2 page Case Study - Posted 5/6/2011
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Austria-Based Prepaid Telecoms Provider Offers Free Messaging Services to Customers
Discount telecommunications provider YESSS! Telekommunikation, based in Austria, wanted to offer its prepaid subscribers a free email, instant messaging, photo sharing, and data storage solution. The firm launched these services to its 600,000 subscribers through the Windows Live network of internet services. YESSS! is highly satisfied with the enthusiastic customer response and intends to extend the solution to new smartphone applications.
Telecommunications service provider YESSS! Telekommunikation is a discount brand of Orange Austria—the country’s third-largest mobile network provider. Originally known as eWave Telekommunikation, YESSS! was founded in April 2005 and currently has around 600,000 active customers for mobile, fixed-line, and broadband services.
In a highly competitive business environment, YESSS! wanted to provide value-added services to its existing and prospective customers by offering them free email accounts, instant messaging, photo sharing, and password protected data storage of up to 25 gigabytes.
Markus Cserjan, General Manager at YESSS! Telekommunikation, says: “YESSS! focuses on the low-cost segment of the Austrian mobile communications market. We were interested in attracting new subscribers, but we were also concerned about retaining existing customers. We wanted to offer our customers additional free services to incentivise them to make greater use of our network.” YESSS! also needed a robust and reliable platform on which to build future applications. There is a feature for subscribers to check their account balances, and incentives to encourage more customers to use the YESSS! network for data downloads.
Helmut Jernej, Sales and Marketing Manager, YESSS! Telekommunikation, says: “What’s remarkable about the market in Austria over the past year is the trend for mobile–web convergence. Consumers want to use email or instant messaging to communicate with others, manage appointments, and share photos.”Solution
YESSS! initially considered working with local service providers to set up a free email service, but they couldn’t offer the rich functionality that the company required to remain competitive.
It decided to partner with Microsoft, which recommended the Windows Live network of internet services. Windows Live has a customisable personal news and information page, with other services including photo sharing, event planning, a desktop mail client, parental controls, and a blog writer.
Jernej says: “We’re also offering free password protected data storage of up to 25 gigabytes with Windows Live SkyDrive. YESSS! mobile phone users access the service through Windows Live for mobile.”
YESSS! implemented the solution using the Windows Live Service Provider Programme, which helps network operators bring hosted communications services to their customers. These are then launched with the telecommunication provider’s own branding.
Alan Kromer, Head of IT at YESSS! Telekommunikation, says: “We faced an initial challenge in integrating the Windows Live Service Provider Programme with our existing back-office servers, which were not based on Windows. We used the PHP scripting language for the interface, which took only a few days to solve the problem.”
The firm’s IT technicians also needed to work on innovative ways of automatically updating the branding to new email accounts before the launch of the service. Kromer says: “We took our time to resolve these technical challenges, but there has been no downtime since we went live with the service in the second quarter of 2010.”Benefits
All YESSS! service users register to get a free email address and can also use the services offered by Windows Live. These include instant messaging, photo sharing, and password protected data storage of up to 25 gigabytes. Cserjan says: “With Windows Live services, there are no additional costs for either computers or our YESSS! mobile phone users. The world of Windows Live is available to all our subscribers.”
Resilient platform will support new smartphone-related applications. With the Windows Live Service Provider Programme, YESSS! has a resilient platform on which to develop new applications for smartphone users. Jernej says: “Smartphones are now retailing in Austria for less than €100 (U.S.$142), which makes them accessible to the low-cost end of the market. With Windows Live, there is huge potential for us to expand our business to satisfy users of mobile phones with greater computing ability and connectivity than ordinary mobiles.”
Microsoft adds credibility to YESSS! brand. As a relatively small player in the Austria telecommunications industry serving the discount market, YESSS! is proud of its business partnership with Microsoft. Cserjan says: “Microsoft is a leading brand worldwide and our new bundle of services through Windows Live is helping to retain customer loyalty.”
Community forums register positive customer responses. By monitoring user community forums, YESSS! is recording growing levels of customer satisfaction with Windows Live. Jernej says: “The most common reaction from users is that the service is reliable, secure, and—above all—free.”
Customers get single sign-on service for Windows Live. Jernej says: “Single sign on was an important aspect of our programming work because customers only have to access the system once to make use of multiple web-based services.” This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.