Software to help companies spot customer churn, monitor heavy users and to better predict bandwidth consumption has been released by service management provider Motive.
The software, which will be sold initially to DSL and cable broadband providers, is designed to track network traffic, subscriber usage and bandwidth capacity mix according to policy parameters.
The information provided by Motive's Usage Policy Manager can then be used to manage excessive bandwidth use, opening up the potential to introduce new service charges.
"[Motive] has focused on the patterns of customer use - and abuse - that tells the providers who is dissatisfied, who should be upgraded, or who should be avoided, such as someone using excessive bandwidth at low cost," said Kip McClanahan, president of Motive.
"This tackles the biggest problem: high churn rates." In this context, churn is the term applied to customers switching providers.
Lars Godell, senior telecoms analyst at Forrester Research, told vnunet.com: "There's a need for this type of product.
"Churn is emerging as a big issue. Financial analysts are aware of the problem but don't factor in churn figures yet."
He explained that mobile communications is seven years ahead of broadband in this respect and added: "The broadband market will become increasingly receptive to this type of information."
Usage Policy Manager includes a business rules processor for applying usage policies, a workflow engine for applying the policy through multiple channels, and facilities for policy improvement.
A business operations viewer offers current data on subscriber problems and usage trends.
Broadband supplier NTL said that it has dramatically boosted customer retention through reliable automatic installation using Motive's software.
Usage Policy Manager is the first product in Motive's Project Krakatoa initiative, announced earlier this year, to offer a new breed of management applications that tackle critical service provider issues.
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