Greg Owens, Alcatel-Lucent

Greg Owens, Alcatel-Lucent

Equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent has launched an extended portfolio of software and services designed to ameliorate customer experiences on both fixed and wireless networks.

The Motive CXS portfolio is comprised of four solution suites: Motive CX Management, focused on getting new devices, applications and services up and running quickly; Motive CX Analytics, which provides monitoring tools that track the performance of the devices, applications and services running on a given network; Motive CX Optimization, which is designed to enable communications providers to make better use of network capacity; and CX Consulting, which consists of a dedicated team tasked with identifying opportunities for improving the customer experience.

The reorganisation of Alcatel-Lucent’s customer experience solutions follows the 2008 acquisition of US firm Motive for around $68mn. This deal gave access to its portfolio of software solution and the Motive brand, which had already notched up a number of high-profile customers.

Speaking to IPTV News, Greg Owens, Director of Customer Experience Solutions Marketing at Alcatel-Lucent said: “What we’re announcing today is a lot of work that we’ve done to organise our company around the area of customer experience and some new software and technology that we have to support that effort.”

“We have started seeing the term “customer experience” pop up more and more often, and realised that this is exactly what Motive is doing, but also that we have other assets in the company which are doing the same thing: in our IP division we have products that are intended to measure the experience that customers have with their mobile devices, in the wireline division we have products that are designed to test lines ahead of time, so we are basically bringing all those assets together.”

Owens observed that a number of Alcatel-Lucent’s big-name customers have recently been appointing senior executives with a focus on customer experience: Telstra for example announced a Chief Customer Officer last July, and there are a lot of companies in Europe doing something similar, according to Owens, such as Telefónica and Everything Everywhere.

One key benefit of the Motive acquisition (and one which doesn’t appear to have been immediately leveraged) is the advantageous fit between Motive’s customer care and device management capabilities, and Alcatel-Lucent’s tools for monitoring network performance.

Together, these should mean that when an irate customer calls their service provider’s help desk to complain about dropped calls or slow connectivity, for example, the agent has real-time information about the customer’s experience and can immediately say, “I see that you have had four dropped calls in the past week, we are already working on it for you, and apologise for this difficulty.”

On the device side, the Motive portfolio also offers a number of tools which can make life easier for end-users, such as self-configuration tools for IPTV customers: to take one example, Alcatel-Lucent has developed an app for AT&T which enables an IPTV subscriber to see the performance of their set-top box on their iPhone or iPad, reboot device remotely, conduct dynamic bandwidth configuration and more.

The Motive portfolio also offers a tool for mobile devices that can be pushed via the OMA-DM common standard and automatically configure the device for the customer, including pushing the apps they have bought to their new device, setting up email etc.

“Bragging about who has the best network coverage and the fastest service and that kind of thing starts to get into a difficult game – we don’t think that competing on network differentiation is the answer,” said Owens.

“We think that focusing on the customer experience and delivering the best experience possible for customers is a really unique way to differentiate, and at the same time it can also drive a lot of costs out of the business.”

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