A Communications Industry Perspective
Introduction ................................................................................ 2
How Traditional CRM Ignores the Customer ............................ 3
The Evolution of CRM ................................................................. 6
The Competitive Advantages of Next Generation CRM ........... 8
Implementing Next Generation CRM ........................................11
Next Generation CRM Market Imperatives ...............................16
Next Generation CRM in Action: The ipulsys Case Study ......... 18
Why Next Generation CRM Works ..............................................23
Endnotes & Acknowledgements ................................................24
The following fictionalized vignette presents a picture of what is available today at a
number of companies that are pursuing Next Generation Customer Relationship Management
Schillinger International, an automotive components maker, maintains design and
production facilities throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. The firm uses an IP-based
virtual private network (VPN) to connect its design teams, and employs computer-assisted
design tools in its product development process. The company's network provider is
GlobalCom, a leading communications company that has deployed next generation CRM
We follow Schillinger's Vice President of Communication, Darla Chase, as she copes
with the company's shifting network capacity demands.
08:17: Chase receives an e-mail alert from the 08:30: Chase confirms that these centers
web center at GlobalCom: network completed a major redesign of
latency between Schillinger's design Schillinger's main product a month ago,
centers in Barcelona, Lyon, and Singapore and are unlikely to use this capacity in the
has increased due to higher traffic near future.
08:45: Sophisticated modeling tools on the
08:19: Chase accesses the secure extranet that extranet allow Chase to determine the
GlobalCom has dedicated to Schillinger's optimal mix of re-allocating bandwidth
account. from San Diego, London, and Bonn
to the now-congested routes between
08:20: Using an interactive "customer Barcelona, Lyon, and Singapore, and
dashboard" that monitors Schillinger's purchases of additional capacity as a
IP-VPN, Chase confirms that this diagnosis cushion against short-term spikes in
is correct. demand.
08:24: A review of overall network usage reveals 08:52: Thanks to GlobalCom's integrated billing
that design centers in San Diego, London, application, Chase can allocate the
and Bonn have been using less than 40% additional bandwidth costs to the
of the bandwidth allocated to them for relevant design centers, which allows
about three weeks. Schillinger to price its design work
In this scenario, Schillinger has dynamically self-provisioned in order to cope
with shifting network requirements. None of this has required an internal bureaucracy at
Schillinger or contact with GlobalCom's customer service people. Instead, it has all been
done via sophisticated monitoring of network usage and real time responses to anticipated
demand. It is this level of functionality - and ultimately customer satisfaction - that is the
promise of Next Generation Customer Relationship Management software tools.
Next Generation CRM
Competition in the communications industry has The future, however, belongs to a broader vision
become the strategist's nightmare of a war waged on many fronts. that moves from simply managing customer relationships to
Battles over technology rage as firms grapple with the disruptive enhancing customer value—an approach that reflects the need
effects of wireless service demands and Internet-based telephony for communications firms to provide increased value to customers
on the private switched telephone network. A global race for scale while simultaneously capturing more value for themselves. This
has seen national incumbents invest billions in foreign markets. requires a shift from merely serving existing customers with existing
The perceived need to diversify services has companies such as products in a cost effective manner to delivering superior value
AT&T, NTT, and Vodafone moving toward content provision, despite through dynamic product and service strategies that track and
capital market pressures to stay focused on their profitable core respond to evolving customer needs.
businesses. And the emergence of "non-telco" entrants such as In contrast to traditional CRM, a Next Generation
Virgin in the UK and a wide variety of electric utility companies Customer Relationship Management strategy creates seamless
in the US is creating a new class of competitors single-mindedly integration from the customer to the network and back again,
focused on winning the highest-value customers. delivering superior performance across the full spectrum of
Despite uncertainty about how best to compete in the customer engagement opportunities. From customer-driven product
evolving communications marketplace, most companies know that configuration and provisioning to opportunity management, order
at least one aspect of their business is critically important no matter management, and targeted customer service, forward-thinking
how other competitive questions are resolved: they know they must communications companies are already implementing next
excel at serving customers. generation CRM with remarkable results.
That's why, across every industry, Customer Relationship
Management (CRM) has emerged as a management priority for
FIGURE 1 - GETTING CLOSE TO CUSTOMERS: THE RECENT EVOLUTION
four of every five Fortune 1000 companies. The total market for
First Generation CRM Automated Call Centers
CRM technologies and services exploded to US $39 billion in 1999,
and is projected to exceed US $125 billion by 2004—a penetration Second Generation CRM Automated Call Centers with
Customer Information Systems
rate and level of investment that rivals Total Quality Management in
its heyday, and, more recently, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). y
Seamless Delivery & Positioning,
In its most basic form, CRM is an integrated approach 1-to-1 Customization
Network Integrated CIS
to sales, customer care and service quality designed to lower
selling costs, garner wallet share, and increase customer retention.
Basic CRM generally involves automated call centers, sales force
automation, and integrated customer information systems. For an
incumbent communications company, where the key to short-term
profitability may involve defending an embattled franchise, this
"first generation" CRM can often deliver immediate value.
How Traditional CRM Ignores the Customer
How Traditional CRM Ignores the Customer
The term “Customer Relationship Management” came solutions have emerged in the marketplace, basic CRM functionality
into vogue in the mid-1990s. Fueled by legends of undying customer has not evolved significantly. First-generation automated call
loyalty at companies such as Nordstrom's and the siren song centers have given way to second-generation technology; Customer
of cross-selling at financial services powerhouses like American Information Systems (CIS) have moved to the desktop, and advanced
Express, corporations embraced CRM as a winning business strategy. data mining tools now enable better predictive modeling. More
In its application, CRM took the form of integrating existing recently, CRM vendors have wrapped web interfaces around their
customer care initiatives and support infrastructure. traditional solutions in an attempt to create "e-CRM," while adding
Gartner Group heralded the CRM groundswell in its 1996 little in the way of new functionality.
report entitled Customer Service and Support: Growing Relationships Like other enterprise initiatives such as ERP, traditional
and Increasing Profits. Despite the high-sounding title, however, CRM has grown into a large and complex set of applications and
Gartner concluded simply that "… the next step in achieving world- functionalities, especially in the communications industry where
class customer service: an integrated call center with a single minute-by-minute transactional data provide a wealth of customer
customer information database."1 In other words, CRM was an effort data. But despite the rhetoric of getting closer to customers, most
to reduce duplication in service provision and alleviate customer companies have been introspective with their CRM investment,
frustration by providing a single, well-informed point of contact driven more by short-term revenue and cost reduction needs than
between the customer and the company. by customer value. Call center improvements, next-generation sales
From this modest start, the majority of Customer force automation, and advanced customer data warehouses can all
Relationship Management strategies have moved only slightly contribute to the bottom-line, but they are not likely to produce
beyond their traditional focus on call centers, sales force automation, meaningful shifts in customer relationships.
and customer information systems. Although scores of packaged
FIGURE 2 - MOST FORTUNE 1000 COMPANIES DIRECT THEIR CRM INVESTMENTS TOWARD IMPROVING SALES AND MARKETING PERFORMANCE
Improve Sales Effectiveness
Improve Customer Service/Loyalty
Provide Current Information
Support Team Selling
Increase Selling Time
Improve Sales Management
Improve Marketing Effectiveness
Decrease Sales Costs
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%
Percent of Survey Respondents
FIGURE 3 -DELIVERY AND PROVISIONING APPLICATIONS RANK AMONG THE LOWEST DEPLOYED CRM INITIATIVES
Back Office Link
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%
Percent of Survey Respondents
Notwithstanding the lack of innovation, investment in received little or no benefit from their CRM initiatives.3
CRM continues to accelerate. For software licenses alone, global With these findings in mind, we believe that many
revenues will likely exceed US $12 billion, and the global market ongoing CRM investments will prove misguided. This is not because
for all CRM services (consulting, integration, training, etc.) will reach of wasteful or inept implementation of CRM packages. Rather, it
almost US $125 billion, by 2004.2 is an almost inevitable consequence of the limited vision that has
Most companies, however, say the results of their CRM motivated many CRM implementations. Most existing CRM systems
investments have been less than satisfactory. In a recent survey, focus on improving sales and marketing performance through such
only 28 percent of those responding say their investments yielded functionality as opportunity management, contact management,
significant improvements. The remaining 72 percent say they and lead tracking.4
When companies are more focused on their internal a customer's experience of value.
challenges and users than on creating meaningful value for In the communications industry, this kind of shortcoming
customers, "inside-out" thinking occurs. Ironically, a consequence has historically been characterized more as a missed opportunity
of this kind of thinking is a failure to accommodate the customer than as a strategic flaw. In today's competitive environment,
as a potential user of CRM solutions. Our experience suggests that however, the inability of leading communications companies to
many CRM investments fail to deliver anticipated benefits because develop high-value relationships with customers—especially in the
of this "inside-out" thinking by companies and their CRM vendors. business-to-business marketplace—is a glaring strategic weakness.
For example, when asked whom they targeted as primary We believe the traditional CRM model cannot meet
users of their CRM solutions, more than 90 percent of the Fortune the needs of tomorrow's communications companies. CRM as it
1000 companies identify not customers but field sales personnel, is currently conceived simply cannot deliver the true benefits
followed by sales management and marketing. With this inside-out companies and their customers want.
perspective, it is no wonder CRM initiatives fail to significantly
enhance the customer experience.
Similarly, when asked about the implementation
challenges they're facing, companies overwhelmingly emphasize
managing internal resistance, defining system specifications, user
productivity, and process management—rather than focusing on
customer-centric solutions. Our research shows that delivery and
provisioning functionalities rank among the least likely CRM
applications to be deployed. Functionalities such as proposal
generation, order entry, and product configuration—tools that
provide customers ready access to both the products and the
intellectual capital of the organization—have taken a backseat to
opportunity management, lead tracking, and sales analysis.
The intense emphasis companies place on incremental
performance improvements can lead to other strategic
miscalculations as well. When managers are challenged to deliver
quick returns, they tend to focus on new revenues and cost
reductions at the expense of strategic functionality. In this
environment, the priority goes to applications that improve cross-
selling performance, rather than service delivery itself. In this
environment, managers reduce costs by focusing on customer
service representative (CSR) productivity or systems maintenance,
rather than investing in applications that can dramatically enhance
The Evolution of CRM
The Evolution of CRM
Most communications companies' strategies have online advisory services empower buyers to specify, customize,
evolved from a network-centric model designed to cope with and purchase services through easy-to-use configurators and other
few competitors, simple products, and unsophisticated customers. needs-based tools. Following initial VPN purchase, for example,
Traditional network operators sell mass-market products and ongoing customer interactions feed a value model that creates
services to anonymous customers based on general assumptions superior product solutions throughout the customer relationship
of what customers will value. Systems are designed to maximize life cycle. A customer configuring a number of different extensions
delivery speed and lower costs. Service providers present a steady to their network might find dynamic access to subject matter
stream of new information to customers with the hope of cross- experts and alternative configuration suggestions. In this way, all
selling complementary products and up-selling new generations of elements of the organization can now collaborate to sustain lifelong
products. Operations staff scrambles to react to service problems relationships by continually delivering better customer outcomes.
and placate angry customers, hoping to maintain their grip on Another source of pressure that shifts dramatically with
the customer relationship. It is this kind of thinking that leads to the new reality is time-to-market. Traditional network operators have
endless debates within larger communications firms about who profited from product innovation and continuous improvement
owns the customer, rather than who adds value to the customer's in operational efficiencies. Service providers monitor operations
experience. benchmarks and best practices on an ongoing basis, while the
This kind of thinking also has resulted in a willingness technology infrastructure is improved to increase speed and lower
on the part of many communications companies to settle for costs.
incremental improvements to CRM tools and technologies. Although But in today's ever-changing competitive environment,
these improvements have occasionally yielded performance new entrants are profiting from customer innovation and service
enhancements, they have not delivered returns commensurate reinvention. Service providers are focused on customer outcomes—
with the significant investments large communications companies preparing to satisfy new customer demands as soon as they appear.
have been making. And if traditional CRM has fallen short in the Companies are engaged with customers' real-life experiences, using
past, it has even less potential in today's dynamic communications empowerment tools to understand customer goals and deliver the
marketplace. unique product bundles and features customers need.
This new marketplace is marked by a dizzying array of
new challenges. From the minefield of global regulatory policies to
the daily introduction of new products and services, sustaining solid
relationships with high-value customers is harder than ever. Not
only are more and more competitors targeting the best customers,
those customers themselves have more knowledge and higher
Market-leading communications providers are
responding with initiatives that create the flexibility necessary to
meet the unique needs of individual buyers. Interactive media and
Even the role of technology shifts—moving from a focus Whereas the old reality is primarily about managing
on customized service provision to a focus on tools that enable customer relationships, the new reality is about enhancing customer
customers to create for themselves the products, services, and value. In response, a robust set of next generation CRM tools and
experiences they need to be successful. In the old reality, a web strategies has emerged. These tools enable customers to manage
site is a channel that facilitates transactions with suppliers and their own product and service portfolios actively, while also enjoying
links to customer service. In the new reality, the Internet becomes a complete transparency to network operations. With its sharp focus
personal resource that enables a multi-company team to contribute on customer empowerment. This represents a new model for
in real time to meeting a customer's needs. companies seeking real and sustainable competitive differentiation,
as shown in the following table.
FIGURE 4 - THE EVOLUTION OF CRM
The Old CRM Re lity The Ne Next Generation CRM Results
by que Co
s o r
indiv dual customer n eds ri
of erin s t custom r n eds
Ra - o
to i ver of the co
deli ered prod cts and services they in entive t hei mbent next
choose er hurn
and ac ess to
CR sys em de ign d to Comp nie mo ay ro co mo bas d
ow r c s s to e ha ce
deplo me re iu pr duc s a d services
an ry r wi
supe ior ust me outcomes becomes ore tim sult:
co a r er n t e o m o t cus omer
Tec nol gy esi ne for Tech olo y t ols hat ena le Custo ers decide t eir wn pri for their
ed ervi e c to
mers to ng ge i sel - in
Co pa t Dr ma han alu mer and
s ver ica t
The Competitive Advantages of Next Generation CRM
The Competitive Advantages of Next Generation CRM
A new generation of communications start-ups has 2. On-demand provisioning.
focused on next generation CRM as a market differentiation strategy. With on-demand provisioning, customers manage key parameters
Wave B Telcos, as well as traditional channel competitors and within their own networks in real time using customer-friendly
content providers, are already entering the market with dramatically tools. Operators enjoy lower network management costs because
shortened realization windows. Starting with blank slates and no customers are empowered to manage their own needs.
legacy systems, they are designing organizations around the next
generation CRM market imperatives—and achieving rapid market 3. Leveraging communities of interest.
growth. From utilities such as Enron, Duke Energy, Vivendi, and Community-based service provides rapid dissemination of expertise
British Gas to software and portal providers such as AOL, Microsoft, to customers, leveraging the shared knowledge of the entire
and T-Online, the threat of new competition is real. community and reducing the burden on the service provider.
These new competitors have been able to exploit the Innovative web service delivery methods— chat, video, voice-over-
rich functionality of next generation CRM to attack once unassailable IP— allow operators to ensure that the right medium is available for
incumbents, competing on the basis of customer service and the appropriate information need and customer preference. The
flexibility rather than asset intensity and network ownership. customer gains access to the full portfolio of expertise available
8 Incumbents can defend against new entrants by throughout the service provider organization.
leveraging their eBusiness investments in marketing and customer
care to build a next generation CRM capability. The requirements for 4. Familiarity through personalization.
technical architecture can generally be achieved through systems Personalization enables next generation CRM adopters to create
and process evolution, thereby retaining the value of legacy a familiar customer experience. Each unique customer user enjoys
technology investments. These new tools and technologies enable a customized user interface— receiving tailored messages based
communications companies to shift customer relationships on his or her individual profile. Ongoing feedback tools such as
dramatically to a higher-value plane—to profit from, rather than be utilization tracking and customer surveys enable the operator to
threatened by, this industry inflection point. refine the portal continuously, increasing familiarity and enhancing
Adopters can achieve significant competitive advantage the value of the customer's overall experience. Customers end
quickly on seven key dimensions of customer value. Each of these up with provider-specific knowledge and access tools that create
dimensions represents a unique opportunity to both enhance the barriers to switching.
experience of customers and improve operating efficiency.
5. Opportunity management excellence.
1. Customer-based complex configuration. Next generation CRM opportunity management creates the basis
Customer-based configuration allows customers to respond to for an effective and sustainable selling process designed around
their own needs—enabling quicker, on the spot response. customer needs and enabled by customer interactions.
Customer-based configuration also generates the lowest cost
solutions by optimizing the configured network. Integration with
provisioning and order entry systems further shortens sales cycles.
6. Order management. inquiries receive real-time attention—and operators avoid the use
Streamlined order management guides customers through an of higher-cost channels for problem resolution.
unhindered high-value buying experience. The next generation The difference between truly adopting customer-
CRM Order Management System makes complex ordering simple centricity as an operating philosophy and pretending to do so is
using logical configuration and intuitive order processing. Order significant. Compared to their non-customer-centric counterparts,
progress is communicated well before customers have to ask for it. companies that adopt customer-centric strategies deeply realize
superior business performance in sales growth, pretax return on
7. Targeted customer service. assets, market share, and percent of revenue from raw products.4
Deep adoption of next generation CRM practices means that
targeted customer service addresses customer problems instantly.
By integrating next generation CRM all the way to the customer,
The Value to Customers: Seven Next Generation CRM Scenarios
The Value to Customers: Seven Next Generation CRM Scenarios
Product and Service Configuration upgrade releases, service requests, and account status is
Using the Next Generation CRM Product instantly available. When customer finance personnel also
Configurator, a prospective IP-VPN customer visually designs access the system, they are alerted to appropriate cost, usage,
and configures the required network. A bill of materials and billing data in a format that can be easily incorporated
complete with customer-specific pricing is automatically into their financial tools.
inserted into a proposal, which is presented to the potential
customer in real-time. Upon proposal acceptance, the bill Opportunity Management
of materials and pricing information are automatically An account team with representatives from the
forwarded to back-end business systems. A set of flexible, operator and its channel partners is pursuing a global
manageable business rules direct network configuration and prospect. Using the Next Generation CRM Online Opportunity
work management processes, allowing the new customer to Management System, all contacts with the prospective
add new products and services quickly, as required. customer are logged and tracked. Key insights, along with
all presentation and proposal materials, are shared across the
On-Demand Provisioning full account team. The multi-faceted account team is able to
The customer is experiencing higher than expected provide a single consistent image to the prospective customer
peak traffic on their network and requires an increase in —and is able to respond to their enterprise-wide requirements
the peak bandwidth threshold for certain key pipes. They in a manner and time frame that their competitors cannot.
access their personalized space within the web site and review Sales managers for both the operator and the channel can
performance statistics for the affected links. They adjust the access the opportunity management system to receive a view
peak traffic thresholds, within their SLA limits, to accommodate of all opportunities around the world in which they have a
new requirements. These changes are automatically made to stake.
the network and an audit trail is generated. The customer
can continue to modify system parameters as requirements Order Management
change. A customer completes an online order for a
complex VPN, which is automatically validated and delivered
Leveraging Communities of Interest to the Next Generation CRM Order Management system for
Your communications company has developed a decomposition and management. At each logical stage in the
new product and is planning to release it to customers. A fulfillment process, the customer is kept up-to-date through
marketing campaign about the new product has been pushed the web interface or e-mail with relevant status information.
to sales and technical representatives within the channel. A The customer can also access high-level workplan and status
web seminar has been scheduled. During the seminar, channel information through the web site, which is integrated with the
representatives across the globe interact with the company's operator's project management tools.
product managers and, after a few hours, are ready to go to
market with the new offering. Following the launch, engineers Customer Service
from prospective customer organizations engage in an online A customer who needs information about VPNs
discussion with channel technical specialists about the new retrieves technical information from the web site. An inventory
product. of FAQs that address the most common customer questions
is available. The customer has access to the operator's entire
Familiarity through Personalization portfolio of expertise. If the customer encounters a technical
A customer technician logs onto a secure space problem, an online step-by-step guide is available through the
within the web site, activating the customer's profile and portal to help resolve the issue. A "call me" button is available
personalizing the online experience. The features and throughout the customer's web session in the event a support
information that the customer uses regularly are made readily technician is required.
available, greatly simplifying site navigation. A complete profile
of the customer relationship, including information such as
The Next Generation CRM Approach
The Next Generation CRM Approach
Successful next generation CRM initiatives are designed For incumbent communications companies, this can
around an integrated set of customer-centric practices. That is be challenging. Most incumbents are already engaged in a host
what is meant by, "from the customer to the network, and back of disparate CRM-related initiatives—call center enhancements,
again." And as leading communications companies embrace these sales force automation, customer data consolidation, service quality
practices, they are rethinking even their most basic approaches and programs, CSR training, billing improvements, provisioning upgrades,
assumptions about their markets. With next generation CRM, every and more—each of which may fall under a different organizational
major business process and system is available to the customer, mandate. Without a clear next generation CRM strategy and vision, it
driving end-to-end solutions that result in real-time implementation is impossible to integrate these initiatives into a seamless coherent
of services and network elements. strategy.
FIGURE 5 - MANAGING OPPORTUNITIES ACROSS THE ENTERPRISE
The list of opportunities with account names, site names, etc....
Sales funnel stages: Proportions of opportunities in each stage
Must be tailored to company and customer of the sales funnel. Actuals are presented
needs. against quotas.
THE MULTI-FACETED NEXT GENERATION CRM ACCOUNT TEAM IS ABLE TO PROVIDE A SINGLE CONSISTENT IMAGE TO THE PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMER—
AND IS ABLE TO RESPOND TO THEIR ENTERPRISE-WIDE REQUIREMENTS IN A MANNER AND TIME FRAME THAT THEIR COMPETITORS CANNOT.
In the area of provisioning, for example, next generation delivers benefits primarily to the communications provider through
CRM solutions must be integrated with order management and lower costs of operations and improved customer data.
network resource management systems to ensure that what is An alternative view—the win-win approach—embraces
ordered is provisioned. Such a provisioning system must be vendor next generation CRM as a customer empowerment strategy in
and network neutral, and must provide real-time flow through which customers become fully engaged in their own fulfillment and
for customer-driven access to bandwidth via the next generation management of products and services delivery. Mutual benefits
CRM web site. In practice, this means that customers must have accrue to customers and operators alike, resulting in faster delivery
transparent views and access to all network elements, regardless and problem resolution, knowledge transfer, and needs-based
of manufacturer or service provider. products and services.
Indeed, providing customers with access to their service Customers know the difference. To be successful, next
portfolios is a key driver of much next generation CRM functionality. generation CRM must add meaningful value—not simply exploit
As such, next generation CRM solutions are designed as service the customers as a labor source. There is a fine line in the customer's
portals that allow customers and channel partners alike to access mind between shifting the source of work (and cost of labor) and
the companies' business systems and network architecture. These providing truly enhanced customer value.
12 portals provide customers with real-time views of account status,
FIGURE 6 - NEXT GENERATION CRM IS NOT A THEORETICAL EXERCISE.
orders, and pricing, as well as online provisioning and management COMPANIES THAT GET IT RIGHT DELIVER
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE FOR SHAREHOLDERS.
of their bandwidth needs. Customers also can review and pay bills, 60%
track progress on trouble tickets, and monitor service levels.
Beyond providing transparent customer access, next
generation CRM solutions also support the community of interest 40%
shareholder return goals
among operators, customers, and suppliers. This is especially
important for corporate customers who use the next generation
CRM portal as a communications channel for service coordination, 20%
problem resolution, and utilization planning. And for operators,
the portal provides a dedicated link for communicating directly
with individual users within a corporate account. The portal is ideal 0%
for delivering targeted messages and guiding customers through
sales, service, and configuration processes.
Wearing a cost-reduction hat, it is easy to see the
potential for lowering sales and service costs through next
generation CRM. Customers effectively become zero-cost employees
responsible for orders, trouble ticketing, and profile maintenance.
This kind of thinking— which we call the win-lose approach—
Some Practical Implications of Next Generation CRM
Companies cannot adopt next generation CRM without Fast, fluid and flexible. Next generation CRM adopters offer
understanding the organizational and technological implications. market-defining products and services to customers in near real
Technologically, next generation CRM affects essentially all aspects time. They build in capabilities to provide rapid product design and
of a communication company’s architecture (see inset on facing deployment, with an organizational architecture that reflects near
page). Organizationally, it represents a dramatically different real-time changes to the underlying network to meet customer
strategy from CRM for getting close to customers—and it spans needs.
the entire enterprise.
Market demands across traditional functional disciplines A customer-centric approach. Customers want products that
such as billing, provisioning, and network management have raised meet their needs. They want the ability to manage their own
the competitive stakes for time-to-market and customer service, service portfolios. They are not interested in analyzing competing
forcing operators to innovate in the areas of customer service component-level prices. Adopters recognize this need for value-
and delivery— without losing sight of the basics. Attracting and added delivery with services received transparent to the customer.
retaining the most profitable customers is still the name of the
game. Best-in-class capabilities. Next generation CRM enables
Traditional CRM solutions are not sufficient to deliver operators to respond quickly to market opportunities and resolve
this critical functionality. Now in their third generation of refinement issues that affect customers. Customers gain the ability to change
and sophistication, CRM solutions simply do not address the or enhance elements of their portfolios quickly as their needs
critical provisioning and self-service functions required in today's change. All parties benefit from a shared view of operations and
We have identified key characteristics that companies
must exhibit to excel in next generation CRM adoption.
Customer self-service. Technology enables customers to view The "customer value" in next generation CRM is a
all aspects of their business relationship with the operator. This two-sided coin. On one side, customers reap gains through their
solution for customer self-management and collaboration is central enhanced experience—faster service, needs-based, customized
to next generation CRM success. solutions, and better communications. On the other side, operators
benefit from being able to reduce provisioning and service costs,
A focus on the basics. Tight control of network deployment costs deploy new products and services quickly, garner a larger share
and management of razor-thin margins is critical. Next generation of a customer's lifetime value, and truly know more about their
CRM enables traffic aggregation and managed connectivity with customers' needs.
a view to real costs and opportunities associated with individual
customers at their unique service levels.
14 FIGURE 7 - NEXT GENERATION CRM FUNCTIONALITIES GO BEYOND TRADITIONAL NOTIONS OF CRM
Major Major Major
Next Generation CRM Next Generation CRM Next Generation CRM
Functions Processes Capabilities
SEVERAL CRITICAL FUNCTIONS, PROCESSES, AND CAPABILITIES MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH NEXT GENERATION CRM.
Throughout the next generation CRM adoption curve, executives
must rethink their fundamental business propositions. The key outcomes of
this rethinking must address the following:
• Bandwidth on demand—at any scale
• Aggregated bandwidth procurement
• Flexible network design— both core and customer premise
• Global connectivity
• Message-based architectures
• Unified global delivery capability
• Access from anywhere for costs approaching those of a local call
• Application hosting and e-Commerce platforms
• Data shared across all systems
• Minimized time-to-market lags
• End-to-end automation
• Systems uniquely integrate networks, organizations, processes, and
Process and organizational architecture
• Optimized around time-to-market issues
• Projects do not differentiate between network, service, product and
• Offerings designed as building blocks that can be assembled rather
than "one-size-fits-all" offerings
Next Generation CRM Market Imperatives
Next Generation CRM Market Imperatives
Next generation CRM strategies represent a significant 2. Break the strategy dilemma between high quality and low
opportunity for companies that want to win in the battle for cost delivery.
customer intimacy. We have identified four market imperatives for Traditionally, the low-cost provider position has precluded other
such companies considering next generation CRM adoption. differentiated market strategies. But adopters have the opportunity
to establish themselves as leaders on several fronts. Next generation
1. Create a sustainable solution. CRM enables product differentiation, superior service quality,
All major communications companies will likely evolve toward and low cost/price positions to converge. As such, delivers the
next generation CRM. And while being first is important, doing it compelling advantages of service quality leadership— without
right is even more important. This means defining an engaging the attendant costs and headcount of the traditional model.
customer experience that is sustainable over the life of a customer Additionally, ever-increasing volume across the next generation
relationship. We believe sustainable approaches hinge on an CRM system will continue to drive transaction costs down.
operator's ability to innovate rapidly, upgrade delivery standards,
and execute complex solutions quickly. 3. Defend against new forms of competition.
S PEED : Success in rapid innovation requires speed of We know that competition within the communications industry is
functional iteration, speed of delivery, and speed of feedback. changing dramatically. Not only are competitors migrating to new
And an operator's ability to sustain this capability requires rapid positions throughout the value chain, most companies are also
16 processing of customer and channel feedback. Incorporating that attempting to move closer to customers in general. Carriers are
feedback to continuously reinvent and uplevel the customer developing flexible networks and supporting processes to ensure
experience is the final link in the innovation chain. We believe that their product and service portfolios can change with the
competitive pressures will drive down the time-to-order, provision, changing marketplace and remain competitive.
and fulfill customer needs—and without an institutional
commitment to rapid innovation, operators will be left behind. 4. Target existing customers.
R EDEFINING DELIVERY : A sustainable next generation Customers act as their own filter: sorting the few meaningful
CRM strategy requires ongoing redefinition of the customer opportunities offered to them from amid the noise of mass
experience with a continuous drive toward higher value. By marketing. Robust information used in predictive behavior analysis
engaging customers in a way that provides complete visibility to enables companies to finely tailor the message sent to individual
their portfolio and the network, rapid adopters have the ability to customers. Additionally, these models enable carriers to identify
start significantly ahead of competitors. proposal opportunities proactively within a customer base, often
C OMPLEXITY OF DUPLICATION : In most cases, next before the customer has identified the need themselves.
generation CRM requires a fundamentally new approach
throughout the enterprise. Next generation CRM touches delivery
of products and services, as well as the organization necessary to
support that delivery. As next generation CRM capabilities evolve,
late adopters will find it increasingly difficult to respond to agile,
lower-cost delivery models.
One example comes from a European mobile operator.
They raised the question: How do we leverage the enormous
amount of data we collect to provide a unique and profitable
customer experience? The answer was a combination of predictive
behavior analysis and proactive proposal generation. This operator
uses the combination of call detail data, demographic, and use data
to score each customer along all dimensions of their relationship.
Profitability, value, and behavior are all cataloged to create a unique
customer profile. These profiles become the basis for proactively
tailored, one-to-one marketing campaigns, delivered directly to
their handset. As a result, this operator has been able to reduce
churn significantly and increase the average profitability of mobile
Next Generation CRM in Action: The ipulsys Case Study
Next Generation CRM in Action: The ipulsys Case Study
ipulsys is a Wave B communications company providing The ipulsys strategy also supports a number of "first
web-enabled IP solutions for global business-to-business mover to the customer" principles. For example, the firm's market
communications. Among all the next generation CRM initiatives leading systems are designed to serve channel partners and
underway throughout the world, we believe the ipulsys initiative customers, while developing a solid base for creating and launching
best reflects the potential of next generation CRM strategies to new products and markets. Rapid implementation was also a top
generate sustainable competitive advantage. priority for ipulsys. The company built in the ability to develop new
Founded in 1998, ipulsys markets and sells its services functionality quickly through its customer empowerment solution
directly to businesses and indirectly through a sales network of (iCE) that continually anticipates the next breakthrough in customer
partner telecom operators. Headquartered in The Hague with offices need fulfillment.
in Paris and London and it's SOC in Amsterdam, ipulsys focuses
on the business-to-business needs of multinational corporations. The ipulsys Implementation Strategy
The impulsys business vision is based squarely on the promise of To achieve its strategic objectives, ipulsys developed
next generation CRM, as evident in the ipulsys' belief in "a vision a business solution with its systems in mind. Specific system
of empowerment, not ownership." requirements included seamless integration, a consistent business
18 data architecture, an enterprise-wide business data model, a
The ipulsys Growth Strategy message broker architecture, the elimination of manual interfaces,
ipulsys' growth plans adhere to the discipline of validation and error correction, leveraged package applications,
providing products with a cost competitive advantage with organization independent architecture, an innovative product data
complete operational transparency—a discipline that is entirely model, and quality metrics embedded in all systems. The impacts of
consistent with the practice of deep next generation CRM adoption. these requirements on the total system architecture are profound:
Specific ipulsys business objectives include: • Applications inter-operate across network links, despite
• Creating new and innovative telecom services deployed on differences in underlying communications protocols, system
a pan-European basis; architectures, databases, and other application services;
• Establishing the significant scale economies of service in the • Application architectures tie together data sources and
market; systems through a data exchange and transformation
• Creating an end-to-end architecture that enables rapid mechanism that decouples applications from one another;
(hours, not months) introduction of new products, services • The cost of maintaining interfaces is minimized, while
and tariffs; permitting the greatest level of flexibility in responding to
• Owning a leadership position as one of the highest quality, changing business needs.
premium communications providers in the world.
ipulsys' next generation CRM-based business model Today, there is not a single competitor in the IP arena
required the skillful integration of business and technology solutions offering the level of next generation CRM skills and systems
around the dynamic needs of channel partners and customers. delivered by ipulsys. The company has achieved a "concept-to-
Seamless interaction among data architectures, business rules, and customer" cycle that is a fraction of that delivered by competitors—
organizational designs were essential. and now operates with a cost advantage to competitors in the
To deliver against the company's aggressive market marketplace. In ipulsys, we see that while the characters in
launch schedule, a flexible, proactive and iterative approach was our fictional Schillinger-GlobalCom vignette may not be real, the
essential. From solution architecture through application delivery promise of next generation CRM is here today.
and process integration, ipulsys went from concept to creation in
ipulsys Service Offerings
ipulsys Service Offerings
• netpulse—Virtual Private Networks (VPN) provides secure, managed, CPE-based virtual private
networking to multiple sites belonging to one or more customers over the IP/ATM backbone.
Virtual Private Dial Networks (VPDN) enables remote users to access their corporate networks
via secure dial-up connections.
• transpulse—IP Transit is designed to provide high-capacit y Internet service providers (ISPs)
with a variety of connectivity options to the public Internet. Connection points can be in
London, Amsterdam, and New York depending on the needs of the customer.
• citypulse— City-to-City Bandwidth provides access to the core of the ipulsys ATM cloud for
other carriers connectivity to serve carrier end-customers
• unipulse— Unified Messaging provides managed "mailboxes" that allow seamless access to
voice mail, e-mail, fax, and WAP/SMS facilities. The unified messaging platform provides nearly
"any-to-any" connectivity and routing options required.
• ANXpulse— Certified IP-based connectivity to the North American ANX community as well
as to the European automotive market. ANXpulse supports business-to-business extranets,
guaranteed SLAs, security, and performance requirements.
To become a customer-centric organization where competitive differentiation is totally web-
enabled. In order to achieve this positioning, ipulsys needs to provide systems and processes
that empower customers and provide control over their IP communications portfolio, allowing
secure and easy access to the ipulsys network and management systems 24x7, multi-access to
service information, enabling them to monitor network performance, order changes in service
provisioning and bandwidth, track fault resolution and project management progress, review
billing, collect a variety of management reports, … as though it were a fully owned network.
All of this, online in real time.
The ipulsys experience …
The ipulsys experience...
Customers begin their interaction with ipulsys through iCE: ipulsys Customer Empowerment. Once identified, they manage
their complete experience through the web.
IPULSYS’ ICE PROVIDES COMPLETE CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT
A quote can be requested, a proposal offered then accepted, and an order placed then confirmed—all within a few moments of
engaging through iCE. In many cases orders can be provisioned in real time as well. In others, all information is available to the customer
to track progress as it actually happens.
ORDERS ARE ENTERED, TRACKED & PROVISIONED IN REAL TIME
In real time, additional product information can be requested, network faults identified, and trouble tickets raised. All engineering
activity and responses to inquiries are transparently, immediately available to customers.
SERVICE FAULTS LOGGED & TRACKED IN REAL TIME
Why Next Generation CRM Works
Why Next Generation CRM Works
Next generation CRM enables forward-thinking companies
to break the strategic dilemma between superior quality and low-cost
delivery. The additional benefit of creating challenging barriers to
entry for less visionary competitors makes it an even more compelling
But more important than its operational and technical
advantages is the customer-centric imperative on which next
generation CRM rests. That imperative simply cannot come into play
using traditional CRM models that push products and services to
unsuspecting customers—often with marginal business results.
Next generation CRM solutions focus on the customer
as their primary user—enabling familiarity, customization, and self-
service that serve customers on their own terms. Customers gain
control over the things they rightly should manage—their own
portfolios of products and services—and enjoy complete transparency
to the things that are not in their control. Next generation CRM is a
winning, customer-centric strategy that will produce superior returns
and sustainable market leadership.
New York, New York 10019