TM Forum Catalyst Explores the Monetisation of Cloud-Based Collaboration Services

Posted: May 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Over the past several years, Comptel has participated in a number of TM Forum Catalyst projects (most notably, the Product and Service Assembly initiative). And in the run up to Management World 2011, we’ve decided to team up with BT, Cisco and Progress Software again and build upon the Inter-Cloud Service Management Catalyst. A press release was distributed today announcing the latest proof-of-concept and the addition of Amartus, InfoVista and MetraTech to it.

I am particularly excited about the Enhanced Cloud Service Management Catalyst, as it is the first to involve Comptel’s mediation and policy control solutions. Last year, we were primarily focused on fulfillment, with being responsible for orchestrating the delivery of hosted unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) services. Now, in the second phase, we’re also taking a key role in the monetisation of these services by capturing and rating usage and performance data from the infrastructure. It’s great to have this year’s project leveraging most of our software assets, and thus completing the Comptel Dynamic OSS loop.

What’s also interesting to note about this Catalyst—the same core set of applications traditionally used to manage mobile networks is being applied to UC&C in the cloud. For instance, just like the mobile world has gone through many changes in terms of the way subscribers pay for services, customers of UC&C solutions will be looking for pricing that accurately represents their usage levels—whether its billing for video and call usage per minute or per second, blended pricing where video usage doesn’t incur charges for the audio that accompanies it or different pricing for the host and participants. To achieve this service differentiation, operators of UC&C services can exercise flexible policy control and charging capabilities.

Management World 2011 attendees, if you’d like to demo the project, email comptel.marketing@comptel.com or visit the Enhanced Cloud Service Management Catalyst booth in Forumville.

For those unable to make it to Dublin, a whitepaper with more information on “The Criticality of Effective Service Management in Monetising Cloud-Based Collaboration Services,” is available for download.


Podcast: Potential of Cloud Services for CSPs

Posted: August 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

I recently had the pleasure to speak with industry analyst Teresa Cottam of Telesperience for her latest podcast episode—Telesperience 15—on cloud, managed services and outsourcing.  The focus of our conversation was the potential of cloud services: both to increase operational efficiency and as a new revenue stream for communications service providers (CSPs).  I was also able to share with her Comptel’s participation in three TM Forum Catalyst programs, which we have been showing at various TM Forum Management World events in Nice and Orlando.  The Catalysts involved were:

After four successful iterations of the Service Model Catalyst, we are happy to share that we’ve achieved all of the results we’ve set out to accomplish.  As for the other two Catalysts, we will continue to explore these further over the next few months—we’re really seeing the Cloud Service Broker Catalyst working as a potential business model for CSPs.

Podcast Options:

Download MP3 file

Play streaming audio: v2 Microsperience- Greg Scullard- July 2010.mp3

Follow the conversation via Twitter: @TeresaCottam, @Telesperience, @ComptelCorp or #BSSOSS.


A New Form of Telecoms Convergence?

Posted: July 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on A New Form of Telecoms Convergence?

Convergence in telecoms is pretty old news. It no longer surprises us to see a mobile phone being used as a camera, a camcorder, a GPS, a music or video player…you name it—your mobile can do it. And not just in the communications sector—high-end cameras now record video, televisions and gaming consoles can browse the Internet…it seems like everything is turning into everything else. Then, just as you’re wondering if any form of technology convergence will ever surprise us again, well…let’s just say I witnessed a kind of convergence last week that took even me aback.

At TM Forum’s Team Action Week in Baltimore, a man was standing in a corner of the show floor, nothing unusual about that, except that he had a laptop wrapped around his head. At first, I thought maybe he was trying to hear if it was turned on, but no—this man was clearly having a conversation. Turned out he was on a call with a colleague using the laptop’s VoIP software; he kept his ear close to the speaker and his mouth close to the microphone nested in the screen’s hinge. This is a great example not just of the flexibility of modern devices, but of customers’ ingenuity, particularly when faced with high roaming charges, poor coverage or maybe just a dead battery in his phone. When all else failed, a two-kilo laptop and a Wi-Fi link saved the day.

PS: The man later admitted that a pair of earphones would have been helpful. Maybe he’d used them as shoe laces…


What’s on at Management World 2010: Inter-Cloud Service Management Catalyst

Posted: May 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Over the past three days at Management World 2010, a lot of time has been spent in Forumville, where Catalyst participants gave demos of their collaborative projects.  Comptel took part in three of the four integrated cloud management scenarios, namely the Cloud Service Broker, Service Model and Inter-Cloud Service Management Catalysts.

As briefly mentioned in Olivier Suard’s Wednesday post, the latter initiative, championed by BT, aimed to demonstrate a unified service delivery framework for managing distributed inter-cloud services (specifically unified communications voice).  Comptel contributed service fulfillment solutions and a customer order portal to the project.

To give credit where credit’s due, Qwest acted as the cloud service broker exposing the product and service catalog into the cloud, while Cisco Systems brought the domain managers for infrastructure and voice applications as well as a service management portal.  Progress Software was responsible for the data interoperability with standardization and mapping, and managed services provider T-Systems integrated the customer self-care portal.

Management World 2010 attendees, if you had time to walk through Forumville, what did you think of the Inter-Cloud Service Management Catalyst and the others on display?  How might you like to see this particular initiative evolve (e.g. the addition of service assurance or billing components)?  Or, what other types of Catalysts should be considered for Management World Americas in Orlando in November?


Q&A: BT's Gary Bruce on the Cloud Service Broker Catalyst

Posted: May 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Got your head in the cloud?  There will certainly be a lot of discussion around the challenges and opportunities cloud services present next week at Management World 2010 in Nice.  For conference attendees wanting to experience key cloud management concepts, and forward-looking collaborations among communications service providers (CSPs), technology suppliers and enterprise customers, Forumville is a must!

Gary Bruce, Catalyst lead and project champion at BT Innovate & Design, answers a couple of questions about the Cloud Service Broker Catalyst (CSB), which will demonstrate a trusted, governed cloud management platform, to simplify the delivery of complex, cloud services to enterprise customers.

Q: How is the CSB Catalyst addressing the barriers to cloud adoption for enterprise customers?

A: Although cloud services offer many attractive benefits, enterprises are naturally concerned about losing control over IT governance.  Issues, such as maintaining application performance, delivering adequate security, preventing runaway costs and complying with regional or sector regulations, create significant barriers for cloud adoption.

The CSB Catalyst project starts to address these issues by developing a trusted interface between the enterprise and cloud service environments. This facilitates a secure, highly performing cloud-based environment for enterprise activity that operates in accordance with each organization’s own governance rules.

Using the CSB Catalyst, enterprises can benefit from cloud models, like pay-as-you-go, ‘OPEX not CAPEX’, and automatic scaling on demand, while retaining control and avoiding lock-in with any single underlying cloud platform.  The CSB also benefits cloud service providers by enabling them to offer services with transparent governance, and providing levels of control and assurance which would otherwise be difficult and costly to achieve.

Q: What will the demonstration scenario on display in Forumville entail?

A: The CSB Catalyst is acting on some of the primary requirements from TM Forum’s Enterprise Cloud Buyers Council, and explores the use of TM Forum standards to facilitate the cloud service broker function.  In particular, the CSB Catalyst employs the Product and Service Assembly (PSA) standard to facilitate automated interworking between each of the catalyst’s collaborators with respect to cloud service assembly and deployment.

The CSB Catalyst demonstration in Forumville will highlight:

  • Bringing a cloud product, including customer service level agreements, quickly and easily to market through the use of PSA catalogs to manage the service components and product lifecycle;
  • Fulfilling a customer order to meet both functionality requirements, and those for application performance, security, cost control and compliance, to the point of billing for the enabled product;
  • Responding to service quality challenges, for example, the dynamic creation of new capacity as a result of dips in application performance due to increased demand; and
  • Making status, activities, events and responses within the cloud service environment transparent and evident to both cloud service brokers and enterprise customers.

Q: How will the project takeaways help BT in the real world as a buyer and seller of complex cloud services?

A: Through the CSB Catalyst, BT hopes to make the provisioning of cloud services more easily accessible and viable for enterprises, and enable buyers to capitalize on the benefits of complex cloud services, while having the control they need over IT governance.

The initiative can also help cloud service brokers improve their customers’ experiences, by providing the best available resources at any given time, reducing service delivery bottlenecks and minimizing the effects of resource contention.

We hope that the Catalyst will encourage the adoption of cloud services, and open up new revenue opportunities for operators and cloud service providers.

To learn more about the CSB Catalyst, which also involves Comptel, Infonova, OpenNMS Group and Square Hoop, head over to Level 3 in the Agora 3 Mezzanine during the following hours:

Tuesday, May 18 from 12:30 – 19:00

Wednesday, May 19 from 10:00 – 19:00

Thursday, May 20 from 10:00 – 14:30