Posted: October 23rd, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events | Tags: digital buying experience, innovation, intelligent data, telecom | Comments Off on 3 Keys to Digitalisation’s Future from IBM Business Connect 2015
The theme for last week’s IBM Business Connect event in Helsinki was “Seize the Moment.” Acknowledging the rapidly shifting business environment and ever-increasing consumer demands, event speakers encouraged attendees to get off the sidelines, rapidly build their skills and proactively seek out new ideas to transform their businesses for a new post-digital era.
A number of business leaders, technology experts and futurists presented inspiring talks on their vision for the future of digitalisation, but three keynotes stood out most prominently. The first involved a view of the futuristic technologies businesses will require to push themselves forward, the second stressed the importance of pushing boundaries, and the third encouraged businesses to accept what they don’t know and focus on improving the post-digital buying experience, mirroring what Comptel has said on the topic of Operation Nexterday. Here’s our recap.
A Peek at IBM’s Post-Digital Cognitive Era
IBM has positioned itself as a frontrunner in the “cognitive era,” characterized by a new capability that the tech giant believes companies will need as they move further, and even beyond, the digital era. In his keynote, IBM’s Juha Teljo, who leads European sales for IBM’s business intelligence and predictive analytics technologies, described why cognitive abilities will be the next significant technology for forward-thinking companies.
Cognition, Teljo explains, will allow businesses to understand, reason and learn much in the same way that humans do. Rather than rely on static data for business decision-making, IBM believes the next generation of business intelligence will offer predictive, machine-learned insights through cognitive technology.
This echoes Comptel’s thoughts around operators’ need for intelligent fast data, which drives real-time, automated and contextual marketing, in-the-moment analysis and instant revenue opportunities. Given the speed at which consumers make decisions and demand results, cognition and machine-learning capabilities will be crucial tools moving forward.
Toroidion’s Pasi Pennanen on Pushing Boundaries
It takes imagination to create big ideas, but to accomplish them takes “the next level of courage,” as Pasi Pennanen’s Toroidion project shows.
One might say that Pennanen has plenty of both, and in his keynote he shared his truly fascinating story of how he applied imagination and courage to make his dream of an electric vehicle reality. Pennanen is the creator of the Toroidion 1MW concept car, an eye-popping 100 percent electric sports car with 1,341 horsepower – making it one of the most powerful cars of any type in world.
Pennanen explained how he dreamed of becoming an industrial designer for cars since he was a child – a perhaps atypical ambition for a Finnish youth, but nonetheless one he pursues to this day with the dogged belief that anything is possible. He originally designed the Toroidion to compete in the famous Le Mans 24-hour road race, but now says he envisions his cars eventually being mass produced for everyday consumers.
To achieve that goal, he and his company will need to overcome a great number of challenges and obstacles, but Pennanen is driven to push boundaries in product development and design. It’s a model any business – but especially operators faced with a rapidly evolving telco landscape – should follow.
Futurist Dietmar Dahmen on Accepting the Unknown, Loving the Unknown and Embracing the Unknown
Right now, most operators acknowledge that they are surrounded by a significant number of opportunities coming from all sides. Whether they want to re-engineer their infrastructure for better flexibility and agility through network functions virtualisation, enhance their analytics capabilities through machine-learning technology or design imaginative service plans at warp speed that pique consumers’ interest, there are no shortage of options to revolutionise one’s business.
The challenge is, many operators don’t know which opportunities are right for them or how to proceed. There’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding these decisions, but in his keynote at the event, futurist Dietmar Dahmen expressed why it is important for businesses to accept and even embrace the unknown. As he explained, change is what makes us strong, and though it may feel comfortable to stay within the status quo, businesses must understand that to be a superhero in their industry, they must feel good about breaking rules, thinking exponentially and acting on their potential.
“Without Data Your Business Will Die”
In the digital and cloud era we’re online and connected pretty much 24/7. Dieter Dahmen’s statement ‘We are our phone’ is spot-on to describe our behaviour. Life is truly a chain of digital moments, but businesses are not able to respond to the opportunity that customers’ passive and active digital footprints allow. More than ever, it’s critical to leverage personalization and contextuality to deliver the right content to customers in the right moment. Unfortunately most organizations fall short, as “only 1 percent of companies can use data to invidualise across the channels,” according to Dahmen.
The consumer buying process is the most transformative experience industries need to deal with in the future. Pace is at the heart of it: our new generation of customers are impatient, want options and don’t like to wait. Dietmar Dahmen described it by saying “speed displaces cost as the main driver for purchasing decisions,” which makes moving at the speed of the internet a “life and death matter” for operators. But it’s very clear that at telco speeds, operators will struggle to satisfy clientele.
That’s a message Comptel shares: to break out of the collective industry blind spot and leverage new avenues of growth and revenue, operators must overcome their fear of the unknown and embrace out-of-the-box thinking. It’s the only way forward in Nexterday.
Register to join hundreds of progressive thinkers, industry experts and innovative operators at Comptel’s inaugural Nexterday North, 9-10 November. By purchasing a 2×2 Front Pass, you get full access to both Nexterday North and the startup conference Slush.
Posted: October 20th, 2015 | Author: Antti Koskela | Filed under: Events, Uncategorized | Tags: Nexterday North, service orchestration | Comments Off on How Agility Helps Telco Operators Shift to Nexterday
Digitalisation has opened the door to new customer experiences and fresh monetisation opportunities, while virtualised infrastructure empowers telcos to do more with less, faster than ever. However, all of these new possibilities have also created a great deal of uncertainty. From a service architecture standpoint, operators are not sure that they can innovate fast enough, nor are they certain they can meet customers’ increasingly demanding expectations.
It’s a matter of eliminating friction and embracing flexibility. Innovation starts with service infrastructure, which is the foundation on which we build tomorrow’s digital service businesses. To get there, operators must seek solutions and partnerships that enable agility.
This will be a major focus point of the Blueprint Alley and related discussions at Comptel’s inaugural Nexterday North, which will run from 9-10 November 2015 in Helsinki.
Perhaps nowhere are operators’ challenges more evident than within the network. For decades, they have spent fortunes on building rigid architectures that suit their service needs, but digitalisation continues to expand the variety of potential service offerings and the number of ways these services are made available to customers. Voice is no longer the dominant service offering; operators must now quickly connect consumers with the data-driven services (apps, messaging and digital content) they crave.
That means operators must constantly re-evaluate the network to ensure they can capably serve customers now and in the future. This impacts the dynamic between operators and their technology partners. Though they may possess domain expertise, do legacy partners have the forward-looking vision and innovative solutions that deliver a wider range of services? If your entire service architecture is tied up with a single vendor full stack, do you have the flexibility to react to the next big digital development?
In our Blueprint Alley at Nexterday North, we will explain to visitors that agility will be their biggest asset in adapting for the next 10 to 20 years of telco.
Operators must design their architecture to anticipate change, as agile service delivery will help reduce the friction that prevents them from connecting their digital supply with customers’ demands. If their current system integrator or technology vendor inhibits this approach, then it’s time for operators to seek progressive partners that possess both domain expertise and vision.
Nexterday North will be a rare opportunity to hear from big thinkers from both inside and outside telecommunications about building agile businesses. You will hear examples on what leading operators have been able to accomplish by emphasising agility in their infrastructure, and learn the steps you need to take to meet increasing customer expectations for speed and service.
By embracing this vision and looking at service architecture with a more creative eye, operators will eliminate obstacles and create a clearer, more certain path to future growth in Nexterday.
Want to learn more about agile service orchestration and delivery? Register for Nexterday North to receive a 2+2 pass – two days at Nexterday North, the site of our Service Orchestration Blueprint Alley, plus two days at the massive startup conference Slush.
Posted: October 19th, 2015 | Author: Veli-Pekka Luoma | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: analytics, cloud, Comptel, innovation, start-up | Comments Off on (Working) Life at an Internal Start-up
The start-up life is interesting anywhere, but especially so when you’re working at an internal start-up.
Comptel’s A.I.R team has been working hard to create a cloud-based SaaS analytics offering, and get it technically and commercially tested in the market. Development work has been successful; we are just about to go out with A.I.R’s second release, called Intelligent Monitoring. Together with our previous release, Critical Alarm Prediction, we are now able to process cloud analytics in a way that’s easily scalable, adaptable, automated and convenient in many use cases.
Starting with improving maintenance processes in networked environments, A.I.R’s capabilities can be implemented in various situations where plain data needs to be turned into information, information turned into knowledge, and finally, knowledge turned into decisions and actions.
These solutions that we’ve developed within our internal start-up are expanding Comptel’s offerings and making them future-proof. For instance, A.I.R has added virtualization, capacity balancing, and flexible access to resources, technology and competencies to Comptel’s portfolio for its current and future customers. After all, any offering today without cloud-based capabilities may as well be deemed pre-historic. We have already used our solutions successfully in several proof of concepts, too.
The DNA of a typical start-up includes a strong element of focus. Results must be sharp and precise, answering the customer and user needs exactly and quickly. Though start-ups lack the support and power of larger organizations and their ready-made processes, the benefit of having a start-up mentality is the ability to react and execute fast.
The potential to scale up a start-up business is often limited, but it depends on the product. If the product is fully digital, rather than reliant on a physical system, then the scaling is possible for even the smallest teams and organizations.
Looking ahead, we plan to adapt cloud-based capabilities into more of Comptel’s offerings, including its Intelligent Data offering. And with our customers becoming increasingly active in the Internet of Things, we’ll be looking to produce automated processes for connected, intelligent systems across all aspects of life.
In everything we do, innovation is the goal. Our mission is finding ways to not only improve our customers’ business, but also to drive the technical evolution of our surrounding world, from housing and health to transportation, security and production. “Innovation” is not simply a buzzword – we encourage everyone to use and execute it daily. Big innovation might get noticed, but it’s usually the small and even invisible innovations that keeps us moving ahead and beyond.
Posted: October 6th, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Events | Tags: Comptel Hackathon, innovation, Nexterday North, Slush | Comments Off on Congratulations to Team Dragon, Winners of Comptel Hackathon 2015
At Comptel, there’s nothing we like more than a killer idea. That’s exactly what we found when we organized our first ever hackathon. We’re now pleased to announce a winner: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s Team Dragon, which includes developers Chin Kang Tan and Mavis Wong. Congratulations!
Comptel Hackathon 2015 ran from 18-19 September. Our aim was to identify superb innovations in three categories: Smart City, Internet of Things (IoT) and Mobility as a Service. Teams had from noon on the 18th until midnight on the 19th to create their concepts, with presentations to the jury held on 23 September via Skype. Our jury evaluated each submission based on the level of innovation, the merits of the solution and the quality of the presentation.
Team Dragon wowed our judges with an extraordinary IoT-based shopping application called Match & Snap. The app creates an integrated shopping experience from the moment users enter a retail location. Once the store recognises them as a Match & Snap user, the app feeds users relevant offers and helpful content. For example, users can rely on Match & Snap to find the perfect outfit, send updates to friends via social media and learn about great bargains.
With their win at Comptel Hackathon 2015, Team Dragon will now represent Comptel at Ultrahack – a 48-hour hackathon in Helsinki, Finland scheduled just a few days before Nexterday North and Slush 2015. Team Dragon also won a trip to Slush, which takes place 11-12 November.
Second place in the Comptel Hackathon 2015 went to Team Tangra of Sofia, Bulgaria, who has earned a team dinner for their impressive data anonymising solution. Third place went to The Mechanics, also from Sofia, Bulgaria; they built a tool that makes hardware sizing easier and faster. Both of these teams will receive an additional much deserved prize for their amazing innovations!
Eight teams in all participated in Comptel Hackathon 2015, and our jury was delighted to see the energy, inventiveness and preparation each brought to the table. We can’t wait to see what Team Dragon does at Ultrahack and Slush, and we’d like to extend our thanks and appreciation to all the teams, jury members and organizers who made our first hackathon a success!
Want to get in on this innovation? Register for a Nexterday North Front pass, and receive a full conference pass to Slush 2015.
Posted: October 2nd, 2015 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Events | Tags: Mehackit, Nexterday North, Slush | Comments Off on Cycle for Creative Technology Education at Nexterday North and Slush
By Reetta Heiskanen, CCO at Mehackit
We don’t need to tell you that young people today are constantly surrounded by digital technology around the clock.
The big question is how to transform youngsters from consumers to creators, and give them the feeling that they can actually build things with the help of technology.
Mehackit is a non-profit organisation that brings creative technology and robotics to high schools in Finland. The Mehackit high school program will start in eight different cities and 25 different high schools and run from 2015-2016.
This November, attendees at Nexterday North and Slush have an opportunity to support both Mehackit and creative technology education in Finnish schools.
Nexterday North is the antiseminar for digital and communications providers to be held in Helsinki from 9-10 November. The massive startup conference Slush starts two days later and runs from 11-12 November.
By cycling at the event with the one-of-a-kind high-tech Italian Ciclotte exercise bike, you can help raise 5000 euros to build amazing technology education programs for high schoolers in Finland.
The Mehackit high school program format introduces creative technology to teenagers through fun and imaginative projects. The high school students gain hands-on technology skills in programming and robotics.
The dream of Mehackit is to support every young adult in the Nordics to get creative, confident and curious about technology. Mehackit’s activities – school courses, workshops and community programs – all contribute toward discovering the joys of creative technology.
The driving force behind Mehackit is to encourage young people to make their ideas happen – to create new products, services or games – using technology as a tool.
“Everyday technology is within everyone’s reach, but the development, customization and creative use of technology is limited to specialists. Mehackit wants to break these walls and show how valuable technology is. It can be used by anyone as a channel of self-expression”, says Mehackit founder Pia Henrietta Kekäläinen.
“We’re excited to have the Ciclotte exercise bike at Nexterday North and show our support and appreciation for technology education in Finland and beyond,” says Ari Vänttinen, CMO at Comptel. “At Comptel we are big believers in the power of learning technology at a young age, so this program really speaks directly to our core values.”
Join Comptel and Mehackit at Nexterday North and Slush and be part of the creative technology revolution!