Who Owns the Customer? New Amdocs Survey Finds Battle Continues Between Service Providers, "Over-The-Top" Players and Device Manufacturers

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Amdocs, the leading provider of customer experience systems and services, today released the findings of a global survey that explores attitudes toward partnering between three groups that help to define the customer experience: communications service providers, "over-the-top" (OTT) players – such as streaming video providers – and device manufacturers. The research found that each of these groups acknowledged the importance of forming strategic partnerships to achieve business growth – even though each is heavily invested in owning the all-important customer experience.

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Key findings of the survey, conducted by leading research firm Coleman Parkes, include:

  • The battle continues over who owns the customer: sixty-six percent of service providers say they must own the customer in any partnering agreement, while only 13 percent of device manufacturers and 14 percent of OTT players are prepared to envision a future in which they cede ownership of the customer experience
  • Everyone agrees on service providers' unique core assets: while it's not surprising that service providers rate their brand strength, network quality and customer data as core assets, the survey found that both over-the-top players and device manufacturers largely agreed. The broad consensus on service providers' key assets bodes well for services providers and provides a solid foundation for partnering.
  • Service providers increasingly see OTT players as potential partners and sources of innovation: counter to conventional wisdom, the survey found that 70 percent of service providers view OTT players as potential partners, rather than a threat. Sixty-four percent of service providers say that OTT players bring innovation to the industry. And yet, 42 percent of service providers said they could offer any service an OTT player can deliver – but better.
  • A cautious willingness to share core assets: the survey found that the three groups are willing to offer and expose their core assets to achieve partnering goals: 74 percent of OTT players and 73 percent of device manufacturers are willing to expose and share their core assets. Even more notably, 56 percent of service providers are also willing to do so.
  • "What's in it for me?" Different players have different reasons for partnering. While all three groups view partnerships as a means to raise revenues and cut costs, they also have separate motivations: 40 percent of service providers are looking to extend network reach through partnerships, while 34 percent view partnerships as a tool for developing new products and services. Device manufacturers ranked the ability to deliver a seamless experience as well as quality of service (QoS), a key service provider attribute, as a key value in partnering, and 69 percent of OTT players cite QoS as important to their ability to compete and survive.

"It's a whole new partnership landscape for service providers," said Ian Parkes of Coleman Parkes. "While service providers used to form partnerships mainly for roaming and with device manufacturers, today they must navigate a more complex environment full of over-the-top, Internet, financial-settlement and other players. Our research goal was to explore this new world, and we were surprised that service providers view OTT players as an opportunity, not a threat, and by the broad agreement on the value of service providers' core assets."

"One of the key findings of this research is that while service providers, device manufacturers and over-the-top players may have different sets of interest, they increasingly recognize the need for collaboration and partnership to achieve common goals," said Rebecca Prudhomme, Amdocs vice president for product and solutions marketing. "To partner effectively, service providers need a trusted advisor to help them clarify their strategies. Successful partnerships demand open and effective partner management systems for revenue sharing, easy onboarding of new partners, high QoS, and a winning customer experience that is only possible with integrated IT systems that effectively leverage the customer data."

The survey is based on quantitative research involving 100 telephone interviews among executive decision makers at service providers, OTT players and device manufacturers across North America, Caribbean and Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. The research was conducted between June and July 2012 by Coleman Parkes.

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About Amdocs

For 30 years, Amdocs has ensured service providers' success and embraced their biggest challenges. To win in the connected world, service providers rely on Amdocs to simplify the customer experience, harness the data explosion, stay ahead with new services and improve operational efficiency. The global company uniquely combines a market-leading BSS, OSS and network control product portfolio with value-driven professional services and managed services operations. With revenue of approximately $3.2 billion in fiscal 2011, Amdocs and its over 19,000 employees serve customers in more than 60 countries.

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For more information, visit Amdocs at www.amdocs.com.

Amdocs' Forward-Looking Statement

This press release includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements about Amdocs' growth and business results in future quarters. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be obtained or that any deviations will not be material. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause future results to differ from those anticipated. These risks include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic conditions, Amdocs' ability to grow in the business segments it serves, adverse effects of market competition, rapid technological shifts that may render the Company's products and services obsolete, potential loss of a major customer, our ability to develop long-term relationships with our customers, and risks associated with operating businesses in the international market. Amdocs may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, however the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These and other risks are discussed at greater length in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011, filed on December 8, 2011 and our quarterly 6-K filed forms furnished on February 2, May 15 and August 16, 2012.