Posted: December 21st, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events | Tags: analytics, internet of things | Comments Off on Digital Disruption in the Physical World: Reflections from IoT World Forum 2015
Walking away from last month’s IoT World Forum in London, where over 400 IoT enthusiasts from various industries came together to exchange views, two major themes were immediately apparent.
First, it was very clear that the Internet of Things (IoT) will be a huge business opportunity for many companies, including operators. Cisco projects that the market for IoT services and technology could generate $19 trillion between 2013 and 2022, while more than 50 billion individual IoT-enabled devices will be connected by 2020.
Secondly, it’s clear we’re moving toward a digital society. Everyone is becoming digitized, and in fact, European operator Tele2 claims that in the IoT economy, all physical things will have a digital twin. And it’s that digital twin which creates digital dependency and product “stickiness” to customers.
What’s the best way forward for operators? How do telcos who have long been focused on connecting customers with traditional voice, messaging and enabling customers’ data access now pursue intriguing new opportunities in an emerging field? Various presenters, a handful of which were operators, at IoT World Forum offered their suggestions – here’s our recap concentrating mainly on the CSPs’ IoT strategies and takeaways.
Find a Good Monetisation Strategy
Ultimately, IoT is about data, and data analytics.
Naturally, operators want to know exactly how they turn all that data generated from those billions of new connected devices into revenue. It was stressed that connectivity is not the only way for operators to earn from IoT, in fact operators need to go beyond connectivity. So instead, telcos must take a service-led approach, relying on connected devices to offer the data that fuels highly personalised and relevant services to customers.
There was an interesting example of an auto insurance provider that defines customers’ insurance policies based on their driving behaviour, which is monitored and tracked by in-vehicle sensors. In this model, IoT-generated data is directly influencing how a consumer service is delivered and priced. Accompanying this behaviour-based insurance model there was a discussion about the other possible alternatives companies might price the IoT, including an ad-funded model, subscription-based model, consumption-based billing, and data trading.
With IoT, the market is moving from CAPEX to OPEX-driven business models, to a ”software as a service” or what one might even call an ”everything as a service” approach.
Find an Innovative Use Case
Operators showcased an amazingly big spectrum of innovative use cases in the field of IoT. These are stretching from various health apps and assisted living to home appliances, smart logistics, smart cities, connected cars and fleet management. Some operators have even made IoT a primary business focus, including one major Tier 1 operator that explained its concentration on the health vertical. To guarantee the best possible success in this domain, they’ve even hired medical doctors to consult on the digitalisation of healthcare.
Build an Ecosystem of IoT Partners
Nobody walks alone in an IoT-driven service ecosystem. IoT market is not be a “one-man show, but rather an ensemble piece.” No single player offers an end-to-end platform that serves a complete array of business use cases.
Bringing all this data together through a compelling ecosystem and service partners, creates a win-win situation for key IoT players. The proposal is to go forward with a culture of experimentation and multi-party models of joint-testing and trials that allow partners to establish proofs of concept and address difficulties before products are released to market, meanwhile applying the well-known principles of “fail fast or scale fast” and “think big, start small and scale fast.”
Address Changing Behaviours to Win Customers
What makes an IoT offering successful? What separates products that are simply hype from those that are genuinely compelling to customers? One conference presenters said “behaviour change is the killer app of IoT,” while another pointed out that the “user is at the centre of IoT.”
There was a common consensus around the popularity of wearable fitness technology. Customers love their FitBits and Jawbones mostly because these devices help their owners become more active. In this case, an IoT device is addressing specific customer behaviour – the desire to live a healthier lifestyle.
Similarly, David Bunch of Shell asked whether today’s youth – more of whom view cars as functional appliances rather than an aspirational purchase – cares much at all about owning their own vehicle. As a result of this changing behaviour, Bunch argues that it’s more a question of when, not if, connected autonomous vehicles will roam city streets as the preferred method of transportation.
Unlike discussions that position the IoT as a sort of futuristic piece of science fiction technology, the tenor of the conversation at IoT World Forum focused on real, pragmatic solutions. For operators, the way forward involves service-led business models and creativity pricing, the creation of beneficial partner ecosystems, establishing innovation labs and a priority on IoT-enabled services that serve evolving customer behaviours and desires.
Download our book, Operation Nexterday, to learn the strategies and solutions that help mobile operators innovate their service offerings and intrigue Generation Cloud consumers.
Posted: October 23rd, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events | Tags: digital buying experience, innovation, intelligent data, telecom | Comments Off on 3 Keys to Digitalisation’s Future from IBM Business Connect 2015
The theme for last week’s IBM Business Connect event in Helsinki was “Seize the Moment.” Acknowledging the rapidly shifting business environment and ever-increasing consumer demands, event speakers encouraged attendees to get off the sidelines, rapidly build their skills and proactively seek out new ideas to transform their businesses for a new post-digital era.
A number of business leaders, technology experts and futurists presented inspiring talks on their vision for the future of digitalisation, but three keynotes stood out most prominently. The first involved a view of the futuristic technologies businesses will require to push themselves forward, the second stressed the importance of pushing boundaries, and the third encouraged businesses to accept what they don’t know and focus on improving the post-digital buying experience, mirroring what Comptel has said on the topic of Operation Nexterday. Here’s our recap.
A Peek at IBM’s Post-Digital Cognitive Era
IBM has positioned itself as a frontrunner in the “cognitive era,” characterized by a new capability that the tech giant believes companies will need as they move further, and even beyond, the digital era. In his keynote, IBM’s Juha Teljo, who leads European sales for IBM’s business intelligence and predictive analytics technologies, described why cognitive abilities will be the next significant technology for forward-thinking companies.
Cognition, Teljo explains, will allow businesses to understand, reason and learn much in the same way that humans do. Rather than rely on static data for business decision-making, IBM believes the next generation of business intelligence will offer predictive, machine-learned insights through cognitive technology.
This echoes Comptel’s thoughts around operators’ need for intelligent fast data, which drives real-time, automated and contextual marketing, in-the-moment analysis and instant revenue opportunities. Given the speed at which consumers make decisions and demand results, cognition and machine-learning capabilities will be crucial tools moving forward.
Toroidion’s Pasi Pennanen on Pushing Boundaries
It takes imagination to create big ideas, but to accomplish them takes “the next level of courage,” as Pasi Pennanen’s Toroidion project shows.
One might say that Pennanen has plenty of both, and in his keynote he shared his truly fascinating story of how he applied imagination and courage to make his dream of an electric vehicle reality. Pennanen is the creator of the Toroidion 1MW concept car, an eye-popping 100 percent electric sports car with 1,341 horsepower – making it one of the most powerful cars of any type in world.
Pennanen explained how he dreamed of becoming an industrial designer for cars since he was a child – a perhaps atypical ambition for a Finnish youth, but nonetheless one he pursues to this day with the dogged belief that anything is possible. He originally designed the Toroidion to compete in the famous Le Mans 24-hour road race, but now says he envisions his cars eventually being mass produced for everyday consumers.
To achieve that goal, he and his company will need to overcome a great number of challenges and obstacles, but Pennanen is driven to push boundaries in product development and design. It’s a model any business – but especially operators faced with a rapidly evolving telco landscape – should follow.
Futurist Dietmar Dahmen on Accepting the Unknown, Loving the Unknown and Embracing the Unknown
Right now, most operators acknowledge that they are surrounded by a significant number of opportunities coming from all sides. Whether they want to re-engineer their infrastructure for better flexibility and agility through network functions virtualisation, enhance their analytics capabilities through machine-learning technology or design imaginative service plans at warp speed that pique consumers’ interest, there are no shortage of options to revolutionise one’s business.
The challenge is, many operators don’t know which opportunities are right for them or how to proceed. There’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding these decisions, but in his keynote at the event, futurist Dietmar Dahmen expressed why it is important for businesses to accept and even embrace the unknown. As he explained, change is what makes us strong, and though it may feel comfortable to stay within the status quo, businesses must understand that to be a superhero in their industry, they must feel good about breaking rules, thinking exponentially and acting on their potential.
“Without Data Your Business Will Die”
In the digital and cloud era we’re online and connected pretty much 24/7. Dieter Dahmen’s statement ‘We are our phone’ is spot-on to describe our behaviour. Life is truly a chain of digital moments, but businesses are not able to respond to the opportunity that customers’ passive and active digital footprints allow. More than ever, it’s critical to leverage personalization and contextuality to deliver the right content to customers in the right moment. Unfortunately most organizations fall short, as “only 1 percent of companies can use data to invidualise across the channels,” according to Dahmen.
The consumer buying process is the most transformative experience industries need to deal with in the future. Pace is at the heart of it: our new generation of customers are impatient, want options and don’t like to wait. Dietmar Dahmen described it by saying “speed displaces cost as the main driver for purchasing decisions,” which makes moving at the speed of the internet a “life and death matter” for operators. But it’s very clear that at telco speeds, operators will struggle to satisfy clientele.
That’s a message Comptel shares: to break out of the collective industry blind spot and leverage new avenues of growth and revenue, operators must overcome their fear of the unknown and embrace out-of-the-box thinking. It’s the only way forward in Nexterday.
Register to join hundreds of progressive thinkers, industry experts and innovative operators at Comptel’s inaugural Nexterday North, 9-10 November. By purchasing a 2×2 Front Pass, you get full access to both Nexterday North and the startup conference Slush.
Posted: September 3rd, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: business transformation, digitalisation, Elisa, M Room, Operation Nexterday | Comments Off on 3 Key Takeaways from Elisa’s Digital Business Transformation
Need a haircut? In the past, you may have called up a salon and made an appointment. Today, M Room – the international chain of men’s barber shops with locations across Europe and the United States – allows you to check its mobile app to find the nearest shop with the soonest vacancy. That way, you don’t have to rearrange your schedule to make an appointment, nor must you sit in line waiting for a spot to open up.
Veli-Matti Mattila, CEO of Finnish operator Elisa, recently cited M Room’s app as an example of how mobile and digital services are changing our everyday lives. As Mattila explained, digitalisation is a major change agent in global society and has the power to disrupt all industries.
Digitalisation will usher in an era of business transformation that will radically change how all businesses including telcos, in particular, operate. Elisa is a prime example – the company may have once been known as a traditional voice provider, but today, it would be more accurate to call it a digital and communications services provider.
Elisa offers its customers much more than simple connectivity. Its range of consumer services include an entertainment service for watching TV with cloud-based recording and content on demand, a wallet app for mobile payments and a book app for avid readers. On the business-to-business (B2B) end, Elisa offers video conference, customer interaction services and social media listening services, to name just a few.
Mattila helped engineer Elisa’s digital business transformation in his 12 years as CEO, and the results have been significant. The company’s initial six-month financial review showed that, despite a challenging economic climate, Elisa made its best-ever result from January to June 2015. The company also reported an expected growth in year-to-date revenue compared to the same time period in 2014.
Mattila’s comments reinforce what Comptel has discussed in our book, Operation Nexterday: digitalisation is forcing telco business transformation, and this adoption and evolution is vital if operators are to best serve individual and business customers and grow their organisations. Here are three takeaways from Elisa’s journey that other operators should note.
How Telco Can Disrupt in the Digitalisation Age
Consider how private car hire and ride-sharing service Uber has transformed public transportation internationally. Customers can simply queue up the app to find a nearby driver and conduct the entire transaction digitally, making for an easy and cashless ride.
As more industries embrace digital technology – from massive international conglomerates like Uber to the local coffee shop on your nearest street corner – operators will increasingly find an opportunity to add value.
They can enter markets they may never have thought possible, such as delivering over-the-top (OTT) content, social apps and now even books, as Elisa has done.
Operators should not discount cooperating with other players and building digital ecosystems to accomplish this. In the case of Elisa, the Finnish telco purchased capabilities from other organisations to establish an enablement platform upon which it could disrupt the market.
Embedding a Digital Culture at Every Level
Of course, making this change is not easy. Not every operator may have the vision to execute a broad digital business transformation. But, as Mattila explained, businesses do not need a Steve Jobs-type visionary at the top to push forward a digital service strategy. All you really need is firm direction, leadership, courage to change and a willingness to try new things.
Senior management should be in charge of digitalisation, Mattila recommended, and the sales, distribution and customer service functions need to buy in as well. Change may happen incrementally, but as long as they are watching the market, experimenting and pushing in the right direction to rewrite their playbooks, operators can transform successfully. Those that do not will die and perhaps result in new life.
Experiment Often, With a Focus on Speed
Above all, transforming into a digital business is a matter of trial and error. Not every new digital service offering or business idea will succeed, but as long as operators try new things quickly and ‘fail fast’, they will have the opportunity to quickly recover, learn from the results and react and ‘scale fast.’
Telco organisations should not fear failure, Mattila advised, because mistakes inform future successes. Maybe one opportunity will stick and truly catapult the business forward. The experimenting done and ideas that survive will ultimately make a major difference in operators’ successful transition to next-generation digital and communications service providers.
This blog post is based on Veli-Matti Mattila’s interview on the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) website and written up by Antti Blåfield.
Posted: July 2nd, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events | Tags: internet of things, NFV, TM Forum | 1 Comment »
This year’s TM Forum Live! invoked the theme of digital business transformation and a digital ecosystem for telecommunications. As my colleague, Steve Hateley, wrote recently, leading voices in the industry took time at the event to share their views on the key opportunities and challenges available to operators who embrace creative thinking in an era of digital disruption.
Without a doubt, two of the biggest opportunities of this ongoing and dramatic transformation involve the Internet of Things (IoT) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV). Several speakers, dedicated streams, catalyst projects, key notes and exhibitions offered proof points to demonstrate that not only is this transformation on its way – in many cases, it’s already happening around us. Here are three major NFV and IoT takeaways from the show.
An Impending Surge in NFV Deployments
Comptel has discussed at great length about the transformative impact of NFV deployments on telecommunications. As we wrote in our book, Operation Nexterday, operators who don’t adopt NFV to speed their service delivery and achieve greater agility and scalability could soon see their competitors pass them by.
It would appear many more are starting to realize this, and thus, prioritise NFV deployments in the immediate future. According to one survey that was conducted by Heavy Reading and presented at TM Forum Live!, 23 percent of operators expect to implement NFV commercially within their networks within the next year, while 44 percent expect to do so within the next two years.
In a presentation, Appledore Research Group estimated that as many as 250 ongoing NFV trials are occurring around the world, which includes multiple proofs of concept within a single operator’s network and around 25 early “live” NFV deployments. These deployments are already revealing benefits: Virtual E-CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts, for example, lead to ten-fold improvements in OPEX savings, while Virtual RAN (radio access networks) rollouts offer a smaller footprint and reduced energy consumption. The Heavy Reading study, which surveyed mobile operators specifically, highlighted many benefits to NFV, with respondents saying it helped achieve scalability in their IMS core and offered value in the policy and charging control function and their evolved packet core.
The IoT Inflection Point
Similarly, there was much discussion around the IoT “inflection point” – as in, the point at which IoT implementations and projects begin to trend upward.
For example, Volvo CIO Klas Bendrik discussed how the car group is addressing consumers’ desire to stay connected at all times by developing interfaces that allow drivers to identify safety hazards, time-saving routes and fuel-saving driving behaviours. The company intends to test 100 self-driving automobiles on Swedish public roads in 2017, which will be the first opportunity members of the public will have to ride along in an autonomous car in normal traffic.
Elsewhere, BT Group Director of Research and Technology Chris Bilton discussed an IoT project in Milton Keynes, England, in which BT Group was able to support the development of a citywide parking optimisation initiative that could be the first step of a full “smart city” project. The global market for Smart Cities is expected to be valued at $400 billion by 2020. The Milton Keynes project will be underpinned by a “Smart Data Hub” that will collect anonymous city data about factors such as energy, water and transportation, to let the partners and developers to address city challenges and innovate on new developments and solutions.
Urban planning, energy management, health care – these are all areas in which IoT is already making a difference, and naturally, operators are getting involved. As we discussed in Operation Nexterday, Telefónica uses machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity to enable IoT services in the Tesla Model S in Europe, and separately manages a smart energy meter project that comprises 53 million devices across Great Britain. The company also relies on sensors to offer fleet management solutions to ensure trucks stay on course, meet delivery objectives and manage fuel efficiently. Tomorrow’s fleets of trucks could, then, look quite futuristic, covered in sensors that support various measurements and actions. These systems rely on M2M technology that is already within operators’ grasp and ready to be leveraged.
Partnerships Key to Accelerating IoT Innovation
The IoT opportunity is huge. Cisco estimates the industry could be valued at $19 trillion by 2024. If IoT disruption is already upon us, how do we accelerate its growth?
One key will be the establishment of new partnerships to unlock an open playing field for faster innovation. Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, executive vice president of innovation, marketing and technologies at Orange, explained in TMForum Live! the need for telcos to build a partner ecosystem that extends beyond the usual suspects. Today telcos, she explained, are partnering with companies who they do not normally talk to and who are not like them. Examples include automobile manufacturers, pharmaceutical providers and IoT developers. On top of that, open APIs and platforms will allow developers to innovate faster, bringing new IoT solutions to market at a rapid pace.
Comptel has often advocated for the benefit of non-intuitive telco partnerships, specifically agreements between mobile operators and over-the-top (OTT) content providers to deliver new content-driven mobile data packages. Similarly, such out-of-the-box thinking could enable savvy operators to identify new service opportunities in IoT.
Want to learn more about the ongoing telco digital transformation? Contact Comptel Marketing (email@example.com) to find out when our Beyond the Event Horizon roadshow is coming to your city.
And join us in November for Nexterday North, our can’t-miss antiseminar where we will take a non-traditional, bold look by leveraging the concept of Thinking Ahead (looking at other industries to examine our collective blindspot), Thinking Again (re-examining industry learnings to challenge the status quo) and Thinking Beyond (learning from emerging startups who are disrupting the digital world).
Posted: June 1st, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: policy control, policy management | 2 Comments »
Data is revealing new monetisation opportunities to operators, not only because customer data usage is increasing considerably in the era of over-the-top (OTT) content services and complex data and third-party content bundles, but also because data itself offers new insights into service demand. However, many operators lack the ability to quickly create and deliver the variety of service offerings customers want, and are not agile enough to react to customers’ changing behaviours. On top of that, the instant nature of today’s digital world means there is less time to capitalise on the rising demand for data.
How can digital and communications services providers possibly provide more data services in less time? This looks like a job for the Monetizer.
In a recent Comptel webinar, “More to Monetise with Limited Time,” I was joined by Tinakaran Ramdas, senior product manager at Comptel, to discuss these trends and identify the superhero solution to the massive data usage monetisation challenge.
The reality is, it will take a heroic effort for operators to manage an increasingly complex service environment. Today’s evolving consumer demand changes the way operators package and sell data offerings – consider new OTT content bundles, roaming data packages, device-specific data packages or shared “family” data accounts.
At the same time, customers are consuming more data during more hours of the day on a wider range of devices (many on several devices at a time), and exposure to new ways of buying means they now desire personalised, in-the-moment offers and a seamless and convenient purchase experience.
These trends offer a great revenue opportunity for digital and communication service providers, but it still takes far too long for many operators to create and tailor the offerings that appeal to Generation Cloud. An irrelevant, mass-marketed offer backed by a slow and cumbersome buying process won’t receive a second look from these digitally native and demanding buyers.
That’s where our superhero – disruptive policy control and charging – can save the day. Policy is moving beyond simply congestion management – it’s now the money-maker of the data world. In fact, policy has become a strategic tool for operators to create and deploy personalised offers faster than ever.
A superhero needs superpowers, and the next generation of policy and charging control offers several. It needs to be:
- Energetic – Bringing the speed operators need to configure, launch and profit from new services, with the energy that empowers sales and marketing to seize new opportunities
- Ergonomic – Delivering a modern user experience with appropriate solutions for both the marketing team and the IT department, bolstered by a common language that simplifies management for both technical and non-technical users
- Shapeshifting – Enabling the adaptability and elasticity operators need to create new services and solutions for emerging technology as its developed
These capabilities empower digital and communications services providers to cut offer creation time from months to minutes. Operators can also quickly adapt not only to current consumer and technology trends, but also those in the future. So where can you find such superpowers?
In the webinar, Tinakaran offers a full look at Comptel’s own superhero policy and charging solution: the Monetizer. He also highlights a handful of interesting customer stories that demonstrate how previous Monetizer implementations enabled faster time to market and creative data services, while laying the groundwork for the new capabilities introduced by our upcoming PCC5 software release. You can visit our website to learn more about the Monetizer and the CPOD interface behind it.
Get the full story on the challenges of monetising more services in less time, and learn how the Monetizer solution enables the speed operators need to leverage new opportunities. Click to replay our free webinar, “More to Monetise With Less Time.”
Tinakaran Ramdas, Senior Product Manager, Comptel
Malla Poikela, Head of Marketing, Intelligent Data, Comptel
Posted: May 4th, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: big data, Data Refinery, Intelligent Fast Data, Webinar | Comments Off on The Moment of Truth: Identifying Data’s Peak Point of Value
What could be more frustrating than learning you missed a great opportunity simply because you didn’t have the information you needed in time? Many operators today miss such opportunities every minute either because their data is too old to be relevant any longer, or their systems are too slow to react to new data in-the-moment.
Given the nature of buying digital services today, information ages fast. Learning about your customers’ needs and preferences hours or even minutes later may be too late to engage their peak interest. Instead, digital and communications services providers need to be able to capture, process and draw insights from data, so they can act on it at the point of its peak value – the moment it is created.
This issue was at the heart of a recent Comptel webinar, “Data Refinery: The Facility for Intelligent Fast Data.” I was joined by Tero Lindholm, senior product manager at Comptel, to provide an overview of the challenges at hand for operators who want to make the most of data and digital buying opportunities.
Those opportunities are the result of a “perfect storm” in telco. On the demand side, a huge number of devices and apps are flooding the market, all of which are being consumed by Generation Cloud – those digital natives who want services on their terms and who play by their own rules.
On the infrastructure side, advancements in technology – from hyper-fast digital connections via 4G, 5G and fixed broadband, to the ongoing virtualisation of network resources, to the explosion of Big Data – require operators’ immediate attention.
At the convergence of these trends is a need for operators to re-write their existing service approach to match a new telecommunications reality. You need to bring new solutions to market in a new way that captures the interest of Generation Cloud, which is resistant to mass marketing, inflexible agreements and limited contracts. You also need to improve the underlying technology you use to support these new solutions, and ensure that as a digital and communications service provider, you are able to operate at a new speed of business.
One important component to this is data. With the right data in the right context, operators have the power to address consumers’ individual desires and needs.
But, as we suggest in the example above, data is only valuable if it is recent. Given the rapid-fire way Generation Cloud evaluates and purchases digital services, you need solutions that enable you to collect usage data from any source, enrich it with contextual information and analyse it in the moment for instant, real-time application in the form of immediate actions.
All of that needs to happen automatically, supported by embedded, machine-learning capabilities that allow your systems to more intelligently interpret data as time goes on. How do you do it?
Tero explains the Comptel Data Refinery solution in-depth in this webinar, and also highlights four practical cases in which Comptel customers applied the Data Refinery in a way to bring new innovative solutions to market faster than ever before.
Get the full story on the value of Intelligent Fast Data and having a Data Refinery to process it all. Click to replay our free webinar, “Data Refinery: The Facility for Intelligent Fast Data.”
Tero Lindholm, Senior Product Manager, Comptel
Malla Poikela, Head of Marketing, Intelligent Data, Comptel
Posted: February 2nd, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: buying experience, charging, Generation Cloud, Monetisation, Operation Nexterday, PCRF, policy control | 2 Comments »
The always-on, “Generation Cloud” is quickly developing new habits when it comes to data usage. Not only do these digital natives consume more, they use several devices – often at the same time – to access the content and applications they want. They expect it to be available whenever, wherever and on any device – even their car, house or watch might be connected to the Internet.
Fast and omni-device access to data enables people to change the way they work, interact with their friends and families, shop, learn and much more. It helps them improve their quality of life. For these reasons, customers are willing to pay for their data usage. And many of them are willing to pay a premium to enjoy their digital moments faster and with better service quality.
Consumers’ preferred data service buying experience is developing in tandem. “Generation Cloud” expects personalised, in-the-moment offers and a seamless purchase process. When provided, customers are willing to spend more.
Communications service providers (CSPs) need to act now and evolve their marketing and selling to keep in line with how customers are buying today and in the future. By adopting an “Operation Nexterday” approach, operators can anticipate consumers’ needs and maximise their interactions, monetising more in less time than ever before.
Sell something you don’t own – but take control
Today, CSPs’ bundling of third-party content and applications has become almost commonplace; it’s no longer seen as “special.” Selling something you don’t actually own doesn’t mean that you are out of control, though. Tighter integration between CSPs and Over-the-Top (OTT) players, as well as policy control and charging can help you optimise the buying experience and differentiate.
Partnered content or services, for example, are often loosely attached to CSPs’ offers. It might be a discount code passed onto a customer for use when he or she – separately – signs up for Spotify or Netflix. But consider the possibilities if the buying experience and the policy rules for handling and charging for this specific data traffic for this specific customer were tightly integrated.
Complexity is mounting – but…
Tighter integration and context-aware personalisation increase the complexity in policy and charging control. Dynamic changes in user behaviour and the competitive landscape will only add to this complexity, as will the Internet of Things (IoT) and voice over LTE (VoLTE).
Just think about the ultimate offer that contains all of the required ingredients such as subscription, rating, Quality of Service (QoS), monthly fees, cost control, roaming data package, advice of charge, applications, VoLTE and much more, all in one bundle – that’s a lot to deal with all at once and to cater to a very diverse audience.
Traditional PCRF and charging do not offer the sufficient flexibility and agility; thus, the legacy setup with yesterday’s offer design tools lack the ability to manage complexity efficiently. The complexity that arises is also the result of network upgrades, adding new capabilities and new elements like IMS and EPC. Due to the ‘patchwork’ architecture, every change takes too much time.
One size fits one
The era of one-size-fits-all campaigns is over. Rather, launching a number of agile, micro-level, long-tail campaigns that are tailored for smaller customer segments is the way forward if CSPs are going to profit. This is because offers, including the technology to enable them like policy and balance management rules and rating, have become much more complex.
Policy and charging rules are no longer stand-alone entities; they are blended. And on top, they will need to seamlessly integrate with predictive analytics and machine learning, to see and tap into patterns that the human mind just can’t. CSPs can then predict customer behaviour. They can predict network quality or outages. They can determine the best offer for each unique customer situation. And their systems’ learning never stops.
… but there’s more to monetise in customers’ digital moments
Data usage monetisation is a huge revenue opportunity, requiring maximum speed and flexibility for the offer design to be successful. System alignment and a contextual understanding of “Generation Cloud” customers are just as vital. In order to capitalise on this, CSPs should natively combine siloed policy control and charging functions. On top of this, they must add historical and anticipated insights on their individual customers and network traffic trends. Operators that can combine these will propel their business to “Nexterday” and be a fierce competitor in the post-digital era.
Comptel will be attending Mobile World Congress, taking place 2-5 March 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Interested in continuing this discussion on perfecting and monetising your customers’ digital moments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting, or visit us in Hall 5, Stand #5G40 to pick up a book about “Operation Nexterday.”
Posted: October 27th, 2014 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: News | Tags: analytics, eventlink, mediation | 4 Comments »
Few businesses have as much constantly streaming data as communications service providers (CSPs). Day and night, seven days a week, customers are sending and receiving huge amounts of data. The amount of data in flux is not just growing, but it also comes in different formats, varying from structured to unstructured, real-time and historical.
That’s a lot of information to process and manage. Over time, the constant flow of data across technologies like fixed, mobile, IMS, LTE, cable and IPTV has resulted in siloed, fragmented data sets. These scattered data processing layers require not just consolidation but also intelligent data analysis capabilities to turn every grain of insight into value and revenue for the operator.
To solve this situation, Comptel is bringing a new version of its convergent mediation platform, Comptel EventLink 7, to market. The market is ready for a new era of mediation that streams and refines data into automated, intelligent actions such as upsell campaigns, roaming data, targeted customer lists, cloud orchestration and charging, as well as offers real-time early warnings for xDR anomalies, multi-country data consolidation, LTE/VoLTE services management capabilities and more. Comptel EventLink can provide that technology.
With a new kind of mediation software, CSPs will be able to increase time-to-market, operational efficiency, advanced monitoring, service forecasting and real-time customer engagement. Here’s how.
A Data Refinery that Integrates, Learns and Turns Data into Action
Comptel EventLink 7.0 connects all the dots across devices, applications, network elements, customers and locations, collecting and intelligently analysing streaming data. Comptel EventLink ensures that data is in the right place at the right time, capturing contextual information and formatting it for delivery to the destination engine.
This “data refinery” smoothly integrates and embeds analytics to the mediation layer, and consolidates all the data coming into and being sent out of it. That ensures that no information is lost. CSPs can maximise and control every last bit of data in its native format, including the access to the unfiltered raw data, across every operation.
Comptel’s new Big Data mediation software, Comptel EventLink natively integrates and embeds analysis, reporting and machine-learning capabilities, allowing operators to use the contextual intelligence from that Big Data to speed up business decisions and actions.
For example, operational intelligence empowered by a data refinery can stop revenue loss and identify unexpected traffic peaks while improving Quality of Service. Simply by collecting historical and real-time data, a data refinery can provide operators with a snapshot of what to expect in the future and send alarms about any potential service peaks or disruptions.
Without a data refinery to process all that streaming data, CSPs could be missing out on a lot of “sleeping” revenue or insights. If xDRs aren’t analysed, predicted and monitored in real-time, revenue loss, service disruptions and anomalous patterns can get completely overlooked. A data refinery integrates, refines and learns from the information traveling back and forth on the network, alerting CSPs about upcoming issues and opportunities.
A Superior User Experience
So how can CSPs make the most of the Comptel EventLink data refinery? By building workflows around how the data gets used. In order to help businesses efficiently leverage data streams, Comptel has researched CSP users’ end-to-end business design journeys and translated the invaluable learnings into our new user experience (UX) interface.
The result is the Comptel EventLink Stream Designer. With an intuitive, drag-and-drop dashboard, the Stream Designer allows CSPs to build new products and services cost-effectively, quickly and easily. Stream Designer is a revolutionary new way for CSPs to configure how data is managed and used.
In addition to offline streams, active, online streams are fully supported, so it’s possible to build a workflow that intelligently streams online data or monitors customer’s data usage across a network and automatically sends that information to the relevant destination, business or operations team.
With a sleek, user experience and interface to build custom workflows, Comptel EventLink is ushering in a new era of mediation. The timing couldn’t be better. With the Internet of Things promising a world of connected watches, cars, refrigerators and more – along with the exponential growth in data use – contextual, real-time analysis and reporting is increasingly becoming a business-critical initiative. A data refinery that can perform real-time, automated analysis and speed up intelligent decisions and actions will enable CSPs to continue innovating, building customer loyalty and optimising their business.
Want to try out the next generation of mediation? Learn more about Comptel’s new convergent mediation platform or download our EventLink 7.0 presentation below.
Posted: October 9th, 2014 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events | Tags: GSMA, Middle East, mobile, mobile 360 | Comments Off on Comptel Invited to Speak at GSMA Mobile 360 Middle East Event
With many mobile operators hot on the trail to have commercially launched 4G/LTE by the end of 2014, the prospect of new services and faster connectivity is becoming more exciting than ever for their customers.
According to Analysys Mason, the number of 4G/LTE handset connections worldwide will increase by 670 percent from 2013 to 2018. Yet, mobile handset data service revenue is only expected to grow by 64 percent during the same period.
In particular, the Middle East and North Africa are exemplary markets, with strong mobile growth driving impressive progress in the region. Providers are exploring hybrid monetisation models and solutions for their customers, like the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, du. The mobile operator just announced that for the first time in the Middle East, its customers will soon be able to access the Internet at 4G/LTE speeds, while making a crystal-clear voice call, made possible by VoLTE. Such solutions will help secure a competitive advantage and ensure future business growth.
It’s clear that mobile will increasingly play a significant role in connecting communities around the globe. But as the use of voice and SMS continues to decline, it will be more important for CSPs to explore new opportunities for monetising their data. So, how can mobile operators be able to capitalise on the LTE full services’ revenue potential?
This question and others will be tackled at the second annual GSMA Mobile 360 Middle East conference, co-located with GITEX in Dubai from 13-14th October. Comptel has been invited to participate on a panel around this very topic: “Monetising LTE and Profiting from a Transition Towards All IP.”
The conversation is especially important in a city like Dubai and in the broader Middle East, where the potential for LTE adoption is huge. According to the same report from Analysys Mason, strong mobile handset data growth in the Middle East and North Africa could mean that telecoms service revenue grows at a 2.9 percent compound annual growth rate, reaching $96 billion by 2018.
The Future of Connectivity
Comptel and our fellow panelists will share insight on how to help smoothly drive that growth forward, and how mobile operators can monetise their networks to differentiate services in a way that will communicate their true value to their customers.
Petteri Suonio, technical sales director in our Middle East and Africa region, will speak on Comptel’s behalf, sharing solutions from our recent research around how mobile operators can better monetise their data, as well as insight on various offerings, bundles, data usage patterns and more from the region and across the globe.
Mr. Suonio will be joined on the panel by Noel Kirkaldy, head of technology, Middle East & Africa, Nokia Siemens Networks; Ihab Ghattas, assistant president of Middle East region, Huawei; and Muhammad Saqib, director, technical strategy & RAN planning, Warid Telecom.
The key for mobile operators’ success will be a combination of both tried-and-tested monetisation methods and new ones. To strengthen operator monetisation and differentiation, flexible and agile policy and charging capabilities with easy to use service design will play a major role. In addition, predictive analytics will be increasingly important in allowing operators to see patterns that would otherwise be hidden, and to use this insight to construct new, tailored offers.
With this, mobile operators will be able to better understand customer behaviours and build a higher quality of experience, while introducing new sources of revenue. Future revenue growth for mobile operators will fully depend on building flexible, personalised service packages and services that will allow them to innovate with their customers.
If you’ll be attending GSMA Mobile 360 or GITEX in Dubai and would like to meet with Mr. Suonio, please send an email to email@example.com.
For more information on GSMA Mobile 360 Middle East, panels and participants, please click here. Or read more about monetising mobile data in our recent whitepaper.
Posted: August 25th, 2014 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights, Telecom Trends | Tags: BSS, intelligent mediation, OSS, OSS/BSS | 1 Comment »
When communications service providers (CSPs) think of mediation systems, it’s natural for them to consider billing and assurance processes. Most mediation platforms have traditionally been focused on the processing of transaction data records (xDRs). However, having too narrow of a focus on transactional data misses the big opportunities that can be made possible with analytics-enhanced data orchestration.
Data orchestration is all about making sense of the new sources of structured and unstructured data flooding networks. From social media networks to app usage, location points to alarms and probes, CSPs enthusiastically need a way to make all of this information more accessible, intelligent and actionable. Thanks to the dawn of the Internet of Things, we’re standing at the brink of a touchpoint explosion. Data is playing a fundamental role in every customer’s life. Yet while Big Data provides a significant opportunity for CSPs to make more intelligent decisions, the “data wrangling” – hand-sorting through mounds of data to collect what’s most relevant – is still consuming precious time and resources. In fact, according to recent research from The New York Times, data scientists spend 50 to 80 percent of their time just “wrangling” the data, to ready it for action.
While the xDR has usually been the only link between the network and customer data, now, the key to alleviating time-consuming data wrangling will be found in data orchestration – empowered by analytics and contextual intelligence. This will revolutionise how CSPs use data for operations, customer relationships and business planning.
A new, intelligent approach to event processing can help to make sense of this information tsunami, and fully leverage that data to make operations and businesses more intelligent, and enable real-time decision making. By combining more intelligent analysis and predictive analytics with complex event processing (CEP), it’s possible to bridge informational silos between back-office systems and glean actionable foresights that go far beyond simply processing transactions.
Imagine, for example, if your analytics-enriched mediation system could foretell when there’s going to be a service peak or potential revenue loss before it happens. Or what if OSS/BSS could communicate and correlate network and customer data, then send automated messages to customers based on current network events? Maybe it’s to notify customers of potential bandwidth issues in the next hour or to tell them about a new product.
Through data integration and orchestration enhanced with embedded analysis, that’s finally possible.
Measuring the Customer Experience
OSS/BSS systems are highly effective at processing the data related to billing and assurance, with the analysis based on xDRs. Full-blown data integration, ingestion and orchestration brings all the information from other sources into the mix, so CSPs have a full view of network and customer activity across an array of sources.
With that data collected and aggregated, machine learning-enabled mediation can have a big impact. Intelligent mediation can explore data and forecast service usage, which better informs service forecasting, operational efficiency and impact on revenue. Through a streamlined and intuitive presentation layer that allows for data visualisation through dashboards, CSPs can detect signs of service anomalies and patterns in customer behaviours that allow for proactive decision-making. By consolidating the data and learning from it through sophisticated artificial intelligence, this new kind of mediation can create displays and dashboards that help operators view opportunities and risks that were previously invisible.
Protecting Revenue with Operational Intelligence
Customer experience isn’t the only thing that can be vastly improved through intelligent mediation. Revenue loss often occurs when xDRs are lost, corrupted or otherwise arrive incomplete or malfunction in network becomes evident as a sudden drop of usage events is reported for a service. These errors can get lost in the processing shuffle, and by the time they’re detected, revenue has already suffered. Intelligent mediation can help prevent these issues.
By observing the deviations between the forecast and observed values of transaction records, the mediation system, leveraging predictive analytics, can notify operators that there’s an anomaly. Machine learning ensures that this process continually grows more intelligent and capable of more rigorous analysis in the future.
Analytics-enriched mediation empowers CSPs like never before by allowing businesses to make the most of the data that’s already being transmitted across networks and allows for real-time decision capabilities thanks to analytics and automation. With an embedded analytics-engine in place that can contextually read data and automatically send notifications to both customers and the operations team, CSPs can sidestep the data wrangling and make mediation systems – and business processes – more intelligent than ever before.
Want to learn more about intelligent mediation? Download “What You don’t Know Will Cost You: Using Contextual Intelligence in OSS / BSS Operations to Protect & Increase Revenue,” a whitepaper sponsored by Comptel and authored by ICTIntuition.