Staying ahead of the Curve

Vodafone Essar revamped their BI Infrastructure to meet existing and future business demands. By CTO Forum team

Vodafone Essar is one of India’s leading cellular service providers with more than 100 million customers. The company has around 10000 end-users across 23 circles in the country working across various departments like customer service, marketing, sales, finance, IT, commercial, legal and regulatory etc. All these users have varied requirements in terms of MIS and BI.

The company has been adding nearly two million subscribers each month and this created a demand for scaling up the existing infrastructure in terms of getting information.

The BI journey had started with an initial maturity level with limited dimension of data sophistication and work load complexity. With the addition of new circles and an increase in customer base, it became challenging for the current BI system to give timely data. Besides, appropriate BI tools were necessary for Customer Value Management (CVM) and analytical needs like segmentation, churn and usage modelling.

“The old BI architecture was not geared up to scale up to this kind of growth”. Says Thomas Cherian. Head BI practice, Vodafone India.

There were various reports and interfaces which were built over time and were not easy to manage in the absence of standardization.  In addition, the expectations from end user groups were different in different geographies. The data available in the Data Warehouse was outdated and there was business demand for increased turnaround time, better uptime and accuracy along with high volumes.


The company decided to implement BI tools to support analytics and CVM for executing marketing campaigns, Mining tools and analytics would be used in identifying potential segmentation, priorities and retention efforts while CVM tools would lead to increase in conversions at lower cost of communication.

The new tools deployed increased the conversation rate. This in turn led to increase in base management revenue due to better segmentation and use of modelling inputs.

“We want to take BI to the next level: make the system scalable and ensure IT operations maintain work load balance says Cherain.

The company managed to reduce cost of contact considerably due to focused targeting and have one view of the customer experience.

The current scoring framework encompasses close to 400 models scoring 50 million subscriber information bi-monthly that has been developed over the last two years. The scoring platform is a complete automated system and take cares of event triggering, ETL, scoring and score delivery and automated mailers by its own.

“We have achieved huge time saving benefits by the speed and availability of the solution despite it running millions of records that get executed in a matter of hours,” says Cherain.

Using the BI tool, the churn percentage on postpaid business has reduced by 0.5 percent in a year, translating into substantial revenue saving and generation due to ongoing relationship with churn subscribers.


The company has plans to enhance and introduce next generation of automation in data extraction, loading and aggregation process to address workload management. The systems viz., Data Warehouse and MIS will undergo transformation by implementing the ETL (extract, transform and load) application layer and the reporting layer.

“BI is extremenly critical and reprents the face of IT to our management. It will remain as one of our biggest focus areas to ensure we have the latest and accurate data at all times,” says Navin Chadha, Director IT, Vodafone Essar.

BI will also be integrated with current strategic It Programs that are being undertaken within the organization like 3G network, mobile number portability (MNP), new billing platform, new prepaid platform and CRM.

The enhanced BI will used for micro segmentation and automation of scoring and sharper predictive modelling. Campaign management solution will be integrated to newer channels like kiosks and online medium for targeted and segmented offerings.

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