Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The value of mobility insights for mobile operators

The mobility of mobile customers can be calculated from the number of miles travelled by each customer during one month. This mobility information means customers can be segmented according to whether they have high mobility or low mobility.

High mobility customers are those that travel over long distances whilst using their mobile phone, and low mobility customers are those that travel over shorter distances whilst using their mobile phone. The source data for such an analysis is commonly available within existing the mobile operator systems in an accessible format.

Mobility insights can support targetted marketing initiatives for mobile operators. Highly mobile customers are likely to require access to their business and personal information services whilst on the move. Mobile operators can increase ARPU by targetting these customers to receive offers and X-Sell/Up-Sell for high mobility products such as Mobile Broadband and PDAs, and/or more appropriate data tariffs.

Low mobility customers are likely to be focussed on managing family life and ensuring the smooth operation of the household. Mobile operators can increase revenue and intimacy by targetting these customers to recieve offers and X-Sell/Up-Sell for low mobility products such as new ‘home devices’ bundled with online information services including 'shared calendars' and organisers accessible to all the family.

In addition, understanding a customer’s mobility allows the mobile operator to segment its customer base on behavioural characteristics. The mobility information can be passed into data mining models to predict Churn and product X-Sell.

Experience shows that mobile operators have on average been able to increase penetration of high mobility devices (Mobile Broadband and PDAs) by around 10% using mobility insights, and this increase in product holdings has resulted in substantially higher customer loyalty and reduced Churn over a 6 month period.

Mobile operators considering the potential value of mobility insights should also consider the benefits of working with a service provider under a risk/reward commercial arrangement, where the service provider is paid based on the uplift seen by the mobile operator resulting from mobility insights delivered by the service provider.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mobile Internet development can 'wind you up'

When developing the mobile Internet experience for the mass-market, we’ve traditionally taken a bottom-up approach using mobile device capabilities to guide design decisions. The bottom-up approach means mobile operators have classified devices in their portfolios according to constraints such as the physical dimensions, functionality, and performance of the device. Device classes typically range from the most feature-rich handsets with large touch-screens, state-of-art camera functionality, and high mega-pixel image resolution, to the least feature-rich handsets without cameras and perhaps featuring technology that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tevor Baylis - Pipe Smoker of the Year 2008 Trevor Baylis ‘wind-up’ product. Given the broad range of devices and capabilities available, and the lack of any real universal standards for mobile application platforms, the use of device capability classes has been the most sensible approach. It has helped operator product development teams manage some of the incredible technological complexity in this industry and control development costs, whilst at the same time allowing for successful delivery of a reasonably differentiated experience for groups of mobile data service consumers based on the capabilities of their chosen devices. However, the approach has by necessity also created a ‘dumbed-down’ experience that has been forced on a largely disinterested market of mainstream mobile consumers who have been thoroughly underwhelmed over several years.

During 2008 the Apple iPhone 3G turned the heads of this mobile Internet user community – well at least 1% of them. The iPhone designers at Apple have created an uncompromised user experience based on a vertically integrated 'closed' product stack, and with focussed support of the sophisticated Apple marketing machine, the iPhone has become the latest must-have Apple device for consumer technology buyers. Free from the shackles of compromise the iPhone designers delivered us a superior mobile user experience that is powering a demonstrable increase in mobile service subscriber retention and acquisition, and appears to be responsible for increases in data service usage in all operators territories where there have been exclusive iPhone distribution deals with Apple. The new iPhone device has arguably not had the same positive effect on operator ARPU as it has had on the end user experience. However the ‘genie’ is now well and truly ‘out of the bottle’, and we of the mobile Internet consumer community are apparently demanding an iPhone-like experience on our non-iPhone devices, with operators busily investing in the additional platform capabilities and partner relationships needed to provide us with an improved experience to command our loyalty. But have a thought for the poor product development teams who are tasked with delivering this superior 'device agnostic' user experience. That's no trivial undertaking with so many 'Trevor Baylis devices' in the operator device portfolios. Awesome!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Measuring the benefit of your enterprise interaction platform

Globalisation is changing the way we workThe effects of globalisation are being felt throughout the enterprise space. We are increasingly confronted by the need to accelerate decision making; we are required to coordinate activities across diverse groups of internal teams and external partners and suppliers, we need to be able to interact quickly, flexibly, and effectively with all these people irrespective of geographical location and time-zone, and we need to be able to share knowledge and collaborate using a variety of rich-media and communications tools.

The role of IT in the enterprise is to support interactionTo support the transformation to this new way of working, enterprises are accelerating investments in deployment of knowledge sharing and collaboration tools and are increasing their focuss on business change management and rollout activities needed to accelerate interactions between employees using the tools. But how do we measure success of these initiatives?

Measuring successThe enterprise will no doubt eventually realise economic benefits from rolling out knowledge sharing and collaboration tools, although it is unlikely that any balance sheet or P&L improvements will be noticeable until after a tipping-point is reached and a critical mass of interactions happen using the tools. A large organisation might not see any improvement to the bottom-line for as much as 24 months.

The tipping point can be reached more quickly if the enterprise has the capability to initiate and deliver business change management needed to train champions across their business, provide employee incentives such as reward and recognition schemes for using the tools, and embedding use of tool functionality within the business as usual processes. But how does the enterprise measure and assess the progress with these roll-out activities?

Using Business Intelligence to build change momentumBusiness Intelligence (BI) and reporting are essential components of the business change management initiative needed to support rollout of knowledge sharing and collaboration tools. BI reports provide vital information about how employees are interacting across the enterprise using the tools. The reports are an essential tool in the measurement and assessment of the impact of the business change management activities in the short to medium term i.e. before the economic benefits become visible on the bottom-line.

BI reports provide information about the frequency of interactions, and whether the interactions are increasing or decreasing over time. They can provide an aggregated view of interactions according to the business groupings that are important for each enterprise (e.g. organisational unit, geographical region, or functional area). In other words, if the reports show that interactions are increasing in a business area, then it’s highly-likely that the business change management efforts are having a positive impact in that area and a meaningful transformation is under way. By linking to other information such as the amount, type, and location of the resources used during an interaction, the BI reports can also give an indication of the quality, or value, of an interaction, which in-turn provides an indication of the maturity of the enterprise in its adoption of knowledge sharing and collaboration tools. Reports can be produced in the form of league tables where the business areas are ranked according to the relative number or quality of interactions. The reports can be circulated to provide actionable insights for business area managers, or published more widely to provide all employees with general visibility of progress. And finally, all of this can be automated.

Not all interactions are the same! Some interactions can have a higher value and so be more desirable than others. For example, ‘Sharing’ is a particularly important type of interaction. Sharing is a high-value interaction because it indicates the organisations maturity in using knowledge sharing tools to communicate information and collaborate across borders. Sharing is an important measure of re-use and how well a company is operating globally as one team. ‘Document-sharing’ interactions occur when an information consumer (an employee looking for information) downloads a document that was pubished to the enterprise knowledge store by a different employee who produced or authored the document from another part of the organisation. Document sharing is a highly desirable and valuable interaction in any business with geographically dispersed teams.

Why is this important for the enterprise?
Economic benefits flow from the rollout of knowledge sharing and collaboration tools. The realisation of benefits can be accelerated by executing an effective business change management programme to support the rollout. The process of business change is in turn easier to manage with a clear view of how users interact using the tools.

Why is this important for the interaction platform service provider?
The revenue of the interaction platform service provider, and other networked IT service providers, is directly proportional to the volume and value of interactions that occur using the tools hosted by those service providers. If the business change can be more effectively managed then the revenue flows are accelerated for the service providers.