How Turkcell Uses Complex Event Processing for Customer Experience Management

Issue 3, 2013 Download pdf


Turkcell, a leading telecommunications provider, implemented real-time customer experience management for its millions of subscribers with Apama. While faced with challenges in managing the transactions and interactions of all its customers, Turkcell sought a solution that would provide them with the necessary real-time insight to address them. By implementing the Apama Complex Event Processing platform, Turkcell successfully increased revenue, reduced marketing campaign cycle time, and increased customer loyalty and retention.

Challenges for Mobile Service Providers

Mobile telecommunications providers (telcos) and the services they provide are fundamental to today's highly demanding and savvy customers. But regardless of how critical mobile services are to society, providers face major price-based competition that has been prevalent in the industry for the past several years. The result is that consumers consider one mobile service provider pretty much the same as another, with buying decisions based largely on the areas covered and price. Hence mobile phone customers are prone to jumping ship to a lower cost provider at the end of their contracts. It is estimated that 20-40 percent of customers jump ship to new providers each year, making customer "churn" a serious concern.

While subscriber loss is one challenge, revenue growth is another. In a commoditized market, margins as well as customer loyalty and acquisition are under constant pressure. As a result, telcos increasingly need to improve decision-making that impacts their customers using real-time data and events—referred to as “big data in motion”.

Complex Event Processing

Imagine the tens to hundreds of thousands of transactions coming from a central telco network that serves millions of subscribers. Fortunately, Complex Event Processing (CEP) can provide a solution by enabling telcos to perform real-time customer experience management with their subscribers. Through real-time visibility into data and information including events, transactions and customer interactions, telcos are better able to monitor and act on what is happening in their business in order to optimize their operations and improve the customer experience- thus reducing churn and increasing revenues.

In this scenario, CEP allows the telco’s existing applications to consume these transactions, or “big data in motion”, and transform them into a series of “events”.  By identifying particular sequences of events that indicate a particular situation or change in the customer's routine, and by then responding in real time, telcos can then embark on the next best action.

Turkcell Personalizes Customer Communications with CEP

One telco that is working on creating a more personalized, real-time marketing and customer service system is Turkcell, the leading mobile telco in Turkey with 34 million subscribers. Turkcell implemented the Apama Complex Event Processing platform to analyze customers' usage patterns on the network and respond to them quickly and accurately. The system correlates more than a million subscriber preferences per hour, using more than 200 different criteria. See Figure 1 for a detailed overview of the Apama implementation at Turkcell.

Figure 1:  Apama implementation at Turkcell

Apama sends highly targeted offers when certain usage patterns occur. These might include an alert to a pay-as-you-go subscriber that he is running low on credit, or a promotion at a local restaurant sent shortly before lunchtime. By sending these promotions in response to real-time events, Turkcell reports achieving a ten-fold increase in positive responses compared to previous efforts, such as sending a promotion with the monthly invoice. The key aspects are relevancy and timeliness. Delivering something of interest to subscribers at a time when they are most likely to be interested in it helps to increase the response rate.

Lack of timeliness and relevancy, on the other hand, results in a very low response rate. After all, a customer is not likely to be interested in a limited-time restaurant discount if she gets it after she's already left the shopping mall where that restaurant is located.

Turkcell has become far more relevant to its customers because it is able to respond to their individual preferences and behaviors. By sending out promotions tailored to each subscriber’s location, previous purchasing patterns, and time of day, Turkcell is providing something that other telcos cannot. Customer service is enhanced, churn is reduced and the company has an important market differentiator with which to attract new customers.

Excellence Awarded by Gartner

Turkcell’s initiatives were so successful that in 2012 it won the Gartner and 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards for Integrated Marketing Performance. Apama makes it easy for Turkcell’s marketers to quickly change or build new scenarios and marketing campaigns. As a result, the time to bring these campaigns to market has dropped from weeks to days.

Marketers can configure new scenarios without needing help from IT: a drag-and-drop user interface makes it possible for operational uses to make changes which formerly required code changes by IT developers. Browser-based feedback provides real-time data on campaign success. This feedback is fast enough that the staff can fine-tune marketing offers on the fly, and marketing can now respond to a customer with relevant offers within a few minutes. Most significantly, this improvement in marketing performance immediately translated into over USD 15 million of increased gross revenue.

As Turkcell's experience shows, organizations no longer have to be faceless entities. Real-time analysis of social media, and other preferences and patterns, make location-based promotions core to customer engagement. And CEP is a promising technology for achieving this.

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