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Asian service providers need to put customers at the heart of their business

Service providers in Asia are facing tough competition and to stay ahead of the pack, they need to put customers at the heart of their business.

They can do this through the use of customer experience management (CEM) tools, which enable them to implement, manage and measure CEM programmes.

This was one of the chief messages of this year's TM Forum's Management World Asia meet held in Singapore from 12 to 13 March.

TM Forum is a global, non-profit association focused on enabling service provider agility and innovation. It has over 130 members across Asia, and nearly 1,000 members worldwide.

Approximately 300 people attended Management World Asia this year. At the forum, C-level keynotes from Axiata Digital, DST Communications, Groupon, Hong Kong Broadband Network,Indosat, Mobilink, MTS India, PT XL Axiata, QNET, Robi Axiata, Research in Motion and Starhub offered strategies for survival. Over 60 speakers from across the globe addressed issues related to driving innovation in the new digital age.

Driving innovation

Service providers across the Asia Pacific region are facing rapidly maturing mobile sectors resulting in declining top and bottom lines. While mobile data services are key to many operators' longer term strategies, simply building out more capacity and competing on price alone is not a sustainable approach in the digital world, they must better understand their customers, reduce churn and drive digital service delivery.

According to TM Forum's most recent Asia Insights report, released at Management World Asia, top-line service revenues grew by just eight percent across the region in 2012. Only China and Indonesia saw double-digit growth.

"A number of emerging markets in Asia have five or more operators, leading to fierce competition," said Karan Henrik Ponnudurai, chief innovation officer for Axiata Digital. "As the markets mature, there is a smaller pool of potential new users, while much of the population has little disposable income. Competing on price alone is a race to the bottom so better segmentation is a key aim for many during 2013, and operators should focus on improving customer experience to succeed in the current marketplace."

Martin Creaner, president of TM Forum, opened Management World Asia on 12 March with a keynote stressing the importance of CEM and analytics for operators as digital services present opportunities and drive the need for radical change in all aspects of business operations.

"TM Forum's Management World Asia is a unique and valuable opportunity for the region's already successful leaders to come together, offer their insight and show others how to succeed in a highly competitive market," said Creaner. "In order to succeed, service providers must learn how to refine their business models to exploit future services, develop innovative new digital services, adopt and expand cloud computing services, and bolster revenue assurance programmes."


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