Comptel at TM Forum Live! 2017: Showcasing Sponsored Data and Predictive Customer Journeys

Posted: May 15th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Follow the customer, not the competitor. That’s the way it should work.

However, many operators struggle to find the right service, marketing or monetisation strategies to engage and excite their customers. Customer-centric strategy is now more important than ever, at a time when consumers demand better levels of service, attention and instant gratification from their operators across their whole customer journey. Customers are always on the journey and operators should be able to provide a personalised and consistent customer experience.

Comptel is working to help operators solve key customer challenges to improve customer experience at every touch point of their omnichannel journey, and we’ll demonstrate the fruits of our efforts at TM Forum Live! 2017 in Nice, France, 15-18, May 2017. We are proud to once again contribute to two TM Forum Catalysts, which are proof-of-concept initiatives that bring together large and small digital and communications service providers and other ecosystem players to develop innovative solutions for common industry challenges.

Both Catalysts provide strategies that help operators meet customer demands and add new revenue opportunities through improved engagement. If you’re in Nice for the event, we encourage you to stop by the Catalyst Theatre to learn about both initiatives. Here’s a preview.

New Business Models with Mobile Sponsored Data

Championed by Orange and NTT, this Catalyst also includes Datami, CloudSense and Sigma. Building on the success of our 2016 presentation, we aim to give operators the detailed blueprint they need to turn current sponsored data trials into complete market offerings.

Customers love using their mobile data for ecommerce, stream videos and play online games, but they’re afraid to engage in such activities that eat up their data plan. By allowing a third party to pay for data access, sponsored data programs remove the financial barriers that prevent mobile users from engaging. It’s a great incentive to improve customer engagement, build loyalty and drive revenue.

The Catalyst on Sponsored Data will take place at 16:30 pm on Monday, May 15 in the Catalyst Theatre.

Maximising Engagement with Predictive Customer Journeys

Championed by Orange, Ncell and ArtofArc, Comptel creates predictive customer journeys together with Salesforce, Vlocity, Huawei, Teavaro and Comarch. It’s important for operators to engage with customers at every level and channel of the buying journey, especially those customers who engage self-service shopping. Customer journeys are inherently omnichannel by nature, thus we need better insight into the real-time customers’ digital moments to find the right context to engage.

Customers crave this type of service – our recent research survey found 55 percent want more personalised engagements from their mobile carriers. Our Catalyst will provide the blueprint for operators to reach and motivate customers with those personalised, customised offers.

The Catalyst on Predictive Customer Journeys will take place at 15:00 pm on Tuesday, May 16 in the Catalyst Theatre.

We received so much positive feedback from last year’s Catalysts, and our Sponsored Data partnership was even recognized by TM Forum as the “Most Innovative Catalyst – Commercial Applications in Communications Industry” in its 2016 Catalyst Awards. We hope to make a similarly big impact this year, and look forward to sharing our ideas with guests in Nice.

Visit TM Forum’s Catalyst Theatre to see these demonstrations in action. To arrange a meeting with Comptel at TM Forum Live! 2017, email comptelmarketing@comptel.com

Download a copy of the Comptel research report “The Power of Personal” to learn more about changing consumer attitudes toward personalised services.


Comptel and Salesforce Empower Digital Omnichannel Experience with Next Best Engagement Solution

Posted: May 10th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

In today’s omnichannel world, the digital customer journey often begins online or on a mobile device, but is later completed in person, over the phone, or through a different digital channel. In fact, even though most customers start their journey online, 69 percent of customers turn to retail stores to complete their purchase.happy customer

Telcos have a vast amount of customer data at their fingertips, and yet most digital communication service providers still lack the ability to connect the dots throughout the digital customer journey. To solve this issue, Comptel introduced the Next Best Engagement solution with Salesforce, which will empower the omnichannel customer journey for digital telcos, during this year’s Mobile World Congress.

The Next Best Engagement solution is powered by Comptel’s Fastermind, which recommends, predicts and automates real-time decisions for the most suitable actions in a customer’s journey. By combining Fastermind’s applications for digital telcos and the Salesforce Marketing, Sales, Service and Community clouds’ capabilities, the Next Best Engagement solution allows operators to recommend and trigger actions that enable more personalised marketing and sales opportunities and more responsive customer care.

Filling the Gaps in the Digital Customer Journey

There are many major chasms in the digital customer experience that Next Best Engagement can help address. For example, mobile providers struggle to identify customers who are both an individual retail customer, as well as a customer on a business plan through their employer. Similarly, they are also unable to recognise when a customer begins the customer journey online and later calls or enters a brick-and-mortar store to continue that same process.

These are major shortcomings for telco service providers, as Generation Cloud customers – whether B2B or B2C – expect personalised, contextual, and seamless experiences across all touchpoints. For example, if a customer walks into a retail store, it’s important for the service provider to know where that individual left off in the journey so that they can offer them a personalised experience and entice them to complete their path to purchase.

Next Best Engagement helps improve interactions at each stage in the customer journey, as operators reach customers through multiple sales transactions, product interactions and service engagements. Utilising data from each of these interactions, the solution can provide the real-time intelligence operators need to maximise each touchpoint, fostering long-term loyalty through personalised service.

Proactive, Personalised, Contextual Recommendations

As Comptel’s Power of Personal research found, 55 percent of mobile customers are interested in receiving personalised, proactive service offerings from their mobile provider. However, operators are missing a huge opportunity here, as only 13 percent of customers are actually receiving these offers.  Next Best Engagement with Comptel’s Fastermind and Salesforce’s leading customer engagement platforms is able to predict, recommend and automatically trigger full-blown personalised journeys in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Not only does this enable operators to offer proactive and personalised experiences consistently, but based on the analysis, it helps target the right customers with the right services, at the right time. Even though customers are open to receiving new offers from mobile providers, if it is not provided in the right time or place, then it will likely be ignored.

By combining proactive service offerings with the appropriate context, telcos can acquire new customers and reduce churn with current customers who engage with service providers across multiple channels throughout the digital customer journey. With Next Best Engagement, telcos will ultimately be able to anticipate the fastest and most personal way to offer customers what they need, when they need it, through the most convenient channel for them.

Comptel will showcase the Next Best Engagement solution as a part of the “Maximising Engagement with Predictive Customer Journeys Catalyst with Salesforce at TMForum Live! in Nice on May 15-18, 2017. Book a meeting with Comptel at TMForum Live! by emailing comptel.marketing@comptel.com


The Digital Insurer Offers Customers Instant Gratification

Posted: April 4th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on The Digital Insurer Offers Customers Instant Gratification

Unfortunately, unlucky incidents happen. To limit the consequences, we can insure ourselves against those incidents. But, once we file a claim, it can take time for an insurance company to process it and determine compensation. Imagine if, instead, you’d submit your claim – about a broken windscreen or stolen camera or water damage caused by your dishwasher – and receive an instant claim decision.digital insurance

Of course, that’s generally not how it works now. Many consumers have had to deal with insurance companies after a sudden and unfortunate incident, and most probably would not describe their experience as smooth, fulfilling or gratifying.

In reality, the quality of service offered by most insurance companies does not match the expectations of today’s cloud generation customers. Consumers want everything they do – from shopping online, to upgrading a phone plan, to mobile banking – to be an easy, fast and frictionless process. That also applies to insurance claims.

The existing insurance claim handling process is out-dated: half-digital, half-automated, labour-intensive and bureaucratic. A halfway approach serves neither the policyholder nor the insurer, and the result is slow and expensive claims processing with delayed compensation decisions.

An ideal process delivers instant gratification. When a policyholder submits an insurance claim, that action should trigger a real-time and automated claims decision, with the outcome immediately communicated back to the policyholder. As a result, today’s digitally savvy and mobile-first policyholders benefit from swift claims handling, communication and compensation, leading to instant gratification.

So, how can insurance companies offer that type of experience?

Just like we’ve seen with operators in the telecommunications industry, insurers are on a journey to become digital service providers. They’re looking for new strategies and technologies that can help them better serve demanding digital customers. According to McKinsey & Company, one U.S. insurer expects 40 percent of its new business in the next 3-5 years to come through online and mobile channels – an indicator that insurance companies at large need to be more in tune with digital experiences.

By fast-tracking and automating claim decision-making, communication and compensation, insurance companies can take a major step toward digital transformation – and toward becoming true digital insurers.

Comptel can help.

With a long history of turning data into instant, impactful actions, Comptel is an ideal partner for the insurance industry in this journey. For decades, we’ve integrated, processed, analysed data and turned it into business value, and we are very familiar with operating in a complex and highly demanding information and communications technology environment.

Now, we’re doing for insurance companies what we’ve done for telcos: taking all the benefits of intelligent fast data and turning insight into immediate gratification. The result is our advanced automatic claims decision solution for insurers.

Backed by the advanced analytics of our FASTERMINDTM and artificial intelligence applications, as well as DATA REFINERY’s enterprise data processing, the Comptel solution turn claims and compensation into an agile, automated, real-time workflow.

The solution uniquely integrates automated decisions with business rules, anomaly detection and fraud prediction, to help insurance companies identify which claims can be automatically processed and which should be handled manually.

Speed, accuracy and efficiency in claims processing offers several benefits, including:

  • Improved customer experience through automated decision
  • Lower fraud risk through accurate machine-driven fraud detection
  • Improved cost efficiency and staff productivity through automation
  • Uniform quality through minimal human intervention

Comptel’s automatic claim decision solution is the first step toward a Nexterday vision for insurance, one in which insurers are fully digital, able to offer individualised customer example and able to run a smarter, more optimised business.

Book a demo with our team today to learn how Comptel’s insurance solutions enhance the claims process through artificial intelligence and instant decision-making. 


Analysys Mason Recognises Comptel Among World’s Top Mediation Players

Posted: March 21st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Analysys Mason Recognises Comptel Among World’s Top Mediation Players

The analyst firm Analysys Mason has released a new Comptel Company Profile, recognising Comptel as one of world’s leading data processing vendors. The report also lists our DATA REFINERY software suite as a top-six mediation solution when ranked by worldwide marketshare.

analysys mason comptel digital transformation 2017The report, titled “Comptel: digital transformation,” analyses Comptel’s overall product portfolio, 2015 financials and strategic direction. DATA REFINERY is based on Comptel’s award-winning EventLink technology, providing a software suite for convergent mediation, roaming management and enterprise data processing software products. It provides a comprehensive and productised data integration solution with over 1,000 off-the-shelf online, real-time and offline interfaces.

Across the world, 150 operators trust Comptel’s data processing to turn massive amounts of raw data into valuable, purpose-driven, real-time actions. Operators of all sizes and volumes rely on DATA REFINERY, including India’s Bharti Airtel, Indonesia’s Indosat, Argentina’s Telefonica, Saudi Arabia’s Mobily, Denmark’s TDC and The Netherlands’ Ziggo. In all, Comptel processes more than 20 percent of the world’s mobile usage data through our software solutions.

DATA REFINERY plays an important role in supporting the Digital Customer Journey, which is all about applying better technologies and data-driven business strategies and models to improve the way telcos engage and serve their customers in a personalised and contextual way.

Within that journey, DATA REFINERY provides a layer of intelligent fast data to enable real-time decisions and actions. The software has the capacity to capture and process vast amounts of raw data in-stream. As a totally vendor, technology, and service agnostic solution, DATA REFINERY captures data of any type and from any source, including social media, apps, connected devices, networks, locational data and services. It then refines that data with important contextual information and sends it on to the next stage of its journey – all in real time.

As a result, DATA REFINERY allows telcos to build a 360° profile of their customers based on diverse data sources. That profile is then available for other business systems, allowing telcos to craft intelligent, individualised service offerings, customer programs and more. Additionally, DATA REFINERY hides all technical complexity between the network and OSS/BSS layers through a unifying processing layer.

To provide a perfect, personalised Digital Customer Journey, DATA REFINERY’s intelligent data fabric works seamlessly with two other pillars of that journey: FASTERMIND™ for customer engagement automation and MONETIZER™ for agile service monetisation. All three software suites rely on the same EventLink technology platform, benefiting from common capabilities such as a broad online and offline interface library, programmed and automated fast data processing, operational intelligence, business and operations reporting and a Software Development Kit (SDK).

Together, the solutions within the Digital Customer Journey help telcos take advantage of a rapidly changing landscape, one in which the customer is in control. Our solutions allow telcos to compete and win on the basis of customer engagement, with personalised and contextually relevant content, offers and services.

We’re proud to be recognised by Analysys Mason alongside other top players in the mediation market. To learn more, download Comptel: digital transformation,” a company profile from Analysys Mason.


#MWC17 Highlights: Consumer, Network and Mobile Disruption

Posted: March 8th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on #MWC17 Highlights: Consumer, Network and Mobile Disruption

We’re winding down after an incredibly exciting and energetic few days in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2017. The team here at Comptel has set a goal to out-do itself at every annual MWC by making an even bigger impact than the year before. We definitely feel we accomplished that this year, with so much going on:

  • Two great Fireside Briefings with Deutsche Telekom and Salesforce
  • Digital Customer Journey and Digital Service Journey live demos
  • A brand-new volume in our “Nexterday” book series
  • The launch of our insightful research report, “The Power of Personal
  • An incredible #Nexterday party at Esferic
  • Our beautiful booth stood out from the crowd

Check out how our booth, which doubled as a video game screen, came together:

Thanks to all those who paid a visit to our booth – it was well-visited, meeting rooms were fully-booked and we had a busy few days showcasing our solutions to customers, partners, analysts and media.

As for the full show, #MWC17 also had plenty to offer in terms of insights, announcements and industry excitement. Here are a few takeaways from several top keynotes last week:

John Stankey: Customers are The Ultimate Barometer of Success

In his keynote, AT&T CEO John Stankey said that the voice of today’s telco customer carries more weight than it has in the history of the telco industry. Customers want appreciation, personalisation and simplicity. They want to live their life on their terms and to get more for less. CSPs need to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable to live up to the expectations of today’s customers, said Stankey.

To succeed, telcos must build engaging digital platforms. What matters the most is how many hours your customers spend on your platform and how much of your full range of personalised services and content they enjoy, he added.

Stankey listed what he believes are the main engagement principles for future telco platforms:

  1. Video will be the dominant playing field
  2. Multi-sided business models will remain important
  3. Content that is compelling matters
  4. Integration matters for value and convenience
  5. The product is software

Most importantly, the product is software that captures the customer’s imagination. Vertically integrated products do not have a future any more, said Stankey. Instead, it’s all about software that goes beyond ubiquitous connectivity, contributing to greater customer experience and a stronger emotional bond to content. Software is the product wrapper that reengineers entertainment and glues everything together.

Comptel booth MWC17

Vivendi on the Future of Mobile Content

With strong positions in music, entertainment and gaming, Vivendi has a unique perspective on the various types of digital content today’s mobile consumer craves. In his keynote, CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine explained that telcos will be able to offer mobile content through partnerships with companies like Vivendi.

The company’s mobile short studio, called Studio+, produces 10 episodes of a series, with each episode at 10-minutes in length, a model that de Puyfontaine said is perfect for bite-size mobile content experiences. His company is now developing telco partnerships to roll out the content, which in turns helps CSPs dip their toes into an innovative digital service channel.

Vivendi tried to purchase its own telco subsidiaries in the early 2000s, he explained, but that failed strategy pointed the company toward a more flexible horizontal convergence model. Strategically, telco partnerships will provide Vivendi and its partners scale and agility, said de Puyfontaine.

Disruption at the Network Edge

Executives from three mobile leaders – Sprint, Deutsche Telekom and Nokia – discussed the importance of edge computing to serving the new mobile economy. The panel included Günther Ottendorfer, COO, Technology at Sprint, Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO at Deutsche Telekom and Michael Clever, SVP Mobile Broadband at Nokia.

Edge computing brings network functions physically closer to the consumer to, among other things, dramatically reduce network latency. A number of factors drive this trend, including the growing number of connected devices (from VR/AR to connected cars) that require continuous broadband connectivity, and the emergence of 5G. For example, Sprint is diversifying its core network by deploying thousands of small cells instead of microcell towers, according to Ottendorfer.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Telekom has joined the Telecom Infra Project, a community initiative to re-imagine how telco networks support data-intensive services like video and virtual reality. According to Jacobfeuerborn, video will account for 80 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic by 2021, which means telcos need to work now to bring better connectivity closer to the consumer.

Nokia’s Clever spoke to the benefits of new network technologies – including a shared data layer and a stateless machine architecture – to introduce endless capacity, scale and robustness to the network. Real-time analytics of network data could radically reduce the complexity and costs of the network and help telcos generate new revenue streams by better leveraging network assets and customer data, Clever said.

Did you miss Comptel at Mobile World Congress 2017? Catch up on what you missed by downloading our new research report, The Power of Personal, and keeping an eye on Nexterday.org for fresh content from our new book, Nexterday: Volume III.


Comptel Recognized by 451 Research for ‘Transforming CSPs into ‘Offer-Driven Operators’

Posted: February 1st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Comptel Recognized by 451 Research for ‘Transforming CSPs into ‘Offer-Driven Operators’

Operators are on a journey to become true digital telcos. Rich Karpinski, a US-based analyst for 451 Research, recently explored how Comptel’s FASTERMIND™ helps put CSPs on the fast track to becoming offer-driven, digitally-savvy operators. Fastermind Report 451 Research

Few vendors have as a pure a vision of how mobile operators must evolve to become digital service providers as Comptel. It speaks the language, understands the requirements, absorbs and applies the use cases.”

Transforming operators into Digital Service Providers is at the heart of Comptel’s Nexterday vision. To execute on that vision, Comptel recently launched the FASTERMIND™ suite at Nexterday North 2016, to provide artificial intelligence applications for digital telcos. FASTERMIND™ recommends, predicts and automates real-time decisions, particularly supporting customer engagement automation.

Rather than rely on a small handful of customer segment buckets and static, non-real-time campaigns to drive out offers, FASTERMIND’s monitoring and analytics tools work with other Comptel platforms – Monetizer for policy control and charging and Data Refinery for mediation and data processing – to allow operators to deliver more real-time, personalized and contextually relevant offers.”

Comptel’s Nexterday vision and strategy has garnered a great deal of attention in the market, and we are pleased to secure external analyst recognition for this new FASTERMIND™ suite, and also for our work in helping CSPs to evolve into DSPs by rethinking and redesigning customer engagement with real-time and contextual best-next-action offers.

“It’s not about bundling a digital ‘service’ like Dropbox or Netflix or simply offering a few new mobile data plan options. Rather, it’s a rethinking of how mobile operators interact with their customers, understanding their real-time needs and wants and having the analytics, decision-making and network execution capabilities to hit them with the right offer at the right time.”

Comptel’s Nexterday vision focuses on providing customers with an outstanding and memorable digital experience. By coupling FASTERMIND’s  time-sensitive, contextual and personalised recommendations, with MONETIZER™, an easy-to-use tool for the rapid design of policy and pricing offers, and DATA REFINERY™, which captures a real-time 360° view of the customer, CSPs are fully equipped for future business growth.

“More aggressively than almost any competitor, Comptel has swallowed the ‘red pill’ and sent itself fully down the digital telco path.”

Rich Karpinski’s full report, Comptel speeds operator offer decision-making with FASTERMIND can be downloaded here.

Comptel will be exhibiting at MWC17 in Barcelona February 27 – March 2, 2017. Meet with us at stand #5G40, Hall 5 to learn more about our Nexterday vision and FASTERMIND™ for customer engagement automation.


With My Digital Moments, Operators Can Create the Perfect Digital Customer Journey

Posted: January 31st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on With My Digital Moments, Operators Can Create the Perfect Digital Customer Journey

Customer experience is the new battleground for telcos. Forrester Research found that 72 percent of companies say that improving customer experience is their top priority. As a provider, if you can engage your customer at the right time with the right personalised service, you have an opportunity to deliver value, establish loyalty and grow your business.

So, what do customers want? To start, they expect full control of their digital life, and the freedom to build their own personal ecosystem of apps and services.

That’s why Comptel launched “My Digital Moments,” a new solution that enables perfect digital customer journeys. With My Digital Moments, customers will benefit from a self-service app on their phone that, in real-time, analyses how they consume digital services. From there, the app can recommend relevant and personalised digital services that would improve their experience.

My Digital Moments

My Digital Moments opens the door to several value-driving possibilities:

  • Service offerings that are proactive, personalised, relevant and contextual
  • Increased customer engagement and communication through a direct line to the operator
  • Improved engagement by giving customers direct visibility into their plan status and special packages

From the main screen, customers are able to view real-time service usage information, including the percentage of the data they’ve used in this cycle and their data usage trend across specific apps. On top of that, the app can display the operator’s full service portfolio, including new service plans or promotional packages from the portfolio.

My Digital Moments relies on real-time usage monitoring and intelligence from FASTERMIND™ to recommend, predict and automate customer offers based on the most relevant and contextual data. For example, a customer who consumes a lot of mobile data watching Netflix but does not currently have sufficient mobile data could receive an offer for a data plan with unlimited Netflix streaming.

My Digital Moments is also supported by MONETIZER™, which offers the easy and agile configuration of data plans, plus a common platform for charging and policy design. The result puts full control in the hands of your customers, meaning they can self-select relevant, contextual plans or instantly upgrade their data speeds and allocation in the moment.

Of course, new service opportunities can crop up at any time – not just according to your campaign schedule. That’s why My Digital Moments is supported by closed-loop analysis and service recommendations, which means service usage is monitored on an ongoing and real-time basis to ensure your customers are constantly engaged and presented with easy opportunities to get the services they need.

The solution puts the power in the hands of consumers, giving them the opportunity to build their personal digital ecosystems while empowering operators to increase service consumption, reveal new revenue opportunities and nurture loyal, long-term customers.

Heading to Mobile World Congress 2017? Meet with Comptel in Barcelona to learn more about My Digital Moments and our full portfolio of customer engagement solutions. Email comptelmarketing@comptel.com to arrange a meeting.


IBM BusinessConnect Helsinki 2016: Partnerships Make Innovation Possible

Posted: November 4th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | Comments Off on IBM BusinessConnect Helsinki 2016: Partnerships Make Innovation Possible

“Welcome to the Cognitive Era,” IBM proclaimed recently at Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre in Helsinki, hailing an opportunity to outthink challenges, competitors and the limits of what is possible. IBM BusinessConnect 2016

IBM says the cognitive era is one in which companies compete with each other by using algorithms, which are to a great deal responsible for how those companies develop, advance and succeed. Cognitive computing capabilities are emerging that resemble human learning and thinking processes: Discovery, Decision and Engagement. It’s taking data analysis as we know it to an entirely new level.

As we heard in many of the presentations at IBM BusinessConnect Helsinki 2016, digitalisation is a data-driven enabler for re-inventing and re-imagining the customer experience. That new experience can then be implemented through fresh business models and ecosystem-based collaboration. Partnerships are everything, because partners make innovation easier to achieve.

IBM BusinessConnect 2016 brought together a big crowd of about 1,500 enthusiastic professionals looking to get inspired and excited about the partnership opportunities offered by digitalisation and the Internet of Things (IoT). The program was fully packed with interesting presentations from IBM, KONE, Finnair, cyborg Neil Harbisson, and Comptel’s hybrid cloud, just to mention few. Here’s a summary.

The IBM/Comptel Telco Story

IBM and Comptel have a long-standing partnership that stretches over 10 years. Comptel is both a partner and a customer of IBM software and services. Together, we are actively helping telco operators around the world transform their OSS/BSS environments. Our strategic partnership is in the area of Digital Service Lifecycle Management (DSLM) with the IBM Architecture for Cloud-Based Networking, devising a new model for service orchestration and delivery of SDN/NFV.

Internally, Comptel deploys IBM cloud software assets in a hybrid environment for R&D, testing, training and more, both on-premises in Comptel’s own data centre and off-premises in the cloud. This hybrid workstyle offers us flexibility and agility, creating a better customer experience, whether we are using services on- or off-premises in single or multi-tenant mode.

IBM, like Comptel, believes in this hybrid cloud model. A presentation from IBM explained the global movement toward cloud, but stressed that cloud should not be viewed simply as a blanket destination: “Not every service needs to move to the cloud,” said the presenters. The key consideration for telcos is to figure out which services are better to run in a cloud environment, and then achieve seamless end-to-end orchestration across the hybrid network environment. Ultimately what matters most is being able to deliver a compelling customer and user experience irrespective of where the service resides.

Cognitive Computing in Healthcare

IBM and Tekes discussed their partnership, which resulted in the creation of the Watson Health Center of Excellence in Finland. Their aim is to improve the health of citizens, further local innovation and strengthen the Finnish healthcare business ecosystem. The partnership invites health companies to build an ecosystem on top of IBM’s Watson platform to create “the world’s most advanced data-led IoT hospitals.” Healthcare touches us all, and there’s a big need and sense of urgency around creating new innovative and disruptive health services. The ultimate vision is to establish a hospital-free model where the hospital is a base for service and care at home.

Moving People at an Urban Scale

KONE digitializationKONE, a Finland based company serving more than 400,000 customers worldwide, moves more than 1 billion people every day with more than 1 million elevators and escalators. They anticipate the urbanisation trend to accelerate business, as more than 200,000 people are moving into cities every day, driving the need for sustainability and smart urban living. By embracing open innovation, KONE benefits from fresh ideas from outside their own company. Through IBM Watson, KONE has made a massive volume of escalator and elevator data available to third-party startup companies to innovate. This ecosystem and collaborative approach to innovation will be essential for KONE to take its business to the next level.

San Fran to Finland, Nonstop

Finnair SlushThe airline industry is also undergoing a digital transformation. Digitalisation is changing how airline employees work, how operations are run and how customers are served. Finnair is at the leading edge. Through an innovative strategic collaboration with Slush, Finnair has arranged exclusive direct flights to Europe’s leading startup event for attendees traveling from San Francisco. The San Francisco-to-Helsinki flight path will part of Finnair’s ongoing flight options starting in June 2017. It’s one example of how Finnair is working with leading startups to create better customer experiences and possibilities.

A Union Between Biology and Technology

Neil HarbissonCould you imagine hearing colours?

The most exciting and memorable speech at IBM BusinessConnect was given by cyborg Neil Harbisson. He was born with an extreme form of colour-blindness that meant he could only see grayscale. But, with the help of an internet-connected head implant that converts light into sound, Harbisson is now able to “hear” colours. Harbisson had his head antenna permanently installed in his skull in 2004, and his merging of biology and technology represents the ultimate in collaboration.

“Not many people go for a walk in the supermarket for fun, but I do,” he said. “I have an electronic eye that converts light into sound to enable me to ‘hear’ colour. So, the cleaning product aisle is very exciting. The rows of rainbow-coloured bottles sound like a symphony to me.”

He views the internet as an extension of his body and says he is able sense the inaudible reality around us, even hearing a sunset. Harbisson takes his role as a cyborg seriously, founding the Cyborg Project in 2010 to protect his rights under government classification. This is truly uncharted terrain, and we’ve only seen a glimpse of the possibilities of digital and connected technologies.

Comptel’s Nexterday North 2016 will feature many more inspiring stories of unique partnerships and collaboration. Register for Nexterday North to hear from some of the world’s leading thinkers in innovation, academics, technology and business, including Mike Walsh, Dietmar Dahmen, Chris Messina, David Meerman Scott and more.



SDN World Congress 2016: Thoughts on NFV Evolution, Standards, Challenges

Posted: October 20th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on SDN World Congress 2016: Thoughts on NFV Evolution, Standards, Challenges

Greetings from SDN OpenFlow World Congress 2016, after a busy week when the entire industry came together to discuss, present and exchange views on SDN and NFV. Our industry is confronting perhaps its biggest-ever evolution – the transition to software-defined networks – and this event was a great place to discuss the implications. At the show, we got further insights into NFV/SDN proof of concepts and field trial experiences, but we also learned about several existing commercial launches in the areas of vCPE, vEPC, vIMS and vCDN. Without a doubt, many operators are moving past the trial stage and are deploying SDN and NFV in the real world. SDN World Congress

Running from 10-14 October in the World Forum in The Hague, Netherlands, Layer 123’s SDN World Congress brought together more than 1,600 industry experts. The event’s main message was simple: more industry players than ever are looking into NFV and SDN, and they are part of a tremendous journey that will change the industry fundamentally and forever.

It Always Comes Back to The Customer

Customer needs are changing rapidly, with a strong preference toward digital-first experiences. You can thank the influence of over-the-top (OTT) cloud service providers for that. Unsurprisingly, a lot of talk at the event was about delivering a superior customer experience through a more agile and elastic network environment. SDN and NFV are not goals to be achieved, but rather the means to service transformation to better the personal customer experience.

But, SDN and NFV are about more than technology evolution; they represent a paradigm shift that will change how future operators and businesses will work. Technology is a big part but people, processes and organisation are even bigger. The business case-led way of thinking and working is growing stale, as it’s unrealistic to build a “business case per network function” as we’ve learned in dusty old presentations about network management.

The Multivendor-Proof Network Eliminates Vendor Lock-In

We heard a lot about the idea of vendor interoperability, or what is described as building a multivendor-proof network. This characteristic is a must-have, since avoiding vendor lock-in is one of the biggest benefits of NFV and SDN technologies. These benefits exceed the traditional single-vendor network approach in every sense.

SDN World Congress Of course, it won’t be easy to create a multivendor-proof network. It will require technology standardisation, cooperation, open source principles and set of defined interfaces: APIs. But it’s clearly the way the industry is headed, and the only way we will achieve the full benefits of virtualisation technology.

Standardisation Enables Multi-Party Cooperation

There was plenty of talk about the key role standardisation will play. Organisations like MEF Forum, Open Source MANO (OSM), the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), OPEN-Orchestrator (OPEN-O) and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) are leading the way. Comptel is involved in several of these groups, each of which focuses on its individual areas of expertise while encouraging collaboration, information sharing, discussion and debate. Ultimately, standardisation is advancing the multi-vendor and open-for-all approach to network design in acknowledgement of the desire for interoperability.

The nature of cooperative work within our industry is changing given this emphasis on multivendor networks. NFV and SDN are bringing companies together, leading to the creation of industry blueprints, proof of concept trials, and field experiments. Comptel is already involved in several, in fact.

The Network Automation Cycle

Many industry players at the event underlined the importance of automation and orchestration, driven by real-time analytics that rely on data and closed-loop processes to improve customer experience. They also advocated end-to-end seamless orchestration across new virtual and established services.SDN World Congress

“Operations are the elephant in the room,” as one analyst aptly described significant operational concerns. Centralised and coordinated control and orchestration are the key assets that allow digital service lifecycle management in a hybrid network environment. The “orchestrator of the orchestrators” will be the enabler by providing a holistic, end-to-end view the dynamic digital services in multidomain networks.

There’s No Doubt: NFV/SDN Will Happen

NFV is going to happen; there’s no lack of confidence in the actual value of the technology. Of course it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s still early days for NFV, which remains an immature technology before standards become clear and stabilised.

The switch to virtualisation is both a technology and business challenge but even more it’s about culture, people, processes and trust. The true value of virtualisation comes back to the customer: you and me. At the end of the day, successful transformation will be about education, experimentation and strong relationships.

Network virtualisation will be a hot topic at Nexterday North 2016, which runs from 28-29 November in Helsinki. Register now to reserve your spot at the show.


On the Road with The Nexterday Tour 2016

Posted: September 20th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | Comments Off on On the Road with The Nexterday Tour 2016

There’s an entire world of fresh ideas and exciting opportunities for telcos to indulge, many of which are discussed in various industry conferences around the world. That’s why Comptel is happy to bring and present these ideas directly to you if you were not able to hop on a plane and visit each event. Nexterday Tour 2016

The Nexterday Tour 2016 is our global effort to share the latest, most dominant and most appealing market trends directly with our customers and partners. At the same time, we discuss key thought leadership themes, including how Comptel’s software addresses market requirements in Nexterday.

We want to tap into the latest industry trends and insights from major global industry events, including our own Nexterday North event, which asks telcos to stop thinking about digital transformation and start executing. We package everything together with content and videos from operators, industry speakers and thought leaders, and go on tour to deliver them to telcos around the world.

What is the Nexterday Tour?

The program includes trends and insights gathered from a number of big events, stretching from the Comptel anti-seminar Nexterday North in Helsinki last November, and extending through Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, TM Forum Live! in Nice, the Big Communications Event in Austin, and a scattering of NFV/SDN events throughout Europe and the U.S. Our next stop will be in October for Dreamforce in San Francisco and the SDN and OpenFlow World Congress in The Hague.

It’s the third consecutive year we’ve run a global program. You might have known our previous tours by other names – “Barcelona in a Box” in 2014 and “Beyond the Event Horizon” last year. We visited more than 15 cities last year, meeting with 400 individual customers from 45 global operators.

So far, this year’s tour has taken us to South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region, adding up to over 10 countries, over 15 cities, dozens of operator brands and hundreds of individual customers. And the tour finishes with our second annual Nexterday North from 28-29 November, 2016 in Helsinki.

Top Themes for 2016

Our focus in 2016 is on digital transformation and disruption within the telco industry.

We wanted to cover how new players in telco – including startups, but also non-telco players like Airbnb, Uber and Spotify – are shaking up the industry with innovative digital offerings that require operators to change their approach.

We’re also covering broader global trends. In his keynote speech at Nexterday North 2015, Kjell Nordstrom talked about urbanisation, describing how within the next 20 to 30 years, 80 percent of the world’s population and 90 percent of its economic value will be centralised in 600 megacities. On the tour, we’ve discussed what that means for telcos in the years ahead.

Similarly, we’ve heard frequently about the increasing value placed on customer experiences. A massive 89 percent of companies planned to compete on the basis of customer experience this year, according to Gartner. How has digitalisation influenced that trend, and – as keynote speaker Mike Walsh will discuss at Nexterday North 2016 – how does the increasing level of consumer familiarity with digital tools and services impact telco innovation?

We’ve discussed new telco business models, new network technologies and new service opportunities. We know that networks are embracing software in the era of NFV, data centres and cloud. We know that the Internet of Things (IoT) is a major opportunity, but that 99 percent of devices aren’t connected to the internet yet. At the same time, we know that up to four billion people on Earth also lack internet access. So what are operators and the whole industry doing to solve that challenge, alongside the others?

We’re also covering a number of challenges and opportunities in our industry, such as the need to find fresh new data monetisation strategies to take advantage of customers’ hunger for digital services. We also discuss the increased need for hyper personalisation in marketing, sales and service, and the need for telcos to re-engineer their service orchestration models to suit a more self-serve, conversational and automated service delivery lifecycle.

It’s been exciting to get out of the office, speak directly with customers and hear their ideas and thoughts on all of these concepts. Generally speaking, we’re seeing operators starting to broaden their mode of thinking. Ideas that would have once been considered too radical for telco are now being carefully considered, whether it’s ways to change how we work, new service opportunities to tap into, or new global trends that affect our business.

It’s important for telcos to continue the conversation and step away from the industry’s collective blindspot. With the Nexterday Tour 2016, Comptel is proud to play a part in helping operators have these important discussions.

Join us on the Nexterday Tour 2016 by registering for Nexterday North 2016, 28-29 November, in Helsinki. You can check out our fantastic speaker lineup here, which to date includes digital transformation visionary Mike Walsh, marketing guru David Meerman Scott, futurologist Dietmar Dahmen, operator speakers and many more.