[NEW RESEARCH] What Telco CMOs and CIOs/CTOs Are Thinking About in 2014

Posted: March 26th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

At Mobile World Congress 2014, one theme was prominent above all others: disruption. New kinds of mobile devices, social media, Big Data, virtualisation, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Over-the-Top (OTT) providers were central to nearly every product, service or discussion.

By now, it’s obvious to telcos that business models need to change and new strategies have to be implemented, but it’s difficult to know where to begin. That’s why Comptel conducted research with Vanson Bourne: to identify the barriers, strategies and attitudes facing telco CMOs and CIOs/CTOs as they look into 2014 and beyond.

Customer Experience: The Top Priority

Our research found that telco executives almost unanimously (80 percent) agreed that customer experience should be a goal of every employee in the organisation. While that goal may be established, executives are planning a number of different ways to get there. When asked about strategic priorities for 2014:

  • 60 percent are hoping to understand gaps in the service delivery process
  • 56 percent want to improve network performance
  • 52 percent are focused on developing new products
  • 48 percent want to understand customer experience on a granular level

The Big Data Behind Big Decisions

The intelligent use of data seems to be integral to telcos’ strategies this year. Predictive analytics, OSS/BSS consolidation and other initiatives can help streamline processes and modernise infrastructure; our research showed that executives are working hard to see these through.

While we found that integration, coordination and analytics are on the horizon, there still needs to be a fundamental shift in the way that different departments communicate – while 72 percent of CMOs want to understand gaps in service delivery, 68 percent of CIOs/CTOs said that they want to improve their networks.

These are the focuses we would traditionally expect from these organisations. Until executives agree on the mutual importance of each other’s responsibility, customer-centric initiatives are likely to remain at a standstill.

So how are communications service providers planning to overcome those barriers? And what will be possible if customer-relevant insights are shared between two traditionally separate organisations?

Check out our infographic, and download our eBook below to find out more!

Click to zoom.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

- Executive strategies for 2014

- Barriers to integration

- Technology priorities

- Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Mobile World Congress Day 3: The Turning Point for Telco Networks

Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

The third day of Mobile World Congress was defined by the keynote session about Big Data and mobile, but the underlying theme was network infrastructure. Three CEOs in the space touched on the upcoming evolution of networks: Joe Tucci of EMC, Michael Combes of Alcatel-Lucent and Patrick Gelsinger of VMware.

The consensus was that mobile devices and the dramatic, sweeping changes in traffic requirements are going to fundamentally change the structure, dynamics and functions of networks around the world.

“I believe we are just at the beginning,” said Combes.  He emphasized the importance of a structural change to build networks for the customer habits of tomorrow. “We clearly have to see the network differently to deliver the scale and elasticity required for new applications.”

Networks, in Context

Combes charged that the whole telecommunications industry is at a turning point that started about five years ago, when an increasing number of mobile devices entered the scene. He estimates that there will be a 440 percent increase in cloud and datacenter traffic between 2012 and 2017, but many communications service providers (CSPs) are still building networks with a legacy footprint.

Combes highlighted the debate taking place about the need for more intelligent, faster networks and how networks and the cloud are becoming more integrated. He touched on how this is changing the dynamic of the industry, because network operators will be deploying across a unified cloud platform and datacenters will be shared by multiple tenants.

“In Europe, there still aren’t enough investments in network and IT,” he said. “[CSPs] have no other way but to compete on price, as opposed to innovation.” He believes that networks must adapt to user needs and become user-aware.

Comptel’s vision of contextual intelligence at every touchpoint plays right into this line of thinking.

Infrastructure 2.0

Joe Tucci, the CEO of EMC, discussed the phenomenon as well.

“What’s happening is IT is bleeding into networks and vice versa,” he explained. “We call it the 3rd grade platform of IT.” He added that developers will rule in the future. They will look for platforms that help them create new and innovative solutions. And a lot of those platforms will be in the cloud.

Patrick Gelsinger of VMware picked up the conversation by explaining how virtualisation is bringing efficiency and savings to networks that used to rely upon physical servers. He added that VMware has actually virtualised 70 percent of the company’s own servers.

Comptel has been very excited about the potential held in software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV). If the expected benefits of lightning fast speed, agility and real-time responsiveness are realised, these new networks will empower CSPs to deliver better, more personalised customer experiences than ever before. It was great to hear that other companies in the space are working toward similar goals.

The telecommunications industry is indeed at a turning point and with the right infrastructure, CSPs will be able to meet both customer and business goals in new and creative ways.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

- Executive strategies for 2014

- Barriers to integration

- Technology priorities

- Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Mobile World Congress Day 2: Getting Big Value Out of Big Data

Posted: February 25th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The first day of Mobile World Congress was a busy one, full of panels, speeches and workshops. When Day Two began, I knew it was going to be another exciting one, full of insights from thought leaders across the telco industry. Today, one of those thought leaders was Comptel’s VP of Analytics and Technology, Matti Aksela. Matti was a participant during the morning panel session, “Big Data Goes on Stage.” He joined executives from Blancco, Creanord, Omnitele, Tieto, and Tecnotree to discuss the current state of Big Data and the changes we can expect to see over the next several years.

Big Data is still a fairly difficult term to define. At Comptel, we believe that the term is a new label that’s being applied to something fundamental – the ability to build a business strategy around customer data. The panel acknowledged this, noting that telcos are handling petabytes upon petabytes of information that could potentially be useful to the business.

But what do telcos really need to make the most out of Big Data?

The Foundation of Data is Infrastructure

Tomi Paatsila, CEO at Omnitele, explained that scalable infrastructure is integral to Big Data analytics, because organisations have to be able to adapt to different traffic environments. Matti added that scalable infrastructure also needs to support different types of data to effectively consolidate all that information.

Part of that requirement is due to the emergence of new virtual machines (vms). Ideal infrastructures will have to be vendor-agnostic, providing a seamless integration for the technologies of yesterday, today and tomorrow. As Lucas Weber, product manager at Blancco pointed out, both virtualization and the rise of cloud computing have added new layers of complexity to the data that infrastructures must be able to handle.

However, collecting and processing all those petabytes of data can still be a cumbersome (and expensive) task for telcos, especially if they attempt to do so manually.

Automation for the Next Generation

The panelists agreed that automation is a key element to any Big Data solution. They also agreed that it’s important to analyse end-user behaviour at every possible touch point, a particular science of the customer experience that Comptel has championed for a long time. When telcos can collect contextual intelligence at every touch point, execs can make informed business decisions based on real-time, segmented customer interactions.

Matti often observes organisations that are frustrated with the results of their Big Data solution, because business leaders didn’t identity a specific motivation behind implementation. As Matti said on today’s panel, “The key is to start looking for value out of the data right away.” To do that, telcos need to decide which business problem can be solved with the help of Big Data. In Matti’s experience, the top use case is churn reduction.

Weber summed up the panel conversation perfectly: “At the end of the day, consumers and enterprises should benefit from Big Data.” As telcos strive to become customer-centric companies, the ability to efficiently utilise Big Data to create a better customer experience will be an important factor in their success, or their failure.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

- Executive strategies for 2014

- Barriers to integration

- Technology priorities

- Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Mobile World Congress Day 1: Customer Experience, Disruption Reign Supreme

Posted: February 24th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

At long last, the wait is over. The hype and speculation and planning has come to an end and this year’s Mobile World Congress begins. The leading authorities in the telco field have all come together to share their thoughts on the current state of the industry, as well as what lies ahead.

Day One of the conference featured speeches by a number of industry experts and one of the central themes throughout the day was customer experience. Everyone at Comptel has been excited to hear this renewed emphasis on delivering better service. We’ve worked hard to enable communication service providers (CSPs) to become customer-centric organisations. The goal to deliver a better customer experience is already helping break down traditional silos that exist between CMOs, CTOs and CIOs and, in the future, this may become a make-or-break priority for every telco business.

For example, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, chairman of GSMA and CEO of Telenor Group, believes that huge commitments from mobile operators to customers will be necessary going forward. He explained that, by 2020, there would be 22 billion mobile broadband connections and 200 million LTE connections, so telcos must be able to differentiate themselves by offering the best customer experience possible. Ahmad Julfar, Group CEO at Etisalat advised mobile operators to embrace increasing customer demands, from greater efficiency to personalised experience. In order to accomplish that, companies must have the right technological capabilities and a spirit of innovation.

Sirgoo Lee, CEO of Kakau Group, took this concept a step further, saying that innovation is not enough. He believes that organisations must be completely disruptive. And who better to harp on the importance of disruption in the telco industry than Jan Koum, founder and CEO of WhatsApp? Today, Koum highlighted the company’s most recent disruption – the introduction of a voice product. While this voice product stole the spotlight today, moving forward, Koum believes that data is going to be key for continued disruption.

The power of data is something that Comptel has believed in for years. In fact, it’s for that very reason that our VP of Analytics and Technology, Analytics Business Unit Matti Aksela shared his insights on what it takes to successfully deploy a Big Data strategy in advance of this year’s event.

As Mobile World Congress 2014 unfolds this week, we’ll be curious to see what other central themes emerge in the keynote presentations. For now, though, it’s clear that the priorities we’ve set for 2014 reflect the changing needs of the telco industry. Be sure to keep checking back in for continued roundups and thoughts on this year’s event!


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

- Executive strategies for 2014

- Barriers to integration

- Technology priorities

- Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Comptel Wins World Finance Award for Telecoms Industry Leadership

Posted: February 20th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

As you may have seen last month, Comptel has been honoured by World Finance magazine as having the Best Innovation of Western Europe, 2013. The award recognises Comptel’s ongoing efforts to provide new products and services to communications service providers (CSPs) that help them adapt their businesses to the realities of the telecommunications market today.

CEO Juhani Hintikka recently traveled to London to receive the award from World Finance’s Jenny Hammond. He also sat down with her for a brief video interview about the challenges and opportunities facing CSPs in 2014. Specifically, he discussed the emerging capabilities of software-defined networking (SDN) and the consolidation that’s impacting CSPs as the competition for revenue increases.

“It’s essential to differentiate by harnessing the intelligence and data available in CSPs’ networks,” he explained. That means CSPs need to think carefully about how their OSS/BSS are being harnessed and how Big Data analytics can be applied to derive increased value from them. He also detailed Comptel’s continuing innovations into automated service fulfillment and policy control and charging.

You can view the conversation here:

In addition to the interview with World Finance, Juhani wrote a feature for the magazine on what it will take for CSPs to grow today. For CSPs to evolve and take advantage of the new opportunities becoming available to them, he writes in the piece, silos need to be flattened, and data has to be democratised across an organisation. Only when C-level executives can focus on one common goal – and apply the latest technology – can CMOs, CTOs, CIOs and CEOs work together to fuel a new kind of customer experience and drive their businesses forward.

Juhani and Comptel will be attending Mobile World Congress this month and look forward to continuing the conversation on these points while in Barcelona. To arrange a meeting with the company, email comptel.marketing@comptel.com or visit Hall 5, Stand 5F41.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

- Executive strategies for 2014

- Barriers to integration

- Technology priorities

- Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


FTTH Conference 2014: Strategy, Process and Deployment in Europe

Posted: February 10th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployment has often been hailed as a cure-all to the problems that are plaguing many communications service providers (CSPs) today. Across Europe, bandwidth is becoming a pronounced issue at a time when more people are streaming more data than ever before. The problem is usually one of economic feasibility. While 93 percent of households in the U.S. can choose between cable or DSL connections, only 42 percent of households in Europe can choose a cable connection.

Meanwhile, FTTH deployment is an even longer way off in many countries… but potential opportunities can make it worth exploring in more detail. CSPs have taken this to heart. The benefits of FTTH deployments are too big to overlook, and with the right planning and execution strategies, these investments can seriously pay off in the long run.

A Real-World Case Study

Comptel knows firsthand that FTTH deployment can yield countless opportunities for CSPs, because we’ve worked with a number of them and done it successfully. In 2011, Australia’s NBN Co selected Comptel to provide catalog-driven service fulfillment for a national broadband project and to ensure wholesale services were delivered quickly and efficiently across the fibre network to retail channels. Last year, we partnered with Alcatel-Lucent to provide Chorus New Zealand with a fibre fulfillment and inventory solution. The high-speed broadband network supports retail service providers that are experimenting with new services, and has opened up revenue opportunities for Chorus New Zealand and the CSP’s customers.

When the agility and flexibility of fibre are fully leveraged, then CSPs unlock a whole new world of potential, which is more important than ever, given the decline of traditional sources of revenue. So what’s really holding CSPs back when it comes to FTTH? There are a number of technical hurdles to overcome, but nothing that can’t be solved with the right tools.

The fibre rollout lifecycle will be covered in detail in a workshop during the FTTH Conference 2014 in Stockholm. Comptel will be presenting alongside Alcatel-Lucent, Comsof – iToolsOnline, GE Smallworld, and TE Connectivity, and speaking specifically to the timely and accurate orchestration, deployment and launch of such services. “Optimised Planning and Execution of FTTH Deployments: How to Increase the Success Rate of Your FTTH Project” will also educate operators on how they can:

  • Plan a deployment without overspending on CAPEX and OPEX
  • Create efficient operational processes
  • Ensure effective network documentation

The workshop runs from 13:00 – 18:00 on 18 February. It’s in good company, too, with other sessions running throughout the day about the challenges and solutions facing FTTH, optimising FTTH with integrated solutions and showing case studies of successful deployments.

If you’re planning on attending the FTTH Conference 2014 and want to get in touch with Comptel, please reach out to us at comptel.marketing@comptel.com and see more details about the workshop with Comptel here.

Connect with me on Google+ or Twitter to keep in touch, or follow @ComptelCorp.


Want to learn more about what’s on the minds of communications service providers? Download our full Comptel User Group APAC Survey findings about Big Data, fulfillment and more.
Download the Full Survey


5 Comptel Highlights from 2013

Posted: December 20th, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

2013 has been full of good news and remarkable achievements by the Comptel team. We wanted to quickly recap five of the year’s highlights:

1. Mobile World Congress 2013

At the beginning of 2013, Comptel had a notable presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona. At MWC 2013, there was a lot of talk, from monetising LTE and ensuring privacy when it comes to Big Data, to efficiently using operational assets and enriching the customer experience – themes that are sure to carry over into 2014.

2. Comptel Survey Reveals Preferences of Mobile Consumers

To gauge consumer sentiment when it comes to mobile operators today, Comptel also conducted an extensive survey on customer experience, with the help of Vanson Bourne. Our survey showed that there’s a real need for better, more personal interaction between communications service providers (CSPs) and their customers—and that this can be fostered with contextual intelligence at every touch point.

3. Partnerships Forge New Paths

In keeping with our goals of improving the customer experience and “Making Data Beautiful,” we partnered with organisations that have those objectives in common. First, we partnered with Accanto Systems to help ensure that our customers are empowered with next-generation customer experience management capabilities. Second, we partnered with salesforce.com by integrating Comptel Fulfillment to revolutionise sales and service creation and delivery innovation.

4. Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Recognises Comptel

This year, Comptel was awarded “Most Innovative Telecom OSS / BSS Vendor of the Year” by Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific. The analyst firm’s annual Asia Pacific ICT awards program is given to companies that displayed growth in performance and ground-breaking achievements. In addition to those metrics, Frost & Sullivan examined nominees’ major customer acquisitions, portfolio diversity and product innovation.

5. Comptel Social Links Wins Pipeline Innovation Awards

Another major victory for Comptel was winning a Pipeline Innovation Awards for Comptel Social Links. Pipeline’s annual programme honoured prominent telecommunications industry innovators for their advancements in technologies, products and deployments. The 2013 judging panel was comprised of key executives from leading CSPs around the world such as AT&T, BT, Cox, Intelsat, TELUS, Turkcell and Yota, as well as influential industry analysts.

To 2014 and Beyond

We’re proud of everything we’ve accomplished and can’t wait until 2014, which we’re sure will be just as good as 2013!


Comptel’s Juhani Hintikka Named CEO of the Year

Posted: December 17th, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: News | Tags: , | 5 Comments »

Comptel is pleased to announce that Juhani Hintikka has been named one of the CEOs of the Year, being honoured for his work in transforming Comptel’s business and strategy. Since joining Comptel in January 2011, Juhani has focused on extending the company’s position in the global telecommunications/OSS market, including developing its product portfolio, services business and go-to-market strategy and ensuring Comptel’s close collaboration with customers and partners.

The 2013 CEO World Awards is a top honour for CEOs, entrepreneurs and the organisations they run. It is a prestigious listing which has included leaders such as Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), Marc Benioff (Salesforce.com), Sir Richard Branson (Virgin), Steve Jobs (Apple) and even Walt Disney!

Juhani is recognised in 2013 alongside other CEOs such as Tim Cook (the new CEO of Apple), Dick Costolo (CEO of Twitter) and other technology leaders.

Importantly, Juhani has been named “The Transformer,” a title which expresses the change Comptel has experienced since he became CEO. Over the past 12 months in particular, Comptel has seen some significant achievements. Under Juhani’s guidance, we’ve focused on the execution of our strategic framework, helped communications service providers (CSPs) build better, more emotional connections with their own customers, and established great new partnerships throughout the year.

We’re very pleased that Juhani was recognized for his outstanding leadership!


Meet Comptel at Dreamforce 2013

Posted: November 8th, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Comptel will be attending the Dreamforce 2013 event in San Francisco November 18 to 21. Dreamforce, the biggest cloud computing event of the year,  will take place at the Moscone Center and multiple other venues across San Francisco. In 2012 this annual event brought  together over 90,000 Salesforce.com users, developers and partners. For this year organisers are expecting to have over 100,000 registered Salesforce.com stakeholders to connect, collaborate, and inspire.

The 11th Dreamforce event is hosted by salesforce.com, the company behind the successful cloud-based CRM system and application platform. The Dreamforce event has over 1,250 breakout sessions. Each industry theme features breakout sessions in a variety of formats and levels, giving attendees a chance to meet with Salesforce.com product teams, learn from expert users and partners at leading companies, and pick up new ideas and ways of working.

There will be a Communications Industry Partner Pavilion next to the Communications Track Session Room with a number of salesforce.com software and consulting partners that focus on Communications. Comptel will be exhibiting at the Communications and Media Industries Day Pavilion at The Westin San Francisco Market Street on Tuesday 19th November, where we will be showcasing the cloud-hosted Comptel Service Order Validator application, available shortly. The application will leverage the cloud’s low TCO advantages to enrich the traditionally linear lead-to-activation process with sales process interaction, service validation and real-time awareness, provided by pre-integration with the Comptel Fulfillment platform.

If you are interested in scheduling a meeting with Comptel at Dreamforce, please contact us.


Big Data and Analytics are on APAC Telcos’ Minds

Posted: October 21st, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

CSPs in the APAC region are thinking hard about Big Data and analytics. Comptel recently hosted a focus group in Bangkok, Thailand, with attendees from fourteen communications service providers (CSPs) across ten different APAC countries. A multitude of topics were covered during the sessions, but the main thing on everyone’s mind seemed to be Big Data and analytics.

We surveyed attendees in the weeks leading up to our event—and the results seemed to reflect the same trends. With twenty-five respondents, 79 percent of which came from the Southeast Asia region, we got a sense of the issues facing CSPs today. We asked what IT, marketing and R&D leaders were currently focusing on, and one way or the other, it always seemed to come back to Big Data and analytics.

Here’s what our survey revealed:

1. Nearly three-quarters of CSPs say Big Data and analytics will have a big impact on their organizations

Whether CSPs are trying to better target customers or increase operational efficiency, it’s understood that they could benefit from Big Data. Although 71 percent agreed that Big Data and analytics will have a significant effect on their businesses going forward, only 58 percent said that Big Data was being used effectively.

Many CSPs could be in the same place as other businesses – data is being collected, but not being properly leveraged. New systems, processes and strategies need to be considered to truly turn all of that information into intelligence and the right actions. Only 16 percent of CSPs said that they had begun a Big Data initiative.

2. Almost nine out of ten CSPs believe integrating IT with marketing results in richer customer engagement

As we’ve said before, the future of marketing is networks, and the future of networks is marketing. Marketing campaigns at CSPs are becoming increasingly dependent on analytics and the technology that IT controls. At the same time, there’s more pressure on IT to become aligned with the broader goals of the business.

By breaking through the silos between those teams, CSPs can radically improve customer service, increase efficiency, ensure smart operations and realise many other business benefits.

3. 54 percent of CSPs say that their organization is undergoing changes

The landscape for CSPs is shifting, so it’s no surprise that more than half of survey respondents said that their businesses were undergoing some kind of change. A third said that their organizations had launched LTE services, many within the past six months, while 46 percent said that they were in the process of consolidating their OSS/BSS systems.

The ongoing changes may signal a search for more efficiency. Just 58 percent of respondents said that their networks and operations were efficient. A third said that the processes were “somewhat” efficient, and 8 percent said they were “inefficient.”

The Promise of Big Data and Analytics

One way or another, these three trends showcase the need for CSPs to find the right platforms to streamline their operations and bring marketing and IT together to reach the next level. Big Data and analytics are the key to this kind of success, but only if all of the pieces are in place and effectively working together.


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