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Cross-organizational Use Cases Show Value of DNS in Digital Transformation

There's been a lot of buzz about digital transformation. For me, the transformation is really about service providers delighting their customers. The other day I was speaking with a provider in EMEA that recently did a pilot with our Reach subscriber communications solution to up-sell higher data usage options to subscribers who are at 80% of bandwidth. We see this use case every day, especially as video streaming usage is escalating. The pilot was so successful that they're now rolling out a program to their entire subscriber base. Digital transformation is really about thinking of customers, their changing needs, and device and communication preferences, and meeting them where they are most likely to pay attention.

CSPs can accomplish this objective with minimal investment in infrastructure through an underlying, integrated platform that ties various customer applications and services together. Providers don't need to "glue" different parts together and re-jigger everything to make it all work cohesively. Commercial DNS, with its heavy involvement in enabling many customer activities online, offers the perfect backbone to this type of platform--because it doesn't cause latency of the network and it doesn't put any burdens on end users to activate the services they're interested in.

In fact, the use of DNS--which already exists in CSP networks--has over 70 different business use cases that have been identified by Nominum, now part of Akamai. These range from late bill payment notices sent through in-browser notifications to parental controls, subscriber safety options to governmental compliance. DNS is no longer relegated to the network team--it's being used across organizations to deliver personalized Internet experiences. In addition to providing a unified customer view, it provides other advantages like fast time-to-market, easy implementation and additional streams of revenue.

DNS: not just for domain lookups anymore

The areas where we've identified use cases span organizations and functions. They include:

  • cybersecurity defense
  • value-added services
  • customer experience management
  • marketing and promotions
  • billing and revenue management
  • legal and regulatory compliance

Within each of these categories, there are several unique points of pain, where commercial DNS--notably the Nominum platform and application suite--is cost-effectively solving problems while enabling CSPs to meet their digital transformation objectives.

Here are some of these use cases, based on some of our own customer examples.
Cybersecurity Defense:

  • A Latin American broadband provider saved $3.8M annually by curbing DDoS attacks with ThreatAvert, our advanced cybersecurity solution. The cost savings came from greatly reduced network outages which previously required time and manpower to reinstate, as well as far fewer customer support calls and lower churn.

Value-added Services:

  • A service provider in the Asia Pacific began to offer broadband upsell packages for subscribers that exceeded data limits and promoted the offer through Reach in-browser communications. As a result, annual service revenue increased by $2.7M--while Reach generated a 15% conversion rate.

Customer Experience Management:

  • A broadband service provider in South America had a high number of subscribers requesting service termination. Using Nominum Reach, the provider reduced churn by 11% and customer acquisition costs were reduced by $10.5M annually.

Marketing and Promotions:

  • A service provider in Europe that packages video streaming service with monthly Internet access offered upgrade bundles for subscribers that were reaching their data limits. By alerting customers of the upgrade options through Reach, the provider achieved a 40% conversion rate, which significantly bumped up their annual revenues.

Billing and Revenue Management:

  • A service provider in Latin America had a high rate of churn from subscribers who paid their bills late and then terminated service when their Internet access became limited. Through upcoming and late bill payment notifications with Reach, the provider saw a 60% conversion rate which resulted in an increase in annual revenues by roughly $500k and call center savings of more than $1.3M per year.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance:

  • A UK provider began offering a parental control service through Secure Consumer and turned to Reach to get the word out to subscribers about the new service. 90% of the target audience was informed with 11% opting into the Secure Consumer parental controls service. The use of Reach saved the provider more than $14M on message delivery.

The video clip below, showing a discussion some of us at Nominum recently had with Sue Rudd of Strategy Analytics, offers more examples of how digital transformation can be realized with cloud-based, in-network technology like DNS.

Sue also discusses the many different business use cases of a DNS-powered, integrated platform and application suite, in her recent whitepaper--"Accelerating Digital Transformation for Communication Service Providers".

Much of our work with service providers have come from responding to their requests and developing new ways that DNS can be used to address their business requirements. Oftentimes, they come up with new use cases as we jointly develop solutions. This is what keeps me and the engineering team going. What a great feeling it is when we apply our technology in ways to solve a specific issue, and our customers find that it actually alleviates multiple pain points they didn't expect.