Complex telco product portfolio, maximum agility thanks to intelligent decisioning
SAS helps automate, optimize and manage the complete offer process.
Higher conversion rate
via relevant real-time offers
German telco provider 1&1 collaborates with SAS and partners to improve offer management, accelerate time to market and enhance the customer experience
More people work remotely now than ever before. The “always on” mentality of telecommunications customers means they will not be satisfied with pure connectivity alone. To stand out among the competition, a modern provider should have a broad product portfolio, including add-on services that deliver real added value to customers.
A constantly growing product portfolio – and the resulting complexity – was also the reason why 1&1, a leading provider of broadband and mobile communications products in Germany, was looking for a new decisioning solution. The company’s primary goals: improve the process of integrating new offerings and accelerate time to market.
To achieve this, 1&1 put together a team responsible for offers and business rules management. The company also was looking for a solution to bundle hundreds of complex business rules with analytics so it could rapidly present relevant offers to customers and maintain more consistency. Having a central platform to manage rules and analytics would provide a foundation for making sound decisions quickly across every touch point.
Building on years of success using marketing automation as part of the SAS Customer Intelligence 360 suite, 1&1 selected SAS Intelligent Decisioning to incorporate analytics and more complex decisioning rules in its offer management. This sets the stage for future one-stop marketing by combining the application of business rules and decisioning with campaign execution. SAS Intelligent Decisioning runs on the open, cloud-native analytics platform SAS Viya, which makes the solution fully scalable and ready to adapt to future requirements.
It takes less time and effort to create and execute marketing campaigns, while our customers get better offers. Oliver Seitz Director of Programs, Platforms and Monetization 1&1
From zero to go-live in just six months
1&1 is implementing SAS Intelligent Decisioning in multiple phases. The first phase focuses on optimizing offerings for DSL customers. 1&1 brought in elanyo and Accenture in addition to working closely with SAS. In just a few months, a task force of cross-functional teams with numerous specialists in parallel virtual streams set up the entire infrastructure, including a real-time database and business rules engine. A range of departments was involved at an early stage, working closely together. While the COVID-19 pandemic increased the complexity of the implementation, the project was completed on time and on budget, thanks to virtual meetings and the dedication and agility of the teams involved.
“It was actually just as fast as if we had all been on-site,” says Oliver Seitz, Director of Programs, Platforms and Monetization at 1&1. “But collaborating on such a complex project can only work if everyone pulls together. SAS’ flexibility ensured that integrating the system into our operations went smoothly and that we could go live in such a short time frame.”
Once employees complete the online training, they have a high success rate using the SAS solution. The successful rollout, however, also depended on getting buy-in from the executive team. “Offer management is a key element of our business,” Seitz says. “In this respect, the user base and use cases will continue to grow.”
1&1 – Facts & Figures
Accelerating go-to-market strategy
The time to market for integrating new offers into the business rules has shortened considerably. DSL offerings are also reaching more existing customers. This allows the 1&1 team to react quickly to the latest developments in the market. Rules-based campaigns can go live in a matter of days.
“What this means in practice is that it takes less time and effort to create and execute marketing campaigns, while our customers get better offers,” Seitz explains.
A new use case is marketing high-speed features in relevant bundles based on current usage patterns. In near-real time, 1& tells customers when their monthly data volume is approaching the limit. They can easily purchase additional data through their preferred channel (email, text message, mobile app). Previously, all that was available was a generic message. Now –with these specific, user-oriented offers – the customer experience improves dramatically, which results in a higher conversion rate.
In the coming months, 1&1 intends to improve more of its product range. The next phase will focus on the development of rules for mobile phone offers.
Then the rules will be subjected to A/B testing. This can involve testing different rule sets against each other or using analytics to optimize next-best offers.
More personalization in the online shop
“Our goal is to optimize personalized offers in real time,” Seitz says. “We determine the answers to questions like, ‘Which value-based add-on option is appropriate?’ and ‘Which products should not be advertised for selected contracts?’”
From a long-term perspective, more data (obtained via consent and permissions in compliance with data protection rules) will enhance the offer logic, leading to perfectly tailored offers reaching customers. The result? A better customer experience because the customer receives offers for relevant products consistently across multiple channels.
“It’s all about accompanying the customer throughout the life cycle and offering them real added value,” Seitz says. This means offering services that go beyond the conventional products, such as educational content or optional features.
In the future, for example, 1&1 plans to launch campaigns with SAS Customer Intelligence 360 and link them with automation to apply comprehensive contact rules. “This would give us everything from a single source – but we have to implement it one step at a time,” Seitz says. Channels and goals would need to be aligned over time.
Lessons learned: Cross-functional teams and planning specific steps
“All telecommunications providers are struggling with the increasing complexity and breadth of their portfolios, especially with the new use cases that 5G technology is creating,” Seitz says. “SAS solutions give us everything we need. The sustainable platform architecture will also be beneficial for other steps on our road map.”