Amdocs, a leading provider of customer experience systems, released the findings of a global research report, conducted by analyst firm Heavy Reading, which highlights the importance for service providers around the world to integrate charging and policy management capabilities to enable their future pricing strategies for data services.

The research is based on 64 qualitative interviews with decision makers in director, vice president or chief executive roles from 32 service providers from across Europe (13), North America (9) and Asia-Pacific (10), from both IT and marketing departments, and comes to the conclusion that the recent rise in new data price plans is being driven by the need for service providers to offer customers an improved data experience and to better monetize their investments in network capacity.

“We can expect new data price plans to flood the market as data usage skyrockets with the introduction of improved tablets and smartphones, such as the iPhone 5, BlackBerry Torch and the Nokia N series,” said Ari Banerjee, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading.

The research shows a global consensus that the integration of charging and policy management capabilities is required to monetize the new data pricing strategies.

Key research findings reveal that charging subscribers based on the customer experience provided is gaining mindshare, but existing systems are challenged to enable it:

Marketing departments want to introduce more sophisticated data price plans -

  • 83% of respondents say their marketing organizations are asking IT to enable innovative data price plans;
  • 90%+ say their companies are looking to create packages across lines of business, customer types and payment methods;
  • 86% of providers plan to launch tiered pricing plans;
  • 82% plan to launch single data plans for multiple devices (e.g. tablets, smartphones, etc.);
  • 67% plan to launch family plans.

Integrated charging and policy management capabilities are required to enable these more sophisticated data price plans -

  • 85% of respondents see a need to integrate charging and policy management capabilities. Integration between charging and policy management will allow providers to offer a better customer experience by introducing plans that relate to the device type, network status, customer information across all lines of business and other parameters.

IT organizations find it difficult to deliver -

  • 80% of respondents do not think their existing policy management systems, deployed to support network-related use cases (bandwidth management, fair usage, bill shock) can support more advanced use cases, such as data plans across multiple lines of business, payment methods and spend limits, and more;
  • 10% have tried to integrate charging and policy management systems and failed.

“This survey validates the need for better integrated charging and policy management capabilities in order for service providers to create offer and monetize the next generation of data services,” said Rebecca Prudhomme, Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing at Amdocs. “But we must remember that end customers also want to get their new services in a simple and intuitive manner. This is exactly where value-based pricing should come into play. For example, a movie package that has data and speed prerequisites already embedded into it for a high-quality experience will offer end customers the ease of use and personalized services for which they are willing to pay more.”

Amdocs’ recent acquisition of leading policy management vendor Bridgewater Systems will enable the company to offer the market a pre-integrated convergent charging and policy management solution, scalable to meet the needs of the largest service providers. The Amdocs Convergent Charging software incorporates Amdocs’ innovative, real-time charging technology - Amdocs Turbo Charging - and holds the industry record for real-time charging performance, demonstrating the ability to process 276 million prepaid calls during peak calling hours. (Source: Amdocs)

By MediaBUZZ