Mobile World Congress Day 3: The Turning Point for Telco Networks

Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | Comments Off on Mobile World Congress Day 3: The Turning Point for Telco Networks

The third day of Mobile World Congress was defined by the keynote session about Big Data and mobile, but the underlying theme was network infrastructure. Three CEOs in the space touched on the upcoming evolution of networks: Joe Tucci of EMC, Michael Combes of Alcatel-Lucent and Patrick Gelsinger of VMware.

The consensus was that mobile devices and the dramatic, sweeping changes in traffic requirements are going to fundamentally change the structure, dynamics and functions of networks around the world.

“I believe we are just at the beginning,” said Combes.  He emphasized the importance of a structural change to build networks for the customer habits of tomorrow. “We clearly have to see the network differently to deliver the scale and elasticity required for new applications.”

Networks, in Context

Combes charged that the whole telecommunications industry is at a turning point that started about five years ago, when an increasing number of mobile devices entered the scene. He estimates that there will be a 440 percent increase in cloud and datacenter traffic between 2012 and 2017, but many communications service providers (CSPs) are still building networks with a legacy footprint.

Combes highlighted the debate taking place about the need for more intelligent, faster networks and how networks and the cloud are becoming more integrated. He touched on how this is changing the dynamic of the industry, because network operators will be deploying across a unified cloud platform and datacenters will be shared by multiple tenants.

“In Europe, there still aren’t enough investments in network and IT,” he said. “[CSPs] have no other way but to compete on price, as opposed to innovation.” He believes that networks must adapt to user needs and become user-aware.

Comptel’s vision of contextual intelligence at every touchpoint plays right into this line of thinking.

Infrastructure 2.0

Joe Tucci, the CEO of EMC, discussed the phenomenon as well.

“What’s happening is IT is bleeding into networks and vice versa,” he explained. “We call it the 3rd grade platform of IT.” He added that developers will rule in the future. They will look for platforms that help them create new and innovative solutions. And a lot of those platforms will be in the cloud.

Patrick Gelsinger of VMware picked up the conversation by explaining how virtualisation is bringing efficiency and savings to networks that used to rely upon physical servers. He added that VMware has actually virtualised 70 percent of the company’s own servers.

Comptel has been very excited about the potential held in software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV). If the expected benefits of lightning fast speed, agility and real-time responsiveness are realised, these new networks will empower CSPs to deliver better, more personalised customer experiences than ever before. It was great to hear that other companies in the space are working toward similar goals.

The telecommunications industry is indeed at a turning point and with the right infrastructure, CSPs will be able to meet both customer and business goals in new and creative ways.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Mobile World Congress Day 2: Getting Big Value Out of Big Data

Posted: February 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Mobile World Congress Day 2: Getting Big Value Out of Big Data

The first day of Mobile World Congress was a busy one, full of panels, speeches and workshops. When Day Two began, I knew it was going to be another exciting one, full of insights from thought leaders across the telco industry. Today, one of those thought leaders was Comptel’s VP of Analytics and Technology, Matti Aksela. Matti was a participant during the morning panel session, “Big Data Goes on Stage.” He joined executives from Blancco, Creanord, Omnitele, Tieto, and Tecnotree to discuss the current state of Big Data and the changes we can expect to see over the next several years.

Big Data is still a fairly difficult term to define. At Comptel, we believe that the term is a new label that’s being applied to something fundamental – the ability to build a business strategy around customer data. The panel acknowledged this, noting that telcos are handling petabytes upon petabytes of information that could potentially be useful to the business.

But what do telcos really need to make the most out of Big Data?

The Foundation of Data is Infrastructure

Tomi Paatsila, CEO at Omnitele, explained that scalable infrastructure is integral to Big Data analytics, because organisations have to be able to adapt to different traffic environments. Matti added that scalable infrastructure also needs to support different types of data to effectively consolidate all that information.

Part of that requirement is due to the emergence of new virtual machines (vms). Ideal infrastructures will have to be vendor-agnostic, providing a seamless integration for the technologies of yesterday, today and tomorrow. As Lucas Weber, product manager at Blancco pointed out, both virtualization and the rise of cloud computing have added new layers of complexity to the data that infrastructures must be able to handle.

However, collecting and processing all those petabytes of data can still be a cumbersome (and expensive) task for telcos, especially if they attempt to do so manually.

Automation for the Next Generation

The panelists agreed that automation is a key element to any Big Data solution. They also agreed that it’s important to analyse end-user behaviour at every possible touch point, a particular science of the customer experience that Comptel has championed for a long time. When telcos can collect contextual intelligence at every touch point, execs can make informed business decisions based on real-time, segmented customer interactions.

Matti often observes organisations that are frustrated with the results of their Big Data solution, because business leaders didn’t identity a specific motivation behind implementation. As Matti said on today’s panel, “The key is to start looking for value out of the data right away.” To do that, telcos need to decide which business problem can be solved with the help of Big Data. In Matti’s experience, the top use case is churn reduction.

Weber summed up the panel conversation perfectly: “At the end of the day, consumers and enterprises should benefit from Big Data.” As telcos strive to become customer-centric companies, the ability to efficiently utilise Big Data to create a better customer experience will be an important factor in their success, or their failure.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Mobile World Congress Day 1: Customer Experience, Disruption Reign Supreme

Posted: February 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Mobile World Congress Day 1: Customer Experience, Disruption Reign Supreme

At long last, the wait is over. The hype and speculation and planning has come to an end and this year’s Mobile World Congress begins. The leading authorities in the telco field have all come together to share their thoughts on the current state of the industry, as well as what lies ahead.

Day One of the conference featured speeches by a number of industry experts and one of the central themes throughout the day was customer experience. Everyone at Comptel has been excited to hear this renewed emphasis on delivering better service. We’ve worked hard to enable communication service providers (CSPs) to become customer-centric organisations. The goal to deliver a better customer experience is already helping break down traditional silos that exist between CMOs, CTOs and CIOs and, in the future, this may become a make-or-break priority for every telco business.

For example, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, chairman of GSMA and CEO of Telenor Group, believes that huge commitments from mobile operators to customers will be necessary going forward. He explained that, by 2020, there would be 22 billion mobile broadband connections and 200 million LTE connections, so telcos must be able to differentiate themselves by offering the best customer experience possible. Ahmad Julfar, Group CEO at Etisalat advised mobile operators to embrace increasing customer demands, from greater efficiency to personalised experience. In order to accomplish that, companies must have the right technological capabilities and a spirit of innovation.

Sirgoo Lee, CEO of Kakau Group, took this concept a step further, saying that innovation is not enough. He believes that organisations must be completely disruptive. And who better to harp on the importance of disruption in the telco industry than Jan Koum, founder and CEO of WhatsApp? Today, Koum highlighted the company’s most recent disruption – the introduction of a voice product. While this voice product stole the spotlight today, moving forward, Koum believes that data is going to be key for continued disruption.

The power of data is something that Comptel has believed in for years. In fact, it’s for that very reason that our VP of Analytics and Technology, Analytics Business Unit Matti Aksela shared his insights on what it takes to successfully deploy a Big Data strategy in advance of this year’s event.

As Mobile World Congress 2014 unfolds this week, we’ll be curious to see what other central themes emerge in the keynote presentations. For now, though, it’s clear that the priorities we’ve set for 2014 reflect the changing needs of the telco industry. Be sure to keep checking back in for continued roundups and thoughts on this year’s event!


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Comptel and Big Data at Mobile World Congress 2014

Posted: February 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes, Events | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

You probably have not been able to avoid hearing the term, “Big Data”, nor about the expectations of its limitless possibilities for communications service providers (CSPs). CSPs have a unique opportunity to delve into the spectrum of network, customer, service and other information at their fingertips and flowing through their OSS/BSS, eventually using it to improve both internal operations and customer-facing processes.

But Big Data sadly often means Big Projects. It is not just management of the three core “Vs” – volume, velocity and variety – that contributes to this, so can the setup of the technology to store and collect the data. But often, the biggest challenge stems from the fourth “V”, or value. What do operators need to do in order to drive true value from Big Data? I believe that there are some key requirements for being successful here:

  • Have a strategic business objective to focus on. Do not just collect data for the sake of collecting data, but have a goal in mind and a roadmap of what to do to drive more value when you reach that goal. (Buy-in from the boardroom, of course, helps, too, especially with issues like breaking down organisational silos.)
  • Don’t start with a blank slate. It’s important to have a set of proven, productised applications to address your business pains, whether it be customer experience-driven like smart throttling or network-focused for proactive service management, for instance.
  • Collect experience and learning in your organisation if you see information as your key asset, but don’t wait until you have built an experienced team to do so – have that as your plan, but start generating value from operational applications from the get-go.

And that’s where Comptel comes in. We’ve been developing our Big Data offering to help CSPs give their initiatives a running start, and also  supply them with the tools to support information-based decision-making and derive the true value they’ve been looking for – quickly and in a future-proof and extendable way – to solve acute business pains and build on that success.

Comptel provides a true Big Data solution, addressing all key components of the Big Data process:

1)     Data Ingestion: Integration, importing and formatting of historical and real-time data from CSPs’ own data sources, combined with external data for a truly holistic view of the business. This is powered by Comptel’s proven technology used in our mediation solutions.

2)     Data Management: Transformation, correlation, enrichment and manipulation of data to ensure optimal usability, and using the most appropriate methods to store data—whether it be Hadoop for unstructured data, massively parallel processing databases or in-memory data grids.

3)     Data Analysis: Highly accurate, real-time predictive analysis, modelling and reporting, powered by machine learning.

4)     Business Analytics Applications: Productised solutions to solve acute business pains, utilising the whole Big Data solution to drive immediate value.

One important aspect of Comptel approach’s is the utilisation of both historical and real-time data to drive true value—we do not see these as separate discrete steps of a process, i.e. building a predictive model and then applying triggers based on the model’s predictions, but instead having the predictive model applied in the real-time data stream to reap and benefit from contextual intelligence.

Clearly, Big Data analytics is reshaping the telco landscape. According to our recent research supported by Vanson Bourne, about two-thirds of telco executives (64 percent) say they are already in the process of leveraging Big Data to improve customer service, for instance. This is the time for Big Data to show that it is not just a hyped concept but a true generator of value—and we believe that the way to do that is through scalable, Big Data solutions designed to achieve and build on CSPs’ business objectives from day one.

To discuss how contextual and operational intelligence can augment CSPs’ efforts, come to our booth (Hall 5, Stand 5F41) at Mobile World Congress 2014. Look forward to seeing you in Barcelona this week!


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Comptel, Tech Mahindra and New Strategic Partnership for 2014

Posted: February 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Comptel, Tech Mahindra and New Strategic Partnership for 2014

By Peter Middleton, Vice President, Global Alliances, Comptel

The secret is out – the role of fulfillment is becoming increasingly important to operational and business transformation for communications service providers (CSPs). The trouble is, the scope of these projects is simultaneously broadening to include complex, multi-strand service delivery processes, high-volume and high-speed fibre deployments, cloud-based IT and virtualised networks.

I am pleased to share that to help CSPs tackle this, Comptel and Tech Mahindra have signed a non-exclusive strategic partner agreement. Together, we’ll deliver integrated, 360-degree service fulfillment solutions, and continue to develop innovative offerings that can quickly support our customers’ needs and accelerate their future business growth.

As communicated on the Helsinki Stock Exchange on 18th February by our CEO Juhani Hintikka, the partnership means that Comptel will be able to serve our customers with a wider sales channel, increased productivity and the scalability to deliver large and complex OSS/BSS transformation projects. In addition, Tech Mahindra are establishing a Comptel centre of expertise and training centre, which will secure and grow knowledge across their organisation.

Over the past 18 months, we’ve invested heavily in our next-generation fulfillment platform—to ensure that CSPs deliver a high customer experience and have seen strong business performance rooted within operational excellence. This partnership was the next logical step for us to broaden the product’s reach, whilst internally we start to pair it with our additional areas of expertise, such as predictive analytics.

Tech Mahindra was an obvious choice, with its OSS/BSS industry experience and focus on fast enablement and time-to-delivery. We are pleased to extend our work with the company and believe our partnership will allow us to meet and exceed the challenges facing CSPs today in the increasingly complex telecommunications market.


Comptel Wins World Finance Award for Telecoms Industry Leadership

Posted: February 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Comptel Wins World Finance Award for Telecoms Industry Leadership

As you may have seen last month, Comptel has been honoured by World Finance magazine as having the Best Innovation of Western Europe, 2013. The award recognises Comptel’s ongoing efforts to provide new products and services to communications service providers (CSPs) that help them adapt their businesses to the realities of the telecommunications market today.

CEO Juhani Hintikka recently traveled to London to receive the award from World Finance’s Jenny Hammond. He also sat down with her for a brief video interview about the challenges and opportunities facing CSPs in 2014. Specifically, he discussed the emerging capabilities of software-defined networking (SDN) and the consolidation that’s impacting CSPs as the competition for revenue increases.

“It’s essential to differentiate by harnessing the intelligence and data available in CSPs’ networks,” he explained. That means CSPs need to think carefully about how their OSS/BSS are being harnessed and how Big Data analytics can be applied to derive increased value from them. He also detailed Comptel’s continuing innovations into automated service fulfillment and policy control and charging.

You can view the conversation here:

In addition to the interview with World Finance, Juhani wrote a feature for the magazine on what it will take for CSPs to grow today. For CSPs to evolve and take advantage of the new opportunities becoming available to them, he writes in the piece, silos need to be flattened, and data has to be democratised across an organisation. Only when C-level executives can focus on one common goal – and apply the latest technology – can CMOs, CTOs, CIOs and CEOs work together to fuel a new kind of customer experience and drive their businesses forward.

Juhani and Comptel will be attending Mobile World Congress this month and look forward to continuing the conversation on these points while in Barcelona. To arrange a meeting with the company, email comptel.marketing@comptel.com or visit Hall 5, Stand 5F41.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Comptel’s 2013 Results and Review

Posted: February 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Comptel’s 2013 Results and Review

Comptel’s main target for 2013 was to improve profitability. In the first half of 2013, we continued the cost-savings program that was started in 2012, with the aim to improve efficiency and the company’s cost structure. Our operating profit, excluding one-time items, increased to 8.8 per cent (-1.0) on an annual level in 2013. Support and maintenance sales continued to be strong in 2013.

As defined in our strategy, we continued our research and development investments into our new solution areas. Comptel Fulfillment, Comptel Analytics (where we won two new customers) and Comptel Policy Control sales grew by 22 per cent year over year.

During 2013, we won four new customers and secured 17 significant orders, valued over EUR 0.5 million. Geographically, our sales grew especially in the Middle East and the Americas. Finally, to wrap up, in the fourth quarter, Comptel entered a new market in Vietnam, where we closed a new Comptel Fulfillment deal, as well as won a new customer for the same product in New Zealand.

We look forward to what 2014 holds for Comptel!


FTTH Conference 2014: Strategy, Process and Deployment in Europe

Posted: February 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployment has often been hailed as a cure-all to the problems that are plaguing many communications service providers (CSPs) today. Across Europe, bandwidth is becoming a pronounced issue at a time when more people are streaming more data than ever before. The problem is usually one of economic feasibility. While 93 percent of households in the U.S. can choose between cable or DSL connections, only 42 percent of households in Europe can choose a cable connection.

Meanwhile, FTTH deployment is an even longer way off in many countries… but potential opportunities can make it worth exploring in more detail. CSPs have taken this to heart. The benefits of FTTH deployments are too big to overlook, and with the right planning and execution strategies, these investments can seriously pay off in the long run.

A Real-World Case Study

Comptel knows firsthand that FTTH deployment can yield countless opportunities for CSPs, because we’ve worked with a number of them and done it successfully. In 2011, Australia’s NBN Co selected Comptel to provide catalog-driven service fulfillment for a national broadband project and to ensure wholesale services were delivered quickly and efficiently across the fibre network to retail channels. Last year, we partnered with Alcatel-Lucent to provide Chorus New Zealand with a fibre fulfillment and inventory solution. The high-speed broadband network supports retail service providers that are experimenting with new services, and has opened up revenue opportunities for Chorus New Zealand and the CSP’s customers.

When the agility and flexibility of fibre are fully leveraged, then CSPs unlock a whole new world of potential, which is more important than ever, given the decline of traditional sources of revenue. So what’s really holding CSPs back when it comes to FTTH? There are a number of technical hurdles to overcome, but nothing that can’t be solved with the right tools.

The fibre rollout lifecycle will be covered in detail in a workshop during the FTTH Conference 2014 in Stockholm. Comptel will be presenting alongside Alcatel-Lucent, Comsof – iToolsOnline, GE Smallworld, and TE Connectivity, and speaking specifically to the timely and accurate orchestration, deployment and launch of such services. “Optimised Planning and Execution of FTTH Deployments: How to Increase the Success Rate of Your FTTH Project” will also educate operators on how they can:

  • Plan a deployment without overspending on CAPEX and OPEX
  • Create efficient operational processes
  • Ensure effective network documentation

The workshop runs from 13:00 – 18:00 on 18 February. It’s in good company, too, with other sessions running throughout the day about the challenges and solutions facing FTTH, optimising FTTH with integrated solutions and showing case studies of successful deployments.

If you’re planning on attending the FTTH Conference 2014 and want to get in touch with Comptel, please reach out to us at comptel.marketing@comptel.com and see more details about the workshop with Comptel here.

Connect with me on Google+ or Twitter to keep in touch, or follow @ComptelCorp.


Want to learn more about what’s on the minds of communications service providers? Download our full Comptel User Group APAC Survey findings about Big Data, fulfillment and more.
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