Congratulations to Team Dragon, Winners of Comptel Hackathon 2015

Posted: October 6th, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

At Comptel, there’s nothing we like more than a killer idea. That’s exactly what we found when we organized our first ever hackathon. We’re now pleased to announce a winner: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s Team Dragon, which includes developers Chin Kang Tan and Mavis Wong. Congratulations!Comptel Hackathon Match Snap

Comptel Hackathon 2015 ran from 18-19 September. Our aim was to identify superb innovations in three categories: Smart City, Internet of Things (IoT) and Mobility as a Service. Teams had from noon on the 18th until midnight on the 19th to create their concepts, with presentations to the jury held on 23 September via Skype. Our jury evaluated each submission based on the level of innovation, the merits of the solution and the quality of the presentation.

Team Dragon wowed our judges with an extraordinary IoT-based shopping application called Match & Snap. The app creates an integrated shopping experience from the moment users enter a retail location. Once the store recognises them as a Match & Snap user, the app feeds users relevant offers and helpful content. For example, users can rely on Match & Snap to find the perfect outfit, send updates to friends via social media and learn about great bargains.

With their win at Comptel Hackathon 2015, Team Dragon will now represent Comptel at Ultrahack – a 48-hour hackathon in Helsinki, Finland scheduled just a few days before Nexterday North and Slush 2015. Team Dragon also won a trip to Slush, which takes place 11-12 November.

Second place in the Comptel Hackathon 2015 went to Team Tangra of Sofia, Bulgaria, who has earned a team dinner for their impressive data anonymising solution. Third place went to The Mechanics, also from Sofia, Bulgaria; they built a tool that makes hardware sizing easier and faster. Both of these teams will receive an additional much deserved prize for their amazing innovations!

Eight teams in all participated in Comptel Hackathon 2015, and our jury was delighted to see the energy, inventiveness and preparation each brought to the table. We can’t wait to see what Team Dragon does at Ultrahack and Slush, and we’d like to extend our thanks and appreciation to all the teams, jury members and organizers who made our first hackathon a success!

Want to get in on this innovation? Register for a Nexterday North Front pass, and receive a full conference pass to Slush 2015.

Cycle for Creative Technology Education at Nexterday North and Slush

Posted: October 2nd, 2015 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

By Reetta Heiskanen, CCO at Mehackit

We don’t need to tell you that young people today are constantly surrounded by digital technology around the clock.

The big question is how to transform youngsters from consumers to creators, and give them the feeling that they can actually build things with the help of technology.

Mehackit is a non-profit organisation that brings creative technology and robotics to high schools in Finland. The Mehackit high school program will start in eight different cities and 25 different high schools and run from 2015-2016.

This November, attendees at Nexterday North and Slush have an opportunity to support both Mehackit and creative technology education in Finnish schools.

MeHackit Nexterday North SlushNexterday North is the antiseminar for digital and communications providers to be held in Helsinki from 9-10 November. The massive startup conference Slush starts two days later and runs from 11-12 November.

By cycling at the event with the one-of-a-kind high-tech Italian Ciclotte exercise bike, you can help raise 5000 euros to build amazing technology education programs for high schoolers in Finland.

The Mehackit high school program format introduces creative technology to teenagers through fun and imaginative projects. The high school students gain hands-on technology skills in programming and robotics.

The dream of Mehackit is to support every young adult in the Nordics to get creative, confident and curious about technology. Mehackit’s activities – school courses, workshops and community programs – all contribute toward discovering the joys of creative technology.

The driving force behind Mehackit is to encourage young people to make their ideas happen – to create new products, services or games – using technology as a tool.MeHackit Nexterday North Slush

“Everyday technology is within everyone’s reach, but the development, customization and creative use of technology is limited to specialists. Mehackit wants to break these walls and show how valuable technology is. It can be used by anyone as a channel of self-expression”, says Mehackit founder Pia Henrietta Kekäläinen.

“We’re excited to have the Ciclotte exercise bike at Nexterday North and show our support and appreciation for technology education in Finland and beyond,” says Ari Vänttinen, CMO at Comptel. “At Comptel we are big believers in the power of learning technology at a young age, so this program really speaks directly to our core values.”

Join Comptel and Mehackit at Nexterday North and Slush and be part of the creative technology revolution!

Weighing the Pros & Cons of VoLTE

Posted: September 16th, 2015 | Author: Simo Isomaki | Filed under: Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

There has been a lot of interest around Voice over LTE (VoLTE) lately, not to mention thorough analyses on the benefits of the technology and recorded rollout activities across the globe.

According to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), there are as many as 16 VoLTE launches in seven countries, as operators look to embrace HD voice. In a press release and as noted in FierceWirelessEurope, Alan Hadden, VP of research at the GSA, said: “Interest in VoLTE has surged, and [more than] twice as many operators are investing in VoLTE compared to a year ago. Many more launches will happen in 2015.”

Despite VoLTE’s success thus far and its growing number of deployments, uncertainties around the technology remain.

First, there is the required handset support for VoLTE. Based on studies done by tefficient, surprisingly few of the 4G handsets on the market are equipped for the technology since early implementations of VoLTE were based on partial standards or proprietary solutions. VoLTE works best for operators like those in Korea, Japan and the United States that have full control over handset distribution.

Second, VoLTE support in networks is still implementation-specific, meaning that calling from one network to another using VoLTE might not be possible—even in the same country. As an indication of the complexity, VoLTE roaming is only just starting to happen. KPN claimed the world’s first case as late as in October 2014.

For operators who haven’t had full control over handset distribution, the solution might currently have to be as harsh as making sure that customers joining them replace their handset—even if it’s 4G—with one that the operator knows has the right combination of hardware, firmware and software to function in their VoLTE network.

So while VoLTE is a relatively new, emerging technology—a richer multimedia voice and video call service based on IMS—the question is: is it a MUST for digital and communications service providers? They must thoughtfully consider this question because, if they are not going to take it onboard, they are about to lose their lucrative and long-lasting, but currently declining traditional voice revenue.

This was recently confirmed in The Guardian. As written in the article, Paul Lee, head of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte, said that VoLTE—phone conversations carried over the data connection of a 4G network, which are of higher quality and can be switched from an audio call to a video call—are likely to supplant traditional phone calls over the next decade.

Another common concern and question is Voice over IP (VoIP) as VoLTE or VoIP in another means. Take VoIP services like Skype, Viber and WhatsApp. VoLTE goes beyond these in aspects like being able to handle radio networks’ handover and support emergency calls. The technology also promises superior voice quality. But are Generation Cloud customers willing to pay extra for this? It’s highly unlikely.

So, if VoLTE supplants traditional phone calls, will it significantly improve operators’ business by presenting a revenue boost for voice? Again, this is highly unlikely. Based on the VoLTE services on the market thus far, it seems that these voice calls are charged similarly to ordinary ones, where video comes on top in form of data charging.

Source: Cisco Blog

Here comes the interesting expansion of the voice business, which VoLTE indirectly enables: native Wi-Fi calling (or Voice over Wi-Fi or VoWiFi). Every cellular network—no matter how good it is—will have coverage issues indoors. In most cases, there’s Wi-Fi coverage to act as support.

With native Wi-Fi calling, mobile customers will seamlessly carry calls over existing Wi-Fi when there is no cellular coverage. Similarly to VoLTE, these calls are charged as any regular voice call, but here we are talking about a call that could not have happened without Wi-Fi. Consequently, it means additional voice revenue for the operator (or it could mean unlimited voice plans become more frequent). The same IMS handles both VoWiFi and VoLTE—with the latter technology being a pre-requisite for handover to happen between VoWiFi and cellular. (If you don’t have cellular indoor coverage, you obviously need to be able to move in and out of your house without dropping calls.)

With this in mind, we should stop looking at VoLTE in isolation and instead consider VoLTE in tandem with VoWiFi.

VoLTE also offers huge potential for cost-savings. When voice and other services are converged on LTE, and when customers have fully bought into them, digital and communications service providers are able to shut down their circuit-switched 2G and 3G networks. This will have a huge impact on operators’ profitability.

So do digital and communications service providers possess the knowledge and assets for what it takes to launch VoLTE successfully? We’ll discuss this in a coming blog post—please stay tuned.

Malla Poikela of Comptel co-wrote this blog post entry.

Join Us at Nexterday North: A Can’t-Miss Speaker Lineup

Posted: September 14th, 2015 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Ville TolvanenBy Ville TolvanenDigitalist Network, @VilleTolvanen

This November, I will join some of the world’s best and brightest minds in Helsinki for Comptel’s Nexterday North. Taking place 9-10 November – two days before the massive startup conference Slush – Nexterday North will be a non-traditional venue where enterprises, digital and communications service providers and everyone in between can learn, grow and be inspired. You can register for the show at this link.

The event will motivate operators, in particular, to start thinking differently about their organisation and the world around them. As we discuss in the Digitalist Network, digitalisation is having an incredible impact on businesses and everyday people alike. That creates a huge opportunity for to appeal and cater to their customers and peer networks.

Nexterday North’s speakers will show you exactly how to take action, and as moderator of the event, I’m thrilled to have a first-row seat. Here are a few keynote speakers who I am personally excited to hear from at Nexterday North.

Patrick Dixon

As a renowned futurist, Patrick is one of the business world’s leading thinkers. He is able to paint a picture of how global change calls for disruptive new business strategies, as described in his latest book, The Future of Almost Everything. He also happens to be an engaging keynote speaker, and the crowd at Nexterday North can expect to hear a radical vision for the future of business and technology.

marten mickosMårten Mickos

Mårten is a truly disruptive voice in the world of business. He encourages corporations to step outside their comfort zones and re-imagine how they manage and motivate teams. His track record speaks for itself: as the former CEO of MySQL and Eucalyptus and now a senior vice president for HP’s Cloud division, Mårten continues to demonstrate how global enterprises can succeed with a top-down, digitally enabled, culture-driven management style.

linda liukasLinda Liukas

Linda’s story is inspiring. As the founder of Rail Girls, she developed global volunteer workshops that taught the foundations of computer programming to more than 10,000 women in more than 160 cities. She also wrote Hello Ruby, a remarkable children’s book that makes learning technology, computing and coding fun and exciting for kids. Linda has a creative mind and an artist’s flair, and she’s setting the course for the present and future of programming. You can’t miss her keynote!

gary vaynerchukGary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vee is everywhere – he runs VaynerMedia (one of the world’s top 10 social media agencies according to AdAge) and Vayner/RSE, a top technology investment firm. He also writes books, hosts the #AskGaryVee web series and launched online retailer Wine Library. To put it simply, he is an absolute maven when it comes to marketing and running successful online businesses. Gary will appear by video presentation, I’m thrilled he will be able to share his expertise.

Kjell Nordström

If you want to know how your businesses can thrive in a radically changing corporate world, you need to hear from Kjell. He has been one of the world’s leading voices on the global economy, publishing several books that describe what it takes to succeed in today’s challenging business environment. His speeches have been called thought-provoking, entertaining and inspiring, and he is sure to offer Nexterday North attendees a roadmap for business transformation.

Nexterday North will be unlike any other conference you go to this year. I invite you to join me and the rest of the event’s speakers for what will be an exciting week in Finland. Register for Nexterday North here.

5 Reasons You Have a Latitude Problem If You’re Thinking About Coming To Nexterday North

Posted: September 9th, 2015 | Author: Jani Virkkula | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

So you’re thinking about attending Nexterday North, touted to be the antiseminar you’ve been waiting for and taking place on 9-10 November 2015, in Helsinki, Finland? It’s supposed to host an impressive list of keynote speakers, look at the telecommunications business landscape with a non-traditional mindset and combine cross-business insights, deep industry focus and the drive of the most ambitious startups in the world. Well think ahead, think again, think beyond and you’ll quickly understand why Finland is perhaps not the best place to be at this particular time.register nexterday north

1. You’ll See Helsinki, But Only From Indoors

Helsinki averages approximately 40 hours of sunshine for the entire month of November. Think about that for a while. The best the local weather has to offer is loads of sleet, piles of slush and streets full of virtually invisible black ice. Oh, and temperatures near or below zero degrees Celsius. To top it all, the venue is an old warehouse by the docks! How the heck do you occupy yourself in conditions like that? You’ll have no choice but to listen to some of the smartest people in the world share their radical ideas for the future of our business, and what’s worse, you might actually contribute, learn something new and meet interesting new people. Who wants that?

2. The Collective Blind Spot Is My Comfort Zone

Aren’t you already sick and tired of hearing about stepping outside your comfort zone? There’s a reason why it is comfortable: you’ve carved your niche, made your mark there and know the rules of the game inside out. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to your guns, right? The same goes for this “collective blind spot” nonsense. Let’s face it. It is just another marketing term trying to package someone else’s blind spot and sell it as an innovation to a new reference group. It doesn’t matter if this message is delivered by some of the most creative, proven and successful industry disruptors. You know, people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Mårten Mickos, Matthew Rosenquist or Ted Matsumoto. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. At least not in November in Helsinki.

3. This Startup Trend Is Short-Lived Anyway

And talking about grass. We all know startups come and go. They are like blades of grass in a tornado: completely at the mercy of the elements. Sure, they sprout when the weather is fair and the sun puts the focus on them but when’s the last time you’ve heard about a startup that truly reshaped any industry landscape? Just look at Slush and their roster! Not many game-changers there, right? By the way, forget about hoping to see any grass in Helsinki in November. Even if by some miracle it were growing, it’d still be too dark to see anything.

4. ImpacTalk Sessions and Industry Blueprint Alley Are Not Right Up Your Alley

So somebody built an always-on ecosystem gallery introducing innovative and field-proven blueprints created by industry leading companies serving digital and communications service providers? Ecosystem sounds like hippie stuff. How about the ImpacTalks? They claim to be breakout sessions full of insightful, executable and field-proven insights about growth. Don’t be fooled by the description! It’s all about strong-arm tactics and about “offers you cannot refuse.” Yeah, that’s going to make an impact alright. Just like the sleet hitting your face in Helsinki in November.

5. So Much Fun, It May Kill You

So which is it? Fun or professional? Decide already! We all know you cannot combine a professional, industry-changing event with fun and games. If you’re having fun, you’re not learning anything useful and if you’re learning something, I’ll be damned if it is fun. I’d bet good money that there’s going to be a party at the event. Figures! The rumor also has it that the happy hour is going to legendary, and you know what they say about them, right? “Happy hour today is a crappy hour the day after!” This is a serious obstacle to true learning and development, which can only occur in a serious environment. In a party you just interact with a lot of people in a laidback manner, network your butt off with the best minds in (and outside) the industry and – what’s worse – don’t sit quietly with a stern look on your face. As stern as the weather in Helsinki in November.

So don’t tell me you haven’t been warned. You’ve been given a plenty of reasons to stay away from Nexterday North and go somewhere safer and nicer. But if you really, really want to challenge yourself, experience exotic conditions and rock your thinking, you can register for Nexterday North here.

3 Key Takeaways from Elisa’s Digital Business Transformation

Posted: September 3rd, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Need a haircut? In the past, you may have called up a salon and made an appointment. Today, M Room – the international chain of men’s barber shops with locations across Europe and the United States – allows you to check its mobile app to find the nearest shop with the soonest vacancy. That way, you don’t have to rearrange your schedule to make an appointment, nor must you sit in line waiting for a spot to open up.

Veli-Matti Mattila, CEO of Finnish operator Elisa, recently cited M Room’s app as an example of how mobile and digital services are changing our everyday lives. As Mattila explained, digitalisation is a major change agent in global society and has the power to disrupt all industries.

Digitalisation will usher in an era of business transformation that will radically change how all businesses including telcos, in particular, operate. Elisa is a prime example – the company may have once been known as a traditional voice provider, but today, it would be more accurate to call it a digital and communications services provider.

Elisa offers its customers much more than simple connectivity. Its range of consumer services include an entertainment service for watching TV with cloud-based recording and content on demand, a wallet app for mobile payments and a book app for avid readers. On the business-to-business (B2B) end, Elisa offers video conference, customer interaction services and social media listening services, to name just a few.

Mattila helped engineer Elisa’s digital business transformation in his 12 years as CEO, and the results have been significant. The company’s initial six-month financial review showed that, despite a challenging economic climate, Elisa made its best-ever result from January to June 2015. The company also reported an expected growth in year-to-date revenue compared to the same time period in 2014.

Mattila’s comments reinforce what Comptel has discussed in our book, Operation Nexterday: digitalisation is forcing telco business transformation, and this adoption and evolution is vital if operators are to best serve individual and business customers and grow their organisations. Here are three takeaways from Elisa’s journey that other operators should note.

How Telco Can Disrupt in the Digitalisation Age

Consider how private car hire and ride-sharing service Uber has transformed public transportation internationally. Customers can simply queue up the app to find a nearby driver and conduct the entire transaction digitally, making for an easy and cashless ride.

As more industries embrace digital technology – from massive international conglomerates like Uber to the local coffee shop on your nearest street corner – operators will increasingly find an opportunity to add value.

They can enter markets they may never have thought possible, such as delivering over-the-top (OTT) content, social apps and now even books, as Elisa has done.

Operators should not discount cooperating with other players and building digital ecosystems to accomplish this. In the case of Elisa, the Finnish telco purchased capabilities from other organisations to establish an enablement platform upon which it could disrupt the market.

Embedding a Digital Culture at Every Level

Of course, making this change is not easy. Not every operator may have the vision to execute a broad digital business transformation. But, as Mattila explained, businesses do not need a Steve Jobs-type visionary at the top to push forward a digital service strategy. All you really need is firm direction, leadership, courage to change and a willingness to try new things.

Senior management should be in charge of digitalisation, Mattila recommended, and the sales, distribution and customer service functions need to buy in as well. Change may happen incrementally, but as long as they are watching the market, experimenting and pushing in the right direction to rewrite their playbooks, operators can transform successfully. Those that do not will die and perhaps result in new life.

Experiment Often, With a Focus on Speed

Above all, transforming into a digital business is a matter of trial and error. Not every new digital service offering or business idea will succeed, but as long as operators try new things quickly and ‘fail fast’, they will have the opportunity to quickly recover, learn from the results and react and ‘scale fast.’

Telco organisations should not fear failure, Mattila advised, because mistakes inform future successes. Maybe one opportunity will stick and truly catapult the business forward. The experimenting done and ideas that survive will ultimately make a major difference in operators’ successful transition to next-generation digital and communications service providers.

This blog post is based on Veli-Matti Mattila’s interview on the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) website and written up by Antti Blåfield.

How Enterprise Sales Transformation Enables a Business-to-Human Approach

Posted: August 24th, 2015 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , | No Comments »

By Mikko Kiiski, Vice President, Product Management, Service Orchestration, Comptel

Consumers today can buy what they want in a matter of minutes. Empowered by a self-service research and purchase process, the buyer sets the terms of product or service delivery, and their order – whether physical or digital – will arrive, in most cases, with the consumer having tolerated minimal to no complexity. enterprise sales transformation

That’s the business-to-consumer (B2C) digital buying experience, and customers expect to receive it each time they make a purchase on any device. Why, then, should expectations be any different in business-to-business (B2B) transactions?

After all, the same network technology that enables the digital buying experience for consumers also supports enterprise transactions. The only difference is the enterprise sales process, which is linear and requires a sales manager to field requests and quotes, verify feasibility, iterate on project design and eventually deliver.

This drawn-out process leads to delayed or poor implementations, frustrated B2B buyers and frequent order fallouts. In fact, Analysys Mason research shows that 35 percent of orders fail within the first six months of launch, primarily due to poor order quality.

It’s an especially bad process to keep using in light of the emerging digital buyer experience. The same IT buyer who might tolerate a slow and iterative purchasing process at work enjoys a much more enjoyable experience when shopping online or on mobile at home.

Our 2015 survey of telco C-level executives found that 78 percent are finding it harder to separate B2C and B2B customers by traditional standards, believing instead that they would be better served by taking a Business-to-Human (B2H) approach.

What is B2H? B2H knocks down the walls between consumer and business purchasing to create a shared service experience that is personalised, immediate, transparent and convenient.

It requires operators to undergo an enterprise sales transformation, connecting a responsive back office to a digital, user-friendly front office to reimagine how enterprise orders are orchestrated and fulfilled. While many operators are thinking about B2H, one Comptel customer achieved it to great success.

European Operator Embraces B2H

This operator’s journey started with a recognition that its existing IT infrastructure – particularly to support enterprise sales and service delivery – was too fragmented to deliver the Amazon-like buying experience its B2B customers want.

That fragmentation stemmed from years of mergers and acquisitions, the historical separation of technology stacks between different lines of business and the gradual accumulation of legacy hardware and applications. Rather than add on another separate fulfilment silo for its B2B customers, the operator instead chose to revamp its entire sales process, so it could be more agile and competitive.

The solution was to use a CloudSense front-end sales platform, integrated with Salesforce’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, on top of Comptel’s FLOWONE™ Fulfilment platform. This combination allowed the operator to give enterprise customers the same online buying experience as consumers.

An enterprise IT manager, for example, could search the digital and communications service provider’s catalogue, which might include IP-VPN, video conferencing or even hardware, then configure and order everything online. The FLOWONE™ Fulfilment platform supports all service orchestration functions at time of purchase, allowing the customer to self-verify the feasibility of their request (“Can I get fibre Internet service at this address?”), pre-plan delivery (setting installation times and locations), and even reserve physical or logical resources.

The entire service orchestration cycle is now visible to customers. Just as they know when a package from Amazon might arrive at their doorstep, they now know when they can expect their new video conferencing service to be installed.

Now, 90 percent of the operator’s enterprise ordering and service deliveries proceed through this fully automated approach, with absolutely no contact from sales or support staff. The other 10 percent of orders are reserved for projects that require a human touch – such as an office move – but even these projects can be automated in many aspects.

The transformation delivered immediate financial benefits. The IP-VPN service delivery process shrank from 43 to 14 days. Furthermore, the actual order and configuration process only takes a few hours, and most of those 14 days are spent managing subcontractors or physical equipment. It all adds up to 3 million euros in annual OPEX savings for this operator.

That’s the amazing potential of bringing a B2C service experience to the enterprise. To succeed in a new digital era, operators must recognise that customers of all shapes and sizes want the same things: simplicity, customisation, immediacy and convenience. It’s all about B2H in Nexterday.

Get the full story on this operator’s enterprise sales transformation, and learn the simple process improvement that could change your business. Replay our recent webinar, “CSP Enterprise Sales Transformation – Using the Hybrid Cloud to Drive Business.”

Email to arrange a meeting with Comptel at Dreamforce 2015, September 14-18, in San Francisco and learn more about our service orchestration solutions.

Comptel, STC Partner to Train Saudi Arabia’s Future IT Leaders

Posted: August 20th, 2015 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , | No Comments »

By Mika Korpinen, Senior Vice President, MEA, Comptel Corporation

Saudi Arabia is becoming one of the world’s biggest technology markets, partly on the strength of a tech-savvy population of young professionals. To help sustain this growth, Comptel works alongside the largest digital and communications service provider in the Middle East and North Africa, STC, to educate and empower the next generation of IT talent in Saudi Arabia.

Our long-time customer reached out to Comptel for support launching its brand-new employee training initiative. The four-month “Young IT Talent” programme educates recent Saudi university graduates on telecommunications networks and Comptel technologies, while also providing the skills they need to succeed in future leadership positions within STC.

The development of young Saudis countrywide is an important national issue, and Saudi society greatly values any investments made in the education and betterment of youth. Our joint programme is particularly relevant given the kingdom’s emergence as an IT powerhouse.

Already the largest IT market in the Middle East, technology spending in Saudi Arabia is estimated to top $14.7 billion by 2017, according to IDC. Government investment in new technologies is particularly strong – Saudi Arabia ranks eighth worldwide in government IT usage.

The Comptel-STC partnership offers young Saudis the chance to develop business acumen, communication, presentation and writing skills, programming language aptitude, as well as an understanding of key technologies and software best practices. STC turned to Comptel because of our broad IT experience, comprehensive solution portfolio and innovative industry vision.

“Comptel was a natural partner to help us roll out the programme given our long-standing relationship and the important role Comptel technology plays within our business,” said Younes Al Suhaibani, director of IT integration applications at STC.

The program includes four modules over fourth months. Trainees receive on-the-job training in STC’s Riyadh offices, and then travel to Helsinki and Kuala Lumpur to spend a month in each city working within Comptel’s key research and development centres.

From these locales, the graduates are educated on the principles of Operation Nexterday, covering the new digital buying experience, the demands of Generation Cloud, the power of intelligent fast data and the possibilities of new digital service monetisation strategies and ground to cloud service orchestration. They also enjoyed international business mentoring and first-hand exposure to different cultural perspectives.

Ultimately, the program benefitted not only the young trainees, but also STC and Comptel. STC has gained access to new staff that possess an accelerated understanding of technology and communications. And by operating a first-class training program, STC is able to attract the best and brightest young talent from the community. All this helps STC meet present and future business goals to ensure long-term success.

For Comptel, the program supports long-term business goals in the emerging Saudi Arabian market. It also ensures that the next generation of Saudi IT talent is well-educated on the principles of Operation Nexterday and Comptel technologies.

“Our joint programme sets up both new employees and STC for success – this competency development initiative will help ensure software delivery and development best practices, reduce time-to-market, optimise costs and resource utilisation, as well as empower future leadership,” explained Teo-Tuomas Hirvonen, vice president of strategic accounts at Comptel.

Most importantly, the young professionals who passed through the program will understand the way globally leading software development works and gain a new global perspective on business, technology and culture. In an increasingly globalised world where innovation proceeds at a rapid pace, this experience will be invaluable to the future development of Saudi Arabia’s IT market.

In November, Comptel will launch the antiseminar that telcos have been waiting for. Nexterday North will bring together the brightest minds in telco to spur innovation and explore creative ways to reach Generation Cloud and transform their businesses for the better. Register for Nexterday North to reserve your exclusive spot.

Slush 2015 and Nexterday North: A One-Two Punch for Innovation

Posted: August 13th, 2015 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

By Katja Kurisjärvi, Marketing Manager, Comptel

This November will be an exciting and energising month for the worlds of tech and telecommunications. Two major events, Comptel’s inaugural Nexterday North and Slush 2015, will descend on Helsinki, with the city welcoming thousands of tech leaders, entrepreneurs and big thinkers from around the world. It promises to be a full week of fresh ideas, big announcements and new visions for the future.

Nexterday North: The Antiseminar You’ve Been Waiting For

Just two days before Slush, Comptel will bring together the brightest minds in the digital and communications industry from 9 to 10 November with Nexterday North, which aims to take a fresh, bold look at the challenges and opportunities for traditional operators and emerging players and digital ecosystems.

Nexterday North will focus on three areas: Think Ahead, where we examine other industries to identify the industry’s collective blindspot, Think Again, where we re-evaluate industry learnings to challenge the status quo, and Think Beyond, where we’ll draw on the startup environment at Slush to find ways to think bigger and better about telco.

The event will also include Geekland, an invite-only Comptel user group that will share cutting-edge live demos, industry blueprint showcases and more. If you want to see what the future holds for your digital and communications services business, you need to be at Nexterday North.

You can register for Nexterday North at this link, and keep in mind that registering for a Nexterday Front pass will also grant you a Slush Conference Pass.


Slush is the leading European technology and startup event, organized in Helsinki and taking place from 11 to 12 November 12. The next world-conquering companies come to Slush to meet with venture capitalists, launch new products and share their technology breakthroughs with the global tech community.

The Slush program features a number of industries, including healthcare, education, clean tech, future enterprises and e-commerce. Speakers include the founders and leaders of tech unicorns such as Skype, King, Klarna and Supercell. The result is a palpable environment, with startups hoping to attract venture capital, media attention and technology partners, whereas investors come to look for the next billion-dollar company.

For digital and communications services providers, Slush is a great venue to learn about the emerging technologies that will continue to influence the behaviour of our generation. Slush is also a unique platform to identify business opportunities and connect more closely with digitally savvy consumers and businesses.

“With Nexterday North and Slush back-to-back, digital and communications service providers have a unique and exciting chance to hear from some of the world’s most creative thinkers and futurists in the span of a few days,” said Ari Vänttinen, CMO, Comptel. “Those four days in Helsinki will shake up the industry as we know it, providing the blueprint for what’s to come in digital and communications technology.”

“The Nordic countries have definitively put their name on the map of new technologies. The area accounts for 26 percent of all European exits yet has only 4 percent of the population,” said Marianne Vikkula, President and COO, Slush. “With events like Nexterday North and Slush, we want to make sure that the same development continues in the area.”

Charting a Future for Telco and Tech

The run up to Slush and Nexterday North also includes a number of 48-hour hackathons, including Ultrahack in which the Comptel team is participating from 6-8 November. Hackathons present a great chance for developers to refine their software with expert coaching on-site or build new innovations from scratch in a matter of hours.

It all adds up to what will be an exciting week in Helsinki. Visiting digital and communications service providers will be on the ground floor, where big ideas, concepts and partnerships are developed. You’ll learn about the technologies that are changing the world, the strategies that could change your business and the trends that are defining Generation Cloud.

The Comptel team is looking forward to an incredible series of events. We hope to see you in Helsinki.

Register now to reserve your spot at Nexterday North, and receive a conference pass to Slush 2015.

MWC Shanghai 2015: Emerging Markets Step Toward Nexterday

Posted: August 10th, 2015 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

By Joakim Knutar, Vice President, North Asia Region, Comptel

The Comptel team was excited to share our vision for the future of telecommunications with the 40,000 attendees who turned up for this year’s Mobile World Congress Shanghai. This year’s event was abuzz with talk of innovations in mobile and digital technology.Comptel team MWC Shanghai

Asian markets are rapidly adopting mobile and digital services, and there’s a chance to grow these markets further. Idea Cellular managing director Himanshu Kapania spoke of the opportunity to connect more of India’s 1 billion mobile voice users to the Internet. Only about a quarter of the country’s telecom subscribers have Internet access, but new initiatives to extend connectivity have contributed to 37-percent annual growth in the number of Indian Internet users.

China is experiencing a similar trend with 4G. Since December 2013, China Mobile has added 190 million 4G connections, according to its executive vice president, Li Huidi. As a result, 21 percent of the company’s mobile user base runs on 4G, and that population of subscribers delivers 3.8 times more average revenue per user (ARPU) than non-data users.

Overall, 46 percent of the nearly 4 billion Asia-Pacific consumers are mobile subscribers, of which 62 percent – about 1.3 billion individuals – are also mobile broadband subscribers.

Mobile World Congress ShanghaiAs mobile and digital penetration continues to grow in these markets, operators in the region should not only innovate to win over customers but also do everything in their power to maximise even the smallest digital moment. As we’ve written about in our book, Operation Nexterday, operators will be able to drive more revenue by giving customers exactly the service they need at exactly the right moment and on the right platform.

Data is the key to finding and enhancing these digital moments, but only if it can offer immediate visibility, deliver context in-stream and enable instant action. That’s Intelligent Fast Data at work.

Certain operators in emerging markets are leveraging consumers’ data to drive revenue by overcoming cultural or regional obstacles that limit information access. Tadashi Onodera, chairman of KDDI, explained that his company has been able to address cultural privacy concerns through a direct billing approach. Because nearly all Japanese mobile customers are on a postpaid agreement that requires a national ID and credit card, they trust their operator with their data, according to Onodera. As a result, KDDI has access to data it can use to learn about customers, deliver unique services and add value.MWC Shanghai Comptel

We’ve seen direct carrier billing work successfully in places like Indonesia, where Indosat has been able to deliver a modern and convenient mobile purchasing experience to its customers, while simultaneously unlocking new monetisation opportunities. It’s a powerful example of how digital and communications services providers are thinking creatively to overcome obstacles, move past current ways of doing business and embrace Nexterday.

Having spent time with the heavy hitters in Shanghai, we’re more confident than ever that the future of mobile and digital services in APAC and beyond will depend on this type of creativity and focus.

In November, the antiseminar you’ve been waiting for hits Helsinki. Nexterday North will bring together the brightest minds in digital and communications services to think ahead to examine our collective blindspot, think again to challenge the status quo and think beyond to find new digital disruptions. Register now to reserve your exclusive spot.