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TARGUSInfo dominates universal caller ID business

The data analytics provider powers caller name services to 86% of U.S. cable and independent VoIP subscribers.

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TARGUSInfo, a leading data repository company, is responsible for the caller name services of 86% of all U.S. cable and independent voice-over-IP subscribers. The company announced today that its caller name services, which provide real-time consumer and business data, are in use by more than 4 billion CNAM displays per month.

TARGUSInfo got its start in 1993, attaching longitude and latitude to calls from a landline phone so that companies like Pizza Hut could know who was ordering from them on any given night, said George Moore, CEO and chairman for TARGUSInfo. The company has scaled its business since then to include call centers and essentially any device connected to a network.

“It’s a ubiquitous service that everybody loves,” Moore said. “We’ve excelled in two areas: the coverage, adding the caller name whether it’s a consumer or business calling you, and, two, doing that at a greater rate than even the telephone companies and delivering it accurately.”

Moore said that 2009 saw a resurgence of caller name services for many of the top MSOs, concurrent with a pickup in universal caller ID to TV sets and PCs and many companies replacing their legacy network CNAM approaches. The company has also spent the last year stepping up its investment in its business, adding new offices and personnel and enhancing its customer data.

Through its CNAM service, TARGUSInfo provides its customers with a host of subscriber information, such as approximate household income, property value and the potential value of a subscriber – whether they might be a $10 basic cable subscriber or a $200 triple-play subscriber. Call centers, for example, could use this information to determine who takes that call – a trainee or a top-level customer service agent.

The company has partnerships in place with both the U.S. Telecommunications Association and a more recently formed alliance with the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, which inform its CNAM records. The company’s data repository is refreshed and updated 10 times per day to deliver on its promise of a 99.999% accuracy rate on client trouble tickets. Moore said that TARGUSInfo provides a minimum of 5% higher coverage than any other independent CNAM provider, meaning less out-of-area or unknown caller displays.

The company currently delivers more than 62 billion real-time attributes a year to its customer base of Fortune 500 companies, but Moore said he believes it will be running at a rate of 100 billion annually by year’s end. TARGUSInfo counts nine out of the 10 biggest cablecos, a number of VoIP providers, CLECs and ILECs in its customer base of 200. In total, Moore said the company retails more the 410 million CNAM/phone combinations.

TARGUSInfo also works with a number of wireless operators, including MetroPCS, which broke the mold when it signed on with TARGUSInfo in 2008, Moore said. MetroPCS uses TARGUSInfo's Caller Name Services to power its popular Screen-It caller ID service. Moore believes that wireless operators will be TARGUSInfo’s next big business, but it won’t just be the traditional telcos that are its potential wireless customers.

“I think you will see much more competition for the wireless eyeballs,” Moore said. “From a loyalty point of view, on a self-serving basis, we want to push down information services that make that application sticky. As we all know, managing our contacts and addresses becomes a pain in the neck across multiple devices. You are seeing the MSOs invest particularly heavily in that area. They want to give consumers an easy button for managing all their contact information. The Verizons and AT&Ts will see a lot more competition from MSOs for share of mind of the consumer and business.”

Editor's Note:

Connected Planet corrected a mistake in this story as described below. We regret the error. TARGUSinfo provided the following clarification:

In the March 29 article, The Screen It service MetroPCS receives from TARGUSinfo was described incorrectly. Screen It is a Caller ID application designed to display on subscriber handsets the names of parties calling MetroPCS subscribers (as with traditional Caller ID) and in no way profiles or verifies consumer identities to target new services or enable transactions. Additionally, the stated retention rate for the Screen It application was purely conjecture and was intended to reflect TARGUSinfo’s belief in wireless caller ID’s general popularity, not a reflection of actual MetroPCS data. TARGUSinfo does not have the data necessary to support such statement.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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