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John Myers

Hey all-

Welcome to my blog. The fine folks at the BeyeNETWORK™ have provided me with this forum to offer opinion and insight into the worlds of telcommunications (telecom) and business activity monitoring (BAM). But as with any blog, I am sure that we (yes we... since blogging is a "team sport"...) will explore other tangents that intersect the concepts of telecom and BAM.

In this world of "Crossfire" intellectual engagement (i.e. I yell louder therefore I win the argument), I will try to offer my opinion in a constructive manner. If I truly dislike a concept, I will do my best to offer an alternative as opposed to simply attempting to prove my point by disproving someone else's. I ask that people who post to this blog follow in my lead.

Let the games begin....

About the author >

John Myers, a senior analyst in the business intelligence (BI) practice at  Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). In this role, John delivers comprehensive coverage of the business intelligence and data warehouse industry with a focus on database management, data integration, data visualization, and process management solutions. Prior to joining EMA, John spent over ten years working with business analytics implementations associated with the telecommunications industry.

John may be contacted by email at JMyers@enterprisemanagement.com.

Editor's note: More telecom articles, resources, news and events are available in the BeyeNETWORK's Telecom Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Recently in Customer Care Category

Everyone knows this analogy:

“Find a needle in the hack stack"

With “big data” situations in business intelligence and data warehousing (BI/DW) environments, finding the needles becomes a much more impressive issue:

“Find needles AND the like pieces of hay and how do they relate to each other in the stack”

This comes evolution of predictive analytics and the quest not just for the goal or object (ie valuable customer, influencer, churn prospect), but also for the behavioral events that lead up to those goals or objects.

Impact of Social Media

With the growth of the ability to capture the event data associated with behavior based data sources of telecom call data and social media interaction (ie twitter, facebook, etc); “big data” BI/DW environments are not going away.  They are going to expand and BI/DW professionals are going to need to find a way to perform analytics on these data sets in an effective manner. 

New analytical database providers, like Aster Data, have moved to harness power of massively parallel processing (MPP) power and MapReduce processing to attain the type of relationship processing that the explosion of behavior based data sources have spurred. 

Telecom Take

As mentioned above, telecoms are some great sources of this new behavioral event data.  Call Detail Records of all types (xDRs) will be the basis of future a telecom organization’s ability to avoid becoming a dumb pipe.  The relationships in that behavioral event data will provide either the edge that telecoms need to make addressable advertising and location based services business cases a reality; and to fight off the challenges that Over the Top (OTT) content providers like Skype, Netflix and iTunes are bringing to the traditional telecom business model. 

Are relationship analytics associated with “big data” data sources currently being used in your telecom organization?  If not, why?

Post your comments below or email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

Posted October 6, 2010 4:00 PM
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When dealing with the large amounts of data associated with the “big data” class of business intelligence efforts, there is a quandary:

  • Do you show “all” the data?
  • Do you show an aggregated subset of the data?

When you attempt to show all the data in a “big data” environment, you run the risk of data overload as well as “processing” overload.  When you aggregate, you run the risk of skipping over the detail that many analysts may require.

Step 1: Architecture

TableauLogoIn this quandary, business intelligence professionals need to look at the architecture of their “big data” environment and make the proper decisions on the performance of their data environments.  Tableau Software, for example, offers many options associated with their “big data” visualizations. From options for existing/traditional data warehouse environments to new analytical environments based on Hadoop or MapReduce technologies, data visualization products like Tableau give BI/DW architects the opportunity to make those decisions rather than being stuck on one side of the “big data” quandary.

Telecom Take

Telecom environments are a long way from being configured with a single data source for operational BI or analytics.  Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as well as growing nature of telecom products and customers will ensure that a single data source is more of a “journey” than a destination.  Yet, there is the need to create operational BI and analytical data visualization layers similar to the example below:


Being able to mix and match as necessary will be a key architectural attribute for data visualization teams.  This will be a strong requirement in putting information in the hands of frontline customer service reps as well as strategic account management teams to manage customer expectations.

Does your telecom organization’s BI/DW architecture allow for these types of mix and match connections for data visualization?

Post your comments below or email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) / twitter (@BlueBuffaloGrp) me directly.

Posted October 6, 2010 2:00 PM
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FlipTheFunnelTelecom organizations have long understood the concept of customer acquisition vs customer retention…. It is much easier to keep and maintain current customers than it is to pay to add new customers.

Joseph Jaffe has a new book out that gives added credence to that relationship and perhaps guides telecom marketing and customer care organizations on how to best utilize existing customer relationships.   Or even better how telecom service providers can utilize their customer relationships to provide partner organizations with value-added experience with the telecom’s customers via either mobile devices or the “new frontier” of IPTV via addressable advertising.

1to1 has an excerpt from the book. My favor segment was the following:


    • The sharp and clinical scalpel of digital trumps the blunt hatchet of advertising.
    • The fluid and pervasive conversation washes away the unidirectional current of communication.
    • The meaningful and long-lasting commitment of retention deeply resonates over the superficial and materialistic attraction of acquisition.

The highlighted sections talk directly to how if you have the information about the habits and interests of customers, you can tailor a retention message directly to them.  This allows for those customers to tell great product/service stories to their “friends and family”.  This enhances the value of the resources spent on the retention program.

Telecom service providers have a distinct advantage in providing this directed, pervasive conversation since they have more information about their customers and their behavior than any other organization.  That includes the “800lb gorilla” known as Google…

Do you think that telecoms can capitalize before someone else (google, apple, et al) can? 

Post your comments below or email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) / twitter (@JohnLMyers44) me directly.

Posted February 4, 2010 2:42 PM
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Everyone LOVES customer are self-service…. That is for most customers. Telecom service providers see the ability to lower costs “dealing with” customers and IT departments see the advantages of new IT aspects of the “self-service” relationship ( ie cool new toys… that vendors love to sell as well… ).  However, often times customers aren’t as enthused about the self-service developments.

I found a good article from Francoise Tourniaire about rules for Customer Care Self Service.  Included in Tourniaire’s principles are the following:

  1. Make Self-Service Work for the Customer
  2. Develop Seamless Escalation to an Agent
  3. Promote Self-Service Offerings
  4. Measure Self-Service Metrics

I particularly liked the concept that is first and takes up a significant portion of the article… “Make Self-Service Work for the Customer”.  This is the most important aspect of any self-service implementation.  The provider, IT and the vendor can love the implementation, but if customers start churning due to the implementation… Soon a very “technical” and small customer base will result.

I also would like to point out that “customer care” is not the only aspect…. Customer complaint or venting is also important.  You can learn just as much from a customer compliant encounter as you can from a customer care encounter.  Many “self-service” and “carrier-service” customer care implementations leave that aspect off their “requirements” lists.

Twitter is a good example of how customer can “complain” in real-time while being frustrated with customer care.  Forward thinking organizations are “watching” those avenues and intervening with whatever customer care avenue seems appropriate to the customer.  Again, focusing on customer care work for the customer.

NOTE – I have personally experienced this with Qwest and I have heard good reports about Comcast… again via Twitter :)

Where is your telecom organization when relates to self-service customer care? And new brands of customer complaint?

Post your comments below or email (John.Myers@BlueBuffaloGroup.com) / twitter (JohnLMyers44) me directly.

Posted July 21, 2009 8:00 AM
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Voice of the Customer!

Customer Champion!

These are new concepts for telecommunications organizations.  However, they aren’t new concepts for organizations serious about gain and retaining not just customers, but quality customers.  Jeremy Nedelka and Elizabeth Glagowski take a look at what makes Telkom SA and Earthlink successful in their customer champion programs.

I think that it should be noted that in neither the telecom nor the ISP example do the leaders in customer champion programs look at their operations by customer segment.  They look at their customer programs at the individual customer level and perform analysis up to various segmentation levels.  This level of atomic analysis allows those customer champion programs to act at the individual customer level rather than an aggregate.

Posted June 4, 2009 8:00 AM
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