SERVICE OPERATIONS CENTRE: ENABLING DIFFERENTIATION BASED ON SUPERIOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

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1 analysysmason.com RESEARCH STRATEGY REPORT SERVICE OPERATIONS CENTRE: ENABLING DIFFERENTIATION BASED ON SUPERIOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE ANIL RAO

2 About this report This report analyses the key market drivers for investments in the service operations centre (SOC), the increasing relevance of the SOC, and provides an overview of the key implementation strategies. It looks at the challenges presented by traditional network operations centre (NOC) tools and processes, and how an SOC can help operators address these shortcomings. It provides recommendations to both operators and vendors on the implementation and positioning for the SOC solution. The report provides: a detailed analysis of current challenges and limitations of traditional NOC tools and processes that create the issue of service blind spot analysis of ways in which SOCs help address some of these challenges, and enable the operator to focus on improving operational efficiency and enhancing customer experience three key strategies for implementing an SOC recommendations for operators and vendors. It is based on several sources including interviews and surveys conducted with a number of vendors and operators. KEY QUESTIONS ANSWERED IN THIS REPORT The key challenges and business drivers that has created the need for implementing service operations centre (SOC) The role of an SOC as an enabler for operators to differentiate based on service and customer experience How can SOC break down organisational silos and enable close collaboration among different groups such as customer care, network operations and planning and engineering What should operators and vendors do to enable the evolution from a network focused operations to a service and customer centric operations WHO NEEDS TO READ THIS REPORT Departments heads of network operations and customer care operations Executives in the COO office responsible to improve operational efficiency Senior executives responsible for improving customer experience Vendors who are predominantly focused on network operations and considering portfolio evolution Vendors providing OSS solutions for service operations centre 2

3 CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY THE NEED FOR THE SOC THREE STRATEGIES FOR IMPLEMENTING AN SOC THE INCREASING RELEVANCE OF THE SOC APPENDIX ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND ANALYSYS MASON 3

4 Executive summary The service operations centre (SOC) is a key enabler for operators that aspire to differentiate themselves based on the customer experience. A successful SOC implementation can help operators to reduce churn and improve operational efficiency. Traditional network operations centre (NOC) tools and processes are highly network focused, creating a service blind spot that lacks service, customer and business context. An SOC provides the necessary tools and processes to monitor services in an endto-end context, enabling operators to prioritise actions based on their impact on services and the customer experience. Operators should focus on three key strategies when implementing an SOC: deploying a service quality management (SQM) solution designing a dedicated process in the SOC focusing on service model lifecycle management. Operators should consider an SOC as one part of a holistic customer experience management (CEM) strategy, not as a complete solution. Vendors should bring to market service management solutions for enterprise business services that cover both telecoms and IT infrastructure. Figure 1: Evolution from network operations centre to customer experience centre CEC Customer experience centre SOC Service operations centre NOC Network operations centre Customer-centric operations Based on CEM systems. Tighter integration with billing, CRM and social networking Service-centric operations Provides tools and processes to monitor services in an end-to-end context Network-centric operations Network assurance focused; lacks service, customer and business context 4

5 NOC tools and processes focus on network resources, creating a service blind spot that lacks service, customer and business context As operators look to differentiate on service quality and customer experience, the biggest challenge they face is the lack of a comprehensive service management strategy. The development and application of most service assurance tools and systems such as fault and event management and performance monitoring tools have predominantly focused on providing network assurance but lacked the end-to-end service context, creating a service blind spot. Network usage has changed dramatically from traditional voice and SMS to pure data services such as video, gaming and ecommerce. The complexity of telecoms networks is rapidly increasing with new IP services spanning multiple network and IT domains. Bandwidth and signalling-intensive over-the-top (OTT) applications are further exacerbating the problem, creating new challenges for operators, particularly for customer care teams dealing with customer complaints. In this environment of rapidly changing service consumption and increasing network complexity, with network virtualisation evolution still to come, traditional network-focused operations will not be sufficient to differentiate based on service quality and customer experience. Figure 2: Traditional network-focused operational approach Lack of relevant tools Customer care Lack of end-to-end view of service and QoE Difficult to guarantee QoS and SLA Service blind spot Difficult to correlate network, service and business performance Network operations centre Customers Marketing Engineering Highly inefficient processes OSS OSS OSS OSS Telecoms / IT Source: Analysys Mason 5

6 The SOC helps operators to transform from a network-centric to a customer-centric organisation, but it is not a complete CEM solution The fundamental objective of the SOC is to address the issue of service blind spot and play the role of an intermediary between the customer-facing groups such as customer care, and network-focused teams such as network operations and network planning and engineering. Conceptually different from a NOC, an SOC focuses on operations from a customer and service-centric perspective. It comprises the relevant technology and processes to monitor customers quality of service, providing near-real-time insight on service impact so action can be swift and purposeful. SQM forms the technology backbone of the SOC, enabling operators to measure and assure end-to-end quality of services. Operators service operations should span both network and IT domains. Business focus is increasingly on alternative business models such as cloud and digital services, so operators need a holistic service management strategy with big data analytics at the heart to create actionable insight based on network and service performance data. An effective service lifecycle management model is also a necessity. SOC certainly enables operators to achieve customer experience objectives such as churn reduction and NPS improvement, but, it is not a panacea for CEM, which has a much broader remit spanning all customer touchpoints. Figure 3: Service operations-based operational approach Customer care Network operations centre Customers Marketing Service operations centre Engineering OSS OSS OSS OSS Telecoms / IT Source: Analysys Mason 6

7 Recommendations 1 Operators should consider implementing an SOC to make the transition from network assurance to true service assurance. SOC technology and processes enable operators to focus on customers end-to-end quality of service and foster close collaboration among diverse teams (customer care, NOC, planning and optimisation, and increasingly marketing) to proactively monitor and resolve service-affecting issues. This enables operators to improve customer experience and operational efficiency and reduce churn. 2 Vendors should provide operators with clear evolutionary options for SOC implementation. Most operators will adopt an incremental approach, starting with SQM. Large Tier 1 and some Tier 2 operators with a long-term vision and the financial bandwidth will implement dedicated SOC but most other operators will take a gradual evolutionary path including strategies such as implementing SOC functions in the NOC. Vendors need to cater for both of these approaches with a clear path for moving from a NOC to an SOC. 3 Vendors should invest in R&D to develop service management solutions that span network and IT resources, both physical and virtualised. Operators are increasingly providing cloud- and M2M-based services, which span the network and IT domains and, as a result, make it difficult to measure and assure service performance and SLAs. The impending evolution to virtualised infrastructure will make this even more challenging. Vendors should address this by bringing to market end-to-end service management solutions that span hybrid physical and virtual network and IT infrastructure. 7

8 About the author Anil Rao (Senior Analyst) is a member of Analysys Mason s Telecoms Software research team and is the lead analyst for the Service Assurance programme, focusing on producing market share, forecast and research collateral for the programme. He has published research on IP probes, real-time network analytics and the importance of service assurance in reducing churn and improving customer experience. He holds a BEng in Computer Science from the University of Mysore and an MBA from Lancaster University Management School, UK. 36

9 About Analysys Mason Knowing what s going on is one thing. Understanding how to take advantage of events is quite another. Our ability to understand the complex workings of telecoms, media and technology (TMT) industries and draw practical conclusions, based on the specialist knowledge of our people, is what sets Analysys Mason apart. We deliver our key services via two channels: consulting and research. Research We analyse, track and forecast the different services accessed by consumers and enterprises, as well as the software, infrastructure and technology delivering those services. Research clients benefit from regular and timely intelligence in addition to direct access to our team of expert analysts. Our dedicated Custom Research team undertakes specialised and bespoke projects for clients. For more information, please visit Enterprise and M2M Regional markets Network technologies Telecoms software Consumer services Strategy and planning Regulation and policy Operational consulting Transaction support Consulting Our focus is exclusively on TMT. We support multi-billion dollar investments, advise clients on regulatory matters, provide spectrum valuation and auction support, and advise on operational performance, business planning and strategy. We have developed rigorous methodologies that deliver tangible results for clients around the world. For more information, please visit 37

10 Research from Analysys Mason We provide dedicated coverage of developments in the telecoms, media and technology (TMT) sectors, through a range of research programmes that focus on different services and regions of the world. PRACTICES CONSUMER SERVICES ENTERPRISE AND M2M REGIONAL MARKETS NETWORK TECHNOLOGIES TELECOMS SOFTWARE STRATEGIES TELECOMS SOFTWARE MARKETS PROGRAMMES Mobile Services IoT and M2M Solutions Global Telecoms Forecasts Fixed Networks Analytics Software Strategies APPLICATION PROGRAMMES Revenue Management Infrastructure Solutions Mobile Devices EUROPE European Country Reports Customer Experience Management Software Strategies Service Assurance Alongside our standardised suite of research programmes, our Custom Research team undertakes specialised, bespoke research projects for clients. The dedicated team offers tailored investigations and answers complex questions on markets, competitors and services with customised industry intelligence and insights. To find out more, please visit European Core Forecasts Wireless Networks Service Delivery Platforms Fixed Broadband and Multi-Play Software-Controlled Networking SME Strategies Telecoms Market Matrix Customer Care Service Fulfilment Next-Generation Services MEA The Middle East and Africa Spectrum Digital Economy Software Strategies Digital Economy APAC Asia Pacific CSP IT Strategies DATA PROGRAMMES Telecoms Software Market Shares Telecoms Software Forecasts 38

11 Consulting from Analysys Mason For more than 25 years, our consultants have been bringing the benefits of applied intelligence to enable clients around the world to make the most of their opportunities. Our clients in the telecoms, media and technology (TMT) sectors operate in dynamic markets where change is constant. We help shape their understanding of the future so they can thrive in these demanding conditions. To do that, we have developed rigorous methodologies that deliver real results for clients around the world. Our focus is exclusively on TMT. We advise clients on regulatory matters, help shape spectrum policy and develop spectrum strategy, support multi-billion dollar investments, advise on operational performance and develop new business strategies. Such projects result in a depth of knowledge and a range of expertise that sets us apart. We help clients solve their most pressing problems, enabling them to go farther, faster and achieve their commercial objectives. To find out more, please visit AREA R EGULATION SPECTRUM P O L I C Y A N D A UCTION SUPPORT T R A N SACTION SUPPORT O P ERATIONAL C O N SULTING STRATEGY A N D P L A N N I N G EXPERTISE Policy development and response Expert legal support Regulatory economic costing Radio spectrum auction support Commercial due diligence Corporate value analysis Sales, customer and back-office excellence Market research Market sizing and forecasting Margin squeeze tests Media regulation Regulatory due diligence Networks, procurement and IT excellence Market analysis Benchmarking and best practice Analysing regulatory accounts Postal sector costing, pricing and regulation Net cost of universal service Radio spectrum management Technical due diligence Transformation services Innovation, product and pricing portfolio excellence Business strategy and planning National and regional broadband strategy and implementation 39

12 Published by Analysys Mason Limited Bush House North West Wing Aldwych London WC2B 4PJ UK Tel: +44 (0) Fax: +44 (0) Registered in England No All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. Figures and projections contained in this report are based on publicly available information only and are produced by the Research Division of Analysys Mason Limited independently of any client-specific work within Analysys Mason Limited. The opinions expressed are those of the stated authors only. Analysys Mason Limited recognises that many terms appearing in this report are proprietary; all such trademarks are acknowledged and every effort has been made to indicate them by the normal UK publishing practice of capitalisation. However, the presence of a term, in whatever form, does not affect its legal status as a trademark. Analysys Mason Limited maintains that all reasonable care and skill have been used in the compilation of this publication. However, Analysys Mason Limited shall not be under any liability for loss or damage (including consequential loss) whatsoever or howsoever arising as a result of the use of this publication by the customer, his servants, agents or any third party.

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