Intelligent Data Operations for Analytics
Improve customer services by gaining a more holistic overview of operations across the enterprise.
Combine data from disparate systems with Pentaho to create a single view of the customer.
Swisscom's customers include both private households and corporate businesses, two groups that have very different requirements for telecom services. Residential consumers typically care most about monthly costs and broadband download speeds, while corporate businesses pay a premium for prioritized dedicated customer service and technical support, with service-level agreements (SLAs) guaranteeing a certain standard of speed and service.
To serve these different needs, the company operates separate business units dedicated to specific products and services. Each business unit uses a wide variety of systems to underpin its operations, including everything from enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications to support ticket management solutions.
This complex organizational model led to Swisscom building up data silos in each of its business areas. These silos made it almost impossible to gain a unified overview of customers, contracts, service status, billing positions and products across the enterprise.
With a focus on continuously improving customer service, Swisscom identified the need for a centralized hub for real-time operational and customer data. In particular, the company wanted to streamline the management of service support requests, so that it could coordinate a timely, comprehensive response.
Head of Information Architecture at Swisscom Business Customers, Emanuel Zehnder, comments, "Like our range of service offerings, our systems landscape is complex, with dozens of data management platforms used across different departments. We wanted a single, 360-degree overview of service operations across the whole enterprise to help our staff to serve customers even more effectively."
To gain a 360-degree overview of business operations, Swisscom Business Customers division knew it needed to build a single unified platform for data integration and validation. After evaluating solutions from several vendors, Swisscom selected Pentaho Data Integration, a Lumada portfolio product.
"Pentaho Data Integration met all our requirements at a very attractive price-point," recalls Zehnder. "We were pleased by the comprehensive feature set and the simplicity of the workflows — particularly the streamlined integration process with Apache Kafka. Other solutions we considered required you to run agent software on source systems, which makes deployment much more complex. Pentaho has a centralized integration process, which makes connecting business systems quicker and easier, using Dynamic SQL capabilities.
"We already knew about Pentaho Data Integration because it is integrated into some of the other software that we use. This not only speaks to the quality of the Pentaho solution, but it also means that there is a thriving community of users, and plenty of advice and support available."
Over 30 business units use the data managed and processed by Pentaho, including marketing, sales, quality assurance, and service operations management. The team quickly learned the skills required to deploy a Pentaho solution that can extract, transform, load (ETL) data from disparate systems into a central configuration management system.
"We worked closely with different business units to build a real-time data harmonization layer based on Pentaho Data Integration," comments Zehnder. "This allows us to integrate new systems into the platform very quickly and easily and provides a single point of control where we can check the data consistency and standardize the data formats. This ensures that everyone who works with our data is speaking the same language."
Based on open source software, the Pentaho solution offers a smooth, cost-efficient and flexible transition from evaluation to enterprise-class services without a hard vendor lock-in. This flexibility was a key factor in Swisscom's decision to select Pentaho Data Integration.
With the solution in place, Swisscom can securely extract valuable information on customers, service operations, products, contracts, assets and more from disparate systems. Since all data is stored in a single, easily accessible platform, users now benefit from a unified overview of operations.
"Previously, if a member of staff wanted to check details about customer contracts across products and services, the data would be compiled and harmonized from up to six different inventory systems," says Zehnder. "This was a time-consuming process that could slow us down in providing status updates and resolving issues."
Today, the situation is very different: The Pentaho solution currently processes more than 100 million data records daily, giving users access to a central hub where they can consume data quickly and easily.
Swisscom Business Customers expects the platform to grow significantly as new cloud environments and services create additional data integration requirements. The company already plans to integrate 20 more systems, and soon expects Pentaho Data Integration to be handling even more data records per day.
With a clearer view of operations in place, Swisscom can give stakeholders direct access to consolidated information. "Thanks to the Pentaho solution component, we have been able to create a holistic view of all contracts, service status details, and SLAs in a single, harmonized data model." says Zehnder. "We also let stakeholders access these details online, so they can check on their accounts and service status at their own convenience, 24 hours a day."
Thanks to Pentaho Data Integration, Swisscom can quickly and easily aggregate data from dozens of business systems to gain a holistic view of customers and service operations. This insight empowers employees to deliver a better, highly tailored and customized service.
Zehnder concludes, "Pentaho Data Integration has already cemented itself as a vital tool in our customer service strategy."
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Thanks to the Pentaho solution component, we have been able to create a holistic view of all contracts, service status details, and SLAs in a single, harmonized data model.
– Emanuel Zehnder, Head of Information Architecture, Swisscom Business Customers