Posted: May 18th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: fibre, GTB, GTB Innovation Awards | 1 Comment »
Fibre optic technology continues to fulfil its promise as the fastest way to deliver Internet and communications services worldwide, and over the years, we have helped operators successfully and cost-effectively deploy the technology.
For one, Comptel is pleased to be associated with partner GE Digital Energy and operator Chorus, who received a 2015 Global Telecoms Business (GTB) Innovation Award in the category of fixed network infrastructure innovation. It is the second consecutive year in which our team was honoured for our work on the ambitious project in New Zealand.
Chorus is the largest telecoms infrastructure provider in New Zealand. The company was created shortly after the 2009 launch of New Zealand’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative, which seeks to deliver fibre-optic broadband to 75 percent of the country’s population by 2020. Challenged to meet the UFB’s aggressive short-term implementation deadlines – schools, hospitals and 90 percent of businesses in New Zealand needed to be fibre-enabled by 2015 – Chorus turned to Comptel.
In the first phase of their project, we initiated an “intelligent evolution” of Chorus’ infrastructure, which evaded traditional upgrade procedures in favour of a holistic approach. As a result, Chorus was able to reduce the time required to provision fibre services to customers’ homes by 40 percent, reduce the time needed to train staff on fibre technology and complete the entire project in just one year. You can read all about that first phase in this fibre provisioning case study from Analysys Mason.
Our team’s win in this year’s GTB Innovation Awards is for the second phase of our work, which comprised the integration of logical and physical inventory. We worked together with GE Digital Energy and relied on TM Forum Frameworx to combine our inventory systems in a way that best served Chorus’ needs. As of early 2015, Chorus achieved an end-to-end provisioning solution that enabled the automatic processing of service requests, which means little manual work is now needed to process orders for fibre service, send installation instructions to field crews and activate the service.
An efficient provisioning solution and accurate physical inventory also means technicians spend less time clarifying records, which unlocks better efficiency in the field, faster install times for customers and a stronger foundation for improved fault resolution and asset maintenance.
“The feedback I have received so far from the field seems to be very positive,” said Gemma Cleland of Transfield Services, a Chorus contractor. “They are especially happy with the additional inventory information that they are now getting provided.”
Comptel is proud to once again be recognised as an innovator in the provisioning and delivery of a new generation of communications services. We recognise both the emerging telecoms trends that push operators to innovate, as well as the challenges operators face in deploying the solutions that address those trends. As a result, we’re ready to help our customers meet these challenges head on, while acknowledging that our work has only just begun.
Both Comptel and GE Digital Energy will be in Nice, France for TM Forum Live! from 1 – 4 June, 2015. Email email@example.com to arrange an in-person meeting at the event. And download our new book, Operation Nexterday, to learn more about the creative ways leading digital and communications service providers can meet new market challenges.
Posted: May 4th, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: big data, Data Refinery, Intelligent Fast Data, Webinar | No Comments »
What could be more frustrating than learning you missed a great opportunity simply because you didn’t have the information you needed in time? Many operators today miss such opportunities every minute either because their data is too old to be relevant any longer, or their systems are too slow to react to new data in-the-moment.
Given the nature of buying digital services today, information ages fast. Learning about your customers’ needs and preferences hours or even minutes later may be too late to engage their peak interest. Instead, digital and communications services providers need to be able to capture, process and draw insights from data, so they can act on it at the point of its peak value – the moment it is created.
This issue was at the heart of a recent Comptel webinar, “Data Refinery: The Facility for Intelligent Fast Data.” I was joined by Tero Lindholm, senior product manager at Comptel, to provide an overview of the challenges at hand for operators who want to make the most of data and digital buying opportunities.
Those opportunities are the result of a “perfect storm” in telco. On the demand side, a huge number of devices and apps are flooding the market, all of which are being consumed by Generation Cloud – those digital natives who want services on their terms and who play by their own rules.
On the infrastructure side, advancements in technology – from hyper-fast digital connections via 4G, 5G and fixed broadband, to the ongoing virtualisation of network resources, to the explosion of Big Data – require operators’ immediate attention.
At the convergence of these trends is a need for operators to re-write their existing service approach to match a new telecommunications reality. You need to bring new solutions to market in a new way that captures the interest of Generation Cloud, which is resistant to mass marketing, inflexible agreements and limited contracts. You also need to improve the underlying technology you use to support these new solutions, and ensure that as a digital and communications service provider, you are able to operate at a new speed of business.
One important component to this is data. With the right data in the right context, operators have the power to address consumers’ individual desires and needs.
But, as we suggest in the example above, data is only valuable if it is recent. Given the rapid-fire way Generation Cloud evaluates and purchases digital services, you need solutions that enable you to collect usage data from any source, enrich it with contextual information and analyse it in the moment for instant, real-time application in the form of immediate actions.
All of that needs to happen automatically, supported by embedded, machine-learning capabilities that allow your systems to more intelligently interpret data as time goes on. How do you do it?
Tero explains the Comptel Data Refinery solution in-depth in this webinar, and also highlights four practical cases in which Comptel customers applied the Data Refinery in a way to bring new innovative solutions to market faster than ever before.
Get the full story on the value of Intelligent Fast Data and having a Data Refinery to process it all. Click to replay our free webinar, “Data Refinery: The Facility for Intelligent Fast Data.”
Tero Lindholm, Senior Product Manager, Comptel
Malla Poikela, Head of Marketing, Intelligent Data, Comptel
Posted: April 28th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Compelling Cases | Tags: Analysys Mason, service orchestration | No Comments »
Like their counterparts around the world, Saudi Arabian consumers are hungry for mobile services. The most recent available government data showed that the country had a mobile subscription penetration rate of 176.9 percent in 2013, and that figure is only expected to grow.
Mobily, for one, now stands to benefit from this mobile service appetite after improving its service architecture. As we described in our new book, Operation Nexterday, Mobily successfully addressed several back-office inefficiencies, enabling the operator to capitalise on the demand for mobile services.
The company embarked on an ambitious plan in 2011 to re-engineer its entire service architecture for better flexibility, improved cost efficiency and faster time-to-market.
Complex Architecture Bogged Down Service Potential
Mobily has enjoyed steady growth in its customer base since launching in 2005, boasting 18.2 million mobile subscribers in its 2013 annual report. As we cover in Operation Nexterday, today’s consumer wants a multi-channel, automated, personalised, instantaneous digital buying experience. Generation Cloud wants services that move at their speed, and acknowledging this reality, Mobily decided to evaluate its back-office infrastructure to ensure it was well-positioned to serve these customers.
Mobily historically had developed its operation and business support systems (OSS / BSS) internally. In-house departments often developed applications independently of other parts of the company, which could sometimes result in out-of-sync design principals, inconsistent process terminology and redundant applications. This could complicate new products or services launches, which encouraged Mobily to seek out a simplified service architecture.
A Game Plan and Platform for Success
Mobily committed to a service overhaul in 2011. The operator relied on TM Forum standards as a framework to document its existing process flows, gaps and redundancies, which made it easier to develop a strategy to address those weaknesses.
That was followed by a switch to a new Comptel service orchestration platform, which offered a consolidated, simplified and automated operational back-end. After the revamp, Mobily was able to reduce operational and support costs and ensure faster time-to-market. Execution timelines for new product launches were reduced from two days to 30 minutes, and fulfilment order processing shrank from 15 minutes to 10 seconds.
The initiative unlocked $95 million in direct operational savings, but most crucially, it allowed Mobily to establish a more flexible foundation for service development. Today, Mobily is in a much better position to address the needs of Generation Cloud and profit from a dynamic digital buying experience.
Download this case study from Analysys Mason to learn how Mobily re-engineered its service architecture with Comptel OSS Solutions.
Posted: April 24th, 2015 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: News | Tags: business review, financials, intelligent data, service orchestration, strategy | No Comments »
Comptel’s net sales and profit grew significantly during the first quarter of 2015, which continued the trend from the second half of 2014. Our European operations especially continued strong sales in Q1. Our FlowOne Fulfillment solution continued, as in the last year, to be our main growth driver.
We were also awarded a deal with a new customer in Indonesia, together with our strategic partner, Tech Mahindra. Strategically, this was an important deal, as Indonesia is defined in our strategy as one of our target growth markets. Our backlog continued to be strong with a 32.3% increase compared to the previous year.
In Q1, we invested in development areas as defined in our updated strategy. Despite our investments, profitability continued to improve, and our operating results grew 55.7% year over year. During the first quarter, we secured three significant orders, valued over EUR 0.5 million. A few Q1 forecasted orders were delayed to the beginning of Q2.
Business Review of Q1 2015
Comptel’s net sales increased in the first quarter by 16.3 per cent from the previous year, to 21.0 million (18.0). The net sales increase was due to the strong backlog at the end of the year. European sales continued with strong growth as in the second half of last year.
The operating result for the period was EUR 1.5 million (1.0), which corresponds to 7.1 per cent of net sales (5.3). The profitability improvement is all attributable to the growth in net sales.
The result before taxes was EUR 0.8 million (0.8), and the net result was EUR 0.29 million (0.15). Net profit improved by 92.3 per cent. Earnings per share for the period under review were EUR 0.00 (0.00).
The Group’s financial income/expenses were EUR -0.7 million, which is a result of US dollar long-term strengthening. The tax expense for the period was EUR 0.5 million (0.6), of which EUR 0.3 million were withholding taxes related to double taxation (0.7).
The Group’s order backlog increased from the previous year and was EUR 55.8 million (42.2) at the end of the period.
Life is digital moments. Digital demand will be driven by “Generation Cloud” customers and enterprises interacting with millions of digital applications. The Internet of Things with billions of connected devices will further accelerate digital demand, leading to exploding data volumes. Future mobile and fixed networks will provide hyper speeds and undergo a transformation from hardware to software. Network functions will be virtualised. Mounting complexity will require orchestration of business flows and virtualised resources.
Comptel’s mission is to perfect digital moments and translate them into business moments by connecting digital demand and supply.
The Comptel strategy focuses on providing solutions for digital and communications service providers in two major areas – Intelligent Data and Service Orchestration. The Intelligent Data business delivers solutions and services to customers for monetising data and turning Big Data into intelligent, automated actions. The Service Orchestration business area provides solutions and services for business flow orchestration and mastering the digital buying experience.
Comptel’s strategic target is to establish itself as a leading software vendor for connecting digital demand and supply.
Strategy execution is based on six strategic objectives: solutions with unique value, thought leadership, customer excellence, new markets, leverage by partners and inspired people.
Comptel´s marketing strategy strives for industry thought leadership on carefully selected themes and topics which are: the digital buying experience, monetising more with less time, orchestration of service and order flows from ground to cloud, and intelligent fast data. The essence of Comptel’s thought leadership is captured in the book, Operation Nexterday, that was launched at Mobile World Congress in March 2015.
We expect 2015 net sales to grow compared to the previous year, and we expect operating profit to be in the range of 8-12%, excluding one-time charges.
Posted: April 22nd, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: News | Tags: customer experience, Generation Cloud, Operation Nexterday | No Comments »
From the milkmen who delivered dairy in the early 1900s, to the earliest pizza delivery services of the 1960s, to the shipments of furniture, mail and much more straight to your door, home delivery is nothing new to consumers.
However, sometimes taking a proven concept and applying it with a new context is all it takes to create fresh buzz.
That’s what U.S. mobile operator Sprint hopes to do with its new Direct 2 You service. Announced last week, Direct 2 You aims to “bring the store experience” to customers, who buy or upgrade their Sprint mobile phones, according to the company.
A Sprint customer service specialist – driving a Sprint-branded van, of course – will hand-deliver the new phone wherever the customer wants, whether at home, the workplace or even the local Starbucks. Once on-site, the Sprint specialist can help the customer set up the new device, transfer files and data from an old phone, initiate backups and walk through features.
Sprint also offers to buy your old phone as part of its trade-in program, and representatives will be able to value the old device on the spot during the in-person visit, the company said.
At the same time, customers won’t be pressured into buying other Sprint services. In comments to The Verge, Sprint vice president Rod Millar claims its representatives will not be pursuing upsells during their visits, instead focusing solely on ensuring customers are “happy and delighted.”
Though the entire program may seem old-fashioned at first glance, Sprint is actually demonstrating its savvy regarding modern consumer demands. This personal touch is the exact right approach for operators trying to appeal to Generation Cloud, who, as we explain in our new book Operation Nexterday, prefer to shop on their own terms.
Our recent survey of consumer digital buying preferences reveal 65 percent prefer to purchase digital content and services at their convenience, while 60 percent are influenced to buy by tailored recommendations from their operators.
Sprint’s home delivery service addresses several of these preferences. Customers are empowered to set the terms of their delivery and aren’t pressured to buy add-ons they don’t want. Our survey made it clear that consumers today are highly resistant to any service experiences that feel forced, and that they won’t hesitate to switch away from digital and communications service providers they feel are too aggressive with offers.
A personal support experience also matches customers’ desire for tailored service. Best of all, the entire service makes it faster and easier for consumers to purchase the latest technology. They know exactly when and where their new phone will arrive, and if Sprint is able to meet its delivery times consistently, that should limit customer frustration and increase their speed-to-satisfaction.
Direct 2 You is a step in the right direction for Sprint, which is showing it won’t stand idly by as its closest competitors try to win market share through other customer-first service offerings. And the program is a prime example of the type of creative thinking other operators will need to embrace if they hope to win customers’ hearts and minds—and wallets—in the era of Generation Cloud.
Learn more about the factors influencing Generation Cloud’s purchasing habits—and the strategies operators must embrace to succeed—in our new book, Operation Nexterday.
Posted: April 9th, 2015 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: News | Tags: Comptel, Operation Nexterday | No Comments »
We’re entering a new era in telecommunications – a “perfect storm” of technology capabilities that challenges digital and communications service providers to serve a more demanding type of customer, particularly those of “Generation Cloud.”
I recently discussed this with Kelsey Hubbard in an interview for the NASDAQ CEO Signature Series – you can watch our full conversation here. As I explained to Kelsey, consumers and businesses today are surrounded by a wide range of technological capabilities that never existed before – from hyper-connected smartphones, to smarter applications, to high-speed networks, to cloud computing, to Internet-enabled devices and much more.
With all of this technology at their fingertips, customers are becoming better connected and more demanding of the digital services they use. “Generation Cloud” expects to get the services they want right on time, love comparison tools that allow them to get the best price and value for these services, and discard any notions of mass segmentation in favour of highly personalised and targeted buying experiences.
Serving these customers effectively means overcoming a number of collective blind spots that persist within telecommunications. Operators must specifically answer a number of nagging questions: How do we win the hearts and minds of consumers in the digital era? How do we effectively monetise new digital service opportunities? With whom should we partner to reduce friction and enable faster speed-to-market and time-to-revenue?
Kelsey and I discussed how Comptel has repositioned itself over the past several years to better tackle these questions on behalf of our customers. We want to embrace the principles of Operation Nexterday, and our biggest strategic objective for the next few years is to better connect digital supply and demand, so our customers can turn emerging service opportunities into the “perfect digital moments” for their end users. Transforming these perfect moments into revenue-driving business moments will allow operators to develop stronger relationships with their own customers and reach greater heights.
How will we do it? As I explained, Comptel operates at the intersection of two major industry transformations:
The entire telecommunications market is steadily moving toward a type of network infrastructure that Comptel has long embraced: software-defined networks (SDN). We have traditionally provided software that allows operators to manage resources in the network and now in the cloud, and as a result, we believe Comptel is uniquely positioned to support the industry’s larger transformation now and in the future.
A big determinant of operator success in the coming years will be in their ability to turn intelligence into opportunities in real time. Having intelligent fast data will become critical. We’ve been a Big Data company for 27 years – Comptel currently collects 20 percent of all mobile data worldwide – which puts our company in a position to address that massive amount of data and provide analytics and other services on top of that.
Removing Complexity and Friction
I very much enjoyed the opportunity to chat with Kelsey about the unique challenges and opportunities that face not only Comptel, but telco as a whole. As Comptel sees it, every significant industry trend boils down to the need to eliminate inherent complexity.
We want to leverage our expertise to reduce friction points and make it easier for operators to give their customers exactly what they want at the right time on the right device, and earn revenue while doing it.
We think focusing on simplicity is the right course of action as telco steers its way through the perfect storm of consumer, technology and service trends.
Watch our full conversation with Kelsey Hubbard for the NASDAQ CEO Signature Series. Or, download a copy of Operation Nexterday to learn more about our vision for the future of digital communications
Posted: April 7th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: Comptel, customer experience | No Comments »
Enterprise customers desire an easy way to purchase and even re-sell digital services, but operators are missing out on this opportunity because they don’t offer an intuitive and engaging digital buying experience, according to a recent report.
ICT Intuition and Coleman Parkes Research released the results of its “Enterprise Multi-Client Study,” which surveyed more than 1,000 global business leaders across a variety of industries to better understand what enterprises want from connected digital services offerings – as both users and potential resellers. These offerings include, among many others, security and IT infrastructure management applications, business insight or data analytics programs and sales management tools.
The survey – findings from which were also published in our book, Operation Nexterday – revealed several insights into the steps operators need to take to monetise the digital services opportunity. As ICT Intuition president and founder Nancee Ruzicka explained, “operators are not taking advantage of a potentially lucrative market in which businesses are eager for connected digital services.”
According to the survey, 81 percent of respondents are currently using connected digital services to improve productivity, generate revenue or reduce business costs. Of the 19 percent who are not, all said they are considering these services.
On top of that, 71 percent would even like to bundle such connectivity into the products they sell, and among that group, 95 percent said they would want to partner with a digital or communications service provider to achieve this.
The report also explored the types of digital services businesses would pursue and their buying criteria. Businesses today largely prefer to purchase cloud and managed services that require minimal upfront development and maintenance, said the report, because they themselves lack the technology expertise and resources to build up their internal IT capabilities.
Turnkey connected digital services are, therefore, the preferred choice among many business buyers, especially if operators are able to help with implementation and development. Additionally, enterprises don’t necessarily need digital services that integrate with legacy systems, as they are happy to replace existing IT applications with faster, better technology, according to the survey.
How Operators Can Improve
Ultimately, the chief revelation was that enterprises are much more comfortable with digital services than previously expected. In fact, as Ruzicka writes, businesses today desire the same advantages and experiences that digital services offer consumers – if only operators would make it easy for them to partake.
“Businesses don’t have the time or resources to build business functionality themselves, and even for unique, industry-specific applications, only 2 percent are not considering as a Service (XaaS) options,” Ruzicka wrote in the book. “This is a seller’s market, so why aren’t digital and communications service providers selling?”
One big difficulty is that many operators currently lack a simple digital platform through which business customers can quickly search for and purchase digital services – something similar to the mobile app store experience consumers already enjoy.
That’s an experience operators will need to develop, something that can be achieved through next-generation operations and business support system (OSS / BSS) solutions. The insights drawn from such a platform can also inform future value-add services and revenue opportunities, thus fuelling future growth.
Ultimately, enterprises are ready to start talking about digital services, if only their operators could get on board. Savvy digital and communications service providers that embrace forward-thinking technologies stand to benefit in a big way.
Get a copy of Operation Nexterday for additional survey findings, insights and analysis.
Posted: April 2nd, 2015 | Author: Mikko Jarva | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: analytics, big data, intelligent data, machine-learning | No Comments »
For some digital and communications services provider executives, the Big Data trend has been a big disappointment. Operators were entranced by the idea that rich data analysis can reveal targeted insights that drive more revenue, but not every telco has seen its analytics investments turn into real business results. That has created some noticeable Big Data frustrations.
Research firm Gartner tracks market enthusiasm for emerging technologies with its “Hype Cycle,” and last year, Big Data moved from the “peak of inflated expectations” to the “trough of disillusionment.” While that sounds bad at first glance, it really means that businesses are moving beyond the stage of unrestrained expectations and instead starting to ask practical questions about how Big Data can actually solve their problems.
This more realistic view of Big Data means that when a project falls short of expectations, results-oriented executives may be less forgiving of the entire premise. But, is a lack of ROI an indictment on data analytics as a whole, or is it more a reflection of poor execution?
At Comptel, we argue it is the latter. As my colleague, Malla Poikela, wrote in a recent piece for LinkedIn Pulse, the most common hallmarks of a poor-performing Big Data initiative include difficulties accounting for every new raw data source and then turning all of that data into real-time contextual decisions and actions.
Successful programs rely on relevant actionability. Relevance comes from identifying contexts in real-time data, implying specific needs and employing predictive analytics to optimise target selection for those needs. Actionability is achieved through an end-to-end, integrated, real-time process that connects data streams through analysis to action.
It’s not about Big Data. It’s about Intelligent Fast Data, and it’s the only way to treat information at a time when technology empowers consumers to make informed buying decisions faster than ever and complexity grows in multiple dimensions simultaneously.
What are the benefits? With better understanding of existing customers and their preferences, operators can cue up the personalised service offers that customers want at exactly the right time on any device. It’s real-time marketing, driven by in-the-moment analysis, which leads to instant revenue opportunities.
More generally, Intelligent Fast Data can be considered a process that constantly monitors various forms of digital demand and connects that demand with available digital supply, be it a subscriber needing faster bandwidth temporarily to watch a video on demand, a network requiring additional capacity from virtualized packet core functions or supplying a service desk with a data feed from temperature sensors in a connected home.
Here’s how operators can start to make the switch from Big Data to Intelligent Fast Data.
Think Beyond Rules-Based Parameters
One of the downfalls of traditional decision-making system implementations has been a sole reliance on rules-based infrastructure. This form of analytics provides recommendations based on a set of pre-determined rules, but the challenge is that such a system might not be very accurate and can become overly tedious to manage as the number of rules increases. Rules or logics are important decision-making capabilities, but just like in human decision-making, they often need to be supplemented with capabilities such as pattern matching, predictions and anomaly detection. Intelligent Fast Data enables just that: the embedding of machine-learning-driven advanced analytics capabilities into decision-making.
If Insurance, a property and casualty insurer, took this approach to revamp its insurance claim analysis. If stepped up its automation capabilities with an Intelligent Fast Data system, which automatically learns patterns of insurance claims and flags normal claims for automatic processing, while highlighting potentially fraudulent or anomalous claims for further inspection. With the Intelligent Fast Data system the company was able to further reduce manual claims processing work and triple its number of accurately processed claims.
By embracing Intelligent Fast Data (i.e. decision-making automation with embedded analytics), digital and communication services providers can speed up and enhance the process that turns their data streams through analysis and targeted actions into new revenue streams.
Eliminate ‘Data Wrangling’
Another obstacle that could be holding back your switch to Intelligent Fast Data is a phenomenon known as “data wrangling.” According to the New York Times, data scientists can spend 50 to 80 percent of their time and talent essentially prepping data for the analytics process. It’s busywork, and it means you could be taking far too long to turn customer data into action.
To eliminate time-consuming data cleansing and enable faster time to action, a flexible and agile data processing layer is required, particularly one with the ability to integrate information from any digital source, then automatically cleanse, normalise, enrich and transform the data into ready data products and actions, which are consequently delivered to the systems with specific demands. Such a data processing layer must have smart adaption capabilities so that is able to cope with changes in data streams and the addition of new ones without data wrangling.
Remove Purchasing Friction
Changing how you integrate and process data is step one to drawing more value from Intelligent Fast Data investments. However, operators also need to eliminate any potential roadblocks to realising revenue from the insights data provides. This sometimes requires creative solutions.
For example, Indosat, one of Indonesia’s top mobile operators, needed to find a way to monetise mobile revenue opportunities in a country with one major roadblock. Despite being home to more than 250 million residents, only 8 million people in Indonesia have credit cards. That’s 3.3 percent of the population and 7.7 percent of the country’s sizeable base of smartphone users.
Smartphone users in Indonesia can’t simply purchase apps and services on their phone from a stored credit card like consumers elsewhere. However, a creative solution – direct carrier billing for the Google Play store – enabled Indosat to offer its consumers the same purchasing experience smartphone users worldwide enjoy.
Removing this obstacle opened up a new revenue channel for Indosat, and as the operator collects customer app usage data, it will be able to refine this information into insights and actions that drive even more financial benefits.
Intelligent Fast Data, ultimately, allows operators to profit from a wealth of Big Data.
Want to learn more about how Intelligent Fast Data can help you draw more value from new and existing customer relationships? Download our new book, Operation Nexterday, for expert research and insights.
Posted: March 5th, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Events | Tags: big data, customer experience, LTE, mobile, Mobile World Congress | No Comments »
Comptel is in the trenches in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, where the theme this year is all about living on the “Edge of Innovation.” Tens of thousands of attendees are here, all striving to explore how evolving mobile communications technology is changing the way we live, work and play.
We made our mark on MWC by launching our book Operation Nexterday at a special launch party Monday evening, and we were thrilled to share our game plan for the future of digital communications with a large crowd that turned out for drinks, tapas, and free copies of the book!
Some of the communications industry’s leading innovators and visionaries are in attendance for MWC, which is a big benefit to attendees who want to get a sense for how the industry is changing and where it is headed in the coming months and years. Here are three key takeaways we gathered from conference keynotes and sessions we attended:
1. Mobile Consumers Need Digital Confidence
In the event’s opening keynote on Monday morning, the chief executives from four of the world’s top operators – Telefónica, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telenor – shared their thoughts on how mobile will need to evolve to meet the demands of the future.
Panellist César Alierta, executive chairman and CEO of Telefónica, explained that nearly 43 percent of the world’s population – around 3 billion people – are connected to the Internet, and 90 percent of the world’s population is expected to have a mobile phone by 2020!
Each of these consumers will need to have “digital confidence,” or better control over their digital lives and privacy, explained Alierta. The industry will also need to support up to 50 billion new connected devices that make up the Internet of Things and the ‘industrial Internet.’
As a result, operators will need to embrace efficiencies that will enable millions of new customers to connect to the Internet and engage with new digital services. Alierta identified network quality, affordability and service attractiveness as potential areas of improvement for operators who anticipate a surge of new consumers.
2. Data Drives Context, Which Drives Mobile Opportunity
As we have discussed before, targeted marketing is one effective way to reach the digitally savvy Generation Cloud – but only 4 percent of enterprises have the resources, budget and promise to deliver on context and better serve customers, according to Andrew Harrison of Dixons Carphone. Harrison was one of eight panellists in a conference session that explored how businesses could gain the context needed to deliver engaging, personalised content to the right customer at the right time.
Panellist Peter Fitzgerald of Google UK described why context is so critical to the buying experience. Mobile means purchase opportunities arise regardless of location and situation, whether a consumer is at work, home or even sitting on a train checking their phone. Forty-two percent of consumers use their phone in a retail store to compare prices for a product they see on the shelf – a practice known as “showrooming” – but savvy retailers are taking the opportunity to reach these connected buyers by pushing relevant, in-the-moment offers to their devices right in the store, said Fitzgerald.
Businesses today can leverage contextual data to propel instantaneous, personalised offers, and mobile devices are the perfect starting point to find that data. Smartphones and tablets are at the centre of our digital worlds, and as a result, they’re an ideal resource for contextual consumer data.
3. It’s Mobile’s Moment. How Will You Connect Consumers?
Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of products at Google, described Google’s efforts to enable Internet connectivity for consumers around the world. As Pichai explained, consumers in the developed and emerging world may take connectivity for granted, but 4 billion people around the world currently lack access to the Internet.
Google’s efforts to expand connectivity include bringing Google Fibre to urban areas in Africa, and its Project Loon initiative, which uses a network of high-altitude balloons traveling in the Earth’s stratosphere to bring LTE speeds to rural areas around the world. Pichai also discussed the drone company Titan, a recent Google acquisition that designs lightweight solar-powered airplanes which act as “floating cell phone towers,” bringing connectivity to consumers below.
Pichai added that Google will work with operators to build services to deliver to newly connected consumers, but when asked how Google could justify its lofty infrastructure investments, he explained that “it’s mobile’s moment right now.” The bottom line? In the age of affordable connected devices, operators need to follow Google’s lead and embrace innovative ways of reimagining service infrastructure. Better-connected consumers present bigger business opportunities for the savvy service providers who can innovate in the new era of Generation Cloud.
Posted: February 27th, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Telecom Trends | Tags: digital buying experience, Generation Cloud, Nexterday | 1 Comment »
Today’s digital natives are setting a new standard for digital and communications service delivery. They make up “Generation Cloud,” characterised as independent, preferring to shop on their own terms, among a variety of options, and to make purchasing decisions in real time. They value personalisation and tailored recommendations over traditional marketing and sales tactics. And they’re primarily mobile, on-demand buyers, with 65 percent increasingly shopping on mobile devices versus at brick-and-mortar stores.
Naturally, the majority of users in today’s post-digital era will gravitate toward operators that recognize these values. The question, then, is how can operators create a digital buying experience rooted in those values? In January 2015, Comptel conducted a global consumer survey to shed some light on this.
Based on our findings, to win over Generation Cloud, operators need to act like less of a service provider, and more like a social companion. Sixty-five percent of consumers said they look to social circles to influence their buying decisions, and when youthink about the way we interact with our social circles, a very telling theme emerges. Our social interactions are incredibly personal and unique from person to person. Operators, take note.
Among social circles, we’re most strongly influenced by recommendations from others that truly know us, and our personalwants and needs. The way operators interact with their customers should be no different, and the numbers support that. Sixty percent reported that their buying decisions are directly influenced by tailored recommendations from their operators, and 62 percent are more likely to prefer an operator that makes personalised and relevant product recommendations as opposed to those that target them through mass promotions.
One example of how operators can offer this level of personalisation is the way they charge for data usage. We found that customers were fairly split on their pricing preferences across data plans, with about a third wanting to be billed by the amount of data used, while nearly the same number prefer pricing plans that are based on the amount of time spent using data. About a quarter would like to be billed on specific apps they use, and 10 percent think a combination of all three would be best.
Operators should be offering these options – recommending them, in fact – before customers even have a chance to ask for them, which means transforming business models to operate in Nexterday – the day after tomorrow.
Customers are independent – they don’t need an operator to tell them what to do. They do need an operator to give options. Not just any options, and especially not generalised or impersonal options, but ones that are the right fit for them as individuals. Consumers crave personalisation to guide their decision-making, and if operators are to get ahead (and stay ahead), they must put the power of dictating the buying experience in the hands of the consumer.
Download the complete findings of our 2015 global consumer research here: