telecom-iam-blogOur digital behavior is shifting to mobile devices, a trend that is driving explosive growth in mobile usage. Today there are more than 3.7 billion unique mobile users worldwide, and that number is climbing. While this is exciting news for the telecommunications sector, it can also be challenging as telecom providers strive to deliver fast, seamless mobile service to a rapidly expanding customer base.

The demands are intensifying with more mobile users, more use cases and more mobile apps. Immediate response times for messaging, video streaming and app functionality are an ingrained customer expectation. Plus telecom providers have to meet the performance and uptime terms of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and comply with 3GPP specifications, the standard for mobile systems beyond 3G.

From nano-satellites, to small cells and distributed antenna systems, telecom providers rely on the most advanced technologies to deliver exceptional mobile services and enhance customer experiences. Yet at the heart of this complex ecosystem is customer identity data enabling every interaction. Having the right customer identity management platform is an important part of authenticating subscribers and delivering mobile services in three key ways:

1. High Customer Volumes Require Web-Scale Identity Management

Legacy identity management solutions were not built to handle the web-scale subscriber traffic the mobile industry now experiences. Performance is often slow and the systems are complex to operate and expensive to maintain. What’s more, support for some of these older systems has been phased out, making it even more difficult and costly to operate. They create a bottleneck that telecom providers simply can’t afford.

Capable of managing hundreds of millions of users simultaneously, some of today’s identity management solutions are designed to handle the massive scale of mobile customers. These systems ensure the only thing customers experience is fast access to their accounts, messages and digital media no matter how many other customers are using their mobile devices.

2. Centralizing Customer Data Improves Customer Experience, Operations and Security

Decentralized customer identity data can hinder telecom companies’ ability to keep pace with growth. In some cases, each messaging app has its own store of subscriber data. Organizations can’t easily share this siloed data among different applications and business functions. Plus, decentralized data creates disjointed user experiences. It’s also more difficult to secure data and comply with regulations when customer information is scattered throughout the organization.

A modernized identity management solution can centralize data storage and management, providing a wealth of advantages. Managing data from a centralized repository rather than storing and managing data at the application level is a best practice that enables seamless access to data across apps in addition to improved security. It also reduces costs and the complexity of redundant network technologies.

3. Personalized Outreach Is an Important Market Differentiator

Aside from the challenges of poor performance and de-centralized data, legacy systems can’t support innovative customer engagement initiatives that require rich customer profile data and fast time-to-market for new apps. Telecom providers can miss out on opportunities to differentiate themselves in this highly competitive market.

Implementing a modernized identity management platform enables telecommunications companies to quickly introduce new services as part of their customer experience strategy. It provides fast access to data previously trapped in separate applications and consolidates a single view of the customer. Additionally, identity APIs simplify and reduce time-to-market for new app deployments. The business can rapidly take advantage of opportunities to deliver better services and personalized offers.

* http://wearesocial.net/blog/2015/01/digital-social-mobile-worldwide-2015/

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