Posted: December 27th, 2011 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: CSP, customer experience, India, LTE, network capacity, OSS/BSS, Wi-Fi | Comments Off on Around the World
The Hindu Business Line…
Take Broadband to the Masses
In order for India to sustain the economic growth it has experienced over the last few years, broadband needs to be accessible throughout the country. Spreading broadband beyond urban areas ensures the efficient delivery of remote education, healthcare and government services.
Factors that previously prevented widespread adoption include affordability and lack of availability. However, while the latter is less of a hurdle today as service providers continue to embrace wireless, the former continues to be a challenge. Sustainable growth requires subscriber plans that are reasonable yet profitable. This is where OSS/BSS providers can help, by giving communications service providers (CSPs) the opportunity to make flexible plans while simultaneously reducing their costs.
Increased Network Congestion Requires Fresh Thinking from Operators
As the growing popularity of smartphones brings a boom in data traffic, operators are developing new ways to acknowledge network congestion problems and deliver a personalized customer experience. In fact, recent research from Current Analysis claims that social media and end-user forums have become a key part of identifying network issues and prompting operators to take action.
Additionally, many operators are training customer support staff to assess network failures and award credits to individual subscribers when needed. This is a step forward towards improving the customer experience, but as IDC analyst Andy Hicks recently said, the key to ensuring predictive and proactive customer service is implementing service and network automation, so that subscribers’ needs are addressed before end users call customer service.
LTE Won’t Stop Carrier Wi-Fi Momentum
Despite the growth in LTE networks, many CSPs are embracing Wi-Fi due to its massive footprint, low-cost and large presence on smartphones. In addition to deploying Wi-Fi access points in hotspot locations, they are integrating the technology into their core networks and extending OSS/BSS and customer management capabilities to Wi-Fi.
While the benefits of LTE are clear and the technology is continuing to gain momentum, ABI Research analyst Aditya Kaul observes that the true motivation for adopting LTE is for customer acquisition, competitive differentiation or being first to market. But the adoption and promotion of Wi-Fi still makes sense for many operators when it comes to retention, which could even be turned into a competitive advantage. Do you think Wi-Fi has a long term play, as new LTE services, products and packages continue to roll out?
Posted: December 23rd, 2011 | Author: Olivier Suard | Filed under: News | Tags: 25th anniversary, catalog, Comptel, donation, fulfillment, telecoms | Comments Off on Best Wishes for the Holiday Season!
With the holidays and New Year just around the corner, we wanted to briefly reflect on the milestones Comptel achieved in 2011. Most notably, we celebrated our 25th anniversary, which is pretty remarkable in the telecoms software industry. Comptel was also honoured for multiple awards, announced several customer projects like the catalog-driven service fulfillment deal with NBN CO, unveiled our Next Generation Fulfillment Strategy and hosted a successful 14th annual User Group.
Each holiday season, we send our greeting cards electronically and donate the money saved from the traditional, printed cards to a charitable fund. This year, Comptel has selected Plan International to receive our donation (last year, we worked with the Kileva Foundation). It is one of the oldest and largest children’s development organisations in the world, and works to promote child rights and bring millions out of poverty.
Comptel’s donation will support Plan’s mission to achieve lasting improvements in the quality of children’s lives in at least 50 developing countries. For those who would like to get involved with Plan International, you can learn more here.
To all our customers, partners, investors and friends, we wish you a peaceful and happy holiday season and look forward to another fruitful and cooperative year in 2012!
Posted: December 21st, 2011 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: BSS, cloud, CSPs, customer experience, OSS, policy management | Comments Off on Thinking of Postponing BSS/OSS Enhancements? Think Again
By: Deb Osswald, Research Vice President, Next Generation Network (NGN) Operations, IDC
Communications service providers (CSPs) often prioritize network investment over OSS/BSS, but they need to think again. OSS/BSS is now, more than ever, a critical enabler in shaping service portfolios and the customer experience.
It seems that with IT and networks converging and more and more services being delivered from IT clouds, we think CSPs might want to consider prioritizing IT-centric BSS/OSS initiatives right up there with network-enhancing ones. While we will stipulate that the network is the central asset of CSPs and is clearly worthy of major investment, it is also CSPs’ operational efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility that can more often than not help them distinguish themselves in the increasingly crowded communications landscape.
Unique assets like a flexible billing system and a simple-to-use, easy-to-navigate self-service, web portal can give CSPs a real advantage in the marketplace; plus, some increasingly important application areas such as analytics, policy management and customer experience management (CEM) can add to their value propositions. With robust capabilities in these key areas, CSPs will have much more to offer than the over-the-top (OTT), Internet-based service providers can possibly offer because these abilities will allow them to be much more innovative in how the service or application is ultimately created, configured, bundled/delivered and supported. In addition, CSPs are uniquely equipped to leverage differentiating capabilities like location, presence, context and even augmented reality to create new service mashups or supplement a specific application to improve its utility and ultimate value to customers.
Also, CSPs must be equipped to tap into the vast ecosystem of application, service and content providers, and must have highly automated systems and processes that can handle rapid integration, management, delivery and customer support for third-party-provided service components, applications and content. Costly onboarding of an independent software vendor’s application or slow and laborious implementation of a new pricing plan for data downloads can cripple the profitability of an otherwise highly profitable offering. To make matters worse, if CSPs don’t have their operations up to par and ensure they are highly automated, and yet are able to get to market an innovative offering that suddenly attains great popularity, the offering’s very success can kill profitability for that offering. A lack of automation for a particular offering that achieves a high volume of sales can dramatically impact profitability by compressing margins to unacceptable levels that will turn an otherwise successful launch into a financial and operational disaster.
With growing opportunity residing in the SMB and mid-market enterprise segment, CSPs would do well to invest in BSS/OSS enhancements, cloud infrastructures and integration of the two in order to ensure they can support business-critical application delivery (via the self-service SaaS model) to this important customer set that is fast-embracing the value of the on-demand, pay-per-use application model.
The bottom line is CSPs must realize that investing today will yield significant dividends tomorrow. Missing the boat on this new services paradigm (cloud, M2M, etc.) by not investing in operations today is missing the boat on attaining relevance in the markets of the future. Leverage your networks, invest in your BSS/OSS and provide customers with a relevant portfolio of fully automated, high quality, secure services, applications and content. Also offer customers a positive experience (high quality of service, SLAs when appropriate, etc.) and use the network to elevate the reliability of your offerings, but ensure that success of an offering means financial success as well.
Deb Osswald manages IDC’s research on telecom industry business and operational practices and systems and contributes to the firm’s broad portfolio of network infrastructure market research. She is leading IDC’s telecom software research with a focus on delivering business value to clients through research efforts focused on communications service provider (CSP) investments in software-driven IT, including cloud and machine-to-machine (M2M) service enablement platforms, analytics applications and tools, business and operational support systems (BSS/OSS), service delivery platforms (SDPs) and next-generation policy management.
Posted: December 9th, 2011 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: 2012, bandwidth, billing and charging, BSS, capacity, Comptel, Middle East, OSS/BSS, telecom | Comments Off on Around the World
The First of the Top Trends for 2012, Including: Micro-Transactions for Everyone
With the New Year right around the corner, Alex Leslie provides an overview of what private equity firm M/C Partners sees as the top 10 communications trends for 2012. Dealing with capacity issues is expected to be the biggest trend, according to the company; communications service providers (CSPs)will likely accelerate the build out of fiber to the tower in order to keep up with bandwidth and quality of service demands.
What Alex notes as most interesting from an OSS/BSS point of view is the expansion of the micro-transaction business models into massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), console games, video, communications services and social networks. With the majority of this money being paid as subscriptions, Alex says this opens an opportunity for pricing and billing sophistication.
Do you agree with M/C Partners’ list of the top 2012 communications trends? Is there anything else you foresee having a major impact on the industry in the New Year?
Making the Impossible Possible (A Fishy Tale)
Analyst Teresa Cottam begins her blog post with an anecdote about a U.K. supermarket chain. In the midst of the recession, the supermarket was able to sell its Alaskan salmon at an incredibly low price, creating a truly competitive advantage. There was much speculation about how it was able to do this, but the answer was as simple as finding a new shipping route, which enabled the store to shorten the journey from Alaska to the U.K., and therefore, reduce the cost of the product.
Teresa’s main point is that almost nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. CSPs can innovate if they have a clear vision and sufficient imagination to prevent challenges from holding them back.
Teresa goes on to explain that she sees billing and charging as the next big opportunity for innovation, and believes that visionaries will see the opportunities CSPs now have to differentiate themselves and create new revenues. To achieve their business goals, CSPs need to bring their operational team members together, understand their customers and work with partners to deliver the right product at the right time.
In the end, the analyst challenges readers with the following question: “Are you, as a service provider, happy to risk falling behind when the leap comes, or are you one of those already preparing their run up?”
Telecoms ‘Must Focus on Doing What They Do Best’
Should operators look to Google and Facebook to share advertising revenue? Panelists at the Smart Handheld Summit 2011 in Dubai say no, arguing that CSPs should instead tighten operational efficiency and stick with what they do best—providing Internet access.
Venture capitalist Paul Doany warns that straying into commercial operations, such as new platforms and mobile apps, will be harmful for revenues. On the other hand, Osman Sultan, CEO of du telecom, thinks operators should take part in third-party advertising-based revenue streams, and believes this is possible if telecom operators across the Middle East work together.
Matching the tremendous growth of Internet giants will certainly be a challenge. However, Dr. Bassam Hannoun, CEO of Wataniya Mobile, says operators can drive the telecoms industry forward through management and protection of revenue. In the coming year, Bassam believes the operators who will find success are those who can turn a disconnected value chain into a seamless solution.