Proximus boosts the customer experience and accelerates launch of fiber broadband

Accelerates fiber network roll out

With Elastic Cloud Enterprise, Proximus deployed a fiber tracking system that enables it to understand and enhance the fiber deployment process.

Boosts the customer experience

Proximus has a clear view of customer journeys and can use these insights to address specific customer issues and enhance its wider customer-facing systems.

Delivers better website search results

Business customers and consumers can now search the Proximus website in greater detail and with increased accuracy.

Leading Belgian telecommunications business deploys Elastic to monitor and enhance business processes across the organization including fiber broadband activation, customer journeys, and website search.

Fiber-based broadband and entertainment has expanded rapidly across Europe in recent years. Belgium is no exception, where the goal is to provide fiber optic connections to 95% of homes and businesses by 2023.

Leading the way is Proximus, which offers broadband, TV, and mobile services in Belgium under the Proximus, Scarlet and Mobile Vikings brands. It is also active in Luxembourg as Proximus Luxembourg SA, under the brand names Tango and Telindus Luxembourg, and in the Netherlands through Telindus Netherlands.

The roll-out of the organization’s highly anticipated 10 Gbps fiber network will set the future standard for download and upload speeds in these countries and its business systems are equally innovative.

“We’re connecting a home or business with fiber every 15 seconds,” says Yves Biver, Tribe Lead and Chapter Area Lead of Integration, Proximus. “Our internal applications and networks must be equally advanced to meet customer expectations, whether they’re setting the date of a service installation or configuring their entertainment package.”

These digitalization goals also apply to the ordering processes and the interactions with other licensed operators (OLO’s). To address these objectives, Proximus deployed an array of search and process monitoring solutions that enable its teams to understand where business transactions stand at any given time.

Flexible deployment for a fast-moving business

When selecting data monitoring and search solutions, Yves and his team assembled best-in-breed technologies from suppliers including Elastic. Elastic’s ability to support business and technical events was the main selling point. “We are one of the few organizations whose main use of Elastic is for monitoring business events on our Elastic clusters,” says Yves.

High-performance search and monitoring capabilities also influenced the decision to go with Elastic.

"With Elastic we can undertake extremely fast searches using distributed indices. Its distributed architecture increases platform resilience, availability, and scalability. Document-oriented database and support for JSON documents was also important for our business."

– Yves Biver, Tribe Lead and Chapter Area Lead of Integration, Proximus

Yves and his team benefit from ongoing support from the Elastic Support team. “They are always available to help us resolve technical issues, but equally helpful when we have a vision for the future of monitoring and search in our organization,” says Yves. “There have been several instances where they’ve supported the deployment of new features that support our goals.”

Elastic Training is another area which has helped our team excel. “Many people in my team have taken online training that is freely available on the Elastic website and achieved certifications in Elasticsearch Engineer, Data Analysis with Kibana, and Observability Engineer,” says Yves. “They can expand their skills and use this knowledge to widen the use of Elastic solutions and get better value from our deployment.”

Proximus also chose Elastic for its flexibility and the ability to adapt the technology to many different use cases. “We use both the open-source version and Elastic Cloud Enterprise,” says Yves. “Compared with the closed environments of other search and monitoring suppliers, Elastic offers our teams a wealth of support that is readily available on communities such as GitHub.”

Proximus uses Elasticsearch for smaller, self-contained monitoring projects, such as tracking the performance of middleware components. “We can instantly see whether applications are running smoothly or if there are complications that we need to resolve,” says Yves.

This version of Elastic is also used by the team responsible for monitoring TV boxes. They ingest logs from their own software platforms and use Kibana dashboards to monitor and enhance relevant system performance.

"Elastic Enterprise Search is ideal for configurations where monitoring data is only required locally and doesn’t feed into a central database or data lake."

– Yves Biver, Tribe Lead and Chapter Area Lead of Integration, Proximus

Proximus deployed Elastic Enterprise Search to improve visibility across its website with advanced search capabilities. Elastic partner, Formica, helped Proximus replace its legacy search provider with a custom solution.

The solution uses Elastic’s native web crawler, which automatically adds updates and new content to the index. Additional content types, such as links, images, and videos, are also indexed and referenced with metadata. Other important Elastic features include type-ahead, auto correction, “did you mean” keyword match suggestions, a drop-down menu with scoped suggestions to sections within the website and document previews.

Proximus now supports end-to-end business process monitoring and search through an additional deployment of Elasticsearch running on Elastic Cloud Enterprise.

Fast track for fiber

Elastic also enables Proximus to monitor its fiber optic network roll out. This covers every step from the construction of fiber networks in the street to the delivery and activation of a customer fiber contract. “The real magic of our Fiber Tracking Solution (FTS) is that we can ingest and correlate the data from multiple systems such as customer data, product data, and ordering data,” says Yves.

This 360-degree view is useful for many areas of the business including marketing and operations. “If a customer calls our support team with an issue, we can answer them directly on the status of their order, the reason for any disruption, and how quickly it can be resolved,” says Yves. “Above all, this visibility helps reduce churn rates by improving the customer experience.”

Improving the customer journey

Elastic also supports the newly formed Circle Team, which manages the end-to-end process of a customer journey including billing, ordering and technical support.

By establishing processes, milestones, and timelines, Proximus can understand a customer’s status from multiple perspectives including admin and technical timelines.

For example, if a customer experiences the same issue multiple times, or submits a complaint without response, Proximus can build a picture of the customer and action the necessary response. “We can escalate the case to a higher support level or look more deeply into the customer’s service package to see if there is anything to address.”

"With Elastic we get in-depth understanding of customer journeys and areas where we can provide better support and services in the long-term. In addition to resolving customer issues, this contributes to a higher NPS (net promoter score)."

– Yves Biver, Tribe Lead and Chapter Area Lead of Integration, Proximus

Unifying the customer experience

Elastic also helps deliver consistent, high-quality customer service across the Proximus Group including Proximus and its sister-brand Scarlet. These brands use different methods of storing ID formats and other attributes, but Elastic Enterprise Search APIs make it possible to get a single view of the customer. “You don’t have to search through two different systems with different interfaces. With Elastic, you can see all the Scarlet and Proximus information about that customer on a single screen,” says Yves.

As well as improving the customer experience, Elastic offers a unified, scalable platform that supports the expansion of both the Proximus and Scarlet brands. “It’s very cost-efficient and means that we don’t have to invest in complex integrations between separate systems," says Yves.

"We have an ambitious roadmap, so we need technology partners who are just as agile and forward-thinking as our teams. This is where Elastic stands out. Instead of depending on multiple platforms and tools that may become dated, we have a partner that is constantly updating its software with new features. With Elastic we can plan for a successful future in a fast-moving digital marketplace."

– Yves Biver, Tribe Lead and Chapter Area Lead of Integration, Proximus