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August 2015

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    Data is going to be central to the way a company markets its products in the future. Paid social promotions are becoming key weapons as marketers try to break through the clutter of social feeds to reach their target audience. Facebook’s increasing revenue from paid ads is a good case in point to demonstrate the growing importance of paid social promotions in drawing consumer attention to their product.

    Paid social promotions are based on data as marketers use data derived from first and third party sources to identify, segment and profile their target audience. Data analysis provides marketers with audience context to drive their social marketing campaigns, which is why greater the data, the more opportunity they have to know their audience which in turn can drive greater audience engagement with their social marketing campaign. Since most data consumption is taking place through mobile devices, managing mobile data has assumed the most significance.

    But how do you marry different sets of data to create a unified audience profile?

    Mobile Data platforms are the solution as they integrate different data sets to provide answers to audience behaviors that drive successful ad campaigns. While DMP as a concept is relatively new, there are many emerging platforms that are slowly gaining traction. We have listed some of the best emerging mobile data platforms.

    Lotame is an emerging data management platform (DMP) that integrates and decomposes audience data to enable agencies, publishers and marketers to achieve effective marketing, product and business decisions. By collecting first party data from across applications, sites and campaigns and integrating it with insights and observations from other internal sources like email or CRM data as well external third party sources, the Lotame DMP uses advanced rule based data collection to capture even the most granular data points to enable marketers to build a robust wholesome audience profile. The platform allows clients to find prospective clients that mirror the behavior of existing customers, know more about existing customers and plan and execute social marketing campaigns accessible across multiple devices targeting their unique audience segment.

    AudienceArchitect™ from The Mobile Majority is another emerging mobile data platform that has the capacity to integrate and analyze trillions of first party and proprietary data to enable marketers, agencies and publishers to choose from an entire suite of options regarding audience targeting for campaigns.  AudienceArchitect™ combines its own proprietary database containing billions of records of consumer interactions with external data sources including first, second and third party data sources to provide real time audience data to optimize marketing campaign experience.

    A more technologically advanced next gen mobile data platform, Krux’s analytics driven tool synthesizes  data from different sources into a single view as well as helps businesses increase revenue by providing valuable insights tailored to individual customer segments. Krux intelligence based software delivers highly granular personalized data that enable marketers to provide game changing customer experience.

    The mobile data platform is getting increasingly crowded as the demand for DMPs continues to rise and we are sure there will be many more platforms to look out for in the future.

     

    August 31, 2015 0 comment
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    In today’s business environment, network traffic is at an all time high due to increased use of data by social media sites and now cloud services. This has created a bandwidth challenge for organizations as they struggle to ensure that there is enough bandwidth available to allow uninterrupted flow of data across offices, data centers and backup sites. It is not economically feasible to keep adding bandwidth to ensure a good transfer rate for network traffic. It makes far more economic sense to monitor network traffic for optimal bandwidth usage.

    Network traffic usage tends to fluctuate depending on business need, making it important to monitor network traffic to avoid unexpected performance breakdowns. A network breakdown in the middle of an important business activity can prove to be very costly for the organization which is why most organizations chose to take preemptive action by monitoring network traffic to identify problems before they can actually occur. A network traffic monitoring tool helps identify applications that are consuming more bandwidth as well as applications which are running slower than usual signaling a possible problem area. Monitoring network traffic also helps organizations optimize bandwidth usage according to business need by prioritizing the flow of network traffic according to business priorities. It enables organizations to validate smooth working of QoS policies.

    There are many benefits that organizations can enjoy by monitoring network traffic. These benefits are:

    • Deliver higher quality service to users by optimizing bandwidth usage
    • Reduce performance and server breakdowns
    • Make it easy to identify and troubleshoot network problems
    • Reduce cost associated with purchasing additional bandwidth for smooth network performance
    • Identify and optimize applications using high bandwidth

    It is not only big organizations that need to monitor network traffic. Even small businesses and homes with multiple devices consuming bandwidth need to be monitored for network traffic to ensure that bandwidth is not being consumed uselessly.  It is very easy to setup your system for monitoring network traffic; all you require is a basic understanding of protocols and network.

    Monitoring network traffic can be done in a few simple steps:

    • The first step is to install a network-monitoring tool on to your system. There are plenty of network monitoring tools available online and downloading one is extremely easy and simple.
    • Next, begin recording traffic data by clicking on the Start button.
    • You can then begin viewing data captured while the application is still recording or you can stop the recording to view all the captured data.
    • It is then possible to analyze the data that is already recorded while the program is still recording.

    Network traffic data can be analyzed to determine:

    • Any unwanted data being received or sent from your system.
    • Any unwanted systems participating in your network
    • Any programs using up bandwidth more than expected
    • Usage pattern across programs, how often do programs run updates etc
    • Programs consuming maximum bandwidth

    As network traffic continues to grow with the explosion of the internet and social media, monitoring network traffic has become a business and personal imperative to ensure your network is able to perform at optimal capacity.

     

    August 31, 2015 0 comment
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    The telecom sector is characterized by hyper-competition. For service providers, mobile recharge platforms have become an irreplaceable means to sense, shape and control their prepaid business.

    Mobile recharge platforms have evolved as a strong electronic recharge base and a well-proven prepaid account management solution for the mobile service providers. It diversifies the offerings in the prepaid portfolio, making it easier for the operators to retain their customers and achieve their growing business targets.

    At the same time, a prepaid mobile recharge platform also benefits the users by shrinking their go-to-market time. The prepaid recharge apps are designed to offer an easy recharge experience to the customers. Even while operating in a self-service environment, the features like online mobile recharge and exclusive prepaid recharge offers make top-up a convenient and rewarding experience, delivering personalized, interactive experience to the prepaid subscribers. The mobile users enjoy a fast and convenient way to recharge their account; at the same time the operator enjoys a low-cost, high-engagement recharge channel.

    The mobile recharge platform enables the operators to automate their operational workflow in pricing, distribution, sales and inventory.  In order to become more responsive to the new opportunities, the varied customer demands can be managed in a predictive manner. For an everyday developing telecom market, mobile recharge platforms enable electronic recharge distribution along with an unprecedented sales channel for VAS offerings. For the developed telecom markets, a mobile recharge platform provides the ability of deploying self-service prepaid recharges. They give the power to harness the full potential of a prepaid user account.

    Having a mobile recharge platform, the service providers can enjoy various benefits:

    Agility and market responsiveness

    Offering a mobile recharge platform, a service provider can take control of multiple criticalities of his business. Not only it can respond promptly to the market demands but also it can improve the customer relationship. Possessing various features, it enables to manage:

    Distribution Network– The distribution network can be built and scaled rapidly and thus, multiple channels can be managed in order to turn to the newer markets.

    Products– The demands of diversified customers can be catered with the introduction of new pricing propositions within a short time.

    Inventory– The aligning of supply with demand becomes easier with robust reporting, which enables better management of inventory.

    Commissions and Loyalty– In order to improve customer retention, performance-based commissions and loyalty programs can also be offered.

    Optimized for all scenarios

    The mobile recharge platforms are built to deliver value over multiple scenarios. Be it an assisted electronic recharge or a self-recharge- the various recharge platforms deliver a reliable and consistent user experience. It hands over the full control to the consumer by offering various self-recharge options.

    Automating voucher-based top-ups

    The mobile recharge platforms also enhance the delivery of traditional recharge products. They allow extending the service reach with various mechanisms for the management of physical vouchers. The solution enables the consumer to have full control over the recharge process at every step, staying informed about the performance of the voucher based top up products.

    Solution for the new-age customers

    For an enhanced customer centricity, the mobile recharge platforms provide websites as well as apps for both retailers and customers. The retailer app enables the retailers to effectively manage their business with the intuitive interface for recharges, electronic voucher management, transaction reports, stock management and self-service management.

    The subscriber app serves as a one stop solution for airtime transfer services and recharges.

    Summary

    The mobile recharge platforms offer dual benefits. They help the subscribers offering a fast and convenient way to top up their account. At the same time, the mobile service operators can gain a low-cost, high-engagement channel for offer delivery and recharge. Thus, the rapidly changing telecom sector expects significant advantages relying on this base.

    August 28, 2015 0 comment
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    With smartphone penetration reaching unprecedented heights, the demand for multimedia services has increased multifold. The diverse variety of contents allowed by multimedia messaging have culminated sweep uptake for the mobile operators. Support for the various multimedia formats from images to audio and video, has presented a scenario where service providers can explore new markets and extract revenues from the customer segments that were previously underused.

    The mobile subscribers are encouraged to combine text, images, audio and video knowing the fact that the Multimedia Service Center can seamlessly offer support to multimedia messaging across the growing variety of devices, including the legacy handsets as well as the new-generation standard devices.

    MMSC platform allows the mobile operators to efficiently and swiftly monetize their MMS capabilities, oversee their MMS portfolio’s every aspect ranging from content to delivery and launch new services.

    Multi-protocol support

    The MMSC platform simultaneously supports multiple protocols including GSM, CDMA, IP, LTE and IMS on a single platform. It also supports the below listed standard MMS protocols:

    • Mobile-to-mobile messaging
    • Messaging to and from mobile devices and email
    • Inter-carrier messaging
    • Value added service provider messaging
    • Full range of 3GPP audio and video formats

    Often MMSC include integrated transcoding and optimization of multimedia messages to adapt various message types to receiving device’s characteristics, giving the users a widespread access to various multimedia contents.

    Web tools enhance visibility

    The web-based tools for MMSC enable the operators to gain visibility into detailed consumer information, like traffic summary statistics, enter-carrier and VASP messages along with the total volume. Visibility into message status, User agent profiles and detailed logging events improve troubleshoot, reducing the associated costs and improving customer service.

    VAS for maximum benefits

    The maximum value of MMSC can be enjoyed by integrating additional features like blacklisting, whitelisting etc. as well as the option to restrict international text messages or blocking any specific country code.

    August 28, 2015 0 comment
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    We live in a data-rich age. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, annual global IP traffic will pass the zettabyte (1000 exabytes) threshold by the end of 2016, and will reach 2 zettabytes per year by 2019. Impressive numbers, no doubt, but, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The rules of the game have changed. The challenge before any company today is not about aggregating data and building up their stockpile. What’s important is-how does one gain the most insights from the data available? And, most importantly, how does one leverage that insight to gain an edge over competition?

    Picture this-you’re sitting with a potential client and making a sales pitch. As a part of the same, you begin spewing a host of facts and figures. Now, all this while, you’re thinking that the client is mightily impressed with your exhaustive knowledge base. But, and here’s the catch-how do you know the client isn’t actually thinking, “How will all this data help my business?”

    In other words, the number of spreadsheets, pie-charts, bar graphs, et all, you bring to the table isn’t likely to impress your client (except maybe in terms of how good your research is). The company representative you’re pitching to is probably aware of your ability (otherwise, why would he even bother meeting you?). However, they’re probably more interested in knowing if you know how to use the data at your disposal and what they need to do next. In other words-the data repository you have access to won’t do the trick-it’s that single idea or insight you offer that makes all the difference.

    So, what is the difference between data for the sake of data and actionable information? Well, let’s look at an example-say you find out that a friend has moved from the US to India. This is an isolated piece of information that doesn’t require any action on your part. Now, say you knew that the friend requires a talk plan which offers a substantial number of ISD minutes, coupled with an internet pack that offers fast and reliable connectivity for emails and browsing. That should prompt action on your part-the individual in question is a potential customer and you have a few products that can be tailored to suit his requirements. Of course, equally important is when you found out-remember; the telecom space is a cut-throat one and sometimes, even two minutes is too late. So, hopefully, your discovery was at an opportune time-perhaps while logging into your prospecting system. This means you were ready to act on the opportunity at hand. THAT is an actionable insight.

    It isn’t that simple, though. As per KPMG, the process of uncovering that vital nugget of information that may serve as an insight has become complex, owing to a rapidly evolving technological ecosystem. This has disrupted an organization’s ability to adapt-not too hard to believe, keeping in mind the breakneck speed at which technology is evolving and new sources of data are being uncovered! Data sources, such as social media feeds, customer blogs and mobile data are all playing a part in increasing complexity and creating opportunities for companies.

    Having said that, however, there are broad rules one can follow to make the most of one’s data. First and foremost, the emphasis is no longer on capturing data, but on analysing it. So, gather data from multiple sources (yes, all kinds) and then link it in a meaningful way to analysis. Next, figure out the best way of breaking down this data dump and rehash it in a way that throws up previously hidden bits of information. Finally, remember: the best data analysis is useless if the insights don’t find their way to the decision-makers in a timely manner and in a format they can understand.

    In a nutshell, bear in mind that the idea isn’t to stop collecting, analyzing and applying massive amounts of data. Quite the contrary. Just ensure that you don’t end up sending every kernel of data, every list and every chart to your client. Focus on meaningful insights and share things that pass the “so what” test. That means presenting insights and ideas that matter to the client-the “Here’s what to do” rather than “Here’s how we get there.” After all, it’s just data!

    August 27, 2015 0 comment
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    ringback tone (RBT) – also called as ringing tone- is the audible indication heard by the calling party while waiting for their call to be answered by the called destination. A caller RBT is also known as an answer tone, ringback tone, caller tune, call tone or connecting tone. Generally, it is a repeated tone which assures the calling party that the called party’s phone is ringing.

    Typically, RBTs are flexible and feature-rich value-added services. A few features include:

    • Operators usually offer complete RBT albums via self-service interfaces, such as web, SMS, and Interactive Voice Response-based with multilingual support.
    • This value added service is supported on any kind of handset.
    • RBTs can be programmed to suit the time of day, day of the week, or they can be event-driven (holidays, etc). They can also be on a shuffled playlist.
    • Caller groups can be created and assigned specific RBTs.
    • Self-recorded RBTs can be easily created and uploaded for use.

    What is the difference between ringtone and ringback tone?

    Ringtones are audible indications downloaded to and played by mobile phones. A user hears a ringtone when someone calls him, in case his phone isn’t set to silent or vibrates.

    Ringback tones or RBT aren’t downloaded to or played by the mobile phones like we download ringtones. Instead, caller tune is played by our respective service provider’s network to the callers before we answer a call or the caller is diverted to the preset voice mail. Our callers hear the ringback tone.

    Benefits of ringback tones for operators

    When the phone rings, your callers on the other side can hear a song clip from your favorite artist, a chartbuster, a beloved classic song, an evergreen music track or even a personalized recorded sound. You can also set different ringback tones for different contacts, which makes you know who’s calling you without looking at your phone screen.

    Greet your callers warm heartedly, play with their moods and explore more for an overwhelming mobile usage experience with the ringback tones and other managed VAS services.

    August 27, 2015 0 comment
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    The current trend towards tiered data plans from mobile operators has evoked a mixed reaction from customers. Some consider these offerings as a useful measure to curb “data hogs”, while others view it as yet another price-gouging tactic. There is a series of changes being made in the mobile system; each with their own significance

    Mobile service carries have been long urging users to use Wi-Fi networks wherever possible even though the security threat is on the rise.  Cautious customers who avoid using open Wi-Fi networks for the same reason need a mobile data connectivity plan for addressing their requirements. But, at the same time, data plans needs adapting very smart usage management in order to control the data expenditure for the ones who have not shopped for an unlimited plan.

    In case, you are also one of those who rely on an unlimited data plan from your carrier and aren’t either in a mood to sign on with the spirit, what ways can you manage your mobile data? Well, managing your data usage should be put on foremost priority. So, a few ways to minimize your mobile data load may include:

    1. Restrict your music, games, applications and podcasts downloads to Wi-Fi only

    While there are some applications which have a negligible size of few MBs, others can arrive at a whopping 500 MB or even 1 GB or more. Downloading few songs when you’re getting bored can also add up significantly to your data usage. Unless it’s really an emergency, one must wait to get access to his home Wi-Fi network or any trusted one.

    2. Save streaming for Wi-Fi also

    Slacker, Pandora, Hulu, YouTube, Netflix and other streaming services along with image-intensive sources like Flickr may incur a lot of data bandwidth on the go. You can save such sources for the time you have access to Wi-Fi or broadband internet access.

    3.  Set your e-mail accounts for manual sync

    Sync your e-mail account in batches whenever you have access to Wi-Fi or broadband connection. In case you are one those who get tons of e-mails then you may not wait for periodic downloads, then check if your smartphone provides you an option to download e-mails without attachments or images. Most of them do.

    4.  Turn-off Push notifications in your smartphone whenever your find it okay to limit your background data capabilities across your applications.

    5.  Search for the apps which use location data in the background.

    Turn it off if it’s not really important.

    6.  Try any alternate browser

    If you are having a later android device, pop-up windows can be blocked and image loading can be turned-off on your device by changing the settings on your browser. Such options don’t exist in Safari, thus in case you are an iOS device user, get an alternate browser like Skyfire or Opera Mini to minimize your web data usage.

    7.  Use mobile-friendly site when available

    Many people don’t like mobile optimized sites but it is to be noticed that they exist for a significant reason. The mobile sites strip out unnecessary stuffs such as animated ads or large images, implying they take less data bandwidth to load.

    8.  Turn-off mobile data when you don’t require it

    Turning-off mobile data is certainly different from switching your phone to Airplane mode. By turning the mobile data off you can still receive calls and text messages but with eliminating the risk of any app secretly connecting keeping you unaware of it.

    All the above given tips may collectively seem like a bit much and we would not deny this- it actually is. By trying them in turn and sticking to some of them that you find the most convenient ones making the biggest difference to your individual data usage is highly recommended.

    August 25, 2015 0 comment
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    MasterPass payment– the new, simple and convenient digital wallet from MasterCard- is a way of paying online with the multi-tiered MasterCard network security partnered with your own bank. MasterPass payment is the perfect blend of convenience and new age safety. It enables the storage of your payment and shipping information in a safe place by your bank enabling you to fearlessly shop and checkout with confidence at small and big retailers using all your devices, wherever you get the option of buying with MasterPass. The electronic wallet allows online payment using pre-registered debit or credit card details and personal shipping address. Taking payments to another level, it lets the user do things like scan barcodes and instantly buy items with their device, right on the spot.

    Every mobile device is now becoming a shopping device and thus, MasterPass is a great way of enhancing the shopping experience, making it as simple as click, tap and touch.

    The MasterPass payment suite includes:

    • MasterPass Checkout Services – It provides to the merchants a consistent way of accepting electronic payments, regardless of the consumer’s location. For the in-store scenarios, MasterPass payments support the use of QR Codes, NFC, tags and devices used at points of sale. For the online payments, MasterPass provides the users a simple checkout process which eliminates the need of entering the card and shipping details with every purchase.
    • MasterPass Connected wallets – It enables the merchants, partners as well as banks to offer their own wallets. The consumers can store the card details and address information and more securely in cloud storage, hosted by a trusted entity. The payment wallet is implying that in addition to the MasterCard cards, the consumers can also use other branded debit, credit and prepaid cards.
    • MasterPass Value Added Services– It enriches the shopping experience before, during and after the checkout. It includes more information like real-time alerts, account balance, loyalty programs as well as valuable offers and experiences.

    Simple steps to get started with MasterPass

    1. Activate through your bank
      Look out for “Pay with MasterPass” logo
      3. Checkout tapping “Buy with MasterPass”
      4. Shop the world

    Value propositions to merchants accepting MasterPass

    MasterCard extends great value proposition to merchants accepting MasterPass. Providing the merchants with a faster and easier way to check out customers, MasterPass also provides a significant way to increase sales making minor changes to the way merchants process payments currently.

    Some other examples of how MasterPass can benefit the merchants include:

    • Fostered customer loyalty – Understanding the fact that customer loyalty is important for the merchants, MasterPass has incorporated more functionality into the open wallet. It will accept loyalty cards, enabling the customers to earn points following every use.
    • Simplified shopping experience –MasterPass is an open wallet. The consumers can use card from any issuer, with this secure service. They can check out with a single tap as an easy way to pay and gain a seamless, secure shopping experience.
    • More transactions – MasterPass allows the consumers to check out with few short clicks. Often, they avoid entering extensive billing and shipping details – MasterPass eliminates this wastage of time.

    Summary

    MasterPass is the first global digital wallet and thus it is anticipated to bring significant changes in the mobile payment horizon. Being present in 24 countries worldwide, this payment system arrives as a collective solution to the new age payment requirements along with high level security.  Today, when a major fraction of the payment transactions are performed online, the global wallet solutions have got an unprecedented importance taking in sight the demand of convenience and security from the consumers. Within a scenario, where digital lifestyle is being wholeheartedly embraced, MasterPass payment being the first of its kind can do something that has never been seen before. Not only they are anticipated to optimize the checkout experience but also they will increase the e-commerce sales by enhancing the customer experience.

    August 25, 2015 0 comment
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