In 2015, Comptel encouraged operators to embark on their own Operation Nexterday and re-imagine their sales, marketing and service playbooks in reaction to new digital opportunities. This year, we’re asking operators to take the next step and work on designing the perfect digital company.
What does such a company look like? Broadly speaking, it’s a business that is built not only to serve customers’ unique needs, but one that seeks input from those customers to inform its decisions. In other words, the prefect digital company is built for and with its customers.
Digitalisation makes this possible. Generation Cloud demands highly personalised and instantly available services from operators, and they want more say in how these products actually serve them. That means customers want to be able to set service terms and avoid hard-and-fast tiered packaging that, for a long time, has defined the telco industry and limited service disruption.
Customers are also increasingly surrounding themselves with a variety of apps and digital content that address their needs. This digital service ecosystem includes products from traditional telcos and non-industry players like Google and Amazon, and it’s always evolving as customers add new apps or drop services that no longer excite or intrigue them.
The devices on which these services exist also play a role. The emergence of connected devices, from smartwatches to smart cars, adds a new layer – and a new level of complexity – to the digital ecosystem.
Ultimately, operators must determine how they fit into all of this. Digitalisation introduces a bevy of new consumer and network technologies for operators to leverage, and it also allows telcos to think creatively about how they can serve their customers. In a bid to become the perfect digital company, operators need to open their minds to new ways of thinking and address key growth factors in various areas of their business.
Deliver Real-Time Decisions and Automated Customer Actions
The speed at which consumers evaluate and buy digital services is faster than ever, meaning operators need to keep pace. In 2016, operators must leverage the customer behavioural data they already have, plus customer action automation technology, to create better customer experiences. The Four Cs will define these experiences: by applying the right Context, the most appropriate Content can be delivered to the right Customer through the best possible Channels.
Accelerate Product Delivery to Enable a Digital Service Ecosystem
Speed is also a critical factor when it comes to product delivery, and in 2016 operators will need to learn how to configure, test and launch services faster so that customers can build their personal digital ecosystem at a pace that works for them. To achieve this pace, operators will need to eliminate friction in the service lifecycle process, invest in tools that recognize demand quickly and embrace creative monetisation models.
Understand the Purpose of Open Network Integration
Network functions virtualisation (NFV) already forces operators to re-imagine how the network is built to serve new market realities, but it’s about more than flashy new technology. This year, operators need to recognise that the true potential of a flexible, agile network infrastructure is its ability to deliver a frictionless, dynamic and elastic service delivery experience for customers. As always, technology is supposed to serve human interests.
Embrace Data to Enable Smarter Living
Finally, operators this year must consider how the Smart Living movement will affect the development of personal digital service ecosystems. Connected devices are introducing new use cases for technology that telco may have previously lost sight of: the benefits of real-time data in improving education, the environment, personal health or global security. Operators have an important role to play in the development of these services, because they can offer the immediate data insights that power a smarter world – if they are ready to step to the plate.
To date, operators have wondered how they could leverage the industry’s megatrends to benefit their own bottom line. In 2016, many will realise that the real goal should be on working for and with their customers to improve their daily lives. In taking this fresh outlook, operators will not only better serve consumers, but they’ll also unlock routes to new revenue-driving service opportunities that will shore up their relevance in the rapidly evolving digital world.
In 2015, Comptel challenged operators to embark on their own “Operation Nexterday” – a mission to redefine their sales, marketing, technology and service approach to better suit the demands of the tech-savvy digital natives that make up Generation Cloud. Our challenge manifested in several ways – we published a book explaining the challenge and outlining steps to achieve it, launched an event to introduce new ideas and insights, and encouraged new conversations with operators who were ready to take the jump into Nexterday.
The Comptel blog was also busy covering various aspects of the Nexterday mission. Here, we look back on the five most popular blogs we published in 2015.
Our vision for Nexterday culminated in our first ever major anti-seminar. Nexterday North took place in the two days immediately preceding Slush – the largest startup conference in Europe – giving visitors to Helsinki a full week’s worth of fresh ideas, big announcements and new visions for the future of telco, digitalisation and business. Our most popular blog of the year got attendees excited for both events.
Network functions virtualisation (NFV) continued to be a hot topic in 2015, and many operators have discussed their desire to see better standardisation around the implementation of this emerging technology. In this blog, Comptel Director of Business Architecture Stephen Lacey explained how we lend our voice to the NFV standards discussion as a member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
Last year’s Mobile World Congress was an exciting one for Comptel – that’s where we launched Operation Nexterday, our guide to how operators can rewrite their sales, marketing and service playbooks for Nexterday. The event also offered a great look into the trends that are affecting the telco industry, and in this blog post I recapped the top three takeaways I drew from the show.
One of Comptel’s most exciting stories of the year involved our work with Saudi Arabian operator STC. As a long-time customer, STC reached out to Comptel for support launching a brand-new employee training initiative. Through the four-month program, we helped train the next generation of Saudi telecommunications professionals with courses in Riyadh, Helsinki and Kuala Lumpur. We’re proud to play a role in youth IT education – read more in this blog from Comptel Senior Vice President, MEA, Mika Korpinen.
Big Data is a big disappointment – at least, that’s how some IT executives view it after prior data investments and initiatives felt short of lofty promises. In this blog, Comptel CTO Mikko Jarva argued that the failures of Big Data are a reflection of poor execution, and that to truly make the most of their customer data for greater business opportunities and revenue, operators need to account for every new raw data source and turn that data into real-time contextual decisions and actions. In short, it’s a push toward Intelligent Fast Data.
Learn more about our challenge to operators to evolve their sales, marketing and service playbooks for a new generation of buyer. Download and read “Operation Nexterday.”
Walking away from last month’s IoT World Forum in London, where over 400 IoT enthusiasts from various industries came together to exchange views, two major themes were immediately apparent.
First, it was very clear that the Internet of Things (IoT) will be a huge business opportunity for many companies, including operators. Cisco projects that the market for IoT services and technology could generate $19 trillion between 2013 and 2022, while more than 50 billion individual IoT-enabled devices will be connected by 2020.
Secondly, it’s clear we’re moving toward a digital society. Everyone is becoming digitized, and in fact, European operator Tele2 claims that in the IoT economy, all physical things will have a digital twin. And it’s that digital twin which creates digital dependency and product “stickiness” to customers.
What’s the best way forward for operators? How do telcos who have long been focused on connecting customers with traditional voice, messaging and enabling customers’ data access now pursue intriguing new opportunities in an emerging field? Various presenters, a handful of which were operators, at IoT World Forum offered their suggestions – here’s our recap concentrating mainly on the CSPs’ IoT strategies and takeaways.
Find a Good Monetisation Strategy
Ultimately, IoT is about data, and data analytics.
Naturally, operators want to know exactly how they turn all that data generated from those billions of new connected devices into revenue. It was stressed that connectivity is not the only way for operators to earn from IoT, in fact operators need to go beyond connectivity. So instead, telcos must take a service-led approach, relying on connected devices to offer the data that fuels highly personalised and relevant services to customers.
There was an interesting example of an auto insurance provider that defines customers’ insurance policies based on their driving behaviour, which is monitored and tracked by in-vehicle sensors. In this model, IoT-generated data is directly influencing how a consumer service is delivered and priced. Accompanying this behaviour-based insurance model there was a discussion about the other possible alternatives companies might price the IoT, including an ad-funded model, subscription-based model, consumption-based billing, and data trading.
With IoT, the market is moving from CAPEX to OPEX-driven business models, to a ”software as a service” or what one might even call an ”everything as a service” approach.
Find an Innovative Use Case
Operators showcased an amazingly big spectrum of innovative use cases in the field of IoT. These are stretching from various health apps and assisted living to home appliances, smart logistics, smart cities, connected cars and fleet management. Some operators have even made IoT a primary business focus, including one major Tier 1 operator that explained its concentration on the health vertical. To guarantee the best possible success in this domain, they’ve even hired medical doctors to consult on the digitalisation of healthcare.
Build an Ecosystem of IoT Partners
Nobody walks alone in an IoT-driven service ecosystem. IoT market is not be a “one-man show, but rather an ensemble piece.” No single player offers an end-to-end platform that serves a complete array of business use cases.
Bringing all this data together through a compelling ecosystem and service partners, creates a win-win situation for key IoT players. The proposal is to go forward with a culture of experimentation and multi-party models of joint-testing and trials that allow partners to establish proofs of concept and address difficulties before products are released to market, meanwhile applying the well-known principles of “fail fast or scale fast” and “think big, start small and scale fast.”
Address Changing Behaviours to Win Customers
What makes an IoT offering successful? What separates products that are simply hype from those that are genuinely compelling to customers? One conference presenters said “behaviour change is the killer app of IoT,” while another pointed out that the “user is at the centre of IoT.”
There was a common consensus around the popularity of wearable fitness technology. Customers love their FitBits and Jawbones mostly because these devices help their owners become more active. In this case, an IoT device is addressing specific customer behaviour – the desire to live a healthier lifestyle.
Similarly, David Bunch of Shell asked whether today’s youth – more of whom view cars as functional appliances rather than an aspirational purchase – cares much at all about owning their own vehicle. As a result of this changing behaviour, Bunch argues that it’s more a question of when, not if, connected autonomous vehicles will roam city streets as the preferred method of transportation.
Unlike discussions that position the IoT as a sort of futuristic piece of science fiction technology, the tenor of the conversation at IoT World Forum focused on real, pragmatic solutions. For operators, the way forward involves service-led business models and creativity pricing, the creation of beneficial partner ecosystems, establishing innovation labs and a priority on IoT-enabled services that serve evolving customer behaviours and desires.
Download our book, Operation Nexterday, to learn the strategies and solutions that help mobile operators innovate their service offerings and intrigue Generation Cloud consumers.
When we wrote about the state of the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) market little while ago, we discussed the obstacles that operators could face when deploying the emerging technology. Although the number of VoLTE projects is growing, it’s worth asking the question: just how disruptive will high-definition voice be as a revenue generator?
The answer? It’s hard to believe that VoLTE will be the killer app that significantly increases operator revenue.
That’s because, from the consumer perspective, it won’t seem like much has changed at all. They will still open the voice “app” on their phone to make a call. Yes, there will be a handful of new features, including the ability to switch from an audio call to a video call, and, of course, superior voice quality. But, these aren’t features consumers would necessarily want to pay extra for, and if operators charge the same for VoLTE as they do traditional calls, the revenue point is moot.
However, that doesn’t invalidate VoLTE’s value as a service differentiator. The key to unlocking new sources of revenue from VoLTE will be in adopting a flexible monetisation approach.
That will require operators to think beyond pre-configured VoLTE service packages. Operators might opt for these because it seems to be an easier way to try an emerging technology, but they put themselves at a disadvantage.
When the vendor controls everything about how VoLTE is configured, you can only sell the service the way the vendor has dictated. You aren’t able to customise the way you implement and monetise VoLTE based on local market factors. It can often take you longer to implement the technology in the first place or change your implementation based on new developments. Overall, this means operators are slower, less proactive and have a harder time meeting customers’ unique needs.
It also limits other benefits of a VoLTE deployment including efficiency in the network, the ability to reform the cellular spectrum and improved cost competitiveness. Those will all save operators money, but they don’t add up to dramatically improved revenue. It’s better if operators have the power to customise VoLTE implementation and monetisation.
Perhaps you want to bundle VoLTE and Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) services together. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you want to give VoLTE away to enterprise customers free of charge, bundling it as part of a larger corporate offering. Or maybe you’ve thought of an entirely new way to monetise the new technology that no one else has considered.
Ultimately, it should be up to you, not your vendor, to find the right way forward. Configurability in service monetisation is a key factor in achieving business elasticity, a concept we’ve discussed recently. For operators to be elastic – which defines their ability to change, upgrade, improve and react quickly to dynamic market changes – they will need to ensure their VoLTE capabilities are free from the fixed limitations of traditional vendor engagements. Elasticity is a key capability that requires fast, tailored, highly responsive customer service.
VoLTE is not a silver bullet, but that doesn’t mean operators should leave money on the table. Opt for a vendor that will let you configure VoLTE the way you want, and then start thinking of creative new ways to monetise it.
If you missed it, read the first blog post in this series, where we evaluated VoLTE pros and cons. And keep an eye out for our next piece, where we’ll cover the future of VoLTE and where we think this emerging technology will fit in the broader world of digital and communications services. If you want to control your own destiny and deploy VoLTE features the way you want it, the MONETIZER™ is there for you.
Last month, we told you about Mavis Wong and Chin Kang Tan, also known as Team Dragon, who wowed the judges at Comptel Hackathon 2015 with their innovative mobile retail app. Congratulations are once again in order for Team Dragon, as they took second place and a cash prize in the Next Gen eCommerce track at Ultrahack this month.
Ultrahack is a 48-hour hackathon that rewards prizes worth up to 130,000 euros to the best innovations and offers expert coaching and support from developers at some of the world’s leading companies. It’s one of many hackathons that occur in the weeks leading up to Slush, the biggest startup conference in Europe. Team Dragon first qualified for Ultrahack by winning Comptel Hackathon 2015, where they were rewarded with a first-place prize that included a full two-day pass to Slush.
Team Dragon’s app, called Match & Snap, brings the power of the Internet of Things to the retail shopping experience. The IoT-based technology immediately recognizes Match & Snap app users once they enter a store. Users then receive targeted content to improve their shopping experience, whether it’s suggestions on what to wear or information on in-store sales and bargains. There’s even a social component, so Match & Snap users can share their new outfits with friends and ask for their input.
Comptel is once again proud to offer aspiring developers – including Mavis and Chin Kang – an opportunity to share their inventiveness, creativity and intelligence with the world at major events like Nexterday North and Slush.
We’re also thrilled that Team Dragon follows in the footsteps of other Comptel representatives at recent hackathons. Rami Al-Isawi, a software engineer at Comptel, participated in this year’s Junction hackathon, another side event to Slush. He managed to win awards in two categories: The “Most Destructive Hack” and “Most Useless Hack” tracks.
Congratulations to Rami, Team Dragon, and all other participants in this year’s Comptel, Ultrahack and Junction hackathons. We look forward to seeing the innovations that these bright minds bring to the table next year!
Read more about Nexterday North or click to learn about Comptel’s latest mobile data innovation FWD.
By Harry Järn, Head of New Business Ventures, Comptel NXT
Last week’s Nexterday North delivered big ideas from industry experts, business leaders and futurists who discussed the impact of digitalisation on our world. It also included one big surprise: the launch of Comptel’s FWD, a solution that we believe will revolutionise how operators serve customers in the next age of digital services.
What is FWD? It’s a full E2E, cloud-based, white-labelled, solution for operators.
The basic components of FWD, which includes SMPL, the native app, CTRL, the cloud-based controlling system and CNSL, the browser-based operator management tool, combine to create a complete solution for enabling and managing mobile data purchasing.
The native app radically simplifies how mobile customers purchase data. It puts customers in the driver’s seat by letting them set their own terms for buying data. It also puts operators in a better position to monetise mobile data at a time when customers desire more control of service terms and highly personalised, instantaneous service.
Our own mobile customer survey demonstrated why many subscribers are frustrated with the current state of mobile data purchasing. According to the report, 65 percent of consumers struggle to find a mobile data package that fully meets their needs, while 62 percent feel their mobile operator lacks a wide enough range of package options.
Part of that frustration can be tied to rigid mobile data packaging. Though they currently buy data by the gigabyte, customers aren’t sure just how much data they need. Is a 1GB package enough if you only plan to check emails and surf the Web? Is a 10GB plan economical for someone who watches streaming video on their smartphone?
FWD eliminates customer confusion by empowering mobile users to easily buy time-based data access. Here’s how it works: Let’s say a user wants to browse Facebook for just a few minutes. After he opens the Facebook app, he’ll be prompted with a few time-based data options, whether it’s one minute or one month of access. Once the data packet is purchased, the user is free to browse Facebook without limits, and he can easily extend his session if he needs more time.
That means no more bill shocks for surpassing their data overages. No more frustrating data throttling in the middle of a streaming television program or movie. No more complex, extended data service plans. It’s a simplified purchasing process that ties directly into customers’ desire for data control. Our survey found that 65 percent of mobile users want to set their own terms for buying digital content and services. FWD lets them do that.
The FWD management tool for operators opens up new possibilities to sell, target and market mobile data, as well as monitor your business performance in real time. You have full control over offer creation, which means you can experiment with new ways to entice your mobile customers. Embedded analytics will help you understand how your customers consume mobile data and allow you to react accordingly, which could mean dynamic pricing that helps you run a more efficient and profitable network. All of this analysis occurs instantly and in-the-moment, not after a month of data crunching.
We’re also excited about the possibilities FWD offers operators in tapping into a new market: the 2 billion individuals worldwide who have not yet been connected to the internet. With smartphone penetration expected to take off in emerging markets, the question of bringing all these new mobile users only will need to be answered. FWD provides a compelling solution because it’s easy to use, fosters customer engagement and loyalty, and encourages customers to spend more on mobile data.
Digitalisation is forcing many operators to re-think how they engage with and serve a new breed of mobile consumer. Comptel is excited to help operators innovate their service approach and drive toward a digital business revolution.
Although Comptel’s inaugural Nexterday North has wrapped up, post-event enthusiasm hasn’t faded at all. Take a few seconds to scroll through comments on our official Twitter hashtags – #Nexterday and #NexterdayNorth – and you’ll get a sense of the massive number of ideas and insights attendees were able to gain over two inspiring days in Helsinki.
As our CEO Juhani Hintikka said in his closing remarks, we are grateful to all of the partners, colleagues, speakers and guests who helped make our first antiseminar such a success. Plenty of blogs and articles have already been written recapping Nexterday North – check out the links at the bottom of this post for some of those – but here’s three of our own parting thoughts from the first Comptel anti-seminar.
Futurist Rohit Talwar (left), Stewart Rogers of VentureBeat Insights
There is Hope for Humanity
Those were the words Juhani used to describe Day 1 of Nexterday North, and it’s easy to see why. Our first day’s presenters offered a hopeful message of perseverance, potential and positive transformation.
Futurist Patrick Dixon’s energetic presentation taught us that emotion is the single most important driver of the future of technology, business and culture. Successful businesses remember that and seek to satisfy their customers on an emotional level. WIRED’s Gregg Williams shared a similar take, saying “It’s just as important to take bad things out of people’s lives as it is to add good things.”
Riisto Siilasmaa’s candid talk on Nokia’s business transformation had the crowd buzzing, and he offered a compelling walk-through of how he helped lead the company through one of its most challenging time periods. It was an inspiring lesson for the crowd that even in difficult times, there is always hope if you can commit to change.
Ted Matsumoto of Softbank (left), Horacio Goldenberg of Telefonica
Customers Drive the Future
A consistent theme through every session – and especially on Day 2 – was the importance of putting customers at the centre of business strategy.
Our moderator, Ville Tolvanen, hosted a fascinating fireside chat with T-Mobile’s Milan Ruzicka that explored the company’s popular customer-centric Uncarrier movement. In a panel discussion Smart Kalasatama’s Veera Mustonen suggested that business transparency earns customer trust, while Tele2’s Lars Torstensson explained consumers’ desire to set their own service terms.
Of course, you need strategy and structure to put customers at the centre. SoftBank’s Ted Matsumoto offered a compelling business model to help operators fine-tune to customer needs. We also heard from experts on the data, service architecture and monetisation strategies that will play a vital role in operators’ business transformation.
Mehackit's Cycle for Technology (left) and the launch of FWD
It’s Time for New Ways of Thinking
Many of the presentations also focused on the new service opportunities available to operators, from app development to smart cities to digital servies.
VentureBeat’s Stewart Rogers described new insights into hyper-personalized marketing that could deliver richer customer engagement. Futurist Rohit Talwar suggested a business pairing – experienced workers with younger ones – to balance the need for structure and discipline with the desire to innovate. And storyteller Linda Liukas advocated that children today could be the next generation of innovators if we make learning about technology fun and exciting.
Nexterday North was an exciting and inspiring event with more than a few surprises, including the launch of Comptel’s FWD app, which we believe will change how operators sell and market mobile data forever. Ultimately, Nexterday North proved that when you think differently, you uncover ways to make the world a better place for everyone.
By Sofia Nylund, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, TweetAtlas
The post-digital era is here and the Nexterday of business looks unruly, but at the same time extremely inspiring, challenging and prosperous. When new playbooks are rewritten you don’t want to be on the sidelines. It is time to think ahead, again and beyond.
These are the words Compteluses to describe its event Nexterday North, taking place in Helsinki on November 9th-10th. Together with a broad range of ecosystem partners such as Tech Mahindra, IBM, CloudSense, Hitachi and TATA Consultancy Services, Comptel is presenting six conceptually innovative industry blueprints in order to guide operators’ digital business and IT transformations.
The Nexterday blueprint “Hyper-Personalised Customer Engagement” focuses on how to drive new revenues through automated intelligent actions. It explores how companies can achieve smart real-time decisions for upselling services by targeting the right customers through the right channels with the right content, including analytics and sharp decision-making technologies.
So, in what sense will business playbooks be rewritten? When speaking of the fields of marketing and communications, technology and digital advancements have really changed the whole landscape. The need to serve increasingly tech-savvy consumers is driving dramatic change in demand for new capabilities like, for example, analytics. This requires operators to rethink their activities and processes in the digital market.
Social media is no longer a new thing, we are all a part of it to some extent. However, social media is evolving all the time, and its usage and applications are continuously developing and expanding. This is creating an abundance of opportunities. For professionals within marketing and communications social media, can be a real goldmine. At the same time, social media can also cause a lot of challenges and headache.
Brands as well as operators all over the world struggle with incorrect data, incompetent tools and lack of resources to measure and understand the impact of their ever-growing investments in social. Measuring the ROI of social has become the number one challenge in digital marketing according to many studies.
The underlying reason is actually quite simple; data has become more complicated (think: pictures and videos) and old text-mining based tools have become outdated. Today, over 90 percent of Facebook posts contain either a picture or a video clip, on Twitter the same number is over 50 percent and on Instagram, naturally, 100 percent.
Another big challenge with social media usually has to do with targeting the right customers, knowing how to address them in an appropriate way and understanding their rapidly evolving needs. How can you really understand your customers, their behavior and desires, and how can you effectively and proactively address them? In many ways, the customer now owns the brand. Therefore, some businesses may find it intimidating that they are not able to control what people are discussing about them and their brand.
In order to get relevant and accurate social insight you need advanced analytics that have adapted to the rapidly changed market and evolution of content in social conversations. Just because of the sheer volumes of these conversations, it’s impossible for any social media team alone to review and interpret all the content online about a brand, yet computers aren’t smart enough to understand sarcasm, irony, pictures, videos and multiple languages. The complexity of data has become a real issue. In today’s fast changing world, it has also become more and more vital for management to be aware, in real time, the tone people use when discussing your brand and products.
High quality analytics will eliminate the three biggest analytics problems on the market. First of all, irrelevant data, so called “noise”, is removed from conversations (according to research, on the average 60-80 percent of all data is noise). Secondly, analytics is able to interpret complicated data like pictures, videos and text containing sarcasm, irony and other types of tone. Lastly, in order to get a comprehensive brand insight, true multi-language support must be provided, as many businesses today are global even at launch.
By conducting high-quality social media analytics, one is able to receive valuable insight that helps fuel business-critical decision-making and market understanding. It’s now possible to learn in real-time how to better serve your market, while adjusting your business on an operative level to achieve your strategic business goals.
Completely holistic social insight can only be provided through combining the best capabilities of computers and human beings. Computers are excellent in processing large volumes of data rapidly, whereas human beings excel in interpreting complicated data accurately. When smartly joined together, they offer an unbeatable value proposition to any brand or operator who’s keen to win the game in the long run.
Learn more about the next generation of social media analytics at TweetAtlas.
In a recent blog, Light Reading reported that business considerations are driving operator interest in network functions virtualisation (NFV) just as strongly – and if not, more so – than technology drivers. In other words, more operators recognise that virtualised networks create new service opportunities and new means to generate revenue.
It all comes back to speed. With a more agile infrastructure, operators are empowered to move faster than ever in a number of areas, perhaps none more important than the speed at which they can deliver new revenue-generating services.
Digitalisation has introduced an entire industry of mobile and digital services that buyers love, from apps to over-the-top (OTT) content. At the same time, we’re living in the era of Generation Cloud, where customers expect instant gratification and a high degree of personalisation in their interactions with service providers.
And there are potentially many more services to deliver. Digital consumers across the board – from enterprises to individual consumers – are excited about the possibilities offered by emerging technology, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G connectivity.
As a result, whatever new services operators seek to offer in the near and distant future, it’s certain that NFV and SDN technologies will form the backbone of their service architecture. How will networks evolve to accommodate NFV, and what challenges will its implementation create in the management of existing operation support systems (OSS)?
Experts in the industry debate these questions every day, and this week Comptel will contribute our unique viewpoints during the Light Reading event “OSS in the Era of SDN and NFV: Evolution vs Revolution.” CTO Simon Osborne will host a keynote presentation on service orchestration and Strategic Product Manager Daniel Tyrode will join a panel discussion all about the role of service orchestration in programming the network for rapid service delivery.
These will also be key topics of discussion in Blueprint Alley at our inaugural Nexterday North event next week. If you haven’t already, there’s still time to register for that event and join the conversation around the future of service orchestration in light of the emergence of NFV and SDN.
Both events will address how the back office is influencing front office business decisions, and how operators can address the technical and operational challenges therein. Interestingly, the Light Reading blog mentioned one estimate that said 25 percent of telcos around the world are not fully on board with NFV, content to hang back and wait to see how the technology develops.
If they wait too long, those operators will find themselves at a disadvantage. Recent estimates from Appledore Research Group claim there are as many as 250 ongoing NFV trials and 25 early live deployments. A separate survey from Heavy Reading claims as many as 79 percent of operators expect to have a live NFV deployment by 2018.
Ultimately, many operators are ready to see what NFV can do for their bottom line. By finding technical solutions sooner rather than later, these telcos will more quickly be able to realise the benefits of faster service delivery.
Register today for a 2×2 Front Pass to Nexterday North (9-10 November) and receive full access to Slush, the massive startup conference that starts just two days later – running from 11-12 November.
The theme for last week’s IBM Business Connect event in Helsinki was “Seize the Moment.” Acknowledging the rapidly shifting business environment and ever-increasing consumer demands, event speakers encouraged attendees to get off the sidelines, rapidly build their skills and proactively seek out new ideas to transform their businesses for a new post-digital era.
A number of business leaders, technology experts and futurists presented inspiring talks on their vision for the future of digitalisation, but three keynotes stood out most prominently. The first involved a view of the futuristic technologies businesses will require to push themselves forward, the second stressed the importance of pushing boundaries, and the third encouraged businesses to accept what they don’t know and focus on improving the post-digital buying experience, mirroring what Comptel has said on the topic of Operation Nexterday. Here’s our recap.
A Peek at IBM’s Post-Digital Cognitive Era
IBM has positioned itself as a frontrunner in the “cognitive era,” characterized by a new capability that the tech giant believes companies will need as they move further, and even beyond, the digital era. In his keynote, IBM’s Juha Teljo, who leads European sales for IBM’s business intelligence and predictive analytics technologies, described why cognitive abilities will be the next significant technology for forward-thinking companies.
Cognition, Teljo explains, will allow businesses to understand, reason and learn much in the same way that humans do. Rather than rely on static data for business decision-making, IBM believes the next generation of business intelligence will offer predictive, machine-learned insights through cognitive technology.
This echoes Comptel’s thoughts around operators’ need for intelligent fast data, which drives real-time, automated and contextual marketing, in-the-moment analysis and instant revenue opportunities. Given the speed at which consumers make decisions and demand results, cognition and machine-learning capabilities will be crucial tools moving forward.
Toroidion’s Pasi Pennanen on Pushing Boundaries
It takes imagination to create big ideas, but to accomplish them takes “the next level of courage,” as Pasi Pennanen’s Toroidion project shows.
One might say that Pennanen has plenty of both, and in his keynote he shared his truly fascinating story of how he applied imagination and courage to make his dream of an electric vehicle reality. Pennanen is the creator of the Toroidion 1MW concept car, an eye-popping 100 percent electric sports car with 1,341 horsepower – making it one of the most powerful cars of any type in world.
Pennanen explained how he dreamed of becoming an industrial designer for cars since he was a child – a perhaps atypical ambition for a Finnish youth, but nonetheless one he pursues to this day with the dogged belief that anything is possible. He originally designed the Toroidion to compete in the famous Le Mans 24-hour road race, but now says he envisions his cars eventually being mass produced for everyday consumers.
To achieve that goal, he and his company will need to overcome a great number of challenges and obstacles, but Pennanen is driven to push boundaries in product development and design. It’s a model any business – but especially operators faced with a rapidly evolving telco landscape – should follow.
Futurist Dietmar Dahmen on Accepting the Unknown, Loving the Unknown and Embracing the Unknown
Right now, most operators acknowledge that they are surrounded by a significant number of opportunities coming from all sides. Whether they want to re-engineer their infrastructure for better flexibility and agility through network functions virtualisation, enhance their analytics capabilities through machine-learning technology or design imaginative service plans at warp speed that pique consumers’ interest, there are no shortage of options to revolutionise one’s business.
The challenge is, many operators don’t know which opportunities are right for them or how to proceed. There’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding these decisions, but in his keynote at the event, futurist Dietmar Dahmen expressed why it is important for businesses to accept and even embrace the unknown. As he explained, change is what makes us strong, and though it may feel comfortable to stay within the status quo, businesses must understand that to be a superhero in their industry, they must feel good about breaking rules, thinking exponentially and acting on their potential.
“Without Data Your Business Will Die”
In the digital and cloud era we’re online and connected pretty much 24/7. Dieter Dahmen’s statement ‘We are our phone’ is spot-on to describe our behaviour. Life is truly a chain of digital moments, but businesses are not able to respond to the opportunity that customers’ passive and active digital footprints allow. More than ever, it’s critical to leverage personalization and contextuality to deliver the right content to customers in the right moment. Unfortunately most organizations fall short, as “only 1 percent of companies can use data to invidualise across the channels,” according to Dahmen.
The consumer buying process is the most transformative experience industries need to deal with in the future. Pace is at the heart of it: our new generation of customers are impatient, want options and don’t like to wait. Dietmar Dahmen described it by saying “speed displaces cost as the main driver for purchasing decisions,” which makes moving at the speed of the internet a “life and death matter” for operators. But it’s very clear that at telco speeds, operators will struggle to satisfy clientele.
That’s a message Comptel shares: to break out of the collective industry blind spot and leverage new avenues of growth and revenue, operators must overcome their fear of the unknown and embrace out-of-the-box thinking. It’s the only way forward in Nexterday.
Register to join hundreds of progressive thinkers, industry experts and innovative operators at Comptel’s inaugural Nexterday North, 9-10 November. By purchasing a 2×2 Front Pass, you get full access to both Nexterday North and the startup conference Slush.
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