Moving On The Right Track

telecom.jpg (21963 bytes)The IT
spending in the telecom and IT seg-ment was above Rs 850 crore with telecom spending at Rs
84 crore. The telecom figure reflects the spending by the basic service providers which is
yet to fully bloom in the Indian market. Presently, this accounts for only the private
cellular and paging service providers in the allotted circles. Numerically, though it is
only 10 percent of the total spending in the telecom and IT segment, its potential is
grand for the appetite that the segment has for technology. It is only the tip of the
iceberg with the full potential to be unleashed when the basic services and Internet
service operators start their commercial offerings as private sector entities. Once that
happens, the segment will vie for one of the top slots like manufacturing and banking.

tele.jpg (19759 bytes)The IT segment
spending has a disproportionate spread across the size of the companies that invest to
acquire the latest in technology. Further, it is largely need-based and does not follow a
set pattern as the other segments do based on their business imperatives. Business
imperatives do drive IT acquisition in this segment, but not from a competitive
standpoint. It entirely depends on the resources it would require for the kind of
development projects it needs. With almost all the large consulting and services companies
setting up offshore development centers in the country for specific clients, IT
consumption is massive. That explains the huge spending figure.

Deregulation, mergers and acquisitions, and technological
advancements have brought dramatic changes to the telecom providers, who not only face
competitive threats from each other, but also from cable, wireless, satellite, and private
network providers. In response to the ongoing and ensuing competition, telecom companies
are rethinking their models. They are shifting resources, exploring new market
opportunities, re-examining their business processes and reengineering to increase revenue
and decrease costs.

Of Demands From Telcos

Customer acquisition and retention
Market segmentation and prospect identification
Targeted campaign, promotion, customer schemes, and tariff plans
Total customer management facility
Churn prediction and prevention
Analysis of connections, disconnections, and reconnections
Dealer analysis and monitoring
Revenue enhancement
Profitability analysis
Aging analysis of accounts receivable
Products sales analysis
Bill assurance
Economic modeling
Network utilization and capacity planning

In an industry like telecom, the winners will be
those who can adapt quickly to new market opportunities. In this backdrop, telecom
providers need mission-critical informational technology solutions that can combine
performance and scalability with flexibility and modularity.

In the telecom scenario, there is a large amount of data
available in a variety of systems. While these are required for billing and other
operational functions, they do not meet the organizational information needs. A
datawarehouse provides key information required to effect better decisions, such as
call-usage analysis, call-volume analysis, handset-usage analysis, network utilization and
downtime analysis, customer segmentation, billing patterns, customer satisfaction and
dealer analysis, receivable and fraud analysis, and profitability analysis.

In order to succeed in the changing telecom marketplace and
be able to address questions arising out of any of the aforesaid issues, the operator
needs to plunge into his operational databases and come up with information that will
assist management in its decision-support activity.

The paradoxical thing in the whole scenario is that the
carrier in most cases is generating and sitting on huge volumes of data which he can
barely manage and provide information on. Needless to say, the carrier operates in an
industry where the number of customers is large and the number of transactions even
larger. For example, one of India’s metro cellular operators has a base of around 100,000
active customers which generate an average 500,000 Call Data Records (CDRs) per day.


Modi Telstra Pvt. Ltd, one of the cellular service
providers in Calcutta, is utilizing Informix’s database technology for planned
datawarehouse applications. The datawarehouse enables Modi Telstra to better understand
the marketplace, customers and their behavior patterns, and take a leadership position.
Customers are now analyzed and segmented by common values, needs, and their call
behavior-not simply by the product they buy.

The primary datawarehouse applications implemented include
customer profitability, call-behavior analysis, marketing product development, customer
retention, and churn revenue/profitability analysis. In an increasingly competitive
market, in which customers’ expectations are also on the rise, businesses will no longer
be able to offer ‘one size fits all’ products. Datawarehousing underpins Modi Telstra’s
strategy of developing products and value-added services that must meet individual
customer needs.

Indian telcos are witnessing stiff competition and
companies have to keep their competitiveness at global levels. As per the current National
Telecom Policy, a rapid acceleration of telecom services is visualized that would require
supplementing the resources allocated to this sector. In its policy document, DoT has
recognized that improving telephone services would be crucial for the development of the
national infrastructure and to lure foreign direct investment. As a sequel, this has
brought in organizations with high-capacity handling capabilities into the Indian scenario
that generate large volumes of data over time.

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