidays are easily the worst time for any retailer to confront a crisis, and in this case it was a perfect storm: the element of surprise, the massive amounts of data in Target’s network, and the opportunity for significant damage to brand reputation contributed to the calamity. A retailer’s nightmare. A hacker’s dream. Target’s hardly alone: studies show that one to nine new malware attacks occur every second of every day. And then there’s the customer to consider. At the same time, the customer experience provides significant competitive advantages for service providers that do it well. In today’s hyper-connected, hyper-competitive world, delivering consistently good experiences can make the difference between market growth and decline, between brand awareness and obscurity, between customer loyalty and defection. SCALING THE WALL Service providers recognize that they are as vunerable to attack as other organizations, and often the weak links in any given network are by-products of a customer-centric strategy: smart mobility, high data volumes, widespread apps use, and extensible payments are all consumer favorites, but each comes with increased risk to sensitive information. More online transactions and more ways to process them offer incentives to cyber criminals. Worse, providers that hope to tap data to improve the customer experience—by boosting transaction speed or using feedback to improve service offerings—create valuable proprietary assets that become attractive targets in their own right. PROTECTING THE CASTLE Human vulnerabilities are no less challenging than technological ones, so service providers must address security threats in part by developing safeguards throughout the payment ecosystem. Improving security generally will also help, but such improvements are only a piece of the puzzle. Customer-centric providers will have to evolve the way they respond to security threats to win the differentiation game. Consumers expect their data to be—and stay—secure. Yet they


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freely put that data at risk by engaging in social networks, subscribing to specialty services, and choosing flexible payment options without understanding fully the privacy considerations they forfeit with such behaviors. Successful providers communicate succinctly how customer data is used, which serves the dual purpose of providing the great experience consumers demand while sharing the myriad ways service providers protect the data they collect. THE CONTINUOUSLY SECURE ENTERPRISE The differentiated customer experience rests on trust. To gain and maintain that trust, service providers need to invest in the next phase of successful cyber defense: security orchestration and automation. Automated workflow technologies reduce the time it takes to identify an intrusion and take immediate action to protect against attack proliferation. Devices across the enterprise can be coordinated to combat intrusions at machine speed. Agnostic technologies can work with a variety of hardware, software, and implementations to support a unified threat-response approach and streamline alert information to improve operational performance. By responding to attacks in real-time, providers that prioritize the customer experience can offer increased levels of business assurance, continuity, efficiency, and risk management and decreased costs. But most importantly, they can protect mission-critical infrastructure continuously and securely. We know the gap between detection and response grows wider every day, and we know the speed, versatility, and frequency of attacks have reduced the effectiveness of traditional threat responses. Controlled security automation and data orchestration technologies can reduce dependence on manual intervention by allowing resources to focus on threat containment. Such focus is essential to keep complex networks online and secure, which in turn provides peace of mind to consumers, cements the trust between the public and the provider, and establishes a template for an exceptional 21st-century customer experience. To read more about CSG’s enterprise security solutions, please visit

Parameterized Queries & Reports Enrichment Info

Ad-Hoc Analysis

Usage Data

Automatically Created Cases


Workflow Driven Case Investigations Alarms

CRM Dealers

Employee Data





Police Register

Any Systems Actions & Updates

Social Media



Text Message E-mail, etc.

Customer Experience: Intelligent Analytics Unlocking Hidden Potential in Usage Data The adage “the customer is king” is an old one but one the communications services industry was slow to embrace. Thanks to competition, enhancing the customer experience is now a critical component of every service provider’s strategy. Customer experience is not a new phenomenon; take the example of large retailers. For years they have been analyzing the data they hold on their customers, and using it to deliver targeted promotions and offers for goods and services that they know will be relevant and of interest to individual consumers. The complexity of telecoms IT architectures and the multitude of different locations where customer data and usage information is stored may in part explain why the same level of personalization has not been widely delivered by service providers to date. Those who take action to unlock the potential of customer data will undoubtedly reap the rewards in terms of increased ARPU and customer loyalty, as well as reduced customer care costs and churn. As we all well know, the customer truly is king in a competitive market. CSG believes that usage data provides much of the information needed about customers and their preferences to enable service providers to enhance the customer experience. Mediation systems are a veritable gold mine of usage data, an 1

opinion validated by a recent Stratecast Frost & Sullivan report that states: “Monetization of telecom big data is the key to full-time insight about the customer; yet, that insight depends on real-time business support to achieve long-term success. The industry has a long way to go before it fully embraces the opportunity that harnessing customer usage data can bring; but, encouragingly, the first steps have been taken. Mediation is truly the lynchpin in effective long-term data usage monetization.” 1 CSG acknowledged this customer experience opportunity with the development of our TSM Intelligent Analytics solution, which provides operational analytics and dashboards that enable service providers to unlock the full potential of rich usage data captured by Intermediate in the mediation process. By providing pre-built analytics templates and user-friendly dashboards, service providers can gain insights into customer usage and behaviors that was previously inaccessible and, more importantly, use those insights to deliver a better customer experience. Learn more about TSM Intelligent Analytics http://info.csgi. com/CSG-Intelligent-Analytics

Karl Whitelock, Troy Morley, “Global CSP Billing 2013 Edition Part 3a: Billing Mediation Business Drivers and Market Trends”, page 24, November 2013

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Virgin Mobile Australia Success Story: Virgin Mobile Australia Decreases Bill Shock to Increase Customer Satisfaction

Australia is no stranger to bill shock. According to a study by Macquarie University, 45% of mobile phone users in Australia experienced it in 2011, and it cost the country more than A$557 million. The same survey found that Australians had little faith in the telecom industry in their country. For a service provider that prides itself on excellent customer service, Virgin Mobile Australia knew they had to act. After all, when you’re all about investing in your customers to provide them with the best possible experience you can’t deliver a shock with your bill. So Virgin Mobile moved quickly to implement alerts and account management features using Singleview (CSG’s charging, billing and customer management solution) that enable their customers to be in control.

CUSTOMERS FIRST Virgin Mobile has been, in their own words, “putting our customers first for over 12 years.” They have won a spate of awards over this time, including Best Mobile Phone Provider by the Australian Financial Review, and ranked first in customer satisfaction in a survey by the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association. So it was imperative that they maintain these high standards when bill shock became a serious cause of customer dissatisfaction throughout the country. Virgin Mobile decided to implement a series of changes in Singleview that would provide increased visibility into the usage of each type of service the customer was using or accessing. This was an important component of the change, 8

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since, according to the Macquarie University survey, a whopping 54% of the reasons for bill shock were voice calls, followed by 20% caused by data usage. A key motivation behind Virgin’s decision to make these changes was to put the customer in control. Increased visibility into usage was provided for both Virgin’s CSRs and their customers, but more than that, they provided their customers with the ability to view and manage their account balances accurately. This empowers customers to control their credit limits and provides them with usage notifications that help avoid bill shock caused by higher-than-expected voice and data usage. Working to improve billing is vital to the overall customer experience. Research firm Analysys Mason found that one Communications Service Provider’s data showed that 50% of its customer interactions occurred in the billing phase. As Analysys Mason points out, if customers can’t understand how their services are billed (let alone get a shock from their bill) then they are not only dissatisfied and frustrated, but they call the call center, resulting in increased support costs.

“At Virgin Mobile, we really value our customers and always work to go the extra mile to make your experience with us that extra bit special”


Virgin’s decision to give their customers better information on their usage and control over their credit limits also came at a pertinent time, with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) introducing a new Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code last year which included provisions for managing bill shock. The solution has enabled Virgin Mobile to remain in full compliance with the requirements of the code.

VIRGIN MOBILE AUSTRALIA AND CSG INTERNATIONAL CSG’s partnership with Virgin Mobile spans more than 12 years. During this time, Singleview has scaled seamlessly in line with Virgin Mobile’s growth in the Australian market, seeing them go “from the early days when each new connection meant a little bell rang in the call center, to proudly having more than 1 million customers in Australia.”

Speed to market is essential in competitive markets like Australia, where wireless penetration overall is 134% and wireless broadband subscriptions top the OECD league table at 114% penetration. (For those interested, the next countries on the list are Finland, Sweden, Japan, Korea, Denmark, and the United States). And for Virgin, new and innovative services are an important part of staying ahead of the competition and reinforcing the Virgin brand. As well as the bill shock amendments, Virgin has introduced benefits using other Virgin branded products as diverse as wine and travel insurance, offerings that their “telco-only” competitors can’t match. And in the past, Virgin has offered such services as DUI—Dialing Under the Influence, whereby customers can nominate numbers they don’t want to call when they’re, well, under the influence; and ‘SOS RING’—dial ‘SOS’

(767) and a minute later Virgin would ring you back with a perfect excuse to “get out of that disastrous date without causing a scene.” Virgin Mobile Australia ensures that customer experience drives their approach to every aspect of the business. Enabling their customers to manage and monitor spend is an important part of this strategy. “Virgin Mobile’s enhancement of Singleview is focused on improving their already impressive customer experience,” said Ian Watterson, vice president and managing director of Asia-Pacific for CSG. “Virgin Mobile’s customers are now in full control of their spend, allowing them to avoid exceeding their voice and data limits through marketleading anti-bill-shock features.”

“CSG Singleview is the core of our billing operations,” says Graham Milne, Director of Technology and Delivery at Virgin Mobile Australia. “Singleview delivers exceptional flexibility and allows us to develop new services quickly in a highly competitive market.”

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Analyst View Customer Experience in the World of Devices Sometimes people chuckle when we talk about customer experience in an Internet of things (IoT) world—the world where things, sensors, machines and all sorts of enterprise and consumer devices are connected. Possibly they laugh thinking about the emotional needs of little flow sensors bolted to the side of an oil pipeline in Canada; the loneliness of an electric meter on the side of a wind turbine in Germany; or the passion of an OBD2 plug-in on a car in Indonesia. But behind all those billions of emotionless, non-sentient IoT sensors are enterprises—and technology buyers and users—that purchase, implement and operate these solutions. We must seriously consider the unique attributes of customer experience in an

IoT world, and in fact, the world’s best operators, vendors, solution integrators and enterprises are rising to the task at hand. Providing a quality, consistent IoT customer experience is not for the weak of spirit. It requires knowledge of the unique characteristics of IoT solutions and how those characteristics impact customers. Based on new research, MachNation identifies six IoT-specific challenges and their relative impacts on the customer engagement process. Which IoT challenges most strongly impede a supplier’s ability to offer a consistent customer experience? 1. Multi-vendor solutions and integrations. On average it takes

4-6 suppliers to create one IoT solution. This challenge greatly impacts a supplier’s ability to provide a consistent IoT customer experience even in cases where an enterprise contracts services from a systems integrator. The best suppliers are creating partnerships, doing joint R&D, creating dedicated system deployment teams, and completing acquisitions to shoreup these deficits. 2. Data privacy and security. Meeting the unique data privacy and security issues of IoT is fraught with challenges. Cloud-based IoT platforms, unique device operating systems and fairly new, untested applications all make providing a

Steve Hilton is the Managing Director at MachNation, the leading insight services firm for the Internet of Things, Internet of Everything, connected things, analytics and M2M. His primary areas of expertise include competitive positioning, marketing media development, cloud services, small and medium businesses and sales channels. Steve has 20 years’ experience in technology and communications marketing. Prior to founding MachNation, he built and ran the IoT/M2M and Enterprise practice areas at Analysys Mason. He has also held senior positions at Yankee Group, Lucent Technologies, TDS (Telephone and Data Systems) and Cambridge Strategic Management Group. Steve is a frequent speaker at industry and client events, and publishes articles and blogs in several respected trade journals. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Chicago and a Master’s degree in marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.


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consistent customer experience challenging. The best suppliers are building data privacy and security into the core of their products by using industry recognized paradigms and processes. 3. Customization requirements. IoT solutions require customization. Any time customizations are required it can impact customer satisfaction, especially during the purchase and deployment phases of a customer’s engagement with a supplier. The best suppliers are creating best-practice reference architectures to minimize the potential disruptions caused by customizations. 4. Business models. Especially in cases where the IoT business model is B2B2C, it becomes extremely difficult for a supplier to ensure a consistent customer experience through the value chain. While a supplier can provide consistent support to its customer—another enterprise—the ultimate end-user customer is often unknown by the IoT supplier. The best suppliers are offering support arrangements to facilitate a mutually-agreed upon level of customer experience for the end-user. 5. Help desk responsibilities. Technical and customer help desk issues are unique in the IoT world. In the traditional device world (e.g., smartphones and tablets), there is an end-user who

can report issues to a help center. However, in the IoT world—a world without humans attached to the devices—there must be automated systems to trigger help alerts. Designing, testing and operating these systems is critical to maintaining consistent levels of IoT customer satisfaction and ensuring a quality IoT service. The best suppliers are implementing automated systems and delineating help desk responsibilities to ensure consistency and reliability across the IoT supply chain. 6. Service assurance. IoT solutions come with a unique set of servicelevel agreements. These SLAs can include logistics support, portal availability, help desk availability, trouble resolution, platform availability, device/ hardware longevity, application availability and others. Providing a consistent customer experience when IoT solutions involve so many component products and suppliers is extremely difficult. The best suppliers are crafting SLAs in tandem with their vendor partners to help remove the “blame game.”

understanding of customer experience into their IoT solution deployments. This will allow more efficient and effective deployment of solutions as we march toward a world filled with billions of IoT devices.

“The success of the IoT ecosystem depends on great technology, effective sales channels and a consistent, high-quality customer experience.”

The success of the IoT ecosystem depends on great technology, effective sales channels and a consistent, high-quality customer experience. While there are many impediments to providing a consistent customer experience, we are seeing operators, vendors, solution integrators and enterprises building a more thorough

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A view from Barcelona Notes from Mobile World Congress In late February, MWC 2014 attracted more than 80,000 attendees over four days. CSG was there in force, doing business in 19 languages. Bob Machin, CSG’s Product Marketing Director in EMEA, brings you a quick interpretation of the most important conference sessions, pondering ‘What’s Next’ for our industry and for society. Mobile World Congress 2014 was dominated by controversial platform appearances from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp’s Jan Koum, appearing just days after Facebook’s $19bn acquisition of the popular messaging app. It was also characterized by some positive industry thinking from many prominent speakers—and many statements of concern about cyber-security. The big keynote speech of day one was given by Zuckerberg, but the contribution from Jan Koum, the newly-wealthy CEO of WhatsApp, earlier in the day seemed more significant. He announced that from second quarter 2014, WhatsApp would include voice, and that furthermore, from later in the year WhatsApp would join with ePlus in Germany to launch a new mobile brand. Conference sessions began with statistics extolling revenue, connections, subscribers and other industry metrics, all in the billions. Both GSMA President & CEO John Baksaas and Director-General Anne Bouverot observed that (even with 3.4 billion SIMs now on the planet) affordability is the next challenge—twinned with global connectivity—to making the mobile, digital economy available to all. Baksaas underlined four world priorities: • Global mobile broadband—another billion people will be connected by 2020, bringing a massive upswing in transactions and data volumes • Digital commerce powered by fast mobile broadband, ubiquitous IP and the rise of cloud-based services • Connected living/ M2M • Personal data, particularly significant in the context of cloud, data vulnerability and cyber-security This was the first of many callouts for data security. Bouverot described it as ‘massive’, and Caroline Hyde of Bloomberg


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later referenced security as ‘such a theme at MWC 2014’—with the telco being positioned as trust-maker to the customer, and potential guardian of privacy and security. For CSG this validated our commitment to cyber-security and the recently launched CSG InvotasTM security solution. Baksaas made a strong case for an industry ready to step up and take its place as a global enabler of digital commerce, of social development in emerging countries worldwide, of mobile education and health, really of a world on the point of transforming itself into a connected planet. Of course for operators to deliver such a future, there also needs to be profit, and with traditional business models floundering as everything moves to data, there lies the challenge. ‘Connectivity’ is certainly the hot ticket for what will drive those future profits. Connected devices, cars, machines and homes—the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT)—will see new configurations of technology and communications being used to transform industries, businesses and lives everywhere; all powered by the communications network. As yet the monetization of these future roles remains vague, but there is a genuine sense of excitement that we are on the threshold of a brand new era which will transform the way that people live and work, and that this rising tide of activity and enthusiasm will indeed bring profits to the telecoms industry, but in ways which are as yet unforeseeable (though Gartner has predicted $1.7 trillion dollars of value). What impact will this all have on operators? Timotheus Hottges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, anticipated a massive investment in applications, developed with partners who have the technology smarts and are not network-bound, and that data security will be a vital element. Hottges dwelt on this at length, as did many other speakers through the day, observing


FIVE MINUTES WITH...RAMADAN SARR, PRESTIGE TELECOM IN AFRICA Ramadan Sarr is general manager Prestige Telecom, part of Atlantique Telecom. He’s responsible for delivering technical services to the company’s six operators. SPECTRUM caught up with him at Mobile World Congress. “MWC gives me lots of great ideas for supporting continual innovation,” says Sarr. “We’re always looking to support Atlantique in delivering the services and value its customers want.” He likes to meet with key suppliers and service providers like CSG at the Congress, see their latest developments and talk to their people. “It’s important for me to see where things are going,” he says. “Networking, meeting the key people and seeing the latest industry developments stimulates my thoughts.” He is in fact a thought leader himself. “This year, I was part of a round table on delivering managed services effectively,” he added. Our industry’s future is all about data, but operators don’t want to become simple data pipes. “We have to develop to become digital services providers,” he says. “This means partnering with international and local content owners as well as maybe producing content ourselves.” In Africa, demand for data and digital services is growing at a tremendous rate. It’s accelerating too as smartphones and other devices become more affordable to consumers. “In Africa, there’s great opportunity to provide school children and students with learning materials digitally and I can

that security will be the big issue over the next two or three years, and that telecoms have ‘a moral responsibility’ to warn and protect customers against cyber-crime. Voice and traditional consumer telecommunications were, as far as this show was concerned, a sideshow, and mentioned only in the context of their declining importance as a differentiator or revenue source for many CSPs—most significantly in the realization that from second quarter of this year, Facebook, with WhatsApp (and approaching 1.5 billion users) is by some distance the world’s biggest communications company, offering national and international unified communications, and all for free. Presentations by Ford and Docomo provided further examples of connected devices, vehicles and services. Clearly the IoT is

definitely imagine people wearing health monitoring devices for example.” Customers globally want complete freedom to choose the services they want, says Sarr. “Everyone wants access to everything, fast, ideally for free, and they will shop around operators to get as close to this ideal as they can,” he says. “Operators that cannot compete will lose subscribers.” Sarr agrees that operators can’t rely on voice revenues any more. “The problem is,” he says, “the world’s operators have relied on voice revenues for decades and so changing business models won’t be easy.” He continues: “Our industry has to become more vibrant, think ‘out-of-the-box,’ find new strategies and partnership models if we are to succeed.” But are vendors supporting the operators? “I think software solutions and services suppliers like CSG are doing a good job in supporting us in the challenges we face,” he says. “Cloud and managed services offerings, for example, allow operators to be both agile and deliver services efficiently.”

“Ultimately, providers must reduce costs, offer more of the services customers want, and ensure quality,” he concludes. “We must all demand the same from our suppliers.”

shaping up to be the future for telecoms, enabled by pervasive real-time data networks, the cloud, big data analytics and significant advances in hardware and software technology. Value looks set to be huge—even if it remains to be seen what percentage of new revenues will flow to the operators. We left MWC 2014 with an unmistakable feeling of positivity— that for the telecoms industry, the long-heralded future has arrived and ‘that was then, this is now’. That was services, this is apps. That was voice, this is data. That was phones, this is smart devices—and much more. At the same time, that was stability. What’s coming is highly disruptive innovation and it means big changes to the established business models of today’s communications service providers.

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Competing in the Age of the Customer Delivering positive customer experiences along the entire customer journey is essential to competing in the Age of the Customer A burger chain once advertised that they would make a burger ‘your way.’ I remember it fondly, but the oncefamous slogan “Have It Your Way” is hardly ground-breaking to today’s youth who expect everything their way, whether “Venti half-caf soy lattes” or customized recommendations on what to read, watch or purchase. Today, more than ever, the consumer is in control. The customer experience— the parameters of that one-to-one engagement—is no longer dictated solely by the service provider. Consumers simply have more options than ever before. And what we see at CSG is that the world is now a software-centric one, where value is increasingly created in the cloud. As Marc Andreessen said, “software is eating the world” and it is also enhancing the ability of companies to compete on the customer experience in the digital world. As a result, consumer expectations have changed with respect to what technology companies should provide and what a good experience should look like. To underscore this point, look at Apple. In the five years since the iPhone was launched, both Nokia and Blackberry have lost 90% of their market share. Simply put, Apple changed the game by providing a superior experience to consumers—and consumers agreed with their wallets. At CSG, we understand that competing in what analysts have dubbed the “Age


of the Customer” means aligning your services, support and strategies to innovate, deliver value and ensure a positive customer experience. Service Providers particularly are experiencing significant pressure relative to delivering a better customer experience from OTT players like Netflix and Amazon, non-traditional platforms like YouTube that provide a user-centric perspective, and movie studios going direct to consumers via UltraViolet. Despite the significant challenge and surge in new competitors, we see every day that how industry leaders react can have a significant impact on their ability to influence and capture the market. As an example, the Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer stated that Comcast took 15% of the digital download market in the first quarter after launching CSG’s Content Direct platform. Changing the game on the customer experience— and your approach to the customer— changes the game on who is, and who is not, winning market share. In addition to competitors turning up the heat in the marketplace, thanks to Web 2.0 companies like Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, etc., there is an abundance of information and social technologies available—almost too much!—which have empowered consumers to share information. Today most companies have social media response teams that proactively monitor social networking sites to

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ensure they address online criticism as quickly as possible. This very public airing of grievances is fast becoming the quickest channel for resolution. I have many friends that did not get their concerns and challenges solved by their providers until they resorted to sharing their poor experiences on Twitter or Facebook. The business implications of these consumer shifts can be dramatic. If you can’t control the customer experience and your customers’ expectations, then you run the risk of having customers controlling your brand messaging in the marketplace. On the flip side, in the Age of the Customer, consumers are increasingly open to sharing their preferences, patterns, likes and dislikes which you can harness to deliver an improved—and more profitable— customer experience. A CSG client in the financial services industry has used CSG’s Customer Communication Center to increase customer trust and satisfaction—and improve efficiency—by implementing a fraud notification and response system that utilizes the customer’s known channel preferences to ensure timely and relevant customer interaction in real-time. At what can be a very emotional touch point in the customer journey, our client has harnessed its customer data to strengthen its bond with the customer.


While it’s tempting to isolate touch points and make measurable improvements, especially for discrete teams that today may function in silos, it is critical to remember that customer perception is based on a cumulative experience. Maximizing the lifetime value of the customer, and ensuring that service providers can recoup high acquisition costs like device subsidies, network costs, and more, means service providers need to focus on the entire customer journey. In the Harvard Business Review article, The Truth About Customer Experiences, the authors’ research shows that perceived provider performance on journeys is 30% to 40% more strongly correlated with customer satisfaction than performance on touch points, and 20% to 30% more strongly correlated with business outcomes, such as high revenue, repeat purchases, low

customer churn and positive word of mouth. Clearly, there are some good reasons to change the organization’s outlook toward identifying and optimizing your customers’ journeys. AT&T provides a good example of a company leading the way to change the customer experience. AT&T has used SundaySky’s Smart Video platform to change the game in the customer care and billing operations area. By focusing on the customer’s onboarding journey, AT&T has realized positive revenue and cost reduction results. You can watch an example of how AT&T has changed the consumer’s bill experience here: gallery/att/. CSG is actively delivering this same SmartVideo capability to our clients today to improve various customer journeys, including customer onboarding and the ‘first bill’. You can

read more about customer experience improvements in the white paper, The Customer Journey: First Bill, here CSG has spent considerable time delivering and investing in solutions that directly impact the ability of Service Providers all over the world to deliver superior customer experiences. Whether implementing SmartVideo for our clients, helping them understand which customer journeys are important for their business, or supporting information system implementations and operations, CSG has been there. We urge you to leverage our experience gathered from engagements around the world to help you improve your business outcomes related to the Customer Experience.

DALE KNIPP, Vice President, Business Development Knipp is 15-year technology industry veteran focused on the creation of service solutions that add value to the operations of CSG clients. Prior to CSG, Knipp held Client Partner and Business Consulting roles with firms such as Cognizant, BusinessEdge and ADC, working closely with major cable, wireless and wireline service providers.

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Let’s Talk... INSIGHT

Let’s talk…...Empowering Field Technicians to Be Service Providers’ Best Customer Care Assets With SCOTT DUTTON, Executive Director of Product Management, CSG International As much as the convenience of automated customer care through websites, emails and IVRs has become part of daily life, there are times when having a real person to solve a challenge or explain a solution is irreplaceable.

About Scott Dutton: Scott Dutton has been involved in integrating mobile technologies for more than 20 years for applications such as direct sales, field service, inspections, and surveys in many industries. Dutton is currently the director of product management for CSG International’s Workforce Express and Direct Sales Express product suites.

Companies that provide services such as phone, cable television, internet service, utilities and others rarely get to actually meet or serve customers inperson. But field technicians who install, troubleshoot and upgrade services in a home or business interact with customers every day. The field technician who visits a customer’s home or business represents a critical customer care touch point. Whether for a new service or repair call, a technician’s visit can be the only time a customer deals with the service provider face-to-face, so the quality of care is critical to building a lasting relationship with that customer. To ensure the technician visit optimizes the customer experience, there are three critical factors to consider: ON-TIME ARRIVAL Both the customer and technician are busy, so taking extra steps to ensure that an installation or service call aligns with the customer’s schedule is key. Consider an automated call-ahead to confirm the appointment window or alert the customer that the technician is in the area. During the call, poll the customer to confirm they are available or offer the ability to reschedule immediately, either through an automated service or through an option to transfer to the call center.

In an eight-month trial of CSG Capacity Planning, an operator with 650,000 subscribers saw a significant improvement across numerous metrics, including: • 19% reduction in on-time guarantee refunds due to missed or late appointments. • 23.5% reduction in cancelled work orders. • 17% reduction in cancelled installation work orders. • Re-allocating personnel once tasked with the manual processes of capacity management to other duties that added more value to the business.


RIGHT TECHNICIAN FOR THE RIGHT JOB Customers rarely consider that sometimes it takes multiple skill sets to install different services, so it is a good idea to streamline the process by sending a technician whose training, skill set and equipment inventory matches the work requirements. It might sound counter-intuitive, but if a service call comes in that needs immediate attention, sometimes not sending the closest technician is the right choice. Instead, the best customer experience is delivered by dynamically routing a technician with the proper expertise. Knowing which technician is capable and available to handle the job comes from Capacity Planning—the process of optimizing the deployment of field service resources. This often involves linking customer care, scheduling and billing systems to provide a real-time view of what’s happening in the field versus customer service requests. This is a critical part of optimizing field service operations—giving CSRs, field resource planners and technicians the same, realtime information to ensure a higher quality customer experience.

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RUN A SMART, MOBILE FLEET GPS technology has become a “must have” for effectively managing a fieldbased fleet. Combining the power of GPS technologies with mobile field service management tools creates a wide range of new data that can make a positive impact in the way an operator manages its field work force. Arming dispatchers with real-time information on the location of technicians (and their associated skill set) can not only help service providers better serve a customer with an immediate need, but it can also make the operation more efficient by reducing technician drive time. Integrating GPS technology with mobile field service management devices delivers another layer of real-time data that helps further reduce costs, improve productivity and proactively address operational issues.

CSG’s ROI studies of GPS technologies show dramatic business benefits. Assuming a fleet of 20,000 field service vehicles, the ROI analysis showed a service provider could: • Reduce vehicle idle time by 25 minutes per vehicle per day, translating into a reduction of $6 million per year in fuel costs. • Reduce miles driven by 1.5 miles per vehicle per day with more efficient routing. This translates into a $4.4 million cost savings. • Increase productivity by an additional 0.5%, which translates into a $7.5 million saving.

Of all the ways you offer care to your customers, the quality of the in-person service delivered by your field force should be highly prioritized, even in the age of digital service. Aligning these three factors in your technicians’ favor will put your organization well on the road to creating a customer experience that will impress even the most digitally-oriented customers.

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End-to-end Customer Experience

The impact of the back office on customer experience Since customer intimacy is looked at from the customer’s point of view, a CIO might focus on front office systems when seeking to improve the customer experience. But increasingly, communications service providers (CSPs) are realizing that the back office has a bigger impact on the customer than they might once have believed. In fact research firm Analysys Mason estimates that only 18% of a customer’s experience comes from CSPs’ customerfacing touch points, and they recently found that one CSP’s data revealed that 50% of its customer interactions occurred in the billing phase. Let’s take a brief look at how charging and billing can help with the customer experience. Of course, for postpaid services, the bill is a key component of the customer experience, and its accuracy and clarity is essential. In prepaid terms, the ability to view balances and to top-up easily is paramount.


Singleview 9, released in March, had improved customer experience as one of its objectives at the concept stage, and the ability to support Singleview Customer Management on an iPad is one obvious resulting enhancement. But behind the scenes billing can play an equally important role. For example, the Web GUI supporting multi-tenancy is designed to improve customer experience in the B2B2x context (after all, MVNOs, dealers and partners are customers too). Integrated Charging and Policy (ICP) is an excellent example of the “back office” enabling CSPs to deliver customer intimacy, and this was one of the reasons behind CSG’s recent Volubill acquisition. Integrated policy management and charging allows the customer to manage their spending and tailor their experience. By putting the customer in control, they are actually more likely to use more services, because they understand what they are consuming and how they are charged.

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They can also be encouraged to spend more: Singleview ICP suggests packages for consumers when they are roaming, for economy or for better application experience. CSPs can adjust packages to create loyalty, prevent churn or manage network congestion. Perhaps the back office is the new front office?

“Integrated Charging and Policy puts the customer in control, enabling them to tailor the experience and manage spend. The result: a happier customer.”

Our business support solutions enable you to achieve lasting and profitable customer experiences in transforming environments. Which, of course, is every environment. We’re CSG, and our unparalleled set of solutions and services can help you capture, manage, generate and optimize revenue across multiple devices and markets and strengthen your customer relationships. So as technology continues to evolve and environments continue to shift, you can keep your customers your customers long into the future.

Contact us today: +1 303.200.2000 or


Coffee With…... DAVID HEAPS Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy Over the past twenty years, David has served in numerous roles for a variety of telecommunication software companies. Starting life as a software developer, David was one of the founders of Metrica, a global software solutions company focusing on network performance management. After Metrica was purchased by ADC in the late 1990s, David wore several hats—including professional services, product management, and corporate development, eventually heading up the company’s Network Solutions business unit. At Intec, as Chief Product and Strategy Officer, he played a key role in the development of its corporate strategy and solutions portfolio prior to its acquisition by CSG International in 2010. As Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy at CSG, David is charged with taking the long-term view of what CSG’s clients need to support new and existing services—and identifying strategies for how CSG can help them get there. SPECTRUM caught up with David over a cappuccino in Woking, England—where he is based—to chat about his thoughts on market challenges and opportunities, his perspective on the customer experience, and what CSG is doing to help its clients stay competitive.

“With faster networks, clients are expecting faster service along with the ability to purchase more personalized offerings”

SPECTRUM: In this issue, we explore the importance and evolution of the Customer Experience. What is driving this focus on the customer experience for CSPs?

Consumers are conditioned to have what they want, when they want it, and they want tailored offerings that meet their preferences versus the standard bundles created by their provider.

DAVID HEAPS: Next generation services brought about by LTE are driving a whole new set of challenges for our clients around the world. With faster networks, clients are expecting faster service along with the ability to purchase more personalized offerings— and they want control over how and when they do all of this. They want self-care options, seamless service across devices, and at the same time they expect high quality offerings for a competitive price.

In essence, LTE and the evolution of digital content have really put control in the customers’ hands—and they are consuming content and data more than ever before. This consumption will only continue to grow as bandwidth speeds increase and people become ever more connected.


SPECTRUM: So how do CSPs keep pace with these challenges while running their businesses?

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DAVID HEAPS: Competitive and cost pressures have really made many CSPs reconsider what their core competencies are and look into the marketplace to find trusted partners who can manage those parts of the business for which they lack the skills or expertise internally. For many years, CSPs took on the responsibility of everything in house. They had armies of skilled workers managing their vast BSS infrastructures, networks and so on. But with the convergence of next generation networks and new services, the rising costs of managing their technology infrastructure, and consumer demands,


they are realizing they need to look at new ways of managing their business.

launch new digital services, and capture new revenue, much more rapidly.

As a result, we’ve seen a renewed interest globally from many CSPs around managed services—particularly around Business Support Systems. CSPs can rely on partners like CSG to apply our experience and expertise to manage their infrastructure, applications and BSS operations to deliver business improvements while controlling costs.

At the same time, it lets CSPs give their customers the ability to control how and when those services are delivered. For example, CSPs want to give their customers the power to set thresholds, enable parental controls, create family plans, set quality of service parameters and upgrade services on-demand. And although we’ve been talking mostly about mobile, broadband operators are facing the same set of challenges. They are losing revenue opportunities by providing only basic data packages. Policy 2.0 solutions give them the capability to support a wide range of new revenue models alongside a personalized customer experience.

There are various reasons why this model is becoming more acceptable. First of all, the costs of hiring partners to maintain, operate and enhance their BSS infrastructure is predictable, and it frees up internal resources to focus on other parts of the business. The other advantage to this model is that it is ultimately more agile and flexible—as it can grow and scale with the business over time. CSPs are realizing that there are true advantages to relying on experienced partners to do what they do best so they can concentrate on innovating and monetizing new services and really focus on the customer experience SPECTRUM: You played an important role in CSG’s acquisition of Volubill in December, 2013. Can you share with us why it was important for CSG to acquire this company, and what functionality this brings to our clients? DAVID HEAPS: It really all goes back to what we’ve been talking about—the evolution of next generation networks and the need for more sophisticated (and real-time) solutions to support an enhanced customer experience. At its core, this acquisition is really about giving CSPs the ability to deliver a better customer experience while managing all of the real-time policy and charging requirements that come with advanced services. Operators need to be able to support what we call Policy 2.0, which implements policy from a subscriber perspective rather than a pure network perspective. Tight integration with the rest of their BSS infrastructure allows operators to

It is for all of those reasons that CSG acquired Volubill, a leading supplier of integrated real-time policy and charging solutions to mobile, satellite, and fixed broadband operators. These solutions are used by service providers globally to bring to market and monetize the new generation of digital, communication-based services—so they are a natural extension of CSG’s current market-leading billing and revenue management portfolio. SPECTRUM: At CSG, we spend a lot of time talking with our clients about how to improve the customer experience. How has the customer experience changed over the years? Are the expectations different based on geography? DAVID HEAPS: Think about how many iPhones Apple has sold around the world—more than 1 billion since its launch 5 years ago! And the user experience is pretty much the same, regardless. This ease of use has gotten all of us used to a certain kind of experience, whether we are in London, Africa or the United States.

SPECTRUM: A big part of your job is to keep an eye on the market and determine how CSG can help its clients overcome challenges and seize new opportunities. With this in mind, can you tell us what you think the top three challenges are? DAVID HEAPS: Well, the challenges really relate to what we’ve been talking about. Continued cost pressure is top of mind for CSPs—they have made significant investments in new infrastructure. At the same time, they are under significant pressure to launch new services quickly to combat new entrants into the marketplace. This brings us to the second challenge: declining revenues in traditional services. This is an issue across-the-board, whether it be for a traditional telco with voice services, a cable operator providing linear TV programming or broadband providers who have seen younger consumers forgo monthly subscriptions for a la carte content options elsewhere. So with these two challenges comes the third challenge, which is really a question: what do CSPs want to be in this new era of digital services? Do they want to be an enabler of services versus a utility? Do they want to compete with large providers like Google or other OTT players with agile models? How will they innovate? Operators have a strategic choice to make around how they define themselves in this evolving marketplace—and depending on the choice they make could really change their core businesses dramatically.

CSPs must be able to meet specific needs based on consumer preferences by culture, age or demographic, but beyond that, the expectations for customers around the world are really the same.

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In the Spotlight CSG INVOTAS™TM

CSG Introduces Groundbreaking Enterprise Security Business CSG InvotasTM™ offers security orchestration and automation solutions that provide dynamic, real-time management of large security ecosystems. It enables security professionals to respond effectively to ever-changing cyber threats. Invotas builds upon CSG’s proven solutions and expertise to support the mitigation and eradication of cyber-attacks across complex enterprise environments.

“Our clients have witnessed a staggering rise in the number of cyberattacks and compromised data records, and they need partners that can support real-time security management.” Peter Kalan, President and Chief Executive Officer, CSG.


Volubill Acquisition Drives CSG’s Global Expansion and Expertise in Charging and Policy CSG announces that it has purchased key assets of Volubill, a leading supplier of integrated real-time policy and charging solutions to mobile, satellite, and fixed broadband operators. Volubill products, which are used by service providers globally to bring to market and monetize the new generation of digital, communication-based services, are a natural extension of CSG’s current market-leading billing and revenue management portfolio. policy-+-charging/csg-buys-volubill-assets/d/d-id/706838


For more information, please visit com/news/csg-introduces-groundbreaking-enterprisesecurity-140000473.html


Rethinking BSS Systems in the Era of Hyper-Innovation Operators cannot control the speed of market change or the pace at which they must adapt to keep up with it—but they can control how they respond. The dawn of both LTE and the cloud provides secure, industrial-scale BSS that not only supports hyper-innovation but also increases time-to-profit for new products and services. Effective managed services engagements are much more than outsourced IT. The flexibility and adaptability of the technology solutions they provide empower operators to respond quickly to market demands. Equally important, the efficiency they bring frees the resources operators must have to be able to innovate, which is the key to growth. Read more keep-your-head-cloud-rethinking-bss-systems-era-hyperinnovation


SPECTRUM Magazine: Issue III

Nexmo Chooses CSG Assure for Stateof-the-Art SMS Testing Solution Nexmo uses CSG Assure as an independent test platform that allows it to proactively send test SMS through various routes. Mobile operators and SMS aggregators can then verify results that include precise delivery time, textual content verification, address verification, character set validation, concatenated messages, delivery testing and binary content verification. Read more





NAB 5-10 April 2014 Las Vegas, USA

NACHA Payments 6-9 April 2014 Orlando, USA

MIPTV 7-10 April 2014 Cannes, France

CSG International a Finalist for Best LTE Traffic Management Product CSG Intermediate 7 was selected as a result of its performance for a market-leading wireless operator with more than 46 million subscribers. CSG Intermediate 7 processes 19 billion voice and data transactions every day for this operator at throughput rates of more than 46,000 transactions per second. The solution has enabled marked improvements in enterprise operations and business processes with no loss of billable data. It has enabled the operator to consolidate to a single high-performance platform across its services and market segments, reducing the need for continual hardware and software investments.

“We have seen robust demand across all of our markets for next-generation traffic management solutions that collate complex network records, prioritize them, and process them intelligently,” said Jennifer Fellows, vice president of product management at CSG. “As organizations struggle to address the enormous charging volumes LTE generates, Intermediate 7 offers them an optimal—and proven—solution. Operators around the world can now cost-effectively manage their network assets and the events that flow across them without sacrificing the customer experience or delaying time-to-profit of new services.” The LTE North America Awards recognize organizations for innovation and for contributions to the future of mobile broadband; the Best LTE Traffic Management Product category celebrates excellence in LTE deployments. Read more html

LTE Latin America 28-30 April 2014 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Cable Show 29 April- 1 May 2014 Los Angeles, USA


ITW 2014 11-14 May 2014 Chicago, USA

GovSec 13-14 May 2014 Washington DC, USA

Andean Telco Forum 28-29 May 2014 Bogota, Colombia


TM Forum Management World 2-5 June 2014 Nice, France

Call Centre Week 9-13 June 2014 Las Vegas, USA


Trio of Trends for 2014

Change is a constant in the communications business, so it’s helpful to track the trends that are influencing the evolution of the industry. CSG International is privileged to support the operations and business strategies of more than 500 telecom service providers and carriers around the world, and although each client’s business and operating environments are unique, we’ve seen a few common themes emerge over time. Take a look at a trio of trends that are at the top of our clients’ minds as they head into 2014. Read more

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With over 30 years’ experience in managing infrastructure, applications and BSS operations, it is no surprise that CSG International supports the majority of the top 100 global communications service providers, including leaders in fixed, mobile and next-generation networks such as AT&T, Comcast, DISH, France Telecom, Orange, T-Mobile, Telefonica, Time Warner Cable, Vodafone, Vivo and Verizon. Raise customer experience to the next level with CSG solutions and delight ALL your customers—consumers, enterprises and partners alike.

CSG International SPECTRUM III  
CSG International SPECTRUM III  

Welcome to issue 3 of CSG's magazine for CSPs of all shapes and sizes. This edition looks at Customer Experience, including Virgin Mobile on...