Frontier Profits From Robust Identity ManagementBy Samuel Greengard Print
A major communications firm turned to more robust identity management to simplify logins and boost security, revamping its systems and practices in the process.
A growing challenge for organizations of all shapes and sizes is managing logins and account access. In many cases, the task can devour valuable time and resources—and, if it isn't done right, it can also lead to security risks and potential breaches.
At Frontier Communications, a provider of Internet, telecommunications and television/video services in 28 states, the need for a more robust identity management framework led to a complete revamp of its existing systems and practices.
"We are a long-term company that has grown organically through acquisitions," says Eric Del Sesto, the firm's vice president of IT. "Unfortunately, we wound up with a legacy ID solution that provided limited capabilities. Customers couldn't use their ID for more than logging in and paying their bill.
"There was a need to expand the capabilities to other Frontier products and services. So we required a universal ID solution."
Frontier Communications turned to identity management firm Gigya to introduce far more sophisticated features and capabilities. After conducting a trial in early 2014, it introduced the solution to its entire customer base in October 2014 via a new Frontier.com portal.
"The goal was to simplify the registration process, streamline access and improve customer satisfaction levels," Del Sesto explains. "The easier it is for customers to access content, account information, bills and other things, the closer we are to having them check the box that says, 'I'm a satisfied and happy customer.'"
A Spike in Account Registrations
Since then, the solution has resulted in a 60 percent increase in account registrations. Approximately a million customers have now created a login that they can use for any online contact point with Frontier.
In addition, the company has benefited by boosting participation in its paperless billing program. And tying together user identities and account identities has delivered clear benefits.
This has made it easier for customers to manage content and for households to use parental controls. It also enables Frontier to separate access to billing information and content.
Del Sesto says that the Gigya solution stores sensitive identity data in a single secure location, using encryption. What's more, the approach "helps enforce internally the way we manage IDs and passwords. It promotes a best practice approach."
Finally, the data generated by consumer behavior—along with built-in analytics—aids the company in understanding customers in broader and deeper ways. And that benefit ripples into marketing, Website design and other areas.
Frontier Communications isn't stopping there. Within the next year, the firm plans to introduce social login features that would work with more than 35 third-party identity providers, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. This will help further simplify and streamline identity management.
"It will make it easier for people to use our services and features without the need for yet another user name and password," Del Sesto points out. "They will be able to link and unlink account access as they see fit.
"All of this drives greater efficiency within the organization, along with the best possible customer experience."
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