Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum: Evaluating Project Fi and Google’s Giant Plans for Wireless

Posted: June 10th, 2015 | Author: Simo Isomaki | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , | No Comments »

In a video explaining the ideology behind its new wireless cellular service, Google describes Project Fi as an innovation in connectivity and communication. It’s an interesting experiment to be sure, but just how big of an impact can we expect Project Fi to have on telecommunications?

Google Project Fi

Google made headlines in the spring when it announced it was dipping its toes into the wireless waters with Project Fi, which will rely primarily on free Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide, supported by the Sprint and T-Mobile 4G cellular networks, to establish a continuous network. Project Fi is now back in the news due to reports of high initial demand. Google wrote in an email to hopeful subscribers that it will take until mid-summer for all of those who requested invites to receive full service access, adding that initial feedback has been “very positive.”

The service has earned hype for both its innovative use of technology – with Project Fi, your phone will automatically detect and switch to the best quality connection for your location, whether that’s 4G or Wi-Fi – as well its disruptive service terms. Project Fi is available without a contract, offers unlimited text and talk for $20 per month, plus $10 per GB of data, and includes a credit function that refunds subscribers the cost of any unused data at the end of the month. It’s interesting to note that much of the excitement of this announcement is around data and not voice services, which may underscore the idea that we’ve moved well past voice being the leading draw of cellular services.

There are a few reasons consumers are hopeful that Project Fi will turn the wireless industry on its head – the biggest one, of course, being Google’s reputation as an influential digital disruptor. Additionally, the announcement could not have been better timed, as many consumers are frustrated with the restrictive service offerings they receive from their current wireless operators and are eager for a more flexible and affordable alternative to knock the big players from their pedestals.

At the same time, evidence suggests that Google isn’t interested in a market takeover. The tech giant is known to experiment in the field of connectivity – see its Project Loon initiative and Titan acquisition, which rely on high-altitude balloons and lightweight solar-powered drones, respectfully, to expand LTE availability worldwide.

Additionally, in comments at this year’s Mobile World Congress, product head Sundar Pichai clarified that Google intends to help carriers push the boundaries of wireless, but not necessarily stand alone as a competitive operator at scale.

“Our goal is to drive a set of innovations we think should arrive, but do it a smaller scale, like Nexus devices, so people will see what we’re doing,” Pichai said.

So what can we realistically expect from Project Fi? The initiative represents a starting point in Google’s wireless experimentation. It would seem that the primary goal is to experiment with Wi-Fi-first networks. Could we soon see enough dispersion of Wi-Fi hotspots to make it possible for Google to run an entirely Wi-Fi powered phone service, free from reliance on cell network support and entirely independent to traditional mobile operators? The U.S. is certainly a great testing ground in that respect, as many other countries lack the Wi-Fi density needed to support Google’s experimentation.

Is it possible, too, that Project Fi might help Google prepare for the coming 5G revolution. Many in telecommunications believe that, in order to deliver dramatically more speed and capacity, 5G must be heterogeneous wireless networks built on unlicensed spectrums. Could Project Fi be Google’s attempt to learn what such a network might look like?

Though not completely unique – other operators offer Wi-Fi-first service supported by cellular networks – Google’s signal switching technology and data refunds differentiate the service enough to stand out. At the same time, the project’s early limitations – it’s exclusivity to the Nexus phone and the U.S. – suggests it won’t fully disrupt the mobile industry quite yet.

Instead, Project Fi offers a small platform for Google to experiment, adapt and learn from the technology and consumer behaviours. From there, the company will be able to evaluate whether early results are positive enough to proceed with some sort of larger-scale offering, or if it should leave mobile service to the mobile operators. Either way, Google’s innovative spirit and out-of-the-box approach offers a model for digital and communications services providers to adopt, and the initial excitement around Project Fi underscores Generation Cloud’s hunger for a real mobile revolution.

Download our book, Operation Nexterday, to learn the strategies and solutions that help mobile operators innovate their service offerings and intrigue Generation Cloud consumers.


TM Forum Live! 2015 Recap: 3 Key Takeaways on Telco Digital Transformation

Posted: June 9th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Comptel was in Nice, France for TM Forum Live!, where the discussion surrounded the innovative technology, emerging consumer trends and unique businesses challenges that face the digital and communications industry now and in the coming years.TM_Forum Live 2015

The event’s overarching theme involved making the concept of a “digital business” real. We enjoyed the opportunity to hear thoughts and ideas from some of the leading voices not only in telecoms, but also in the greater technology community. We also took advantage of the chance to lend our unique viewpoint on the significant revenue opportunity available to operators who embrace innovative sales, service and marketing strategies through their own Operation Nexterday.

Here are three big takeaways we observed from the event’s keynotes and summit sessions:

1. Digital Transformations Require Radical New Views and Approaches

TM Forum’s new CEO, Peter Sany, led off the keynote schedule with a discussion on the significant ways in which digital technology is transforming our world. He explained that we’re living in a time of major change and opportunity, which is evident by the development of today’s sharing economy, the ongoing innovation of connected devices and the democratisation of technology accessibility.

To manage these transformations and make the most of the opportunities they provide, Sany says operators need to shift their perspective to place the customer front and centre. He also advocates the forming of non-traditional partnerships in telco to enable faster, dynamic innovations.

Sany’s thoughts mirror the views we shared in our book, Operation Nexterday. As we explained, consumers today require instant gratification, maximum flexibility and a high level of personalisation. Operators must embrace a new way of selling, marketing and offering their services, so customers’ needs are put first. That may require unusual partnerships with companies they may now currently view as competitors like over-the-top (OTT) providers – more on that shortly.

TM Forum 2015

2. Infrastructure, Affordability – Two Key Barriers to Digital Expansion

While there are 7.2 billion people on Earth, only 3 billion are connected to the Internet, and connecting those remaining 4.2 billion is a slower process than some might expect. Markku Mäkeläinen knows this – he is the director of global operator partnerships for Facebook, and he is one of the leading minds working on making those connections.

The chief barriers to connectivity that Mäkeläinen has noticed throughout Facebook’s Internet.org project are infrastructure, relevance and affordability. Facebook is trying to solve the relevance challenge by providing free Internet access to users in developing countries, so that those individuals who aren’t aware of the Internet might understand its value in supplying free news and education.

At the same time, operators share the burden of solving the other two challenges – infrastructure and affordability. Much of the developing world only has access to 2G connections, and a significant portion of these regions won’t support the construction of towers or radios. Meanwhile, 500 MB of data is affordable only to 34 percent of users in this part of the world. Facebook is working with operators to sort out these challenges with concepts like a lightweight version of Facebook that consumes fewer resources than the full version, and the operators involved will need to deliver innovative and creative ideas.

3. To Stay Relevant, Telcos Must Collaborate with OTTs

Recently, it’s been a popular observation that we live in a world in which the largest accommodations provider, AirBnB, owns no real estate, the largest taxi service, Uber, owns no cars, and the largest retailer, Alibaba, owns no inventory.

Harmeen Mehta, Global CIO of Bharti Airtel, India’s leading provider of pre- and post-paid wireless and fixed digital communications services, brought up this point as an example of the threat facing operators. Although most innovations in telecoms rely entirely on the infrastructure built and owned by operators, they are not the ones coming up with these ideas, proving that there’s no guarantee that the player who owns the platform has the power.

OTT providers have swooped in to provide new services that speak directly to consumers’ changing behaviours and desires. As many operators stand on the fringes and watch, their own assets are being leveraged to support innovative digital services. Rather than remain on the sidelines, Mehta encourages operators to engage in the business of “enriching lives” and start thinking of ways to partner with OTT providers.

Moharmustaqeem Mohammed, VP of Mass Market Marketing Operations at Telekom Malaysia, shared a similar sentiment in a separate session when he said the true operator struggle of the day is not to identify uniqueness, but rather relevance in a digital ecosystem crafted by consumers. This is also a position we advocate in Operation Nexterday – that to remain relevant in a changing telco landscape, operators must first recognize consumers’ overwhelming influence.

Want to learn more about Operation Nexterday and the telco digital transformation? Contact Comptel Marketing (comptel.marketing@comptel.com) to find out when our Beyond the Event Horizon roadshow is coming to your city


Operators Need a Data Monetisation Superhero. Policy and Charging to the Rescue!

Posted: June 1st, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , | No Comments »

Comptel MonetizerData is revealing new monetisation opportunities to operators, not only because customer data usage is increasing considerably in the era of over-the-top (OTT) content services and complex data and third-party content bundles, but also because data itself offers new insights into service demand. However, many operators lack the ability to quickly create and deliver the variety of service offerings customers want, and are not agile enough to react to customers’ changing behaviours. On top of that, the instant nature of today’s digital world means there is less time to capitalise on the rising demand for data.

How can digital and communications services providers possibly provide more data services in less time? This looks like a job for the Monetizer.

In a recent Comptel webinar, “More to Monetise with Limited Time,” I was joined by Tinakaran Ramdas, senior product manager at Comptel, to discuss these trends and identify the superhero solution to the massive data usage monetisation challenge.

The reality is, it will take a heroic effort for operators to manage an increasingly complex service environment. Today’s evolving consumer demand changes the way operators package and sell data offerings – consider new OTT content bundles, roaming data packages, device-specific data packages or shared “family” data accounts.More to Monetise Less Time To Do It

At the same time, customers are consuming more data during more hours of the day on a wider range of devices (many on several devices at a time), and exposure to new ways of buying means they now desire personalised, in-the-moment offers and a seamless and convenient purchase experience.

These trends offer a great revenue opportunity for digital and communication service providers, but it still takes far too long for many operators to create and tailor the offerings that appeal to Generation Cloud. An irrelevant, mass-marketed offer backed by a slow and cumbersome buying process won’t receive a second look from these digitally native and demanding buyers.

That’s where our superhero – disruptive policy control and charging – can save the day. Policy is moving beyond simply congestion management – it’s now the money-maker of the data world. In fact, policy has become a strategic tool for operators to create and deploy personalised offers faster than ever.

A superhero needs superpowers, and the next generation of policy and charging control offers several. It needs to be:

  • Energetic – Bringing the speed operators need to configure, launch and profit from new services, with the energy that empowers sales and marketing to seize new opportunities
  • Ergonomic – Delivering a modern user experience with appropriate solutions for both the marketing team and the IT department, bolstered by a common language that simplifies management for both technical and non-technical users
  • Shapeshifting – Enabling the adaptability and elasticity operators need to create new services and solutions for emerging technology as its developed

These capabilities empower digital and communications services providers to cut offer creation time from months to minutes. Operators can also quickly adapt not only to current consumer and technology trends, but also those in the future. So where can you find such superpowers?

In the webinar, Tinakaran offers a full look at Comptel’s own superhero policy and charging solution: the Monetizer. He also highlights a handful of interesting customer stories that demonstrate how previous Monetizer implementations enabled faster time to market and creative data services, while laying the groundwork for the new capabilities introduced by our upcoming PCC5 software release. You can visit our website to learn more about the Monetizer and the CPOD interface behind it.

Get the full story on the challenges of monetising more services in less time, and learn how the Monetizer solution enables the speed operators need to leverage new opportunities. Click to replay our free webinar, “More to Monetise With Less Time.”

Presenters:

Tinakaran Ramdas, Senior Product Manager, Comptel

Tinakaran Ramdas, Senior Product Manager, Comptel

Malla Poikela, Head of Marketing, Intelligent Data, Comptel

Malla Poikela, Head of Marketing, Intelligent Data, Comptel


Comptel Customer Chorus Wins Second GTB Innovation Award for Innovative Broadband Project

Posted: May 18th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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.GTB Innovation Award 2015

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.

GTB Innovation Award 2015 ChorusIn 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.GTB Innovation Award 2015 Chorus

“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 comptel.marketing@comptel.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.


The Moment of Truth: Identifying Data’s Peak Point of Value

Posted: May 4th, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | 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.”

Presenters:

Tero Lindholm, Senior Product Manager, Comptel

Malla Poikela, Head of Marketing, Intelligent Data, Comptel


Service Orchestration Overhaul Helps Mobily Optimise for Mobile’s Future

Posted: April 28th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Compelling Cases | Tags: , | 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.

Analysys Mason Mobily ComptelDownload this case study from Analysys Mason to learn how Mobily re-engineered its service architecture with Comptel OSS Solutions.

Download


Comptel’s Strong Start for 2015!

Posted: April 24th, 2015 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , | 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.

Comptel Strategy

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.


Sprint’s ‘Direct 2 You’ Service Tailor-Made for Generation Cloud

Posted: April 22nd, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: News | Tags: , , | 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.sprint direct 2 you

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.


The Perfect Digital Storm: Comptel Talks Nexterday on the NASDAQ CEO Signature Series

Posted: April 9th, 2015 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: News | Tags: , | 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.NASDAQ CEO Signature Series

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:

Software-Defined Networks

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.

Intelligent Data

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


Study: Enterprises Hungry for Digital Services, If You Can Deliver

Posted: April 7th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , | 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 Enterprise study

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.”

Missed Opportunities

ICT Intuition Enterprise study_2According 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.