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Transcript of "Customer experience"
1. Delivering Network Abstract: Centric Customer The requirement for ubiquitous multi dimensional services has taken a giant leap in today’s technology driven world. Experience Additionally, customers also look forward to a differentiated experience when it comes to selecting a service provider. Enhancing this customer experience (CX) will not only impact customer behavior when choosing new services but also reduce churn. It is thus imperative that Service Providers look at the various factors impacting CX and analyze ways to influence them. With rising technology and complexity levels, the focus has now shifted to networks and their effectiveness in providing the quality which the customer perceives. This degree of perception coupled with objective measurement parameters of the network viz. Quality of Service (QoS) provides what isAuthors: termed as Quality of Experience (QoE). QoE forms the bedrock when defining network centric customerMythili Kunapareddy – Technical Associate, NTSS CSU experience (nCX) enablers. This paper introduces aGaurav Godbole – Manager, NTSS CSU framework that would help understand these enablers and explore ways to optimize them in order to deliver on the promised CX. © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 © Tech Mahindra Limited 2011
Table of ContentsWhat is Network Centric Customer Experience ........................... 2 Defining Network Centric Customer Experience .......................... 2 Measuring Network Centric Customer Experience ....................... 3 Challenges in addressing Network Centric Customer Experience 4 Delivering Network Centric Customer Experience........................ 5 SLA & Policy Management ...................................................... 6 Proactive Performance Management....................................... 6 Optimizing & Benchmarking .................................................... 6 Tech Mahindra Initiatives ............................................................. 7 Consulting Services ................................................................. 7 Managed Services ................................................................... 7 Past Implementations .............................................................. 7 Conclusion ................................................................................... 8 1 © Tech Mahindra Limited 2011
What is Network Centric Customer Experience Bob is a marketing executive who keeps contacting his re‐sellers from his 3G enabled smart‐ phone to advertise the launch of his product. He uploads a video clip of product demonstration on his company’s portal and informs one of the re‐sellers, John, while travelling on a business trip. When John watched the video on his smart‐phone he realized that there was lot of buffering and no lip sync with the video. John could not appreciate the product and wasn’t satisfied with the experience. Clearly, Best Effort (BE) delivery is no longer enough in a competitive world with high expectations of communications on the go and personalized applications. In an increasingly cluttered and homogenous market with no clear points of differentiation, Service Providers need to ensure seamless service and best in class quality to rise above the pack. This will improve their chances of retaining hard earned customers like Bob and John in the example above. Customer Experience (CX) is thus the buzzword when it comes to providing this differentiated service. With complex networks and systems coming into play, there is an increased focus on Network Performance and its effects on CX. Optimizing and improving Network Performance is seen as an important means of improving end user experience. This has spawned the need to fully understand the factors that drive a Service Provider’s network performance and ways to optimize these factors to get the most desirable outcomes. Thus, Network Centric Customer Experience (nCX) can very simply be explained as the effectiveness of a service delivered to the end user through interplay between the various network elements involved in the service. The advent of Next Generation Networks, a multitude of devices and applications, and the integration between legacy and new technologies makes it difficult to pin point the cause of user dissatisfaction. This necessitates the need to establish an overarching umbrella framework which enables us to define, measure, analyze and optimize nCX to deliver expected end user experience. Defining Network Centric Customer Experience In order to recognize nCX we need to understand the relationship between user experience and network performance. This can be done by introducing what is known as Quality of Experience (QoE). QoE has become the ultimate business metric influencing the success or failure of a service. It is a measure of the end‐to‐end performance of a service from the user perspective. While traditional services could be measured based on network parameters and tester capabilities, new age services need an enhanced view where QoE measurement depends on all the layers of the Open System Interconnection (OSI) model. It has been stated in various standard bodies’ literature that QoE should be seen as a multi‐dimensional concept (Subjective and Objective dimensions). Subjective aspects such as availability, quality and usability are related to a set of objective dimensions pertaining to service, content, network and device spawning through the ecosystem elements like user device and application software, service providers, content providers and system integrators. © Tech Mahindra Limited 2011
As the paper focuses on CX from a network perspective, further sections shall deal with the network aspects of measuring QoE. Below table depicts the traceability between perceived QoE and network specific measures, also called QoS categories. According to ITU‐T E.800, there are two service functions namely Serveability and Service Integrity that depend on network specific measures in order to make a service delivery successful. Serveability is a function of Network Availability, Service Availability, Service Accessibility and Service Retainability while Service Integrity is a function of Service Quality. Perceived QoE by the subscriber QoS Categories Network Availability • Subscribers are not able to register to the network. Network Accessibility Service Accessibility Network Accessibility • Subscribers are not able to set up calls. Service Accessibility • The calls made are dropped before the calling or the Service Retainability called party hangs up. • Poor information transmission speed is measured Service Integrity especially for data calls, e.g. by file transfer software. • The quality of transmitted information is bad, which especially has an impact on conversation calls (voice, Service Integrity video‐telephony). • Subscriber not able to seamlessly talk while travelling Mobility Table 1: QoE Classification Every service viz. voice, video, data and their variants have key performance indicators (KPI) which describe the performance of a service. Since there is a pressing need for the Service Providers to manage service centric indicators, a model has to be prepared for mapping KPIs to network quality measures. The following section deals with the KPIs and their association with network specific measures. Measuring Network Centric Customer Experience QoE essentially being a subjective evaluation, measuring it accurately entails a careful mapping with QoS subsequently drilling down to a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which are inturn derived from the discrete performance parameters of network sub‐systems. KPIs help in achieving multi‐vendor Performance Management (PM) by harmonizing the PM data. Hence KPIs are broadly accepted and cater to critical business decisions for many Service Providers today. KPIs are further logically grouped to obtain key quality indicators (KQIs). It is possible that one KPI can be part of multiple KQIs as shown below. These KQIs enable the operations team to understand the high level system performance and hence the effect on customer services. 3 © Tech Mahindra Limited 2011
Figure 1: KPI – QoE Relationship KQIs may be mapped to various QoS categories which gives the degree of CX. Below figure shows an example of UMTS KPIs and their mapping to KQIs and QoS categories – KPI KQI QoS Category RAB_Setup_Time Call_Setup_Time Accessibility RRC Connection Setup Time RAB_Drop_Rate Call Drop Rate Retainability RRC_Connection_Drop_Rate RLC_Throughput Transmission Speeds Integrity BLER, SIR Figure2: Example of KPI – QoS Hierarchy Identification, measurement and optimization of KPIs are some of the prime responsibilities of a Service Provider. Technology expertise and tools enable the Service Providers to bring in KPI harmonization so as to deliver a quality service. It is also equally important that a well established mapping relation is brought between KPIs, KQIs and QoS categories for measuring QoE. Challenges in addressing Network Centric Customer Experience In an information rich and technology driven communications environment, increased expectations of the customer pose a lot of challenges to Service Providers for sustaining their services. Service Providers are constantly looking for new tools to actively engage with customers and differentiate their services. Although ways and means of achieving better nCX are being developed by all the stakeholders in the telecom ecosystem, there are few challenges which need to be addressed. • End‐to‐end QoS mapping for a service in a heterogeneous network environment © Tech Mahindra Limited 2011
• Real time monitoring of network elements with a view to preempt faults • Multi‐level/multi‐vendor/multi‐Service Provider SLA management • Benchmarking network performance with industry best standards • Understanding & analyzing traffic trends for content rich services like video The key to providing a good CX is by establishing a healthy relationship with the customer through a standardized high quality service. This is easier said than done and needs a concerted approach by multiple stakeholders handling different systems and processes. A framework which unifies these tasks will go a long way in better understanding customer pain points and addressing the challenges that stem from them. Delivering Network Centric Customer Experience It is relatively simple to achieve Best Effort QoS for traditional voice and data services. However, with Service Providers developing a range of multimedia applications and traffic increasing by leaps and bounds, the need for effective methods of achieving QoE is apparent. This is where a holistic view of the complete network ecosystem is a must in developing a comprehensive Customer Experience suite. This suite as shown below presents an outlook of network centric customer experience designed to measure and improve the service experience outlining the business models that address its implementation. Figure3: nCX Delivery Framework The core philosophy for a comprehensive framework flows from a need to establish measurement parameters according to customer’s needs, measuring these parameters and analyzing results to optimize network performance. Tech Mahindra’s nCX framework is built 5 © Tech Mahindra Limited 2011
around this philosophy and incorporates various service functions with a consulting service and managed services wraparound. Taken together, they provide the basis for monitoring, influencing and improving network related Customer Experience. The framework is focused on all the key areas of network management with the advocated proactive approach to accomplish the nCX objectives. SLA & Policy ManagementAn SLA specifies the service performance levels that the Service provider agrees with its partner. SLA management is important as the service ecosystem has a multitude of suppliers and partners whose involvement is a key to deliver value additions to the service quality. KPIs/KQIs may be contracted between the supplier and partner to provide seamless service flows. These SLAs may be implemented by defining policies at various points in the network. Every service policy has a class of service and various service/customer related parameters defined for a particular customer. The contracted KPIs/KQIs for a service/network should not be breached for seamless delivery of the service. The key to SLA measurement is based on relating KPIs/KQIs of the service offered to the SLA contracted (Refer: tmforum SLA Handbook GB917). Proactive Performance ManagementNetwork data related to performance and fault management are collected from various data sources and processed to bring in KPI/KQI relation. These are checked against SLAs for service level compliance or violations. Key findings and events are analyzed and reported in the form of a dashboard. Once the SLA/QoS/QoE metrics are examined, Service Provider should be able to identify the loopholes and fix them. Traditional troubleshooting management resolves the performance issues by administering the alert and manually deep diving into the cause of the problem with the intervention of network administrators. This framework targets the proactive troubleshooting procedure where predictive analysis automates the diagnosis of captured data, impact analysis analyses the gravity of impact on the service performance and root cause analysis helps identify the source of the problem. This reduces the time‐to‐resolution (T2R) cycle. In case of critical services, it is important that early threshold levels are defined and any breach to the threshold is notified well in advance. KPI/KQI mapping and proactive troubleshooting components bring in proactive service management (PSM) practice to the nCX framework. Optimizing & BenchmarkingOne of the critical factors in ensuring a replicable and standardized customer experience is to continuously map resource utilization and augment capabilities based on the prevalent traffic requirements. Network performance metrics must be optimized to enhance resource utilization and ensure adequate provisions for future scaling. Once optimized, the performance of the system should be benchmarked with the competitor’s system performance. Benchmarking and optimization are ongoing activities and need to be done on periodically to achieve optimum system performance to support dynamic demand trends. As the network quality metrics get closer to the industry standards, the frequency of network optimization activity may be reduced. © Tech Mahindra Limited 2011
Tech Mahindra Initiatives Being a leading provider of Networks and Systems Transformation solutions to global telecom Service Providers, Tech Mahindra has an enviable domain expertise and a winning combination of telecom focused People, Processes and Technology. Tech Mahindra offerings which span across the entire telecom ecosystem help global service providers to rapidly deploy complex network and technology solutions aimed at revenue growth, productivity gains, and enhanced customer experience. Consulting ServicesTech Mahindra’s consulting services are driven by business and marketing strategies and leverage vast domain knowledge and expertise across various technologies, standards and regulatory aspects to provide world class consulting services to Telco. The development process for consultation is set in the context of exploiting new potential opportunities available to the Telco. With a range of solutions for short‐term and long‐term business plans the consulting teams are able to address the service provider’s needs and make recommendations. Early consulting initiatives around nCX components right from the service inception to maturity have helped several global telcos to systematically monitor and improve nCX KPIs. Managed ServicesTech Mahindra’s Managed Services (MS) approach to all nCX service lines has helped several large Service Providers globally to improve service quality and provide an enhanced customer experience by streamlining their efforts towards the achievement of a common objective. Experience shows that the Managed Services model covering network designing, operations, service management, benchmarking and optimization has delivered sustainable and measureable nCX gains for Service Providers. The combination of unified ownership of multiple service elements and end delivery objectives ensures adherence to SLA’s and a standardization of experience. Past ImplementationsOver the past few years, Tech Mahindra’s increasing global footprint in network services, product and performance engineering stand testimony to Tech Mahindra’s expertise and competency in delivering world class nCX solutions. Several decades of telecom domain knowledge has been effectively leveraged to build nCX solution accelerators which are customized to deliver specific business objectives and requirements of a Telco. Some of the Tech Mahindra’s nCX related implementations include – • 2G/2.5G/3G radio access and core planning projects • IP/MPLS planning and traffic engineering • Cellular network deployment and provisioning • Transport network deployment and provisioning • Product engineering – development, integrating and testing • Network Operations Center (NOC) operations • Valued added services • Implementation of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) 7 © Tech Mahindra Limited 2011
• Performance monitoring, benchmarking and optimization • Working with standard bodies like ITU for IPTV, LTE‐A etc • Working with governing bodies for IPv6 application migration Conclusion Many of the customer experience issues such as the one presented in the first section can be traced to Network Performance. The fundamental challenges lies in mapping a cause ‐ effect relationship and translating this map into actionable items. The ever increasing customer expectations and associated uncertainties make the nCX management even more complex. This is where an over arching framework such as the one elaborated on in this paper can come to the rescue. Such a framework would significantly reduce the pain felt by Service Providers in getting to the root cause of the problem as well as reduce the effort spent in solving them. It helps build a unified strategy aimed at understanding the complete picture followed by multiple paths that could be taken to fulfill nCX strategy. The success of the framework lies in its simplicity and effectiveness in providing the key metrics to enhance nCX. © Tech Mahindra Limited 2011