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: Uncategorized | 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 | No Comments »
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:
Posted: February 25th, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: Comptel, customer experience, Mobile World Congress, Operation Nexterday | No Comments »
Life is full of digital moments. Comptel strongly believes that digital and communications service providers who perfect these moments have a unique opportunity to rise above the competition and thrive today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow – namely, Nexterday. In fact, we wrote a book on it.
In Operation Nexterday, we describe the perfect storm currently changing the way operators serve customers and drive revenue, securing their future in the digital and communications industry. It all starts with Generation Cloud, digitally savvy group of consumers and businesses who are setting a new standard for service in today’s highly connected digital world.
These buyers make real-time purchasing decisions and shop on their own terms. They don’t want to play by the old rules of engagement, and if your products and services are too restrictive or slow for their needs, they won’t hesitate to switch to one of your competitors.
The numbers back this up – a recent consumer survey we conducted in January 2015 revealed that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of consumers prefer to purchase digital content when and how it is convenient for them.
And these pressures aren’t restricted to B2C buyers. As our book explains, the trends of hyper-personalised marketing, multi-channel purchasing and instant gratification extend to B2B buyers as well. Instead of separating B2C and B2B channels, we need to start thinking of a unified business-to-human approach.
How do operators adapt to this new landscape?
By embracing Operation Nexterday to help rewrite your playbooks for approaching sales, marketing, technology and service in the age of Generation Cloud consumers and prosumers. Our book describes those who are pioneering the market, offers industry research and features third-party expert insight, offering the strategies you need to transform your business. More specifically, it includes:
- Examples from operators like T-Mobile and Telefonica, who are successfully turning the industry on its head with new service, sales and marketing, and technology strategies
- Research and insights from leading industry voices such as Fredrik Jungermann of tefficient, Dr. Mark Mortensen and Anil Rao of Analysys Mason, and Nancee Ruzicka of ICT Intuition
- Thoughts on transformation through strategic innovation from Professor Neo Boon Siong, Chairman of the Nanyang Executive Education and former Dean of the Nanyang Business School at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University
Operation Nexterday, which will be available in hard and soft copies, will be officially released at a special launch party on Monday, 2 March at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The party will be held at 5 p.m. CET at our stand, #5G40. We invite you to join us to pick up a copy of the book and learn more about our suggested framework for guiding operators’ future in the digital and communications industry.
If you are not attending Mobile World Congress but would like a hard or digital copy of Operation Nexterday, please contact our team at email@example.com.
We urge all like-minded telco professionals and businesses to join the Operation Nexterday movement by getting the book and spreading the word, which you can do with the #operationnexterday Twitter hashtag.
Posted: February 9th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: Analysys Mason, CloudSense, customer experience, order fallout, order orchestration, salesforce | No Comments »
With enterprise customers contributing a considerable portion of revenue to CSPs – even up to a third of total revenue for some Tier 1s – telcos’ focus on the business services segment is greater than ever before. As CSPs look to the B2B arena for new revenue growth, creating and maintaining a positive customer experience is becoming a key driver for their success.
In a recent whitepaper, analyst firm Analysys Mason explored one of the most common barriers to achieving an optimal customer experience: order fallouts.
Specifically, the firm notes that the impact of order fallouts most often comes to bear on customer service. It especially affects the “Join” and “Onboarding” touch points, when orders are captured, processed and provisioned, and services are set up and paid for. Resulting prolonged service delivery can frustrate many customers, even leading them to cancel orders completely, despite all efforts by the operator to resolve the issue.
Plus, it’s not just diminished customer service (and, consequently, a diminished overall experience) that is at stake. Order fallouts can hurt CSPs in other ways too, for example, by increasing their operational costs and creating longer lead-to-cash cycle times.
Analysys Mason outlined some of the top factors contributing to order fallout propensity, one of which is the complexity and newness of a service. For service offerings that have existed for many years (like POTS), CSPs have established a good understanding of how to accurately capture orders, validate them, and design and deliver them at minimal costs. But as newer services like Ethernet, IP VPN, unified communications and VLAN increase in complexity, the volume of failed orders steadily increases in kind. Now, imagine the service complexity and ensuing order fallouts that CSPs will see as they transition to virtualised environments like SDN and NFV!
The top reason for order fallouts, Analysys Mason determined, is poor order quality. Order entry systems typically rely on standard templates without consideration for things like specific configuration requests, or up-to-date information on the availability of network and IT resources. As a result, a gap emerges between what the system thinks can be delivered, and what can realistically be delivered.
Exacerbating the issue, this kind of validation technique is often applied later in the order orchestration process, causing duplicated efforts and even further delays, and ultimately damaging the customer experience – something CSPs cannot afford.
Clearly, there is a strong need for CSPs to deploy more robust order validation techniques, especially during the earlier stages of the order capture process, to reduce order fallout potential.
Joining forces with cloud-based solution providers Salesforce and CloudSense, Comptel is fulfilling this by offering a service order validation solution, which improves order quality and reduces order fallouts with real-time, pre-order service design feasibility and validation via the cloud. Bringing enhancements like this into order management systems will be essential as network services continue to evolve towards virtualisation, and accurate and efficient service order orchestration becomes a primary competitive differentiator.
Want to learn more about order fallouts? Download the Analysys Mason whitepaper, “Reducing order fallouts: Key to success with business services.”
Posted: February 6th, 2015 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: News | Tags: business, Comptel, financials, telecommunications | No Comments »
Comptel’s growth accelerated towards the end of the year. Our sales in Q4 grew by approximately 21% compared to last year, and our order backlog grew significantly compared to the previous year.
During the second half of 2014, we won several new customers as well as several multi-year deals with our existing customers. In Q4, we won two new customers, both in South America. Looking at the full year, we doubled our new customer wins: to eight in 2014 compared to four in 2013.
Our new solutions grew almost 26% in Q4, as well. However, our full-year expectations for new solutions did not materialise as we had expected. Our current business was strong and grew by 5% in 2014 as a whole and compared to the previous year.
Regionally, Asia-Pacific grew throughout the year, Europe had a very strong second half, and the Middle East performed as planned in 2014. As previously stated in 2014, our challenges were in the South America region.
Our net profit improved also significantly from previous years due to some previously made tax changes in Asia and also due to some new decisions by the tax authorities. Going forward, we expect this to reduce our effective corporate tax rate.
We ended the year with a solid balance sheet and continue to be net cash positive. During 2014, we secured 26 significant orders, valued over EUR 0.5 million. In 2013, the comparable number of orders was 17. The Group’s reported order backlog increased from the previous year, from EUR 40.8 in 2013 to EUR 55.2 million at the end of the 2014 financial year. The company’s total backlog including multi-year orders beyond 12 months is more than EUR 70 million.
Comptel renewed its organisation in the beginning of 2015. The new organisation reflects the company’s focus on the two core business areas. Going forward, the two business units are: “Comptel Intelligent Data” and “Comptel Service Orchestration.” The Comptel Intelligent Data business unit includes Comptel Convergent Mediation, Comptel Policy and Charging Control and Analytics. The Comptel Service Orchestration business unit includes Comptel Provisioning and Activation, Comptel Fulfillment and Comptel Inventory.
Moreover, the company continues to have common sales and services organisations and corporate functions. In addition, Comptel established a new business unit, which will concentrate on new ideas and products in the early stage to develop them further.
Business Outlook and Markets
The business environment and industry of telecommunications operators is at a clear turning point, since new technologies and business competitors are entering the traditional telecommunications market. We expect the trend to continue in 2015.
While fundamental investments are targeted to high bandwidth, 4G and fibre networks, operators have a strong need to develop and launch new services and improve the quality of the customer experience, to gain the full potential of their investments in a heavily competitive market. Fierce competition inside the telecommunications industry and against the newcomers in the same market requires that operators improve their business processes continuously and pay special attention to their cost structure.
The significance and role of software in managing the telecommunications networks and in enabling more business for operators will further increase. We expect that the implementation of new network technologies and services will slightly increase the value of the software market and will create demand for larger software delivery projects. The operators will require both services and new project deliveries that create a strong basis for business growth. Network technologies will also be moving to software-based cloud environments at an increasing pace, and will bring new and more extensive business opportunities for our service orchestration and intelligent data solutions.
We expect the 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. Characteristically, a significant part of Comptel’s operating profit and net sales is generated in the second half of the year.
Posted: February 4th, 2015 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: INB, Intel Network Builders, NFV, SDN, service orchestration | No Comments »
By Daniel Tyrode, Strategic Product Manager, Comptel
Comptel has been closely following the development of both network function virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) through multiple forums, events and initiatives. As my colleague Stephen Lacey wrote recently, we decided to lend our voice to NFV and SDN standardisation by joining the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) NFV specialisation group in 2014.
At the same time, we explored an industry-led initiative to contribute to NFV and SDN’s future, with the idea of accelerating innovation. The Intel Network Builders (INB) program looked to be a perfect fit, and we are pleased to share that late last year, Comptel officially became an INB member organisation.
Why the INB?
INB serves as a cross-industry platform for collaboration between more than 100 communications service providers (CSPs), software vendors and hardware manufacturers within the NFV and SDN ecosystem. The INB’s goal is to leverage the collective experience of its member organisations, to identify ways to make NFV and SDN infrastructure easier to build and operate.
A key advantage for the INB is that its members are able to innovate and find solutions much more quickly than a typical standardisation body. The INB’s work is intended to support – and not negate – the efforts of organisations like ETSI by implementing short- and mid-term solutions that may later influence hard-and-fast standards.
Our interest in joining INB stemmed from recognition that new market pressures are changing telecommunications faster than the industry can manage. Competition is coming from all sides, including major cloud vendors who are edging their way into the market and putting pressure on traditional telecoms players to innovate.
We knew there was an opportunity for Comptel to contribute solutions, as we have a unique view of NFV and SDN infrastructure challenges that few others possess.
How Comptel Contributes
Comptel’s innovative service orchestration stack offers a complete end-to-end view of NFV and SDN, which provides an important foundation to orchestrate and manage end-to-end services. While many in INB focus on finding solutions to back-end infrastructure challenges, few focus on how NFV and SDN will impact the customer experience at the same time.
Comptel has an interesting value proposition for both sides of the equation. On the back end, our order management, mediation, analytics and policy control solutions can all be run as network functions on virtualised hardware, while our Service Orchestration (SO) Configure Price Quote (CPQ) interface work gives us a perspective into how customers will order and provision the new services that software-based functions will enable.
This holistic view and the strength of our proven, end-to-end product portfolio is what appealed to INB organisers when we showed our interest in membership.
The Advantage for Operators
We are excited to develop partnerships with our peer INB groups and have identified a number of intriguing proofs-of-concept that we believe offer potential for NFV innovation, particularly in the area of service orchestration automation.
Comptel customers should likewise be excited, because collaborative efforts like INB are a boon to operators that desire faster access to flexible and cost-efficient solutions. No one company has all the answers, but through the INB framework, key players in the telco market have an opportunity to drive some of the blueprints for NFV and SDN implementation. Better still, the INB enables quicker speed-to-market for the type of innovative solutions that will change the industry forever.
Visit our SDN/NFV Resource Library to learn more about how cloud and virtualisation technology helps operators unlock cost savings, enable flexible networks and compete on a higher playing field.
Come and see it in practise at Mobile World Congress 2015. Comptel will be located in Hall 5 at Stand 5G40. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to pre-arrange a meeting.
Posted: February 2nd, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: buying experience, charging, Generation Cloud, Monetisation, Operation Nexterday, PCRF, policy control | 2 Comments »
The always-on, “Generation Cloud” is quickly developing new habits when it comes to data usage. Not only do these digital natives consume more, they use several devices – often at the same time – to access the content and applications they want. They expect it to be available whenever, wherever and on any device – even their car, house or watch might be connected to the Internet.
Fast and omni-device access to data enables people to change the way they work, interact with their friends and families, shop, learn and much more. It helps them improve their quality of life. For these reasons, customers are willing to pay for their data usage. And many of them are willing to pay a premium to enjoy their digital moments faster and with better service quality.
Consumers’ preferred data service buying experience is developing in tandem. “Generation Cloud” expects personalised, in-the-moment offers and a seamless purchase process. When provided, customers are willing to spend more.
Communications service providers (CSPs) need to act now and evolve their marketing and selling to keep in line with how customers are buying today and in the future. By adopting an “Operation Nexterday” approach, operators can anticipate consumers’ needs and maximise their interactions, monetising more in less time than ever before.
Sell something you don’t own – but take control
Today, CSPs’ bundling of third-party content and applications has become almost commonplace; it’s no longer seen as “special.” Selling something you don’t actually own doesn’t mean that you are out of control, though. Tighter integration between CSPs and Over-the-Top (OTT) players, as well as policy control and charging can help you optimise the buying experience and differentiate.
Partnered content or services, for example, are often loosely attached to CSPs’ offers. It might be a discount code passed onto a customer for use when he or she – separately – signs up for Spotify or Netflix. But consider the possibilities if the buying experience and the policy rules for handling and charging for this specific data traffic for this specific customer were tightly integrated.
Complexity is mounting – but…
Tighter integration and context-aware personalisation increase the complexity in policy and charging control. Dynamic changes in user behaviour and the competitive landscape will only add to this complexity, as will the Internet of Things (IoT) and voice over LTE (VoLTE).
Just think about the ultimate offer that contains all of the required ingredients such as subscription, rating, Quality of Service (QoS), monthly fees, cost control, roaming data package, advice of charge, applications, VoLTE and much more, all in one bundle – that’s a lot to deal with all at once and to cater to a very diverse audience.
Traditional PCRF and charging do not offer the sufficient flexibility and agility; thus, the legacy setup with yesterday’s offer design tools lack the ability to manage complexity efficiently. The complexity that arises is also the result of network upgrades, adding new capabilities and new elements like IMS and EPC. Due to the ‘patchwork’ architecture, every change takes too much time.
One size fits one
The era of one-size-fits-all campaigns is over. Rather, launching a number of agile, micro-level, long-tail campaigns that are tailored for smaller customer segments is the way forward if CSPs are going to profit. This is because offers, including the technology to enable them like policy and balance management rules and rating, have become much more complex.
Policy and charging rules are no longer stand-alone entities; they are blended. And on top, they will need to seamlessly integrate with predictive analytics and machine learning, to see and tap into patterns that the human mind just can’t. CSPs can then predict customer behaviour. They can predict network quality or outages. They can determine the best offer for each unique customer situation. And their systems’ learning never stops.
… but there’s more to monetise in customers’ digital moments
Data usage monetisation is a huge revenue opportunity, requiring maximum speed and flexibility for the offer design to be successful. System alignment and a contextual understanding of “Generation Cloud” customers are just as vital. In order to capitalise on this, CSPs should natively combine siloed policy control and charging functions. On top of this, they must add historical and anticipated insights on their individual customers and network traffic trends. Operators that can combine these will propel their business to “Nexterday” and be a fierce competitor in the post-digital era.
Comptel will be attending Mobile World Congress, taking place 2-5 March 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Interested in continuing this discussion on perfecting and monetising your customers’ digital moments? Email email@example.com to set up a meeting, or visit us in Hall 5, Stand #5G40 to pick up a book about “Operation Nexterday.”