Making Big Data Work for SMEs

Finding new business is, without a shadow of doubt, the toughest job of all for a reseller and it gets harder every day. The secret to winning new business is to fully understand your existing customers, what they bought and why they bought from you. It is not random, there will be patterns.

You need to ask questions to understand their business; company size, turnover, location, age of company, industry sector, year-end, new technology, increased competition, growing, downsizing, opening new offices, new management, merger, acquisition, existing suppliers, regulation changes. Map this data to your prospects and obvious targets will appear.

Finding and understanding these patterns is critical to winning new business. This is where data analysis and the importance of analytics comes in to play. Analysing existing customers will provide the insight that will ultimately provide the answers to where new business is more likely to come from and why.

Finding out why is important because winning new business has and always will be a numbers game; as described succinctly in the popular phrase ‘ABC; Always Be Calling’. The more calls you make, the more opportunities you will discover. Apply insight and understanding provided by analytics to the ABC principal and winning business becomes more likely.

  • Analytics is about working smart, not hard.
  • Analytics drives understanding.
  • Analytics will help you create a target list of businesses who want to buy from you.
  • Analytics will help create a differentiated and tailored offering that should match a prospect’s needs.

Combine analytics with good salesmanship and perfect timing and new business will flow.

Can Business Intelligence Exist Without Big Data?

Although true Business Intelligence (BI) depends on Big Data to exist, the term “Big Data” can mean different things to different people.

Big Data is about gathering multiple data-sets and vast quantities of unstructured business (and social) data using the power of analytics. Data queries provide timely and valuable answers and insights in relation to business KPIs, trends over time, hidden relationships, impending issues and sales opportunities.

For a Communications Service Provider/Reseller, various communications-related data can be pulled into a central ‘Big Data’ repository then analysed using tools like iCall Suite from Tollring. Continuous analysis delivers incredible insights and improved business performance for both the CSP and their customers.

What Do You Say to a Customer Who Asks What Information They Can Get From Our Communications Platform?

Analytics within the realms of Unified Communications (UC) can deliver incredible levels of business insight, which can create a competitive edge for both the reseller and their customers.

For resellers selling and supporting cloud services (such as hosted voice, UC, Contact Centre and mobility solutions), understanding which products customers have and use, the quantity of users, utilisation levels, their complete product mix, attachment rates, security compliance requirements, network performance, Grade of Service (GoS) and missed customer interactions are essential for continued business success, growth and customer retention.

Resellers need to remind themselves that what is important to their business is just as important to their customers. Key information from their communications system that is easy to understand, delivered in the right format and in a timely fashion provides insights that are critical to long term business success.

Some Real World Examples of how Business is Benefitting from Big Data and Analytics

Telecoms fraud remains a huge issue, not just in the UK but around the world. It is a multi-billion pound problem that hits the profit margins of Communications Service Providers (CSP) and Resellers. Fraudsters are systematically hacking into PBXs and making fraudulent outbound calls to unchecked high cost destinations. It is widely quoted that the average PBX hack runs up a bill of around £10k. In some cases, this can be hundreds of thousands of pounds over a single weekend.

Telecoms fraud sours customer relationships and destroys customer confidence. By using Big Data and Analytics, the fight against this telecoms fraud is being conquered. Major CSPs that have deployed Tollring’s fraud and credit management solution have collectively prevented over 9000 PBX hacks on their network during 2017, which based on the average £10k per attack has saved them, their resellers and their customers the vast sum of £90m.

Tollring’s solution captures vast amounts of data from around the CSP network, maps this data to a live database of call destinations, maps to CRM, maps to customer tariffs, maps to resellers and then applies powerful self-learning AI and Analytics. It is capable of not just identifying fraud, but using API triggers to intelligently stop fraud in real-time without impacting a customer’s day to day business.

Most importantly we can now use analytics to interrogate the Big Data being gathered by the fraud and credit management system to identify trends, patterns, weaknesses and vulnerabilities and deploy proactive mechanisms to prevent and avoid fraud happening. Once it becomes too difficult for fraudsters to make easy money, we hope they will eventually move away and look at other technologies and new ways of making money!

As featured in Comms Business