Business Challenge

Faced with tightening margins, this communications company wanted to drive profitability by attracting increased spend with innovative products. How could it bring new offerings to market quickly?


The company worked with IBM® Services to build a centralized platform based on Oracle solutions to manage customers, catalogues, offers and more, accelerating its product development.



development processes for new products and services

70% shorter

time to market creates new revenue streams rapidly

5 point boost

in average net promoter score encourages loyalty

Business challenge story

Launch fast to protect revenues

Communications providers are faced with mature marketplaces that present considerable commercial challenges. Margins for traditional revenue-driving products such as voice and SMS are in decline, and the rise of small and agile mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) intensifies the threat of once-loyal customers defecting.

To drive profitability, leading businesses are now looking to offer new products and services to delight their customers, nurture their loyalty and encourage additional spend. How can established providers bring new, attractive offerings to market rapidly?

This was the challenge facing this leading communications provider, which looked for ways to decrease its time to market for innovative products.

A spokesperson for the communications company explains: “In our communications marketplace, the new differentiators are service breadth and depth. Our analysis shows that the more products that our customers purchase, the more likely they are to stay loyal to the brand. To help retain customers and increase average revenue per user [ARPU], our aim is to bring new products to market faster than our competitors.

“Because our business has been growing for many years, we have accumulated a number of legacy systems. This increased our lead times for new products substantially, especially compared to recent entrants with fewer and more modern business systems.

“For example, if we wanted to create a new converged offer for multiple different communications services, our development team would have to repeat its work in separate applications such as catalogue and order management systems. We realized that standardizing our processes across the business would dramatically shorten our development cycles, and began planning a major transformation project.”

Our partnership with IBM and Oracle enables us to launch new services to encourage loyalty, increase ARPU and boost profitability.

Spokesperson, leading communications company

Transformation story

Calling in the experts

To solve its business challenges, the company engaged IBM Services to help it create a new, fully integrated approach to product development.

“We felt that IBM Services was a natural choice to support our transformation,” recalls the spokesperson. “For many years, IBM has provided services to support our mission-critical business applications and infrastructure. As a result, IBM was extremely familiar with our preferred ways of working and the wider requirements of the communications industry.”

As a first step, the company worked with IBM Services to assess its existing business processes, and determined the changes required to move to the target state.

The spokesperson comments: “Because customer expectations around communications services have grown so quickly, we had accumulated a number of bespoke applications in different parts of the business. We realized that integrating each system would be a complex and costly process, and decided instead to replace them with a single, centralized solution.”

To support the new, integrated approach, the company selected Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management solution.

“Of all the solutions we considered, our team was most impressed with Oracle’s Siebel offering,” says the spokesperson. “The Oracle solution offered us the ability to manage all of our channels on a single platform. This means that our development team can design the business logic for a new product or offer once, and distribute the rules automatically across every channel.”

In the first phase of the Oracle solution deployment project, the IBM Services team worked with the company to implement a single instance of Oracle’s Siebel platform as the core customer relationship management system, and configure the solution to support the new way of working.

With the initial implementation complete, the leading communications company and IBM Services are working on an iterative program to replace all of the bespoke applications that currently support its business with modules on the centralized Siebel platform.

Results story

Outpacing the competition

Thanks to its Oracle solutions delivered by IBM Services, the company is achieving its aim of bringing revenue-driving products to market rapidly—encouraging customer loyalty, creating valuable upselling opportunities and driving up ARPU.

“Today, we orchestrate our product development process on a centralized customer relationship management platform, which enables us to build, deploy and manage complex new products with unprecedented levels of speed and flexibility,” explains the spokesperson.

The company is already using its increased agility to launch innovative products ahead of its competitors.

“In a tightening marketplace, we see the ability to expand our offering with high-quality products faster than our competitors as a vital source of competitive advantage,” continues the spokesperson. “Our average time to market for a new commercial offering has decreased from around 50 days to just 15 days, 70 percent faster than before—and our Oracle solutions are a key enabler.”

With greater integration throughout the order lifecycle, the leading communications company is improving the accuracy of order fulfillment and driving greater customer satisfaction.

“We process numerous customer orders every day, and keeping every order moving smoothly is a key priority,” says the spokesperson. “In the past, the sheer number of different integrations between our back-end systems meant that around five percent of orders required manual remediation by a member of our team, increasing the risk of delaying delivery and frustrating our customers.

“Today, we create, manage and fulfill almost all of our orders on our central Oracle platform, reducing complexity and shrinking the risk of errors. Only 0.1 percent of orders require manual intervention, freeing our customer service team to deliver an even higher quality of service to our customers. The results are clear: we have measured a five point improvement in our net promoter scores since implementing the Oracle platform.”

The spokesperson concludes: “Succeeding in today’s communications industry demands continual innovation to meet ever-higher customer expectations around service depth, breadth and quality. Our partnership with IBM and Oracle enables us to launch new services to encourage loyalty, increase ARPU and boost profitability.”

Leading communications company

This communications company owns and operates networks in dozens of countries around the world.

Solution components

  • GBS AD&I - EA - Oracle
  • IBM Global Business Services
  • Oracle Siebel CRM On-demand

Take the next step

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