Amdocs is an esteemed provider of customer experience systems (CES). Late last week, we were invited to have lunch with Amdocs as well as to participate in a preview of its latest and greatest, the newly announced CES 9, which the company officially announced at 6 A.M. this morning. This is a major release that has been developed over several years, and has been extensively tested overseas as well as in Northern America.
During the lunch, we were lucky enough to sit with Rebecca Prudhomme, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Amdocs and Eric Carrasquilla, general manager, customer management product business unit, where we had an opportunity to discuss CES 9 in-depth with Prudhomme and Carrasquilla.
Amdocs has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the Leaders quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Integrated Revenue and Customer Management (IRCM) for communications service providers. The Gartner Magic Quadrant recognizes companies that show growth in revenue and a presence in all major markets. You can read more about this in our article from November 2012.
CES 9 was designed to redefine the service provider’s operating environment. It delivers real-time integration between the device and the network. The product suite is intended to work with all service providers, including mobile carriers and cable companies.
Amdocs CES 9 gives the service provider the ability to closely interact with a customer on a real-time base. When you want to make changes to your cable options or if you want to take advantage of an option while you are on your smartphone or tablet, by using the CES 9 platform, your service provider can make the changes, and within a few seconds, you will be shown the upgrades on your screen.
Amdocs has worked hard to make these changes device independent. This is an example that was used during a presentation that we were invited to; one person is streaming a movie on a tablet, another person is downloading music on their smartphone and they are about to reach the quota on their data plan. Normally, when you try to get additional space on your data plan at this point, you send in your request and the provider processes it. Sometimes by the time this happens, you have already gone over your limit, which is when extra charges come into play and you end up spending a lot more money. This is also the point where Amdocs CES 9 can help you.
If your service provider is using CES 9, they can add additional time to your data plan, taking into account any specials that may be available, or other options that are specific to your account, and in real-time, update all aspects of that account. This information can be displayed on both the tablet and the smartphone at the same time. It will show the user the changes in all of their options within a few seconds of sending the credit card information to the provider.
This results in everyone being happy. Neither the person using the tablet nor the smartphone experienced any interruption in what they were doing. They did not have to wait to receive their next statement to see if the changes were made or how much extra they had to pay because the changes were not made in time.
To experience success, there are four things that Amdocs is focused on; simplify experience, harness data, stay ahead and be efficient. Amdocs supports more than two billion customer experiences a day, touting over 250 customers (providers) as well as over 2,500 projects going on.
Amdocs’ business process expertise can be broken down into three sections.
First is Products, which includes Customer Management, Revenue Management and Operations Support Systems.
Second is Services, which includes Business Consulting, System Integration and Project Delivery.
Third is Managed Services Operations, which include Business Process Operations, Applications Management and IT and Infrastructure Management. These sit on what Amdocs refers to as a unified foundation.
Now-a-days, people want their connectivity to be fast with real-time responses, and most importantly, they want it to be everywhere that they are. We are fast becoming an environment where you can bring your own device (BYOD). People want to be able to bring their tablets to work with them so that they can have both their work and personal lives together in one location.
In the same way, shoppers are looking to be informed and looking for values. Amdocs delivers on customer expectations by helping service providers who are racing to deliver on customer expectations.
Flavio Lang, marketing director at Tim Brazil, said, "With the explosion of connected devices and internet applications, customers have never had so much choice or service accessibility, whenever or however they want. They expect us to offer them the latest advances but to keep the experience simple. The design of CES 9 reflects Amdocs' unique understanding that solutions need to be shaped around the needs of people, not the capabilities of technology."
"In order to remain competitive, service providers need to be able to improve their time to market for new services," said Ari Banerjee, senior analyst at Heavy Reading. "Amdocs CES 9's real-time integrated approach allows service providers to meet the customer needs of today and tomorrow while also providing their customers control of how and when they consume these services, and over which device and network. CES 9 manages the complete customer experience: from the point of interaction on the device to the quality of network and service experience."
Consumers do a lot of their shopping online these days; however, if the experience is not a pleasant one or if there are too many problems from the start of the process to its completion, then the consumer is neither likely to use the service again, nor will recommend it to any of his or her friends.
This is another area that was brought out during the presentation. Amdocs is focused on the Net Promoter Score (NPS). This is the industry standard measure of customer willingness to recommend and has a direct correlation to customer satisfaction, retention and service provider profitability.
Amdocs conducted a survey between November and December in 2012, which was based on 4,000 interviews with smartphone owners – both prepaid and postpaid customers – in North and Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region.
Ian Parkes, director and co-founder at Coleman Parkes explained, "The survey shows that the provision of proactive care and self-service apps would be a highly effective strategy for helping service providers to increase their NPS and reduce the burden on the call center. But, according to our study, consumers feel that service providers need to improve the online experience with a more consistent and personal service."
According to the survey, 84 percent of consumers said that they would be more likely to recommend their service provider if the provider was able to identify and pre-emptively resolve potential issues affecting them. In addition, 83 percent said they would be more likely to recommend their provider if they were offered easy-to-use and consistent self-service via their mobile device.
Amdocs made good use of the information it received while conducting the survey. Amdocs CES 9 addresses all of these issues; it gives the service provider, regardless of the type of service they offer, the ability to conduct transactions in real-time. Some of these transactions can be accomplished with as few as three keystrokes. This is something that providers need to remain proactive and to help their customers and to resolve any problems before they become an issue.
Prudhomme noted, “As smart devices proliferate, bringing increased demands on customer support, service providers face a growing challenge to maintain a high NPS. Proactive care and self-service strategies, such as those supported in our new Amdocs CES 9 portfolio, not only help to increase NPS but can substantially reduce call-center traffic, deflecting more than 40 percent of calls to lower-cost alternatives."
Full details on all Amdocs CES 9 products and solutions are now available. Although the announcement was made early this morning, the expected release date for CES 9 is mid-Q2 2013, with a mentioned due date of May 31, 2013.