Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

  • The 2014 Embarrassing Customer Service Awards

    on Dec 19, 14 • in Beyond Billing, CEM, Opinion, Slider • with No Comments

    The 2014 Embarrassing Customer Service Awards

    It was wide open. But at the last moment a complete outsider raced up the inside rail and took it. The coveted (or not) BillingViews Award for embarrassing customer service is announced. A strong contender was the phone company who was unable to take an order correctly. Or send the right SIMs. Or activate the right SIMs. And who’s IVR system had been broken for two months, the better to frustrate you. Another runner was the phone company that left its ‘your call is very important to us’ customers on hold for so long that they decided to

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  • Advertising – predicting or persuading behaviour?

    on Dec 17, 14 • in Analytics, Beyond Billing, Interviews, Opinion, Slider • with No Comments

    Advertising – predicting or persuading behaviour?

    If communications service providers are to get to grips with the ideas around context based offers, it is important to understand what is already possible. And how advertising works now. In order to make a start, we decided to call an old friend, Alex Shifrin, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi in Moscow.   BV: Alex, our industry is trying to understand how to offer context based, almost predictive based services to their customers. What is possible right now? AS: Actually, there’s nothing really new to the concept of predictive advertising. Advertising is normally used to

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  • Mobile payments – Tibet leads the way

    on Dec 12, 14 • in Opinion, Payments, Slider • with No Comments

    Mobile payments – Tibet leads the way

    Unlikely as this may sound, remote regions of China are seeing the fastest, in some cases amazing, growth in mobile payments. Over half of Tibet’s online purchases are made using mobiles. This according to Alipay, the payments part of Alibaba, the Chinese social media and e-commerce giant recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Ignoring that irony and any comments about monopolies that might spring to mind, Alipay now has 300 million subscribers. Clearly, in China, whatever the question online, the answer is Alibaba. This might come across as quite calming news. Everyone in

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  • Advertising: Facebook vs Apple

    on Dec 9, 14 • in Beyond Billing, Digital Content, Opinion, Slider • with No Comments

    Advertising: Facebook vs Apple

    In the increasingly tense struggle to get the advertising model right, Apple and Facebook – amongst others – are at each other’s throats. Reminiscent of the Kroes vs Vodafone battle (quote of the year –“Vodafone aren’t against roaming alliances. They just want a monopoly on them.”) here is the story so far… Apple CEO Tim Cook said that companies with built-in advertising as a business model are treating their customers like products. He included social media sites in his statement. He followed this up with a note while explaining Apple’s privacy policy by saying that

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  • Is advertising the new battleground?

    on Dec 3, 14 • in Analytics, Beyond Billing, Opinion, Privacy & Security, Slider • with No Comments

    Is advertising the new battleground?

    Advertising is one ‘arena’ which is changing beyond all recognition. Online advertising is set to grow by 15 percent in 2014, as advertisers spend $140 billion on campaigns this year. Ways of measuring the effectiveness of campaigns is also changing. Simply counting the number of clicks is definitely on the way out. This is partly because online advertising is so vulnerable to fraud. A recent Mercedes campaign was hijacked and over half the clicks were generated by bots. The advertising industry is more vulnerable to fraudsters than other industries such as financial services, or e-commerce

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  • IoT hots up, set to disappear

    on Dec 2, 14 • in Beyond Billing, Opinion, Slider • with 4 Comments

    IoT hots up, set to disappear

    Finance advisors Hampleton report that $9.4 billion has been spent in buying Internet of Things (IoT) companies over the past three years. An eye watering $5 billion of that was invested in the first nine months of 2014. According to IDC, it is a market that is set to be work $7.1 trillion by 2020. It seems that the new dot com boom is a dot thing frenzy. We are still wondering, though, what role that operators will play. The first thing is to recognise that probably by 2020, the terms M2M, already scarce, and

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  • Everyone’s a target – that’s no lie

    on Nov 28, 14 • in Analytics, Beyond Billing, Big Data, Opinion, Slider • with 1 Comment

    Everyone’s a target – that’s no lie

    The world is currently debating whether being stalked by Google and then being offered a photo album is a cool thing or a massive invasion of privacy. While the debate is going on, it is happening. And, like ATMs and bank branches, we will accept it whether we like it or not. Facebook has just issued its users with new privacy terms and conditions, which say that ‘you are in charge,’ while looking further into how to better target adverts at you. Google (other search engines are available) knows what you are looking for.

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  • Wi-Fi’s winning ways

    on Oct 3, 14 • in Beyond Billing, Opinion, Slider • with No Comments

    Wi-Fi’s winning ways

    What would possess a leading tier one telco to roll out a massive national Wi-Fi network that would clearly reduce customer dependence on the existing 3G/4G/LTE infrastructure and, subsequently, revenues? It’s a valid question, especially when it is Australia’s leading mobile and fixed line operator Telstra, a company that invests heavily in the latest technology, undertakes massive transformation programs and continuously defies industry trends by increasing profits. Telstra seems adept at breaking the mold and it may be worth taking a closer look to see what logic lies behind this latest Wi-Fi move. If you

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  • Did the internet slow down for you?

    on Sep 22, 14 • in Beyond Billing, Opinion • with No Comments

    Did the internet slow down for you?

    Was it just me or did the internet actually slow down last week? And when I say ‘slow down’ where I am, it was terminally slow to be exact. I’m in France, a purportedly first world country that can manage, at best, to deliver 2 Mbps ADSL connectivity to me. Even in Thailand I was able to get 12 Mbps! It’s not that I live in a remote area either. My village is located 5 km from a major town and 20 km to two major cities. The two nearest villages boast speeds of

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  • Apple’s ‘token’ offering

    on Sep 17, 14 • in Opinion, Payments, Slider • with No Comments

    Apple’s ‘token’ offering

    It’s been a week since I wrote about the impending disruption Apple Pay would bring to the payments industry as a whole. It appears that after the initial excitement of the new iPhone 6 and Apple Watch announcements died down, others turned their attention to the Apple Pay story and realized just what an impact it is likely to make. ZDNet’s Natalie Gagliordi reckoned Apple Pay “was either an innovative kickstarter to an industry struggling to reach critical mass, or an uninspiring riff on pre-existing technology that’s unlikely to move the industry’s proverbial needle.” Other

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