Viewpoint – The Single or Dual Catalog Conundrum

Posted: September 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Advantages of a catalog-driven fulfillment philosophy

We’re regularly faced with our Service Provider customers and prospects questioning the inclusion of catalog within the Comptel Fulfillment stack – stating quite categorically that “they already have a product catalog” and why would they need another? So I just wanted to put a few words together to demonstrate the real advantages behind the service catalog approach.

More than ever, increasingly complex services depend upon efficient, fast and accurate time-to-market, but too often in many OSS and BSS implementations, product specifications are intrinsically linked to the workflow that implements the service. In the most extreme cases, the workflow itself is the specification of the service. This practice leads to an unmaintainable and inflexible architecture, because every time a change is required to a product, the workflow must be modified. The more changes that are made, the lengthier the workflow becomes, and the more unreadable, unmanageable and unviable it is as a practical architectural solution. Unfortunately, in many cases this tends to be the case for single catalog implementations.

In catalog-driven fulfillment, the service catalog acts as the brains of the system. This means that service order management, provisioning and activation systems are not only able to retrieve product decompositions from the catalog, but also use that information when orchestrating and fulfilling orders. Additionally, in a well architected solution, workflow components can be designed within order management which can be published for discovery by the service catalog.

Comptel’s catalog-driven approach to service fulfillment works independently of workflow design, effectively decoupling product lifecycle management from the technical processes required to implement services. When technical product information is managed in Comptel Catalog, a customer has better visibility on deliverable products. Additionally, they will find it easier to define new products that can be delivered without complex and lengthy workflow creation and modifications.

Therefore, specifying technical product information in a data definition, rather than in a workflow design delivers immediate efficiencies in terms of building, delivering, enhancing/customising and supporting a product. Taking a catalog-driven fulfillment approach will allow a CSP to:-

  • Launch products and services faster. Increasing the profitable lifespan of new services, accelerating product launch to meet market expectations for new service and quickening competitive alignment.
  • Reduce product launch and management costs. Enabling access to new low volume niche markets, protecting margins in the face of reduced profit on mass market services.
  • Enable greater innovation in product and service creation. Customer expectations for tailoring is growing, so maximising the ability to convert network potential into innovative marketable products, particularly products built together with partners, is key.

Big Data Influx in Marketing Department

Posted: September 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , | Comments Off on Big Data Influx in Marketing Department

A recent article in Harvard Business Review (HBR) claims that Marketers are having some trouble in adapting to the “big data” influx

The article outlines how some are under using while the others are over using the information available to them. The middle-liners are hard to come by and are of immense value to the CMOs who are constantly looking for people who can filter out noise, have the ability to interpret and ask the right questions based on data and focus on goals.

There are a variety of tools and solutions available to the marketers. However, Comptel Social Links
offers some unique insight into the maze of data by filtering out the unneeded information and suggesting the right marketing activity at the right time. For example, communications service providers have the privilege of having very precise customer data. When call data records (CDRs) are combined with, for example, location information and the actual Quality of Service data, communication service providers can create detailed customer profiles and advanced segmentation. These measures alone improve return on investment of marketing actions dramatically.

However, here is my favorite part: Comptel Social Links also identifies the most likely targets of any marketing activity. And the magic doesn’t end here. Not only does the product identify the most likely targets, but it also points out those who are most likely to respond positively to selected upselling, cross-selling or churn prevention marketing actions. And the cherry on the top? Comptel Social Links is a fully automated and self-improving product, fuelled by years of research on machine learning.

If you look at Comptel Social Links from CMO’s perspective, this is the stuff of legends. Here is something that frees up the marketers from the efforts of noise filtration, provides them with crystal clear, authentic, usable information and does so seamlessly and in an automated fashion. With a little help from Comptel, the marketers are well equipped to take on the challenges thrown by data influx!

Contextual Intelligence Gets Personal

Posted: September 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Contextual Intelligence Gets Personal

Earlier this week , I was speaking at 16th Annual Nordics & Baltics Telecom Executive Forum in Copenhagen about Contextual Intelligence. A colleague of mine, Malla, did a great blog about it before the conference, but I thought of giving a bit of a different view of my day…

Context: Dad
Time: 08.00, UTC+2, Helsinki
Story: I woke up – and being a family dad taking care of the morning routines for my kids.- and having breakfast with them, all the while waiting for the nanny to arrive and for me to start my regular working day.

Context: Travel Organizer
Time: 08.15, Helsinki
Story: It was time for me to leave to the airport. I took my laptop bag, gave a hug to the kids. I checked my bags, airline tickets, USB sticks, passport and all other necessary stuff for the trip and ensured they were rather well packed to ensure smooth transit at the airport. I then jumped in to a taxi and waved my family bye-bye, knowing I’d return the same day.

Context: Business Traveller
Time: 08:40, Helsinki
Story: At the airport I had done the check-in’s the day before and moved rather quickly through all the necessary security procedures to be early at the gate. I noticed that I had a plenty of time and I chose to go through the story I was going to present one more time over a cup of coffee.

Context: Aircraft enthusiast/spotter
Time: 09:40, Helsinki
Story: When going to the plane by bus transfer I happened to think about the plane I was going to take:. a Bombardier CRJ 200, 1st trip for me on this type. The type turned out to be a rather familiar configuration among the CRJ types I’ve flown before and also similar to many other smaller regional jet configurations. Inside there is a 2+2 seater configuration and I had the aisle seat on row 10, mid-plane.

Context: Storyteller for conference
Time: 10.00, Helsinki
Story: I thought of the topic I was presenting and wondered about the angle to take. I had had many go’s at this, but I had a new idea based on my day. I felt pretty much like sitting on a bus on my way to a customer meeting in the ‘neighboring city’, especially when considering the price tag of the flight: a whopping 49€ (two-way) plus taxes. The fare is also split between the airline and airport, so not a lot. I made a comparison in my mind between how far I would get with about 40€ using long-haul busses or trains and this flight. The conclusion was that air travel is at least as cheap as or even cheaper than busses and trains, especially for comparable distance and speed. Right there and then I realized that I was ‘riding a bus to Copenhagen to give a speech’.

Context: Travel organizer trying to be in the right place at the right time
Time: 10.30, UTC+1, Copenhagen
Story: Knowing I had a customer meeting before the speech, I ‘fled from the airport rather quickly and luckily, the formalities are rather relaxed in Scandinavia, so rather soon after landing and taxing to the right stand, waiting for the bus to arrive, walking through the customs, entering a taxi after visiting an ATM to get local currency, I was on my way to the conference venue . Phew.

Context: Conference Guest
Time: 10.50, Copenhagen
Story: At the conference venue hotel, Radisson BLU Scandinavia Hotel, I announced myself to the conference organizer, material and update on my speech slot and also cleared the process of updating my slides for the speech with the organizer, just before I was to meet my customer contacts.

Context: Sales/Marketing person
Time: 11.00, Copenhagen
Story: I can’t give out many details, but I think the meeting went well with the customer representatives and I felt rather pleased having thought over the story that I walk through with them.

Context: Industry Expert giving speech to conference audience
Time: 12.00, Copenhagen
Story: My speech started on time. I gave my speech, not liking the fact I was the last speaker before lunch. That is a rather challenging position for a speaker as people may have their minds wandering to lunch, and utilized my own day, like I’m doing here, to add bit of flavor to the message. After the speech, I grabbed my gear, greeted our local team participateding in the conference and spent a few minutes with people talking about my speech and started my journey back home.

Context: Worried dad thinking can he make it back on time
Time: 12.35, Copenhagen
Story: Sitting on the backseat of the taxi, I prepared myself for as a quick run through the airport as possible. I knew I had to be on that plane if I was to relieve the nanny in time, as her employment contract pretty much is for 8 hours day. We arrived to the airport at 12:45.

Context: Just another business traveller
Time: 12.45, Copenhagen
Story: Although I was in a rush, the rest of the people seemed to be as well, so I did not get any special treatment at the airport and while I felt a strong urge to ‘run for it’, the flow of people and ‘the process’ took it’s time. I boarded ‘the bus home’ pretty much on-time, (by my calculation, I was the 3rd last person to enter), but they did not announce my name yet, nor any others.

Context: Aircraft enthusiast/spotter
Time: 13.25, Copenhagen
Story: ‘Just another A319’. I have been in so many to date, but the high-light was the comfy seat and the satisfaction, that it seemed just possible to be at home on time. And the day was pretty successful too.

Context: Businessman
Time: 13.40, Copenhagen
Story: While travelling back, I was checking out a couple of potential business trips and familiarized myself with a few key details I had to pay attention to still by the end of week. I had some coffee to help me keep focused and my mind on the key issues. Once again, this felt really similar to taking a bus and having my own ‘space’ with little interference from other people or the scenery outside. ‘The bus’ landed 10min early and I felt exhilarated to see the plane to tax to a gate nearby the exit area. Time of landing was 15.50.

Context: Mix of businessman and dad
Time: 16.10, UTC+2, Helsinki
Story: While taking the taxi home, I synchronized emails, sent a few text messages to my wife and nanny telling I would be on time, and made few business calls just to ensure things were moving in the right direction.

Context: Dad
Time: 16.30, Helsinki
Story: Coming home, I was immediately being greeted by my kids and a rather happy nanny, who updated me on how the day had gone. I joined my family for a walk with and then later for dinner together.

This very long story has a point. 1st of all, it is no longer a big adventure to ‘take the bus’ via air travel. In a similar fashion, the way we communicate is changing from ‘vanity and luxury’ to ‘common and everyday’, even more so by generations younger than mine for example. Prices in commodity markets are known to be tight, and hence it is vital to understand the contexts in which the individual people find themselves in a much deeper and rich fashion to be able to address the exact, detailed needs of these ‘smaller and smaller segments of people’ whose contexts change within day, like mine did on this rather unusual, but still, very interesting day.

Contextual intelligence for Telco is all about understanding the fine-grained segmentation of customer base, addressing the needs of the customer within the right context and at the right time and with an attractive interaction. This makes the Communications Service Providers more important and relevant to their customers, and at the same time, makes the CSP a much more relevant party to the so called ‘OTT players’ who I’d like to call partners or customers of CSP. After all, the OTT players , also yearn for accurate and detailed information on the people using the services. This information could potentially be provided by the CSP. How many contexts do you think you have in your life? How much each of them overlap with each other and would you have different needs as a user of communication services when finding yourself in those contexts? Would it be great to have these contexts understood appropriately at the right time with the right kind of service? I would LOVE that and we at Comptel are working hard to making it a reality. That’s why we at Comptel say “Comptel – Making Data Beautiful”.

Applying Contextual Intelligence to Monetize the Data and Differentiate with Information

Posted: September 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

This week, 17th and 18th September, the Comptel team will participate in Marcus Evans conference ‘16th Annual Nordic & Baltic Telecoms Executive Forum’ in Copenhagen, Denmark. We are looking forward to having an interactive conference with a lot of comprehensive discussions, with particular focus on analytics, contextual intelligence, customer insights and experience and predictive policy control. The 16th Forum brings together the leading telecommunication market players, primarily from the region, to exchange experiences and share strategies to ensure profitability in a highly competitive Nordic telecom environment.

The main title of the conference ‘Manage Data Explosion and Boost IP Service Innovation to Achieve Top-line Revenue Growth’ is very promising as it incorporates a number of relevant topics that include the opportunities for service offering that are combined with the rapid data growth to boost revenue; efficient and dynamic churn management; and the proliferation of business models, e.g. the co-operation with OTT providers. Let us also not forget Big Data with all its capabilities and requirements. With a setup like this, a lively discussion is guaranteed.

Comptel’s Simo Isomäki – Vice President, Head of Global Business Support – is going to cover an actual and interesting field of topics with his speech about ‘Applying Contextual Intelligence to monetize the data and differentiate with information’. He’s going to elaborate on the crucial role of analytics in gaining insights from customer behavioural patterns and provide some concrete use case examples to address the following questions: What are the requirements for differentiation and how to explore the variety of alternatives for data monetization. We would like to welcome You to join us for this session.

We would be delighted if You visited our booth to have more thorough discussion about contextual intelligence and predictive policy control, and Comptel’s overall comprehensive portfolio. Wishing You a great and successful event !

Compelling Cases: Comptel Convergent Mediation in Action

Posted: September 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Compelling Cases | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Compelling Cases: Comptel Convergent Mediation in Action

Last week, we introduced our new blog post series, Compelling Cases, where we showcased a Southern European operator looking to stimulate growth and accelerate revenue generation. With the help of Comptel Fulfillment, the operator was able to implement a more productive service delivery process. Continuing on with our series showcasing Comptel in action, today we look at another major European operator that drastically simplified its network complexity and gained significant cost savings with Comptel Convergent Mediation

As is the case with many communications service providers (CSPs), while experiencing mobile subscriber growth this leading European CSP was also faced with more network transactions that needed to be gathered and converted into billable records. In particular, the CSP was seeking a solution that would allow it to more easily manage the collection and transformation of network billing transactions from its five operating companies with various network types. To accomplish this, the CSP turned to Comptel Convergent Mediation.  

With Comptel’s Convergent Mediation, the CSP was able to harness its multiple networks into one unified platform where billing records from more than 40 million subscribers is now being efficiently processed – making for the largest single subscribers’ billing records processing system in Europe. Running on Linux-based hardware, Comptel’s solution is highly scalable so that the CSP can manage billions of events per day. And, the CSP now has the processing power to enable future growth with LTE transactions.

This complex mediation consolidation project was delivered in phases: The first phase was finalised in Q4 2011, within the same year that the contract was closed (Q1 2011). The completion of the second phase of the delivery project occurred in Q1 2012 and set the precedent for handling several billions of billing records generated by millions of subscribers in a single mediation system on daily basis.

Visit our website to view this announcement, or see more third-party validated case studies, visit TechValidate-Comptel Solutions