6 Applications of A Data Refinery: How Telcos Can Support Generation Cloud

Posted: January 22nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

By Katja Kurisjärvi, Marketing Manager, Comptel

In yesterday’s blog post, I highlighted Comptel EventLink 7.0’s key features and mentioned how they comprise the foundation of our Data Refinery solution. Communications service providers (CSPs) and global enterprises alike require a strong technology base to keep up with the standards of nexterday and the high expectations of “Generation Cloud.”

Building on the Comptel EventLink core, with rating and charging components and embedded intelligence, including reporting and monitoring, our Data Refinery solution can enable real-time decision-making and action- triggering. Here are six ways that it can be put to work to drive CSPs’ businesses forward.

1. Beyond traditional billing mediation

“Comptel EventLink can, as always, manage traditional billing mediation tasks, and many of our customers use it for full-blown mediation consolidations,” says Senior Product Manager Tero Lindholm. “The platform is typically used in the OSS/BSS layer, where a Tier 0 or 1 operator with IP, fixed and mobile networks has consolidated all of its services on it.”

However, recently, new and existing Comptel EventLink customers have started to use the software for purposes other than pure billing mediation, taking advantage of its ability to process intelligent data in real time and in any format.

Typically, such cases involve complex event processing (CEP) and refining value out of “Big Data in motion” – data that originates from multiple sources in a real-time environment. The Data Refinery adds intelligence to the data handling, and enables real-time analysis, decisions and actions based on the data going through the system streams. When more hierarchical customer profiling and propensity calculations are needed, the Comptel Social Links analytics add-on is included.

2. Automated campaigns

One of the new purposes for the Data Refinery is real-time analysis with decisions and actions to enable automated campaigning processes. This is something that Comptel has implemented for operators all over the world.

“We are helping operators better understand how their customers are using their services and which offers are most relevant to which individuals,” said Tero.

The Data Refinery combines real-time usage events with a real-time understanding of the subscription and the subscriber profile and location, for example, like whether the subscriber is roaming. The Data Refinery can accumulate different usages, and combine them with real-time analysis, make more relevant offers to the end customers with optimal timing.

Understanding real-time usage is made possible by combining usage events from network elements such as PCRF or OCS (mobile) or CMTS (for IP network), and the subscription information from the CRM. The summary of each customer’s usage, according to his/her subscription and services, is shown immediately in the CSP portal, where end customers can directly monitor their service usage.

Having real-time information about data usage increases customer satisfaction and helps CSPs’ provide more suitable offers based on the real-time understanding of service usage.

3. Economical ways to managing roaming agreements

Comptel is in a good position to help operators solve roaming challenges. The company was a pioneer in rolling out roaming cost control use cases when the EU roaming regulations came into force in 2007. These regulations were intended to regulate the roaming data and voice charges imposed by operators to their subscribers, thus preventing bill shock.

To regulate roaming charges, operators are looking for more economical ways to manage roaming data and agreement processing between different roaming partners. The Comptel EventLink extension, Roaming Management, is used by 20+ operators for managing roaming billing and fraud detection, and for automated processing of partner agreements. The extension supports the TAP/RAP/NRTRDE/RAEX processing in alignment with the GSMA standards and provides full visibility into the configuration of the agreements from test phase through production.

4. Monetising OTT offerings

The Data Refinery can help monetise over-the-top (OTT) offerings. For example, in Asia-Pacific, a Tier 1 customer is using the Data Refinery to collect information related to Google Play purchases. The customer has a revenue-sharing model with the Google Play market place, and the Comptel system provides usage information to revenue-sharing platforms and to the interconnect billing system.

5. Ready for IoT

The Data Refinery is highly suitable for connecting devices and applications, and expanding usability from pure billing mediation tasks to supporting the Internet of Things (IoT) business model.

For instance, since 2013, the Telefonica Group in Europe has used the Data Refinery for processing smart metre usage traffic from Telefonica’s machine-to-machine (M2M) network elements. Smart metres equipped with SIM cards communicate readings over GPRS links, which generate events that the Data Refinery can collect and separate from mobile device usage events, providing the aggregated data to the M2M platform and assurance.

6. LTE leading the data explosion

Increased data usage is clearly visible to the users and developers of Comptel EventLink—a Tier 1 operator’s system, for instance, can now process as much as 500 TB of data daily (comparable to the daily usage of Facebook data).

To cite an example from Tero, the amount of usage events has tripled for an Indonesian customer over the past two years, and is currently hitting 12-13 billion records with each passing day.

“Indonesia is just about to adopt 4G services, and we can expect the number of usage events to multiply as 4G is introduced to tablets, smartphones and other handhelds being used in that region,” noted Tero.

In Italy, a similar explosion was seen earlier this year, where the mobile data packet usage increased by 84 percent in just five months. Not only has LTE created an enormous impact on the volume of network events, it has also increased network complexity. This is because VoLTE based on IMS technology introduces new types of network elements that require high capabilities to collect and correlate different events from different sources, in order to have properly chargeable items for billing and other applications.

It’s no wonder that operators are finding it difficult to handle customers’ appetites for ‘all-you-can-eat’ packages and are consequently moving to capped data plans. Such data plans take advantage of policy control solutions, which restrict available capacity for each customer. Customers who demand the highest bandwidth without limitations must be prepared to pay for it, bringing welcome income for operators still suffering from voice revenue losses.

Want to discuss how else Comptel EventLink 7.0 and our Data Refinery solution can support your business?

Download the presentation below, or email comptel.marketing@comptel.com for a demo.

Download

This is based on an interview with Senior Product Manager Tero Lindholm.


A Data Refinery Requires a Strong Technology Foundation

Posted: January 21st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

By Katja Kurisjärvi, Marketing Manager, Comptel

In today’s rapidly changing technology landscape, it’s survival of the fittest. Only the most adaptive, intuitive and efficient software, bringing the greatest benefits to users, will survive. If the software fails to meet the expectations of nexterday, it will be replaced by more modern technologies better suited to satisfy the always-on, real-time needs of today’s “Generation Cloud.”

During it’s nearly three decades of existence, Comptel EventLink, formerly known as Comptel Convergent Mediation and MDS/AMD, has seen the winds of change with regard to customer behaviour, and has stood the test of time in the hands of many Tier 1 mobile and fixed operators.

Now, Comptel EventLink’s data management capabilities are needed more than ever to harness data coming from all directions in all industries – and increasingly, in real time.

Last autumn, version 7.0 was released to meet these new spheres of data handling with embedded intelligence, an intuitive user experience, and real-time reporting and action-triggering automation. More details can be found in our press release.

To ensure it would meet today’s high usability standards, Comptel conducted research amongst 15 operators. Evaluations of its usability, in addition to customer interviews, centred on how operators were using Comptel EventLink in daily operations, to uncover key areas for improvement and, ultimately, create a new era of mediation in version 7.0.

The latest iteration enables effortless data stream management and provides intuitive stream monitoring capabilities with clear visibility into system load and errors. Streams can be created effortlessly via drag-and-drop, using ready-installed node libraries. Everything is organised, so the most important information is quickly at hand and right in front of the user’s eyes.

To top it all off, performance has improved 200% over earlier version 6.2, and with much less hardware, making the system more than ready for network function virtualisation (NFV), which requires highly distributable systems and high availability.

“The feedback on Comptel EventLink 7.0 so far has been nothing but positive,” confirms Senior Product Manager Tero Lindholm. “The success of its extensive usability and performance investments is evident, as the first live customer upgraded to version 7.0 as soon as one month after the release.” A very fast deployment indeed!

It is this strong technology foundation that has been crucial to powering Comptel’s Data Refinery solution and, in turn, helping to deliver on telecoms operators’ and other global enterprises’ business-critical demands in real time.

Learn more about Comptel EventLink 7.0 and our Data Refinery solution below. Tomorrow, I’ll dive deeper into various applications of a Data Refinery and why it is ideal to keep up with the needs of “Generation Cloud.”

Download our Comptel EventLink 7.0 presentation:

Download

This blog post is based on an interview with Senior Product Manager Tero Lindholm.


From San Francisco to Kuala Lumpur, Where was Comptel in 2014?

Posted: January 14th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on From San Francisco to Kuala Lumpur, Where was Comptel in 2014?

By Katja Kurisjärvi, Marketing Manager, Comptel

My colleague, Leila Heijola, recently wrapped up Comptel’s 2014 with news of several significant orders, but what wasn’t mentioned was the success Comptel had at events near and far over the course of the year! From industry events like Mobile World Congress in Spain to Comptel’s very own user groups in Europe and Asia, we were able to communicate and collaborate with our communications service provider (CSP) customers, industry partners and other global enterprises alike.

To start off the year, we made a splash at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. More than 85,000 visitors and 1,800 exhibiting companies joined together to discuss hot topics in telco like Big Data, connected cars and the newest smart devices on the market. Comptel’s Matti Aksela, for one, spoke on a panel, “Big Data Goes on Stage,” covering the current state of data collection, refinement and analysis and the changes we can expect to see over the next several years.

While at the event, we launched our study detailing the issues on the minds of CMOs and CIO/CTOs in 2014. Additionally, we were excited to announce partnerships with Tecnotree and a Tier 1 U.S. mobile operator.

Next came TM Forum Live! in Nice, France, where a significant focus was on network function virtualisation (NFV). Around this theme, we announced several partnerships including an integration with GE Smallworld to streamline telco service fulfilment. The conference was a great space to discuss the emerging technology with other attendees, and opened many people’s eyes to the potential SDN and NFV have for the telco industry.

The fun didn’t stop in Nice, though… Salesforce’s Dreamforce, which took the form of a beach party in San Francisco, California, was a great opportunity for Comptel to hone in on the connection between front- and back-office systems and telcos’ evolution with the cloud and virtualisation. Beyond the lively entertainment, one of the themes, Reimagine: Customer Experience, definitely rang true for Comptel, as we exhibited with our collaboration with CloudSense and technology blueprint to help CSPs improve the B2B customer experience.

In addition to attending these industry events, we decided to host our own to connect on a deeper level with our customers. Our first user group of the year took place in Långvik near Helsinki, Finland, and the second was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Both were great opportunities to discuss the processes and technologies to help spur CSPs’ transformation and future innovation. At the APAC event, we also picked the brains of some attendees on how they were planning to revolutionise customer experience in 2015.

Not surprisingly, analytics, automation, intelligence and the customer experience were on the minds of CSPs globally in 2014, and through great events, we were able to hear from operators about their business pressures and share our views on tackling their various areas of friction.

It’s no secret that the telecom industry is rapidly changing, and we’re looking forward to building on the progress made at a variety of events in 2015!


How a Push for NFV Standardisation Brought Comptel to ETSI

Posted: January 8th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

By Stephen Lacey, Director of Business Architecture, Comptel

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has been overseeing standardisation in the telecommunications industry for more than two decades, and in our work, Comptel has been closely following ETSI’s principles for nearly that long.

Our involvement with the organisation first started from our roots in data processing and mediation; so you could say that we’ve adhered to ETSI standards since the beginning of GSM.

Over the years, part of our business has increasingly aligned itself to fulfilment and orchestration of complex enterprise, residential and subscriber services (rather than solely provisioning and activation), and as ETSI itself became more involved in orchestration, we began to consider whether it made sense to join ETSI fully. We are pleased to share that in the latter half of 2014, we officially became a formal member organisation.

The Influence of NFV

The tipping point was in 2012, when ETSI launched a workgroup for Network Function Virtualisation (NFV). This Industry Specification Group (ISG) was developed at the behest of seven communications service providers (CSPs), who desired standardisation around this nascent technology. Interest in NFV has since increased significantly especially in 2014 and will continue to grow this year, as more operators consider how it can help them move away from expensive, proprietary network hardware toward more flexible solutions.

The NFV conversation intrigued us. Simon Osborne, our CTO for fulfilment, recently explained to Global Telecoms Business that NFV service orchestration involves “all the elements we’ve seen in the past” in traditional service orchestration. As a result, our end-to-end order orchestration and management software complemented with mediation and analytics – which supports network functions running on virtualised hardware – is a perfect fit for the type of operational structure the world of NFV needs.

Additionally, the other elements of our product portfolio, including mediation and policy control, are considered as network functions and will be deployed within the NFV environment in the future.

Ultimately, we feel that Comptel’s proposition—having a complete, automated software stack that requires very little intervention—was unique to ETSI’s workgroup, and that we could help provide a more complete picture into NFV deployment, scale and capacity management challenges, as well as offer effective insights to support standardisation in this emerging area.

Workgroups in Focus

Today, we are one of more than 200 CSPs, network equipment providers (NEPs) and technology companies within the NFV ISG, working to conceptualise and contribute to the standards that will guide this technology’s application in the years ahead. Formal meetings are held quarterly – the next one is scheduled for February in Prague. Individual work streams have monthly meetings to hammer out these standards – the next one for the interface and architecture workgroup is being held mid-January in Shanghai.

The NFV ISG has only just completed the first phase of standardisation, where the high-level architecture and design of this technology infrastructure is being developed. We are now entering the second phase of standardisation, where member organisations are divided into work groups to focus on specific items, such as examining the management and orchestration of an NFV system via an Operations Support System (OSS) interface.

How Operators Win

One major benefit of ETSI’s workgroups is that they bring together organisations from all sides of the industry to guide a collaborative and forward-looking conversation about an emerging area of telecommunications. Since Comptel will be intimately involved in those conversations now and in the future, we will be able to bring a higher level of expertise to conversations with our customers. We are excited about being directly involved in NFV’s development as a new foundational platform for network infrastructure.

NFV will define our future. More operators want the flexibility to run network operations software on commodity hardware, so that they can keep pace with the cloud-based competitors now edging their way into the market. To truly position yourself as a fully formed CSP, you need a partner who knows where this software-defined market is headed.

Visit our SDN/NFV Resource Library to learn more about how cloud and virtualisation technology helps operators unlock cost savings, enable flexible networks, and compete on a higher playing field.


Comptel’s Grand Finale for 2014

Posted: January 5th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The year 2014 ended very positively for Comptel. The team’s hard work was recognised in the form of several significant orders announced around the year’s end.

With the Telefonica de Chile deal, announced on 29 December, Comptel entered a new market in South America. Comptel’s fulfillment suite is a part of the Telefonica de Chile quad-play transformation project that will enable improved customer experience for integrated wireline, wireless, Internet and TV services.

On the same day, we also received a significant order from an existing customer in the Middle East region. The order value exceeded 1 million euros and comprises Comptel Convergent Mediation and Comptel Provisioning and Activation software licenses.

Ten days earlier, on December 19, we announced two other customer wins. One was a multi-year deal, with a value of 10.6 million euros, that involved a license upgrade and service extension for a mobile operator customer in India.

“Comptel has achieved a considerable degree of success in the Indian telecom market in recent years. The number of telecom subscribers served by Comptel’s operator customers in India has now exceeded 500 million, which is approximately 60% of the total size of the Indian telecom market,” said Juhani Hintikka, president and CEO, Comptel.

The second major order we received was from a German customer belonging to a major operator group. This multi-year deal also includes Comptel Convergent Mediation and Comptel Provisioning and Activation software licenses and related services. The deal value exceeded 1 million euros.