Alsard Fiber and Cellnet partner with Alepo for digital BSS and affiliate management

  • The project will benefit the two service providers’ ADSL, FTTH, WiFi broadband networks
  • Alepo will deploy a billing system with advanced security and automation features to stop existing revenue leaks
  • The billing system will include centralized affiliate management to streamline processes
  • Customers will have access to web and mobile self-care, reducing their dependence on physical stores and points of sale
  • The solution will also support Alsard Fiber in launching and monetizing public WiFi services, which it intends to introduce in the near future

Thursday, December 17, 2020, AUSTIN – Alsard Fiber and its subsidiary Cellnet are set to modernize their networks using a multi-tenant solution from digital enablement and revenue management software provider Alepo. The solution will include a centralized billing system with automated security features for zero revenue leakage, centralized affiliate management, and web and mobile self-care, as well as the capability to launch and monetize public WiFi services in the future.

Simplifying and streamlining the management of affiliates, Alepo’s digital BSS will benefit wholesale service provider Alsard Fiber’s growing list of broadband clients, which currently includes 15 affiliates and over 1,000 resellers. The same benefit will also be extended to its sister company Cellnet’s FTTH and ADSL resellers. While affiliates will enjoy a faster and more seamless digital experience, the service providers will be able to lower operational costs, improve revenue, and optimize resource utilization.

The two companies will be able to prevent revenue loss caused by erroneous billing through enhanced security features that their existing system is unable to provide. Alepo’s system offers increased security against hacking and eliminates manual data inputs to minimize errors.

Cellnet’s subscribers will have access to web and mobile self-care to recharge their accounts, change their plans, log complaints about any issues they face, and more.

Alepo will deploy its Digital Business Support System (BSS) with billing, CRM, affiliate management, and mobile and web self-care, as well as its scalable AAA application to enable the service providers top performance with growing subscriber counts and usage demands.

Alsard Fiber also plans to introduce public WiFi in the near future. Alepo is deploying its WiFi Service Management Platform (SMP) to launch and monetize these public hotspots with various paid and free use-cases such as bundled ISP packages and sponsored data with advertisements.

“We knew we needed to upgrade our system when we pinpointed certain discrepancies in billing that were causing revenue loss. Further, we currently maintain each of our affiliates in a different server. Alepo’s centralized billing system will ensure more secure and efficient processes and streamline affiliate management, helping us meet our true revenue potential. Alepo’s digital self-care platform will enable us to empower our customers with web and mobile options, so they no longer need to visit resellers or points of sale in person,” said Firya M. Ali, Chairman and Owner of Alsard and Cellnet.

Vishal Mathur, VP-Solution Integration, Alepo, said, “We’re pleased to partner with Alsard Fiber and Cellnet to help improve their network as they digitize their self-care to empower customers. From the network aspect, our solution is designed to iron out the existing system’s vulnerabilities and will result in improved revenue. The centralized platform will enable Alsard Fiber and Cellnet to streamline affiliate management, ensuring faster and more efficient processes that will lower operational costs.”

The project is underway and is expected to be complete within an accelerated timeframe.

About Alsard Fiber

Founded in 2007, Alsard Fiber is a leading wholesaler of IP services in all regions and provinces of Iraq. Working with leading IP providers in Europe and using fiber optic technology, Alsard Fiber delivers the highest possible quality of service. The IP from Europe is delivered via two separate redundant routes. Customers are offered a dedicated symmetrical bandwidth, not shared capacity. Alsard Fiber has a team of IT experts who provide 24/7 technical support. All Alsard Fiber’s customers can benefit from Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), Dedicated Redundant Line for backup purposes, 24/7 technical support, and no filtering, monitoring, or censorship.

For more information, please visit http://www.alsardfiber.com/

About Cellnet

Cellnet was founded in 2006 as the first commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Iraq-North/Sulimanyah city. It played a major role in building internet infrastructure in Iraq/North, earning the company a reputation for providing fast and stable internet access and innovative solutions for their individual as well as corporate customers.

For more information, please visit http://cell-net.net/

 

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Top six ways AI and CX automation revolutionize telcos

Top six ways AI and CX automation revolutionize telcos

Top six ways AI and CX automation revolutionize telcos

14th of December 2020

The evolution of CX

It’s no secret that customer experience (CX) is emerging as the key differentiator for service providers: a Gartner study reports that over two-thirds of marketers say their companies compete primarily on CX. And two modern technologies are facilitating richer and more advanced CX than ever before: artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.

AI is used to mimic human intelligence in responding to situations and conversations. Automation, on the other hand, enables repetitive tasks to run with limited to no human intervention through preset programming. AI and automation, along with customer insights, enhance a telco’s capability to deliver an intelligent customer experience. This powerful combination also revolutionizes the way telcos interact with customers, facilitating them to monitor, track, and manage the customer experience 24x7x365. Artificial intelligence helps operators analyze complex customer behavioral patterns and offer contextual services, plans, and content, whereas automation accelerates these personalized offerings.

Customer care processes have drastically eased with the help of modern, automated, AI-based omnichannel self-care, enabling instant query redressal anytime, anywhere, and on a host of convenient platforms. NLP-based bots and emotional AI can even gauge customer emotions and moods in real-time, enabling personalized support that mimics human responses.

How AI and CX automation transform a telco’s offerings

1. Automated support

A telco’s support and self-care offerings are a major factor in influencing CX. Customers today are less inclined to contact call centers or visit physical stores for support. Instead, they prefer having more control over their accounts to resolve their own issues – using the platform and language of their choice. More telcos are turning to AI technology to improve customer engagement by automating self-care and support offerings. In fact, Servion predicts that, by 2025, AI will power 95% of all customer interactions.

AI chatbots are available for a host of platforms, including web and mobile apps, voice assistants such as Alexa and Cortana, and social platforms like WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Having steadily gained popularity, they offer a direct and instant link between customers and the operator. Available round-the-clock, they help customers bypass long wait times to speak with CSRs and avoid lines at physical stores. AI chatbots mimic the experience of interacting with a human agent, understanding the customer’s sentiments and responding accordingly.

Chatbots also offer many benefits to service providers. They reduce burden on support staff at stores and in call centers. All interactions are recorded for operator analysis to improve future offerings. And using machine learning, the bots continue to become “smarter” at responding to customer queries, further reducing resolution times and improving CX. Moreover, AI assistants are also good at cross-selling products.

2. Personalized recommendations

AI helps target the right subscriber or group of subscribers at the right time using an in-depth analysis of customers’ past actions, preferences, and needs, which are collected in the form of data and algorithms. It is a powerful tool that encompasses a variety of statistical techniques to evaluate customers’ future actions, making it easier for telcos to showcase products and services that exactly match customers’ requirements in real-time. Operators capture buying preferences and complete historical data, which is then processed using advanced analytical tools to create targeted contextual offers.

AI empowers marketers to design custom campaigns and promotions based on customer preferences and behavior instead of applying a one-size-fits-all strategy. The predictions equip service providers to be future-ready to monetize offerings and respond efficiently to changing market dynamics, helping them not only offer relevant products to the customer but also to manage the supply chain more efficiently as they modify their offerings. This helps boost customer satisfaction and reduce churn while increasing ARPU, facilitating cross-selling and upselling, and more.

3. Omnichannel experience

A digital-first approach that empowers customers with more than just support through multiple channels, an omnichannel experience consolidates all customer interactions and history on a single converged platform. Using AI as part of a cohesive engagement strategy enables a seamless CX, empowering customers to engage with the service provider no matter what device or platform they use. It enables operators to enhance support offerings, reduce resolution times, and improve CX. AI can be integrated with support to offer insights on customer interactions across channels – insights that CSRs can be granted access to, helping reduce response and resolution times, lessen the burden on CSRs, and boost CX.

4. Automated digital onboarding

Customers today increasingly prefer signing up for new services online rather than visiting a store, even more so considering pandemic-related social distancing norms prevalent in many countries. From order to delivery, the entire process of purchasing a new connection can be automated, assuring customers of a quick, easy, and paperless process using the web, mobile, or any other digital channel of their choosing. Digital onboarding solutions help capture key customer information, documents, biometrics, and more, verifying this information in real-time using for secure onboarding.

5. Delightful innovations

Customers expect a constantly advancing service provider who keeps up with technologies to make their life easier. With the widespread adoption of tools like chatbots and voice assistants, it’s only natural for telcos to keep pace and delight their customers with new and useful technologies driven by AI and automation. One such advancement is voice and speech recognition technology, which has meant that customers can clear their bills using voice-activated payments. The process is automated, and PCI-compliant systems assure the cardholder that their payment data is protected. Operators can offer secure round-the-clock services for customers who prefer to call and speak rather than pay online.

6. Instant satisfaction

Automation streamlines the purchase cycle for customers, easing buying decisions and payments to accelerate turnaround. Fully automated background processes use mature workflows or Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to enable instant service and, by reducing human intervention, eliminate the possibility of manual error. This enables operators to deliver the instantaneous support and service that customers demand today.

Alepo’s role in boosting CX

At the forefront of digitization, Alepo provides an industry-leading Digital Business Support System (BSS) integrated with AI-powered modules and automated processes. The BSS suite includes Omnichannel Self-Care with NLP-based AI chatbots, advanced BI reports and analytics, workflow automation in all modules such as interconnect and wholesale billingdistributor managemententerprise management, and much more.

Pankaj Garg

Pankaj Garg

Associate Director, Product Management

Pankaj Garg is a telecom and FinTech expert with over 15 years of experience in the software industry. Handling digital BSS offerings is among the many hats he wears at Alepo. Always up to speed with the newest advancements in the products he handles, he takes it slow only when he’s road-tripping across India to discover new places.

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Eswatini Mobile overhauls and modernizes network with Alepo digital transformation

  • Using Alepo’s Digital Business Support System (BSS) and PCRF, the service provider has overhauled its network and introduced new advanced offerings
  • Alepo executed its digital transformation remotely, in phases, and within rapid time constraints
  • Alepo’s systems have solved network disruptions caused by legacy vendors and improved network availability
  • The operator will also enable 24×7 customer support using Alepo’s omnichannel self-care platform

Wednesday, November 4, 2020, AUSTIN – Eswatini Mobile, a leading service provider in the Kingdom of Eswatini, has modernized its network using digital enablement software solutions provider Alepo’s Digital Business Support System (BSS). The new platform enables the operator to introduce a host of advanced prepaid and hybrid LTE plans, digitize customer experience with a modern web and mobile self-care, and fix network outages that were impacting its voice and data customers.

Eswatini Mobile’s legacy systems were causing network outages, making an urgent transformation necessary to improve customer experience. With Alepo’s BSS transformation, Eswatini Mobile has upgraded from its legacy multi-vendor setup to a single platform for all BSS functionalities. Along with the BSS, Alepo has deployed its PCRF, interconnect billing, roaming, self-care, and other modules. Under strict timelines, the entire project was deployed rapidly and remotely, in keeping with ongoing pandemic-related travel restrictions.

The platform has enabled Eswatini Mobile to offer its customers the flexibility of choice, having introduced prepaid as well as hybrid or cyclic prepaid plans that enable different tariffs to be applied based on peak and off-peak times of the day. The operator can now also manage dunning actions and has already seen a reduction in outstanding payments.

Eswatini Mobile now has access to business intelligence reports facilitated by the advanced analytics module, enabling targeted promotions and personalized plans and offers based on individual customer needs.

Alepo has also provided its web self-care and mobile app, which will enable Eswatini Mobile’s customers to access 24x7x365 support. In addition to facilitating swift issue resolution, it will also offer customers more control over their accounts, empowering them to view and manage their plans and data usage.

“Our primary objective is to offer superior customer experience and we’re consistently working on improving our services to meet our customers’ needs. Alepo’s phased approach to digital transformation has helped us bolster our network and services without disruptions. We intend to introduce a host of advanced and innovative plans in the future using the Alepo platform,” said Genius Sihlongonyane, Chief Information Officer, Eswatini Mobile.

Sihlongonyane added, “Our key business drivers for this project were migrating to a converged platform to ensure consistent support, and switching to an on-premise set-up to reduce network disruptions that we faced with our legacy system as it was offsite. We’re already seeing improvements in our processes as Alepo’s Digital BSS provides many automation features, improving our network availability and customer experience.”

Sameer Bhuttoo – Director of Africa at Alepo, said, “We share Eswatini Mobile’s vision to strive for the best customer experience and are happy to be their digital transformation partner. Alepo’s subscriber migration was completed in record time, and we look forward to working with Eswatini Mobile on further enhancements, optimizing processes, and ushering in a new network experience for their subscribers.”

 

About Eswatini Mobile Ltd.

Eswatini Mobile Limited (formerly known as Swazi Mobile Limited) was set up as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to apply for a license to build and operate a mobile telecommunications network in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The service provider offers a range of prepaid and postpaid voice and data services including roaming plans.

For more information, please visit https://swazimobile.com/

 

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Telecom Vanuatu Limited begins network modernization with Alepo solutions

  • Alepo has upgraded the legacy system to its Digital BSS and the latest version of AAA for the operator’s fixed data services
  • The upgraded system supports offers based on fair usage policies, as well as happy hours enabling Telecom Vanuatu to implement free nighttime browsing
  • Telecom Vanuatu’s customers can now easily purchase data add-ons

Friday, October 16, 2020, Vanuatu – Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL) has begun modernizing its network using solutions by digital enablement firm Alepo, making significant improvements to its billing, charging, and authentication systems.

The modernization will be carried out in phases, through which TVL intends to digitize and automate its data service offerings on Alepo’s advanced platform. So far, the operator has upgraded from Alepo’s legacy business support systems (BSS) to its Digital BSS, as well as upgrading to the latest version of AAA, for its fixed data services.

The upgraded system supports fair usage policy offers and Telecom Vanuatu has implemented happy hours allowing free nighttime browsing. The operator has also introduced web support using Alepo’s Omnichannel Self-Care for its data-service customers. These customers can now easily purchase data add-ons.

“In our longstanding association with Alepo, they have always proven their reliability as a solutions provider. We were confident in their ability to rapidly deliver key requirements for this upgrade, and they have surpassed our expectations. We are equally excited about their systematic approach to fully digitize our service offerings,” said Thomas Bruce, CTO of TVL.

Vishal Mathur, Vice President – Solution Integration, Alepo, said, “We often recommend phased digitalization to our customers. First, we validate key use cases, allowing the customer to introduce new offers and build digital engagement channels. Then we perform a full transformation, providing advanced capabilities to automate all service offerings across the system.”

This modernization project adds to Alepo’s growing list of deployments in the Pacific Islands. The revenue management software provider has helped transform the telecommunications landscape for several nations in the region, including enabling the launch of LTE in three countries. In addition to digital BSS transformation, its key Pacific deployments extend to carrier WiFi, LTE enablement, data charging, and AAA transformation, among others.

About TVL

Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL) was created in 1978 and is Vanuatu’s first provider for landline, GSM, internet, and 4G+ (mobile internet).

TVL is the largest corporate contributor to Vanuatu’s national economy – since 2002, it has paid more than 1.8 billion vatus to the government in fees, charges and taxes. A World Bank study shows that telecommunication prices in Vanuatu are among the cheapest in the region.

TVL has fixed lines on four main islands; Efate, Santo, Malakula, and Tanna, and 85 percent of the population is covered by their mobile network.

For more information, visit tvl.vu

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Top 5 ways telcos can adapt to the virtual cultural shift

Top 5 ways telcos can adapt to the virtual cultural shift

Top 5 ways telcos can adapt to the virtual cultural shift

 

5th of May 2020

 

 

 

Telecommunications today is more essential than ever. Data and mobility have taken on a pivotal role across sectors like healthcare, education, transportation, smart cities, oil and gas, utilities, and more. Now, there is unprecedented demand on networks with cultural shifts due to the pandemic. Given the unpredictability of the future, and with many companies considering the possibility of permanently adopting remote work, the focus is directed to network contingency plans. One thing is clear: service providers with digitally advanced systems will adapt more easily to this cultural shift. And to enhance their systems, these are the top five factors they need to focus on:

Maintain high-performing and scalable networks

More people around the world are working from home due to lockdowns, and those isolating and in quarantine are spending more time on high-bandwidth streaming services such as Netflix, Youtube, and other entertainment channels, further increasing the network load. To serve this surge in demand and long-term cultural shift, telcos must invest in robust AAA infrastructure that is highly available, scalable, and stateless. Operators facing network challenges can transform AAA seamlessly and virtually, ensuring zero impact on their existing IT systems and integrations.

Automate workflows and processes

As their customers do more from home, telcos should also aim to reduce manual and in-person touchpoints. An advanced digital business support systems (BSS) stack helps automate business processes, including complex and repetitive tasks, freeing up network resources, and minimizing errors. Telcos can create, launch, deliver, and manage communications services entirely through a digital-first customer experience, keeping them ahead of the competition. Operators can introduce innovative plans, bonus policies, cashbacks, and targeted offers on-the-fly as the market evolves. Increased digitalization and personalization keeps customers engaged and loyal to the brand.

 

Digital transformation facilitates rapid implementation and customization as it possesses the following features:

  • Cloud-native services
  • Open APIs and standardized workflows
  • Automated provisioning, fulfillment, testing, chatbots
  • Microservice architecture

 

In addition, better internal processes and automated workflows mean higher productivity and efficiency in interacting with customers and vendors, while maintaining high operational excellence.

Deliver a digitally-advanced experience

It is crucial for telcos to adopt a digital-first approach to their business, not only because the majority of young consumers prefer interacting with brands through smartphones or online, but long-term cultural shifts due to the pandemic demand a rapid change to conducting business and serving customers virtually.

 

For example, customers prefer visual assistance to solve their problems. Vodafone has capitalized on this and uses the power of video to relieve the burden on their call centers that used to receive a staggering 5.2 million calls for technical assistance per year. They are now able to resolve customer issues remotely using AI and AR, helping their agents interpret and visually guide the customer, resulting in faster and more accurate problem resolution.

 

The main areas of focus for digitalization include:

  • Shift in-store customer experience to a digital channel
  • Reduce physical contact through virtual troubleshooting
  • Automate customer touchpoints to improve customer experience
  • Have IT systems that can support the cultural shift

Provide omnichannel support

With an increasing number of digital channels and a growing focus on customer experience, operators need to adopt an omnichannel strategy to keep pace with the expectations of customers. And its applications are two-fold.

 

For one, omnichannel engagement options extend a seamless, consistent, and unified shopping experience to customers across all touchpoints, whether they are shopping on the operator’s portal or through an online marketplace, physical stores, product catalogs, social media platforms, or chatbots.

 

Second, omnichannel self-care plays a significant role in the operator’s customer experience strategy, helping customers to play an active role in managing their accounts. Customers can manage their plans and services, create friends and family groups for special calling rates, and control data usage. The added transparency and increased ability to monitor accounts improves customer satisfaction and helps build trust. Automated and intelligent interactions through the web, mobile, and multiple social media channels further enhance the digital experience and empower customers with:

  • Automated digital onboarding
  • Simplified purchases
  • Automated support
  • Multiple payment modes
  • Swift complaint redressal
  • Gifting options
  • Parental controls

Move to SaaS to relieve IT

With the long-term shift to working virtually, a huge strain is put on a company’s IT infrastructure. SaaS software can relieve a huge burden on the IT infrastructure and ensure connectivity and reliability. One of the top priorities for all service providers must be shifting their infrastructure to the cloud because it lets them focus on digitization opportunities with limited investment. SaaS BSS architecture provides the telco with advanced modules, preconfigured fixed and mobile broadband plans, and 24×7 managed service operations, while a dedicated customer success manager ensures faster return on investment and reduced time-to-market. It also helps with reduced expenditure on hardware, infrastructure, maintenance, and more. The SaaS solution helps operators rapidly transform and adapt their business to modern technology trends that facilitate back-office process automation and digitize customer experience for their staff and subscribers.

Conclusion

To capitalize on cultural shifts and surging demand in data, telecom providers need to concentrate on a digital makeover, either as a complete network overhaul or a phased digital transformation. This includes not just offering better network capabilities but also implementing innovative tools and strategies to enable process automation and enhanced customer experience. Service providers must consider investing in digital technologies to build next-gen offerings and streamline business and IT operations, using SaaS software and agile methodologies to analyze and understand overall market demands, business requirements, customer data, and real-time delivery needs. It’s certain there is opportunity for companies to evolve in these challenging times.

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Anand Ramani

Anand Ramani

Director R&D

A senior professional with more than 20 years of experience in the telecom BSS domain, Anand is passionate about adapting newer technologies and building digital products. He heads the company’s R&D activities for core products such as Digital BSS, WiFi, and AAA.

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