InterComms :: International Communications Project
  Intercomms Issue 23

Solvatio logoBuilding Better Customer Care with Ascom

Adel Njoum, Senior IT Project Manager at Ascom, addresses the company’s solution Mobile SelfCare Application designed for Swisscom Switzerland and how it simplifies and automates the mobile mutating process

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Ascom, headquartered in Switzerland, is a global leader of mission critical communications solutions, with subsidiaries in 17 countries and a workforce of more than 1,600 employees. Ascom’s Business Unit Systems & Solutions provides innovative software and solutions for business and operations support. The service offering include consulting, planning, implementation, service support, as well as the complete operation of large-scale IT solutions. Ascom registered shares (symbol ASCN) are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange in Zurich (Switzerland).

Q: Let’s talk about the need for the Mobile SelfCare Application in the telecom environment and who it’s designed for?
A: The highly competitive telecoms environment consisting of the top Telco’s, or CSP’s as they like to be called now, is forcing each telecom company to get faster, smarter and more efficient in order to help deliver the constantly changing wishes of Corporate Customers in the form of e-orders as fast, flexible and practically as possible. Ascom started six years ago, in co-operation with Swisscom Engineers to design and implement and guide, the Application for Mobile SelfCare for Corporate Customers of Swisscom Switzerland.

Q: Can you give us an overview what this solution contains?
A: The solution moves the overheads of mobile subscription modification from the customer service desk to corporate customer’s also known as commercial business unit customers. These can also be retail partners, as well as retail partners in the role of fleet manager of corporate customers. This is done within a web-based, securely accessed SelfCare Application allowing the fleet manager to manage their whole mobile inventory. The need of these customers was to be able to:

1. Get an overview of their mobile inventory and actual mobile services
2. Submit single and mass mutations on the mobile subscriptions such as:

  • roaming settings, e.g. setting limits and purchasing data packages
  • change the subscription type or modify additional mobile services
  • block a SIM card, order replacement or additional SIM card
  • suspend/reactivate a subscription or change a phone number
  • change invoice, summary or itemised statement addresses
  • manage organisational data or change the cost centres

3. Get an overview of all submitted e-orders

Q: How does this lead to business benefits from the new service?
A: The main benefit for the business is increasing the customer satisfaction by covering the need of corporate customers for a SelfCare Application, reducing the Workload Equivalent internally at the customer service desk by allowing Corporate Customers to manage their mobile inventory and increasing quality of service by using Automation. Another advantage is removing the bottleneck of waiting for a customer care representative to handle these customers’ needs.

Q: What challenges were there in the deployment and to realize the solution?
A: The first and biggest challenge was the highly complicated contracting system in Swisscom. As we tried to offer the Corporate Customers the highest flexibility in choosing their rate plans and contract types, we had to offer many different options in many different packages which need to be mutated and changed over the years to fulfil the customer’s needs. The answer was a complicated algorithm enquiring the data from the backend systems and putting it in a data structure matching the exact organisational structure of the specific customer.

The second significant challenge was to secure confidential information especially seeing as the Mobile SelfCare Application is a web application that will be used to provide the service for external retail partners. Ascom integrated a state of the art protection system to defend against any hacker attackers and to protect the information.

The third was to be able to guarantee good performance for processing the huge data volume of the millions of records that have to be refreshed from external sources and have to be maintained during online modifications from the Mobile SelfCare System in real-time keeping the consistency of the data.

The fourth has been the short time for Return on Investment which means for us that the SelfCare System had to be online in the given time.

Q: Have you reached the satisfaction your customer expected?
A: Yes, we were able to deliver an innovative solution which covered the main needs of Swisscom Switzerland and their corporate customers.

"With the project BlueLine the customer’s interactions within the business area Mobile are shifted successfully to the eChannel. Therefore, this project encourages the target to Channel Shift and Automation. A successful realization results in a noticeable benefit for the customer (easy and user-friendly handling) and an additional value for Swisscom (automated processing of client orders). The business unit Customer Service counts on this project. "

Patrick Bellini, Project Director for Channel Shift at Swisscom

BlueLine is part of the Channel Shift.

In Summary:

The Challenge

  • Facilitate the Customer mobile subscription Modification Process for Corporate Customers enabling single and mass mutations at any time
  • Real-time online order processing for a quick submitting of e-orders
  • Business Process Automation considering complex business rules
  • Real-time online data enquiry for active customers
  • System Integration while securing and tracing all transactions
  • Short time for Return on Investment

The Solution

  • Move the over head of mobile subscription modification from the customer service desk to fleet manager of the Corporate Customers, retail partners in general as well as retail partners in the role of fleet manager of Corporate Customers
  • A web based securely accessed self care system allowing fleet manager to manage their hole mobile inventory

The Benefit

  • Increasing customer satisfaction
  • Reduce the Workload Equivalent in the customer service desk by allowing the corporate customers to manage their mobile inventory
  • Increase quality of service by using Automation
  • Removing the bottleneck of waiting for a customer care representative

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