Posted: October 30th, 2014 | Author: Leila Heijola | Filed under: Events | Tags: big data, conference, IBM BusinessConnect | Comments Off on A New Era for Big Data: Accessibility, Integration and Analytics at IBM Business Connect
On October 15, Comptel’s team attended IBM Business Connect, an annual event held in Helsinki at the monumental Finlandia Hall. According to IBM, it’s one of the biggest ICT events in Finland, with 1,700 attendees from a diverse number of businesses and industries.
A year ago, many presentations at the conference emphasized the importance of Big Data. This year, the messaging shifted to focus on business models utilising predictive analytics. Here is a recap of the main things we took away from the event.
1. Analytics are valuable, but often inaccessible.
Even if analytics are everywhere, leveraging their full business value can still be a challenge. Organisations face obstacles around data integration and data preparation, in particular, and this seems to prohibit some companies from using Big Data analytics at all. Therefore, to leverage big data, an efficient data integration and refinery layer is required to be able to utilise every bit of crude data to fuel the business.
It’s also important not to forget that when analytics become a natural part of business processes and decision-making, there will be a growing need for intelligent and interactive reporting and dashboards. Analytics cannot be a privilege of data scientists only; the benefits of Big Data analysis should reach much further throughout organisations.
2. Data enhances the customer journey.
Analysing and modelling customers’ buying journeys will result in new competitive advantages. B2C and B2B companies alike should look to leverage the intelligence that predictive analytics and machine-learning capabilities offer. It can help businesses better understand individual customers and their context and preferred content and unique value, enabling the delivery of ‘moments of truth.’ This means taking the right approach or offering the right product at the right time, with the right content and in the right way to optimise their experience. Ideally, this should be done across and along a customer’s entire journey.
According to the presenters, more than half (54 percent) of CEOs in leading organisations want to focus on improving the customer experience by changing interactions from mass messaging to market segments to 1:1 relationships. Vanson Bourne research found that 90 percent of customers are interested in a more personal relationship with communications service providers. But to do this, there needs to be real structural changes within the business.
3. Proactive should replace reactive.
Before access to real-time, predictive analytics, business opportunities and strategies were largely based on reporting and business intelligence. Business units would comb through the results of previous campaigns and base future campaigns on those results.
Companies need to shift from this reactive, report-driven approach to a predictive, data-driven one, using a solution that can automatically make changes in the business depending on operational data or customer trends by matching customer’s context and content. Predictive analytics can empower every aspect of the business, from product manufacturing to infrastructure and operations to sales and marketing.
In order to create data that can be used to revolutionise a customer’s experience, the information first has to be cleansed and processed with analytics tools.
The Data of Being Human
Aside from the business presentations, we also enjoyed hearing the keynote speeches. The most inspiring speech was given by Pekka Hyysalo, founder of the Fight Back movement. Hyysalo had just graduated from the Ruka Alpine School, and he was ready to conquer the world of freestyle skiing. When filming a freestyle movie in Ylläs in challenging weather conditions, however, the last jump ended badly.
He spent almost three weeks in a coma and suffered a severe head injury. His medical evaluation gave very little hope for asuccessful recovery, but Hyysalo proved the doctors wrong. With a great attitude, unbeatable willpower and an incredible sense of humour, he learned to walk and talk again. Now, he’s sharing his story and fighting back step-by-step.
We hope to see him accomplish the ultimate feat: run a marathon. The marathon project started this autumn when the first Fight Back run was organised in Turku. The distance was 2.5 kilometres, and next year, the length will be doubled to five kilometres. Incrementally, Hyysalo plans to build up the distance and run a full marathon in 2018.
The day ended in a fireworks of minds (“Älytulitus”) with prominent public figures discussing their dreams and how they would like to see more intelligence in our everyday lives, from human-integrated identity chips (for convenience of shopping or travelling, for example) to intelligence in the kitchen (to reduce the amount of food wasted) to interesting thoughts of how to generate real-time awareness of our health.
While some of these may never come true, the future is ours to make, and we invite all to share in the spirit of open collaboration to accomplish our dreams and making the future brighter together, one step at a time.
Want to learn more about how Big Data can be integrated and accessible? Learn about Comptel EventLink 7.0 below:
Posted: October 27th, 2014 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: News | Tags: analytics, eventlink, mediation | 4 Comments »
Few businesses have as much constantly streaming data as communications service providers (CSPs). Day and night, seven days a week, customers are sending and receiving huge amounts of data. The amount of data in flux is not just growing, but it also comes in different formats, varying from structured to unstructured, real-time and historical.
That’s a lot of information to process and manage. Over time, the constant flow of data across technologies like fixed, mobile, IMS, LTE, cable and IPTV has resulted in siloed, fragmented data sets. These scattered data processing layers require not just consolidation but also intelligent data analysis capabilities to turn every grain of insight into value and revenue for the operator.
To solve this situation, Comptel is bringing a new version of its convergent mediation platform, Comptel EventLink 7, to market. The market is ready for a new era of mediation that streams and refines data into automated, intelligent actions such as upsell campaigns, roaming data, targeted customer lists, cloud orchestration and charging, as well as offers real-time early warnings for xDR anomalies, multi-country data consolidation, LTE/VoLTE services management capabilities and more. Comptel EventLink can provide that technology.
With a new kind of mediation software, CSPs will be able to increase time-to-market, operational efficiency, advanced monitoring, service forecasting and real-time customer engagement. Here’s how.
A Data Refinery that Integrates, Learns and Turns Data into Action
Comptel EventLink 7.0 connects all the dots across devices, applications, network elements, customers and locations, collecting and intelligently analysing streaming data. Comptel EventLink ensures that data is in the right place at the right time, capturing contextual information and formatting it for delivery to the destination engine.
This “data refinery” smoothly integrates and embeds analytics to the mediation layer, and consolidates all the data coming into and being sent out of it. That ensures that no information is lost. CSPs can maximise and control every last bit of data in its native format, including the access to the unfiltered raw data, across every operation.
Comptel’s new Big Data mediation software, Comptel EventLink natively integrates and embeds analysis, reporting and machine-learning capabilities, allowing operators to use the contextual intelligence from that Big Data to speed up business decisions and actions.
For example, operational intelligence empowered by a data refinery can stop revenue loss and identify unexpected traffic peaks while improving Quality of Service. Simply by collecting historical and real-time data, a data refinery can provide operators with a snapshot of what to expect in the future and send alarms about any potential service peaks or disruptions.
Without a data refinery to process all that streaming data, CSPs could be missing out on a lot of “sleeping” revenue or insights. If xDRs aren’t analysed, predicted and monitored in real-time, revenue loss, service disruptions and anomalous patterns can get completely overlooked. A data refinery integrates, refines and learns from the information traveling back and forth on the network, alerting CSPs about upcoming issues and opportunities.
A Superior User Experience
So how can CSPs make the most of the Comptel EventLink data refinery? By building workflows around how the data gets used. In order to help businesses efficiently leverage data streams, Comptel has researched CSP users’ end-to-end business design journeys and translated the invaluable learnings into our new user experience (UX) interface.
The result is the Comptel EventLink Stream Designer. With an intuitive, drag-and-drop dashboard, the Stream Designer allows CSPs to build new products and services cost-effectively, quickly and easily. Stream Designer is a revolutionary new way for CSPs to configure how data is managed and used.
In addition to offline streams, active, online streams are fully supported, so it’s possible to build a workflow that intelligently streams online data or monitors customer’s data usage across a network and automatically sends that information to the relevant destination, business or operations team.
With a sleek, user experience and interface to build custom workflows, Comptel EventLink is ushering in a new era of mediation. The timing couldn’t be better. With the Internet of Things promising a world of connected watches, cars, refrigerators and more – along with the exponential growth in data use – contextual, real-time analysis and reporting is increasingly becoming a business-critical initiative. A data refinery that can perform real-time, automated analysis and speed up intelligent decisions and actions will enable CSPs to continue innovating, building customer loyalty and optimising their business.
Want to try out the next generation of mediation? Learn more about Comptel’s new convergent mediation platform or download our EventLink 7.0 presentation below.
Posted: October 24th, 2014 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: Industry Insights, News | Tags: announcements, Comptel | Comments Off on Comptel Had a Strong Third Quarter
Comptel is pleased to announce that we had a strong third quarter in 2014 compared to last year, both in terms of quarterly growth in net sales as well as in terms of profitability
In the third quarter, our project and license revenue grew by 20 percent compared to the third quarter in 2013. Our growth came both through winning new customers as well as from new projects. Our new and current business areas grew in the third quarter compared to last year.
We also secured six significant orders, valued over EUR 500,000. Our existing customers in Saudi Arabia and India placed significant orders and we also won a new customer in Pakistan. Also our backlog strengthened significantly overall. In 2014, Comptel has won six customers compared to four last year.
During the past quarter we also signed a strategic partnership agreement with Hitachi. Our Japanese partner will be reselling our Comptel Policy Control solution globally. This new partnership enables us to enter the Japanese market and establish our presence there.
Posted: October 20th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: customer experience, Events, innovation, salesforce, salesforce 2014 | Comments Off on Reimagine: Dispatches from Dreamforce 2014
Beach party or customer conference? That’s what many were wondering on Tuesday here at Dreamforce 2014 in San Francisco, after Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff kicked off with a “Good Vibrations” performance from the Beach Boys, followed by a traditional Hawaiian blessing ceremony. The rumour-mill was turning for the industries’ worst kept secret and we felt that there was a reveal on its way…
But everyone soon got down to business, with more than 1,400 expert-led sessions across every industry imaginable. From a philanthropic-geared keynote given by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to the launch of a new wearable smart watch, Puls, from musical performer Will.i.am, the spirit of innovation was high, and the conversations were exciting.
The common thread throughout it all was to reimagine – whether it is reimagining our approach to climate change with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, reimagining music for the masses with musician Neil Young or reimagining new business models with Kris Davies of AT&T.
Here are some of our highlights from the sessions:
Reimagine: Customer Engagement
One thing is being made clear at Dreamforce this week: more than ever, the customer is king. Salesforce and attendees hammered home the importance of businesses truly evolving to become customer-centric companies.
According to executives from Telefonica and Fastweb, telcos, in particular, have some work to do in the customer experience and satisfaction department. But challenges from over-the-top (OTT) disruption, industry consolidations and new emerging communications service providers (CSPs) are setting a high bar for managing the customer journey.
What’s needed most are simple, relevant and proactive systems that can better steer and enhance the modern-day customer buying experience. Our own announcement at Dreamforce this week reflected this. Through a collaboration with CloudSense, we’re providing an intelligent platform that improves the B2B customer experience, through automated, multichannel sales, customer order management and service delivery.
With the influx of web services and devices, it’s no surprise that more than 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated in the last two years. What’s more, with an estimated 50 billion connected “things” expected by 2020, that volume of data is expected to grow exponentially.
The REVEAL: Salesforce responded this week, announcing a new cloud-based analytics platform, Wave, to provide customers with predictive analytics features, integrated with its own SaaS-based customer relationship management (CRM) offering. The platform is designed to make it easier for everyone to explore data, uncover new insights and take action instantly from any device.
As technology continues to evolve, collaboration is becoming even more integral to success. We’ve seen this first-hand in our successful Communications Industry Showcase alongside other industry leaders at Dreamforce this week. The ability to collaborate around sales, customer engagement and projects forms a live feedback loop that nurchers continuous process and product improvement and can help to align better with customers.
Musician Neil Young demonstrated the importance of this in a very different way with the introduction of the PonoPlayer, an audio device designed to change the way we listen to music. The history of recorded sounds is in jeopardy if we continue to listen to “Xeroxes of Picassos,” said Young. His new device allows for the digital remastering of vinyl masterpieces to properly capture the full experience intended by the recording artist.
PonoPlayer is the first music company to use the Salesforce Community Cloud, a collaborative environment that leverages communities of fans to discuss the merits of music tracks and beyond. It’s a great example of how new technology can improve the buyer’s journey and positively impact commercial success.
Reimagine: The Future
As we wrap up an exciting week at Dreamforce, we’re reinvigorated by the ideas and innovation that are shaping the future of telco and all industries. We’re already looking forward to seeing what Dreamforce 2015 will bring!
For more information on our latest collaboration with CloudSense, please click here. To learn how CSPs can benefit from the cloud and deliver an improved customer experience, click here.
Posted: October 15th, 2014 | Author: Max Nyman | Filed under: Events | Tags: conferences, Events, inbound marketing | Comments Off on 10 Takeaways from Guy Kawaski at #Inbound14
HubSpot’s annual #Inbound14 offered perhaps one of the most interesting line-ups of all marketing conferences this year. Around 10,000 marketers were “spoiled” with a full agenda of dynamic speakers such as Guy Kawasaki, Simon Sinek, Malcom Gladwell and Martha Stewart – not to mention a truly memorable performance from R&B singer and songwriter Janelle Monáe.
The keynotes were among the highlights of the Boston-located event; I especially enjoyed the “10 Lessons That I Learned from Steve Jobs” presentation given by the former chief evangelist of Apple, Guy Kawasaki. Each lesson was a key principle that Kawasaki thought set Jobs apart from the pack. Here’s a summary of those lessons:
1. Experts are clueless.
Experts are good at giving you advice on the existing world order, but according to Kawasaki, they really can’t tell you how to change the world, innovate or predict the next big thing. Kawasaki said that, in order to truly create change and innovate, you need to listen to yourself.
2. Customers cannot tell you what they need.
Kawasaki refers to the famous Henry Ford quote, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” He added that customers can tell you how to make something better, but if you are after a paradigm change, you’re on your own.
3. The biggest challenges beget the best work.
Apple and Jobs always went against the biggest competitors and the biggest challenges. That inspired them to keep innovating, experimenting and learning.
4. Design counts.
Kawasaki admitted that design doesn’t appeal to everyone, but added that it counts for enough people to be significant. And, he added, “no matter your product or service, good design only enhances the [customer] experience.” We couldn’t agree more.
5. Use big graphics and fonts.
According to Kawasaki, “the point of your presentation is not to give someone the text of what you’re saying; it’s to give them just enough anchor points to follow what you’re saying.”
6. Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence.
The world is constantly changing. Kawaski advised attendees to “be nimble and flexible,” even if that would mean reversing your strategy.
7. Value ≠ price.
Kawasaki told the audience that this was one of the most important learnings from Jobs: “Price is something you pay on the first day, but value is the sum total of the experience.”
8. “A” players hire “A+” players.
Kawasaki said that future success is also a recruitment issue. If A-class leaders hire B-class people, B-class people will soon hire C-class people. Kawasaki pointed out that one of the keys to Apple’s success was to hire the best of the best.
9. Real CEOs do the demos.
Companies cannot be thought leaders – only people can. CEOs cannot be hidden in corner offices. They need to be the visible face of the company.
10. Marketing = unique value.
A market full of similar products and services will drive the whole market to price wars and diminishing returns. Always aim to create something that has unique value – like the iPod + iTunes combination or a connected car.
Optimists are the Best Innovators
Kawasaki concluded by saying that skeptics aren’t the best innovators. Optimists are. In order ignite a paradigm change, you have to be able to see something valuable, unique and something that doesn’t yet exist and make it happen.
Comptel believes Kawaski’s innovative mindset is also important in the context of the telecommunications industry. Now, more than ever, communications service providers (CSPs) should find new ways to provide value for customers. Most CSPs are engaged in a price war, but are doing little else to really meet the customer’s needs. These days, though, true value means giving customer what they want on a personal level across every touchpoint. That’s because value is no longer about the lowest price, it’s about offering customers something that meets their needs at that exact moment.
That doesn’t just mean implementing new technology that can help modernise operations. It means working on a new culture that bridges silos, leverages Big Data and, above all, creates an unforgettable customer experience by offering value that empowers customers like never before.
In the telecommunications space, cloud is one of the next big innovations. Want to learn more?
Download the Stratecast whitepaper, “Operations & Monetization Platforms in the Cloud: Why the Time May Be Right for Back Office as a Service (BaaS).”
Posted: October 9th, 2014 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events | Tags: GSMA, Middle East, mobile, mobile 360 | Comments Off on Comptel Invited to Speak at GSMA Mobile 360 Middle East Event
With many mobile operators hot on the trail to have commercially launched 4G/LTE by the end of 2014, the prospect of new services and faster connectivity is becoming more exciting than ever for their customers.
According to Analysys Mason, the number of 4G/LTE handset connections worldwide will increase by 670 percent from 2013 to 2018. Yet, mobile handset data service revenue is only expected to grow by 64 percent during the same period.
In particular, the Middle East and North Africa are exemplary markets, with strong mobile growth driving impressive progress in the region. Providers are exploring hybrid monetisation models and solutions for their customers, like the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, du. The mobile operator just announced that for the first time in the Middle East, its customers will soon be able to access the Internet at 4G/LTE speeds, while making a crystal-clear voice call, made possible by VoLTE. Such solutions will help secure a competitive advantage and ensure future business growth.
It’s clear that mobile will increasingly play a significant role in connecting communities around the globe. But as the use of voice and SMS continues to decline, it will be more important for CSPs to explore new opportunities for monetising their data. So, how can mobile operators be able to capitalise on the LTE full services’ revenue potential?
This question and others will be tackled at the second annual GSMA Mobile 360 Middle East conference, co-located with GITEX in Dubai from 13-14th October. Comptel has been invited to participate on a panel around this very topic: “Monetising LTE and Profiting from a Transition Towards All IP.”
The conversation is especially important in a city like Dubai and in the broader Middle East, where the potential for LTE adoption is huge. According to the same report from Analysys Mason, strong mobile handset data growth in the Middle East and North Africa could mean that telecoms service revenue grows at a 2.9 percent compound annual growth rate, reaching $96 billion by 2018.
The Future of Connectivity
Comptel and our fellow panelists will share insight on how to help smoothly drive that growth forward, and how mobile operators can monetise their networks to differentiate services in a way that will communicate their true value to their customers.
Petteri Suonio, technical sales director in our Middle East and Africa region, will speak on Comptel’s behalf, sharing solutions from our recent research around how mobile operators can better monetise their data, as well as insight on various offerings, bundles, data usage patterns and more from the region and across the globe.
Mr. Suonio will be joined on the panel by Noel Kirkaldy, head of technology, Middle East & Africa, Nokia Siemens Networks; Ihab Ghattas, assistant president of Middle East region, Huawei; and Muhammad Saqib, director, technical strategy & RAN planning, Warid Telecom.
The key for mobile operators’ success will be a combination of both tried-and-tested monetisation methods and new ones. To strengthen operator monetisation and differentiation, flexible and agile policy and charging capabilities with easy to use service design will play a major role. In addition, predictive analytics will be increasingly important in allowing operators to see patterns that would otherwise be hidden, and to use this insight to construct new, tailored offers.
With this, mobile operators will be able to better understand customer behaviours and build a higher quality of experience, while introducing new sources of revenue. Future revenue growth for mobile operators will fully depend on building flexible, personalised service packages and services that will allow them to innovate with their customers.
If you’ll be attending GSMA Mobile 360 or GITEX in Dubai and would like to meet with Mr. Suonio, please send an email to email@example.com.
For more information on GSMA Mobile 360 Middle East, panels and participants, please click here. Or read more about monetising mobile data in our recent whitepaper.
Posted: October 5th, 2014 | Author: Simo Isomaki | Filed under: News | Tags: Comptel, hitachi, press release | Comments Off on Comptel Enters Strategic Partnership with Hitachi
With the rapid uptick in mobile device use, continued data traffic growth and demand for innovative, high quality infotainment services, communications service providers (CSPs) need to build flexible network operations platforms that can help them keep up with changing customer preferences. At the same time, CSPs, supported by these platforms, must be able to scale network capacity up and down based on need and, hence, better manage costs incurred for running the services.
Packet Core is vital to CSPs in the data-centric world…and even more so is Evolved Packet Core (EPC), the 3GPP-specified architecture system that manages data connections in LTE networks (Wikipedia). Part of EPC, Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) is a central system used to manage policy definitions within the network for users, services and devices.
Some time ago, these ‘rules’ were defined simply for managing bandwidth. They granted only certain bandwidth to a user’s session (say during web browsing or video streaming). The industry has since transitioned to develop more business-centric models, but CSPs need to continue to evaluate how to monetise all that data. Analysing that information is crucial for building more personalised experiences that win hearts, minds and wallets.
This is why Comptel and Hitachi have entered into a reselling partnership, as recently stated via a stock exchange press release. The companies will work together to help CSPs across the globe, with an initial focus on the Japanese and US markets, to help businesses adapt to increasingly competitive market dynamics.
CSPs around the world can now access Hitachi’s vEPC with a PCRF system that can help them create personalised offerings and ensure fast time-to-market. Meanwhile, CSPs can better manage their network resources and service quality—supporting a high customer experience and aiming to drive efficiency and operational flexibility improvements.
We are excited about this new collaboration, as it demonstrates the strength of our policy control and charging technology, as well as our domain expertise, and marks a possibility to enter into a new market, namely Japan. Comptel is pleased to be a part of accelerating Hitachi’s traffic management solution and vEPC offering, and we look forward to building a long, successful relationship with the company.