Posted: April 25th, 2016 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Events | Tags: digital service lifecycle management, NFV, OSS, service orchestration, TM Forum Live! | Comments Off on Reimagining OSS to Enable Dynamic Digital Service Delivery
By Simon Osborne, CTO Service Orchestration, Comptel
In the world of telco, emerging back office technologies – especially network functions virtualisation (NFV) – appeal to operators not just because of the promised evolution of infrastructure management, but also because of the potential difference these technologies can make to the bottom line.
It all starts and ends with digital services. We’re living in an app-driven world, where consumers build personalised ecosystems of apps and over-the-top (OTT) content. These customers are on the search for apps and services that solve specific problems or meet their unique needs, from personal health to entertainment and everything in between.
Businesses are the same way. Not only do companies want access to a wider range of digital capabilities – video and Web conferencing, cloud-based email and productivity software, connectivity and security services – but they also now expect a B2B buying experience comparable to the speed and personalisation they receive as B2C digital buyers.
How can operators deliver personalised, engaging service experiences to B2B and B2C customers? Through a conversational and automated service orchestration and fulfillment framework.
Comptel is partnering with IBM and Juniper Networks to develop just such an architecture. As a participant in IBM’s Cloud Based Networking (CBN) initiative, our aim is to leverage SDN and NFV technologies in the creation of an agile, self-service model for service configuration, validation and completion. We’ll share our new revision for OSS and dynamic digital service delivery with attendees and booth visitors at TM Forum Live! in Nice, France from 9-12 May.
Extending the Potential of NFV and SDN
Technologies in isolation don’t really change much about the state of play. The same is true for NFV. There’s nothing inherently disruptive about having a virtual version of a network function. Adding a “v” in front of OSS won’t mean you’ve revolutionised your business. It’s really about how you’ve applied that new technology to meet customer demands.
The real value of NFV is that gives operators the agility and flexibility to consider new ways to serve enterprise and individual customers. With a highly scalable, agile and flexible network, an operator can dream up and launch the innovative problem-solving services their customers want. In turn, the self-created apps and service ecosystem can drive new operator revenue streams.
The Model for Dynamic Self-Service Delivery
To bring this vision to reality, IBM is adopting Comptel’s Digital Service Lifecycle Management (DSLM) proposition. This NFV-driven model works across three layers: one for network orchestration, virtual function, IT and physical network management; a middle orchestration layer to manage end-to-end hybrid service orchestration and the digital service lifecycle; and a top layer for front-office customer engagement and business management.
Comptel’s FLOWONE V service orchestration solution will fulfil the central DSLM layer, while IBM and Juniper will provide the network domain and IT service orchestration, dynamic operations, customer engagement, DevOps and security applications and services. Through integration with a digital service catalogue, this three-tiered system is able to support fast and easy self-service product ordering and configuration at the customer level. The model accounts for automated validation to ensure service availability and feasibility, and includes intelligent resource management to ensure the system can scale for service demand.
In future blogs, we’ll dive into the market potential for this type of model and the technical aspects that make it possible. But for now, it’s clear to see the revenue possibilities for operators. With a smart, automated and self-service digital sales cycle, you empower customers to build their own personal ecosystem of digital services and apps. Agile NFV and SDN technologies let you deliver these capabilities at an attractive cost. Ultimately, this model presents an innovative way for operators to expand their service capabilities and unlock new revenue in the era of rising digital expectations.
Visit Comptel and IBM at TM Forum Live! to learn more about the IBM Cloud Based Networking initiative and our model for dynamic digital service delivery. Email ComptelMarketing@Comptel.com to schedule a meeting. You can also read more about digital service lifecycle management at Nexterday.org, our online magazine and reader community.
Posted: April 19th, 2016 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events | Tags: Monetisation, policy control | Comments Off on Policy Control Conference 2016 Recap: Innovating to Enhance the Customer Experience
Policy control cannot be seen as a standalone function any longer. It needs to be combined with charging and predictive analytics to give customers the best, most contextual and personalised service experience. At the same time, effective policy and charging control also gives operators the flexible and agile tools they need to monetise data services. That was one big takeaway from the Policy Control Conference 2016, which bills itself as the world’s only event exclusively dedicated to the policy control market.
Nearly 200 policy control enthusiasts from 80 organisations gathered at Berlin’s Maritim proArte hotel from 5-6 April to learn about the latest and greatest developments in the field of policy control. The entire policy control ecosystem was represented, with scheduled presentations from solution vendors, operators and industry analysts. Executive speed networking, operator-hosted lunches, analyst breakfast roundtable briefings and operator and vendor dinner also offered plenty of opportunity for interaction.
Comptel was in attendance as a sponsor, and we also hosted “The Seven Deadly Sins of Policy Control,” a session with our VP MONETIZER Simo Isomäki and our VP Solution Architecture Martin Vieth. We highlighted the defective, broken aspects of policy control that needed to be corrected as operators evolve toward a modernised and future-proof policy environment. At the event, attendees heard how operators are addressing challenges like time to market, increasing customer experience demands and the introduction of virtualised functions into the network through innovation policy control management. Here are several big takeaways from the event.
Complexity Slows the Speed of Innovation
Network agility is crucial to delivering the flexibility operators need to achieve a higher speed of service creation, which is a valuable asset at a time when monetisation opportunities crop up at a moment’s notice. However, overly complex telco networks slow everything down, making it difficult or in some cases impossible for operators to configure and launch new services fast enough to attract customers at their peak moment of interest.
Simo and Martin explained that the blame lies with complex and scattered network architecture and management, which kills innovation. As a result, many operators are “dead slow” – 69 per cent of CSPs say launching a new product or changing a product takes too long, according to Heavy Reading. The right environment and toolset could speed things up by giving operators a single view to create and change products and allow for service creation experimentation. Operators should strive to innovate when it comes to service pricing, add-on apps, data bundle configuration, delivery speed and more to appeal to digitally savvy customers.
NFV and Policy Control
Network functions virtualisation (NFV) is, naturally, one key area of innovation affecting policy control. PCRF is often one of the first network functions to be virtualised as operators seek to respond quickly to changing market conditions.
Many telcos in attendance acknowledged the benefits of NFV, including its ability to drive a 95 per cent improvement in service cycles, outweighed the potential challenges of implementation. Presenters argued that policy control and analytics should be tightly integrated with network and service orchestration, delivering service and customer awareness to the NFV and SDN network.
At the same time, the Comptel presentation emphasised simplicity above all in NFV implementations. Operators are striving towards NFV – one said “If you don’t do NFV, you’ll be left behind”. In our session, Simo and Martin advised a hybrid approach in which brand-new NFV infrastructure and legacy environments work in cooperation to maintain simplicity.
Analytics Enables Better Service Experience
Another major theme at the show involved the central role customer experience should play in policy and charging control management decisions. For example, moving away from the idea of standalone policy control and toward a vision for natively combined policy control, charging, predictive analytics and real-time business reporting helps operators deliver a better and more targeted end-to-end service experience.
One operator described how they currently analyse customer usage behaviour and patterns with a Big Data cognitive learning analytics platform. Using that data, they can guide their policy engine for example to offer the best service with the most attractive apps to customers. Predictive analytics also informs service testing, so that operators can test and affirm a new services’ success before launching it publicly.
The Customer is at the Centre of Service Experience
Forward-looking service creation puts the customer at the centre by selling services the way buyers want. As Fredrik Jungermann explained at Nexterday North 2015, customers buy data by the bundle today only because that’s the way operators choose to sell data, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way or the perfect way to sell data. Rather than simply selling data on a small, medium, large or extra-large model, Simo and Martin advocated a model where data is flexibly bundled with attractive over-the-top (OTT) content services to appeal to the customer’s preference.
Additionally, there were discussions around the importance of offering consistent mobile service experience no matter the customer’s location. Presenters argued that there is value in policies being access-neutral whether a customer is on fixed internet, mobile data or a Wi-Fi network.
Similarly, operators could change the way the allocate bandwidth per application to improve service experience. Twitter and Netflix, for example, don’t need the same bandwidth speeds to run successfully, but that is currently how those apps are supported by many internet service providers. Why not flexibly support apps with an appropriate level of bandwidth, reserving the best speeds for live streaming videos?
Ultimately, that’s how operators and the industry need to think about policy control moving forward. The customer should always be at the centre of any major innovation in the network or otherwise, so an evolution in policy and charging control should likewise focus on improving the customer experience. Since complexity is the enemy of innovation, operators will need to only consider transformation that can make things work more simply and quickly.
Learn more about the tools how to monetise more in less time: Download our whitepaper about the MONETIZER™ or register to our MONETIZER™ webinar or click to read about our MONETIZER™. To keep up on the latest news and discussion topics, please join our Magazine and Reader Community in nexterday.org.
Posted: April 12th, 2016 | Author: Joakim Knutar | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: big data, ETNews | Comments Off on Buzz at the ETNews Big Data Seminar
ETNews organised a Big Data Seminar in Seoul on 22-23rd of March. Several hundreds of experts from the Big Data field came together to hear about great ex
amples and technologies, and to share experiences. Comptel had the pleasure of joining Team Finland with a speaker slot together with IOT specialists BaseN and Wirepas.
So what created most buzz?
Nokia had the opening keynote talking about internal and external data, and how all data should be used to improve predictions. Interesting IOT areas were energy, digital health, and connected cars. Also emphasised was privacy and how all connected devices will bring further challenges when it comes to privacy matter.
A very interesting keynote was given by famous designer Youngse Kim. He explained how it will be difficult to drive consumer value out of data unless you have Big Design. He explained how consumer design is all about predicting and how this focus on big data will drive momentum into the design-space as well. Mr. Kim further noted that big data and IOT will only be commercialised because of Big Design. New industries will emerge. The design will be at the center of new business for companies who succeed. A good example were two designers who wanted to design hotels, but went on a sidetrack and created Airbnb.
The retail side was represented by Tom Spencer from dunnhumby. Key takeaways were how they use big data to create loyalty, and the need for a Chief Data Officer in every organisation. He also showed how everyone need to climb the analytics capability ladder before they will truly be able to turn data into value.
With the growing complexity of data gathering, analysis, and exchange we cannot but agree with Mr. Spencer on the fact that most organisations today lack a person in charge of a good vision for big data and strategy.
ShinhanCard showed very interesting figures and examples on how they have been able to grow their business with big data. With 22 million members they discovered that they needed to segment their customers and create segment specific credit cards. Today they have 11 different cards. They also talked about how they used real-time data to help the government at the time of the MERS outbreak last year. Or what do you think about analysing how far people are willing to travel for cheaper products? Or using mobile phone credit rating data to give loans?
Another hot topic to be noted was real-time analytics. Most of the presentations had some degree of real-timeless in them, and it was great to see that Comptel is not the only one who have realised that the best way to value from data comes from Intelligent Fast Data.
I had the honor of presenting Comptel’s Intelligent Fast Data and how to get value out of data using real-time analytics and actions. Our Nexterday was, of course, part of the story, and it is interesting to see that Nexterday is really cross-industry. Not only for Telco, but for IT in general and any industry who need to serve their customers better. Remember, focus your customer, not customers.
It seems that contextuality is really picking up. Meaning that it is understood that data is most valuable when it is fresh and used at the moment. This becomes even more critical when moving into IOT. So the question is: Is your infrastructure equipped for Nexterday?
As part of the Team Finland delegation, we also had a chance to have separate meetings with many interesting companies. Truly inspiring to see what is going on in Korea and the potential that is there. To be continued…
Posted: April 5th, 2016 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: News | Tags: Operation Nexterday | Comments Off on Nexterday Acknowledged as a Campaign of the Year by Business Intelligence Group
For more than a year, Comptel’s Nexterday movement has pushed forward the conversation around digital transformation in telecommunications. Now, it’s exciting to see the movement catch fire outside our industry and gain recognition from leading experts in digital media and communications.
We’re honoured that Business Intelligence Group named our first book, Operation Nexterday, as one of the top campaigns of the year as part of its 2016 Public Relations and Marketing Excellence awards. The awards recognize leaders in the field of strategic communications and our book’s inclusion in the awards highlights its value in effectively communicating our vision for the future of telecommunications.
In Operation Nexterday, we set out the game plan for how operators can radically update their sales, marketing and service strategies in response to customers’ increasing digital service demands. With contributions from industry experts and Comptel thought leaders, our book challenged the current way of working and described how and why operators must change.
Though we’re proud Nexterday is being recognized worldwide, we know our work isn’t done yet. That’s why we published a second edition, Nexterday: Volume II, to dive deeper into the topic of digital transformation and offer blueprints on how operators can take the next step. That follow-up edition included even more insights from within and outside telco and set a course for how each operator can become a perfect digital company that works for and with its customers to meet their needs.
Additionally, Comptel’s 2016 plans focus on growing the Nexterday movement. Our Nexterday Tour returns this summer, when we’ll hit the road to bring our message to regional decision makers and partners in 20 cities across the world. Everything leads up to Nexterday North 2016, our encore to last year’s inaugural anti-seminar, where we plan to introduce new voices and ideas to create an even richer, more dynamic and inspiring event.
We’re thrilled to see continued excitement around Nexterday, and we’re eager to spread the word even further. To learn more about the campaign that started the movement, click here to download Operation Nexterday. You can also read articles from Nexterday: Volume II and learn more about digital transformation in telco and beyond at Nexterday.org, our online magazine and reader community.