Last month, we told you about Mavis Wong and Chin Kang Tan, also known as Team Dragon, who wowed the judges at Comptel Hackathon 2015 with their innovative mobile retail app. Congratulations are once again in order for Team Dragon, as they took second place and a cash prize in the Next Gen eCommerce track at Ultrahack this month.
Ultrahack is a 48-hour hackathon that rewards prizes worth up to 130,000 euros to the best innovations and offers expert coaching and support from developers at some of the world’s leading companies. It’s one of many hackathons that occur in the weeks leading up to Slush, the biggest startup conference in Europe. Team Dragon first qualified for Ultrahack by winning Comptel Hackathon 2015, where they were rewarded with a first-place prize that included a full two-day pass to Slush.
Team Dragon’s app, called Match & Snap, brings the power of the Internet of Things to the retail shopping experience. The IoT-based technology immediately recognizes Match & Snap app users once they enter a store. Users then receive targeted content to improve their shopping experience, whether it’s suggestions on what to wear or information on in-store sales and bargains. There’s even a social component, so Match & Snap users can share their new outfits with friends and ask for their input.
Comptel is once again proud to offer aspiring developers – including Mavis and Chin Kang – an opportunity to share their inventiveness, creativity and intelligence with the world at major events like Nexterday North and Slush.
We’re also thrilled that Team Dragon follows in the footsteps of other Comptel representatives at recent hackathons. Rami Al-Isawi, a software engineer at Comptel, participated in this year’s Junction hackathon, another side event to Slush. He managed to win awards in two categories: The “Most Destructive Hack” and “Most Useless Hack” tracks.
Congratulations to Rami, Team Dragon, and all other participants in this year’s Comptel, Ultrahack and Junction hackathons. We look forward to seeing the innovations that these bright minds bring to the table next year!
Read more about Nexterday North or click to learn about Comptel’s latest mobile data innovation FWD.
By Harry Järn, Head of New Business Ventures, Comptel NXT
Last week’s Nexterday North delivered big ideas from industry experts, business leaders and futurists who discussed the impact of digitalisation on our world. It also included one big surprise: the launch of Comptel’s FWD, a solution that we believe will revolutionise how operators serve customers in the next age of digital services.
What is FWD? It’s a full E2E, cloud-based, white-labelled, solution for operators.
The basic components of FWD, which includes SMPL, the native app, CTRL, the cloud-based controlling system and CNSL, the browser-based operator management tool, combine to create a complete solution for enabling and managing mobile data purchasing.
The native app radically simplifies how mobile customers purchase data. It puts customers in the driver’s seat by letting them set their own terms for buying data. It also puts operators in a better position to monetise mobile data at a time when customers desire more control of service terms and highly personalised, instantaneous service.
Our own mobile customer survey demonstrated why many subscribers are frustrated with the current state of mobile data purchasing. According to the report, 65 percent of consumers struggle to find a mobile data package that fully meets their needs, while 62 percent feel their mobile operator lacks a wide enough range of package options.
Part of that frustration can be tied to rigid mobile data packaging. Though they currently buy data by the gigabyte, customers aren’t sure just how much data they need. Is a 1GB package enough if you only plan to check emails and surf the Web? Is a 10GB plan economical for someone who watches streaming video on their smartphone?
FWD eliminates customer confusion by empowering mobile users to easily buy time-based data access. Here’s how it works: Let’s say a user wants to browse Facebook for just a few minutes. After he opens the Facebook app, he’ll be prompted with a few time-based data options, whether it’s one minute or one month of access. Once the data packet is purchased, the user is free to browse Facebook without limits, and he can easily extend his session if he needs more time.
That means no more bill shocks for surpassing their data overages. No more frustrating data throttling in the middle of a streaming television program or movie. No more complex, extended data service plans. It’s a simplified purchasing process that ties directly into customers’ desire for data control. Our survey found that 65 percent of mobile users want to set their own terms for buying digital content and services. FWD lets them do that.
The FWD management tool for operators opens up new possibilities to sell, target and market mobile data, as well as monitor your business performance in real time. You have full control over offer creation, which means you can experiment with new ways to entice your mobile customers. Embedded analytics will help you understand how your customers consume mobile data and allow you to react accordingly, which could mean dynamic pricing that helps you run a more efficient and profitable network. All of this analysis occurs instantly and in-the-moment, not after a month of data crunching.
We’re also excited about the possibilities FWD offers operators in tapping into a new market: the 2 billion individuals worldwide who have not yet been connected to the internet. With smartphone penetration expected to take off in emerging markets, the question of bringing all these new mobile users only will need to be answered. FWD provides a compelling solution because it’s easy to use, fosters customer engagement and loyalty, and encourages customers to spend more on mobile data.
Digitalisation is forcing many operators to re-think how they engage with and serve a new breed of mobile consumer. Comptel is excited to help operators innovate their service approach and drive toward a digital business revolution.
Although Comptel’s inaugural Nexterday North has wrapped up, post-event enthusiasm hasn’t faded at all. Take a few seconds to scroll through comments on our official Twitter hashtags – #Nexterday and #NexterdayNorth – and you’ll get a sense of the massive number of ideas and insights attendees were able to gain over two inspiring days in Helsinki.
As our CEO Juhani Hintikka said in his closing remarks, we are grateful to all of the partners, colleagues, speakers and guests who helped make our first antiseminar such a success. Plenty of blogs and articles have already been written recapping Nexterday North – check out the links at the bottom of this post for some of those – but here’s three of our own parting thoughts from the first Comptel anti-seminar.
Futurist Rohit Talwar (left), Stewart Rogers of VentureBeat Insights
There is Hope for Humanity
Those were the words Juhani used to describe Day 1 of Nexterday North, and it’s easy to see why. Our first day’s presenters offered a hopeful message of perseverance, potential and positive transformation.
Futurist Patrick Dixon’s energetic presentation taught us that emotion is the single most important driver of the future of technology, business and culture. Successful businesses remember that and seek to satisfy their customers on an emotional level. WIRED’s Gregg Williams shared a similar take, saying “It’s just as important to take bad things out of people’s lives as it is to add good things.”
Riisto Siilasmaa’s candid talk on Nokia’s business transformation had the crowd buzzing, and he offered a compelling walk-through of how he helped lead the company through one of its most challenging time periods. It was an inspiring lesson for the crowd that even in difficult times, there is always hope if you can commit to change.
Ted Matsumoto of Softbank (left), Horacio Goldenberg of Telefonica
Customers Drive the Future
A consistent theme through every session – and especially on Day 2 – was the importance of putting customers at the centre of business strategy.
Our moderator, Ville Tolvanen, hosted a fascinating fireside chat with T-Mobile’s Milan Ruzicka that explored the company’s popular customer-centric Uncarrier movement. In a panel discussion Smart Kalasatama’s Veera Mustonen suggested that business transparency earns customer trust, while Tele2’s Lars Torstensson explained consumers’ desire to set their own service terms.
Of course, you need strategy and structure to put customers at the centre. SoftBank’s Ted Matsumoto offered a compelling business model to help operators fine-tune to customer needs. We also heard from experts on the data, service architecture and monetisation strategies that will play a vital role in operators’ business transformation.
Mehackit's Cycle for Technology (left) and the launch of FWD
It’s Time for New Ways of Thinking
Many of the presentations also focused on the new service opportunities available to operators, from app development to smart cities to digital servies.
VentureBeat’s Stewart Rogers described new insights into hyper-personalized marketing that could deliver richer customer engagement. Futurist Rohit Talwar suggested a business pairing – experienced workers with younger ones – to balance the need for structure and discipline with the desire to innovate. And storyteller Linda Liukas advocated that children today could be the next generation of innovators if we make learning about technology fun and exciting.
Nexterday North was an exciting and inspiring event with more than a few surprises, including the launch of Comptel’s FWD app, which we believe will change how operators sell and market mobile data forever. Ultimately, Nexterday North proved that when you think differently, you uncover ways to make the world a better place for everyone.
By Sofia Nylund, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, TweetAtlas
The post-digital era is here and the Nexterday of business looks unruly, but at the same time extremely inspiring, challenging and prosperous. When new playbooks are rewritten you don’t want to be on the sidelines. It is time to think ahead, again and beyond.
These are the words Compteluses to describe its event Nexterday North, taking place in Helsinki on November 9th-10th. Together with a broad range of ecosystem partners such as Tech Mahindra, IBM, CloudSense, Hitachi and TATA Consultancy Services, Comptel is presenting six conceptually innovative industry blueprints in order to guide operators’ digital business and IT transformations.
The Nexterday blueprint “Hyper-Personalised Customer Engagement” focuses on how to drive new revenues through automated intelligent actions. It explores how companies can achieve smart real-time decisions for upselling services by targeting the right customers through the right channels with the right content, including analytics and sharp decision-making technologies.
So, in what sense will business playbooks be rewritten? When speaking of the fields of marketing and communications, technology and digital advancements have really changed the whole landscape. The need to serve increasingly tech-savvy consumers is driving dramatic change in demand for new capabilities like, for example, analytics. This requires operators to rethink their activities and processes in the digital market.
Social media is no longer a new thing, we are all a part of it to some extent. However, social media is evolving all the time, and its usage and applications are continuously developing and expanding. This is creating an abundance of opportunities. For professionals within marketing and communications social media, can be a real goldmine. At the same time, social media can also cause a lot of challenges and headache.
Brands as well as operators all over the world struggle with incorrect data, incompetent tools and lack of resources to measure and understand the impact of their ever-growing investments in social. Measuring the ROI of social has become the number one challenge in digital marketing according to many studies.
The underlying reason is actually quite simple; data has become more complicated (think: pictures and videos) and old text-mining based tools have become outdated. Today, over 90 percent of Facebook posts contain either a picture or a video clip, on Twitter the same number is over 50 percent and on Instagram, naturally, 100 percent.
Another big challenge with social media usually has to do with targeting the right customers, knowing how to address them in an appropriate way and understanding their rapidly evolving needs. How can you really understand your customers, their behavior and desires, and how can you effectively and proactively address them? In many ways, the customer now owns the brand. Therefore, some businesses may find it intimidating that they are not able to control what people are discussing about them and their brand.
In order to get relevant and accurate social insight you need advanced analytics that have adapted to the rapidly changed market and evolution of content in social conversations. Just because of the sheer volumes of these conversations, it’s impossible for any social media team alone to review and interpret all the content online about a brand, yet computers aren’t smart enough to understand sarcasm, irony, pictures, videos and multiple languages. The complexity of data has become a real issue. In today’s fast changing world, it has also become more and more vital for management to be aware, in real time, the tone people use when discussing your brand and products.
High quality analytics will eliminate the three biggest analytics problems on the market. First of all, irrelevant data, so called “noise”, is removed from conversations (according to research, on the average 60-80 percent of all data is noise). Secondly, analytics is able to interpret complicated data like pictures, videos and text containing sarcasm, irony and other types of tone. Lastly, in order to get a comprehensive brand insight, true multi-language support must be provided, as many businesses today are global even at launch.
By conducting high-quality social media analytics, one is able to receive valuable insight that helps fuel business-critical decision-making and market understanding. It’s now possible to learn in real-time how to better serve your market, while adjusting your business on an operative level to achieve your strategic business goals.
Completely holistic social insight can only be provided through combining the best capabilities of computers and human beings. Computers are excellent in processing large volumes of data rapidly, whereas human beings excel in interpreting complicated data accurately. When smartly joined together, they offer an unbeatable value proposition to any brand or operator who’s keen to win the game in the long run.
Learn more about the next generation of social media analytics at TweetAtlas.
In a recent blog, Light Reading reported that business considerations are driving operator interest in network functions virtualisation (NFV) just as strongly – and if not, more so – than technology drivers. In other words, more operators recognise that virtualised networks create new service opportunities and new means to generate revenue.
It all comes back to speed. With a more agile infrastructure, operators are empowered to move faster than ever in a number of areas, perhaps none more important than the speed at which they can deliver new revenue-generating services.
Digitalisation has introduced an entire industry of mobile and digital services that buyers love, from apps to over-the-top (OTT) content. At the same time, we’re living in the era of Generation Cloud, where customers expect instant gratification and a high degree of personalisation in their interactions with service providers.
And there are potentially many more services to deliver. Digital consumers across the board – from enterprises to individual consumers – are excited about the possibilities offered by emerging technology, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G connectivity.
As a result, whatever new services operators seek to offer in the near and distant future, it’s certain that NFV and SDN technologies will form the backbone of their service architecture. How will networks evolve to accommodate NFV, and what challenges will its implementation create in the management of existing operation support systems (OSS)?
Experts in the industry debate these questions every day, and this week Comptel will contribute our unique viewpoints during the Light Reading event “OSS in the Era of SDN and NFV: Evolution vs Revolution.” CTO Simon Osborne will host a keynote presentation on service orchestration and Strategic Product Manager Daniel Tyrode will join a panel discussion all about the role of service orchestration in programming the network for rapid service delivery.
These will also be key topics of discussion in Blueprint Alley at our inaugural Nexterday North event next week. If you haven’t already, there’s still time to register for that event and join the conversation around the future of service orchestration in light of the emergence of NFV and SDN.
Both events will address how the back office is influencing front office business decisions, and how operators can address the technical and operational challenges therein. Interestingly, the Light Reading blog mentioned one estimate that said 25 percent of telcos around the world are not fully on board with NFV, content to hang back and wait to see how the technology develops.
If they wait too long, those operators will find themselves at a disadvantage. Recent estimates from Appledore Research Group claim there are as many as 250 ongoing NFV trials and 25 early live deployments. A separate survey from Heavy Reading claims as many as 79 percent of operators expect to have a live NFV deployment by 2018.
Ultimately, many operators are ready to see what NFV can do for their bottom line. By finding technical solutions sooner rather than later, these telcos will more quickly be able to realise the benefits of faster service delivery.
Register today for a 2×2 Front Pass to Nexterday North (9-10 November) and receive full access to Slush, the massive startup conference that starts just two days later – running from 11-12 November.