Zain Technology Conference Focuses on Customer Experience and the Future of Telco

Posted: December 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Zain Technology Conference Focuses on Customer Experience and the Future of Telco

Times are changing for the telecommunications industry. Different consumer habits, new mobile devices and increased competition from OTT players have all made companies rethink their revenue models. Services that used to play a big role in operators’ bottom line, like voice and SMS, have fallen to the wayside. Now, there’s a definite need to make up for those losses and more telcos are investing in technologies like predictive analytics.

At the recent Zain Technology Conference in Dubai, more than 600 participants gathered to discuss these trends and more. Hosted by Zain Group, which offers telco services in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, the event was a massive success.

Panelists, thought leaders and executives got together to share insights and tips. More than anything, though, they discussed topics that were close to the theme of the event: “Innovating Zain’s customer experience.”

Comptel has always believed that telco needs to improve the customer experience to move forward, and this conference showed that we are far from alone with this line of thinking.

The Events List

Keynote presentations were delivered by Zain Group CEO Scott Gegenheimer and CTO Hisham Allam. Other presentations featured senior leaders from companies like Ericsson and Huawei. There were also more than 80 interactive sessions that discussed the future of the telco sector.

The theme of customer experience resonated throughout the sessions, speeches and impromptu meetings. Comptel’s session, “Engaging with Customers Through Data and Technology,” touched on these points as well. Vice President of Comptel’s Analytics Business Program, Jimmy Ruokolainen, explained how data and analytics can help create contextual, automated customer experiences that predict value segments, improve customer satisfaction and remove silos by unifying business and technology. Zain Kuwait has covered this topic before, as the company has been leveraging some of Comptel’s Social Links to improve customer experience through analytics.

The levels of competition today in the telco sector have made it imperative for every business to think about different ways that services can be distributed, marketed and, ultimately, delivered. This event, the third Zain Technology Conference, was bigger than either of the two before it. That shows promise for the future. It’s easy to tell that most communications service providers (CSPs) today are willing to broaden their horizons and experiment with new things to offer a better customer experience.

CEO Scott Gegenheimer summed it up well, saying:

“This has been our largest conference to date, and we are thrilled to see how much it has grown and how beneficial it is to our colleagues in the technology sector as well as to ourselves. With 63 technology providers taking the opportunity to present their latest technologies and solutions, I am confident that many valuable conversations were held over the three days, and that Zain Group’s view of its future is better understood by our suppliers and partners.”

Comptel’s Take

Comptel couldn’t agree more about emphasizing the intersection of technology and customer experience. Happy, loyal customers are going to be the most important business advantage for CSPs in the coming years, which is why Comptel invests so much into contextual intelligence for communications. Through innovative new ways in fulfillment, marketing and analytics, businesses will be able to meet customer needs in a way that personalises each interaction. In turn, customers will have positive impressions of the brand and will be far less likely to churn.

Going into 2014, it’s clear that customer experience is only going to increase in importance. But, judging from the attendance at Zain Technology Conference, CSPs will be more than prepared.

5 Comptel Highlights from 2013

Posted: December 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on 5 Comptel Highlights from 2013

2013 has been full of good news and remarkable achievements by the Comptel team. We wanted to quickly recap five of the year’s highlights:

1. Mobile World Congress 2013

At the beginning of 2013, Comptel had a notable presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona. At MWC 2013, there was a lot of talk, from monetising LTE and ensuring privacy when it comes to Big Data, to efficiently using operational assets and enriching the customer experience – themes that are sure to carry over into 2014.

2. Comptel Survey Reveals Preferences of Mobile Consumers

To gauge consumer sentiment when it comes to mobile operators today, Comptel also conducted an extensive survey on customer experience, with the help of Vanson Bourne. Our survey showed that there’s a real need for better, more personal interaction between communications service providers (CSPs) and their customers—and that this can be fostered with contextual intelligence at every touch point.

3. Partnerships Forge New Paths

In keeping with our goals of improving the customer experience and “Making Data Beautiful,” we partnered with organisations that have those objectives in common. First, we partnered with Accanto Systems to help ensure that our customers are empowered with next-generation customer experience management capabilities. Second, we partnered with by integrating Comptel Fulfillment to revolutionise sales and service creation and delivery innovation.

4. Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Recognises Comptel

This year, Comptel was awarded “Most Innovative Telecom OSS / BSS Vendor of the Year” by Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific. The analyst firm’s annual Asia Pacific ICT awards program is given to companies that displayed growth in performance and ground-breaking achievements. In addition to those metrics, Frost & Sullivan examined nominees’ major customer acquisitions, portfolio diversity and product innovation.

5. Comptel Social Links Wins Pipeline Innovation Awards

Another major victory for Comptel was winning a Pipeline Innovation Awards for Comptel Social Links. Pipeline’s annual programme honoured prominent telecommunications industry innovators for their advancements in technologies, products and deployments. The 2013 judging panel was comprised of key executives from leading CSPs around the world such as AT&T, BT, Cox, Intelsat, TELUS, Turkcell and Yota, as well as influential industry analysts.

To 2014 and Beyond

We’re proud of everything we’ve accomplished and can’t wait until 2014, which we’re sure will be just as good as 2013!

Comptel Hosts a Very Special Christmas Party for Children in Foster Families

Posted: December 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Comments Off on Comptel Hosts a Very Special Christmas Party for Children in Foster Families

December is a busy month for businesses, families and friends. At Comptel, we’ve been busy planning and hosting a Christmas party for our employees’ children and a Christmas party for Comptelians… but the most exciting event we’ve helped host this month was a Christmas charity party for children in foster families.

Why We Chose This Cause

Coinciding with the December celebrations, many companies in the Bulgarian market traditionally look after those who are less fortunate, especially children who are looking for loving homes. Orphanages enjoy generous gifts and attention from numerous private and corporate benefactors.

But children who aren’t living in orphanages often don’t get a chance to receive these kinds of gifts. With so much attention focused on orphanages, kids in foster families can get overlooked. Every child deserves their Christmas, and Comptel decided to help make that dream become a reality. We helped throw a Christmas party for the children entrusted to the gentle care of foster families registered with the Sofia Municipality while awaiting their adoptive parents.

The Party

The celebration took place on last Sunday, 15th December in the Joya restaurant. Twenty-eight parents and thirty children aged 0-18 years attended, and twelve volunteers from Comptel hosted the party. The volunteers showed outstanding abilities working with the little ones. The kids read books that were donated by our colleagues, and two of the volunteers (who are international chess champions) demonstrated how to play chess and discussed the strategy.

Our partners and co-donators – creative colleagues from Impressia store – also organized amazing art classes for making Christmas decorations. The beautiful Snowhite (in the role is Andji) danced and played with the kids. And the Christmas-themed cake (courtesy of Luxury Cakes Surprise) was a dream come true!

Of course, Santa Claus also made a visit and gave gifts to everyone – parents and children!


In today’s dynamic world, where free time is one of the most valuable things, everyone at Comptel is proud that we managed to make this Christmas party a success for children in need. We worked hard to make sure that everyone in the room had a reason to smile. We hope that these childrens’ smiles multiply every year – and that we can be there to help make this happen!

Comptel’s Juhani Hintikka Named CEO of the Year

Posted: December 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , | 5 Comments »

Comptel is pleased to announce that Juhani Hintikka has been named one of the CEOs of the Year, being honoured for his work in transforming Comptel’s business and strategy. Since joining Comptel in January 2011, Juhani has focused on extending the company’s position in the global telecommunications/OSS market, including developing its product portfolio, services business and go-to-market strategy and ensuring Comptel’s close collaboration with customers and partners.

The 2013 CEO World Awards is a top honour for CEOs, entrepreneurs and the organisations they run. It is a prestigious listing which has included leaders such as Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), Marc Benioff (, Sir Richard Branson (Virgin), Steve Jobs (Apple) and even Walt Disney!

Juhani is recognised in 2013 alongside other CEOs such as Tim Cook (the new CEO of Apple), Dick Costolo (CEO of Twitter) and other technology leaders.

Importantly, Juhani has been named “The Transformer,” a title which expresses the change Comptel has experienced since he became CEO. Over the past 12 months in particular, Comptel has seen some significant achievements. Under Juhani’s guidance, we’ve focused on the execution of our strategic framework, helped communications service providers (CSPs) build better, more emotional connections with their own customers, and established great new partnerships throughout the year.

We’re very pleased that Juhani was recognized for his outstanding leadership!

Season’s Greetings from Comptel!

Posted: December 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Season’s Greetings from Comptel!

As 2013 comes to a close, it’s always good to take some time to reflect on everything that has happened this year. At Comptel, we’ve been very busy. During the first six months of 2013, we attended Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and Management World in Nice. We hosted our first regional Focus Group meeting in Bangkok for our customers in the Asia-Pacific region, and travelled with Finpro around the world to locations such as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.

For the past few years, Comptel has been sending season’s greetings cards electronically and donating the money saved from the traditional, printed cards to a charitable fund. This year, Comptel has selected UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, to support victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Last year, we started a project with Kiva, a non-profit organisation with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Our contribution to date has generated 23 loans in 17 countries. In 2011, our focus was on Plan International, one of the oldest and largest children’s development organisations in the world, which works to promote child rights and bring millions out of poverty. And, our donation for 2010 went to the Kileva Foundation. Since being established, the Kileva Foundation has seeded a plantation, and constructed a school and a medical dispensary. Our donation went toward the Kileva Eastfield Primary School to assist the building of a fifth classroom.

Now is also the time to look ahead for 2014! We’re already hitting full speed for Mobile World Congress, and during the first quarter, we’ll host a Focus Group event for Comptel’s customers in EMEA and CALA in Finland. It’s bound to be another action-packed year, and we’re excited to get things going.

From all of us at Comptel, we wish you a happy holiday!

Comptel Visits Australia and New Zealand with Finpro

Posted: December 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, News | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Following our successful trips to India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, Comptel traveled with the Finpro delegation to visit Australia and New Zealand between 28 November and 3 December. The team was led by Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb and brought together representatives from Finnish companies such as Capricode, Doofor, Konecranes, Martin Bencher, Nuovo Nordic, Outotec and Snellman.

View from IBM Sydney office towards the Harbour Bridge

The purpose of the visit was to build strong relationships between Finland and these APAC countries, fostering business partnerships and working on international policies. Comptel has a strong customer base both in Australia and New Zealand, and the mobile market in both countries is growing rapidly. Research shows that the New Zealand telecoms market is set to grow to NZ$5.35 billion next year. In Australia, nearly half of Australians are now accessing the Internet by mobile phone.

We’ve played a key role in national broadband programmes with NBNCo in Australia and with Chorus in New Zealand. This recent trip has led to great opportunities, as Alexander Stubb joined Comptel’s Juhani Hintikka and Jussi Ware at customer meetings with NBNCo, Vodafone New Zealand and meetings with partners Alcaltel Lucent and IBM. As always, we were grateful for the chance to represent Finland on this latest Finpro trip, and we’re excited to see what opportunities await for us around the globe in the future.

Abe’s Law of Experience Design

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

There once was a sharp-dressing American gentleman named Abraham Lincoln. He was a great man by many standards, and there’s also a brilliant quote from him I always use as the first slide of all of my presentations and lectures: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

I think Honest Abe was spot on – why wait for the world to change, when you can just roll up your sleeves and get the wheels turning? At Comptel, we’ve adopted Abe’s wise words as our unofficial slogan in our mission to drive a meaningful, usable, and delightful user journey for customers across all of our products.

Beyond UI

Good user experience doesn’t happen by accident. It’s rooted much, much, deeper than just the graphical user interface. These are self-evident fundamentals that the likes of Jony Ive from Apple have made very visible in the consumer product space over the past decade, but strangely are still not widely adopted in professional software markets. The simple fact of the matter is that in a domain as business-critical and complex as OSS, putting proper weight on your user experience – instead of just the user interface – is even more important than with consumer products.

To that end, Comptel is dedicated to making a dent in our industry through strategic experience design. For us, user experience is not an obligatory final touch at the end of the R&D pipeline, it’s a driving force that runs deep throughout the organisation – from Product Managers, UX Designers, and Development teams, who work together to lay the basic bricks for the user journey, all the way to sales and service teams. We are all responsible for contributing to the overall user and customer experience in our daily work.

In the coming months, we’ll share more on the importance user and customer experience and offer further insight on today’s design trends. You will have the chance to get to know Comptel’s creative process, as well as our research methods and the design tools that we’re using to redefine experience design as we know it.

This is most definitely not a monologue, so we would love to hear your thoughts on the current stage of experience design in the OSS space. Please take this opening piece as an invitation to an honest dialogue, whether in the comments section below, on Twitter (, or over a very real cup of coffee in a face-to-face conversations!

Juho Paasonen is Head of Experience Design at Comptel