A Collaboration to Fulfil NFV’s Potential in the Digital Economy

Posted: May 5th, 2016 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

It’s a really good time to be a shopper. The world’s top ecommerce marketplaces, like Amazon and eBay, make it easier and faster than ever for consumers to buy whatever they want on any device, at any time. Top brands are also striving to offer a better buying experience – you can go on Nike.com right now and fully customise and order your own pair of shoes without leaving your couch.

Personalisation. Convenience. Instant gratification. Customers want it all, and technology means top brands are able to deliver. As a result, we’re operating in a new digital economy, one that’s driven by personal choice and an experience-led approach.

So why are many operators still struggling to deliver a convenient, automated and engaging customer experience?

The digital service purchasing process needs to evolve, and since we first discussed this topic in last year’s Operation Nexterday, we’ve heard some great success stories from operators who are undergoing that transformation. But we’ve also heard from operators who need guidance devising and launching a new model for digital service delivery.

That’s why, at next week’s TM Forum Live!, we are launching a proposed architecture for digital service delivery in partnership with IBM and Juniper Networks. The IBM platform for Cloud Based Networking (CBN), intends to maximize the agility offered by network function virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networks (SDN) to create a better model for service delivery in the digital age.

What NFV/SDN Can Do for Digital Service Delivery

As I wrote in a recent LinkedIn Pulse piece, the virtualisation of networks and services empowers operators to present customers with the right services at the right time. That’s because NFV and SDN offer the infrastructure agility and flexibility to rapidly create new digital services, including their operational aspects, at maximum speed and minimum cost. In other words, NFV and SDN allow operators to move fast enough to create a more immediate and satisfying digital customer experience.

Of course, given that the embrace of NFV technologies won’t happen overnight, this vision doesn’t require a dramatic shift to a fully virtualised network. Instead, operators will deploy NFV capabilities as “islands” within their infrastructure, leveraging existing physical resources and associated OSS/BSS platforms as part of a hybrid approach for some time to come.

The Comptel/IBM/Juniper initiative, which is built in accordance with the Comptel Digital Service Lifecycle Management (DLSM) model proposed in Nexterday: Volume II, takes this hybrid approach into account. Designed as a three-tiered architecture, DSLM relies on a central orchestration layer that manages requests from the top customer engagement and business management layers, and supports those requests with appropriate resources from the bottom virtual and physical resource layer.

Each layer works together to deliver automated order validation, self-service customer configuration and intelligent resource management for easy scalability.

Creating Reality from New Digital Service Possibilities

How would this all be exposed to the customer? Through a better digital buying experience.

Customers should now be able to self-configure and order a broader range of services from a digital catalogue, and the operator’s infrastructure would handle the automated creation and immediate fulfillment of those services.

In the enterprise world, businesses looking to add on a new IT or communications service will be able to abandon the legacy linear purchase process that’s plagued by lengthy requirements reviews, proposals and bids which lead to delays, fallouts or generic IT implementations. Instead, much of the enterprise sales process will be automated, helping operators improve experience and sales.

The model creates a foundation for operators to easily grow and deliver a wide range of new service capabilities. With NFV, operators are able to assume the role of digital service aggregators, setting up marketplaces for B2C and B2B buyers to purchase existing and emerging digital services. For enterprise customers, that might even mean buying the very virtual functions they need to provision their own networks.

Ultimately our partnership with IBM and Juniper aims to reveal the business potential of virtualised networks when applied to service delivery – and how it unlocks new possibilities for operator service growth.

We invite you to visit the IBM booth at TM Forum Live! in Nice, France, from 9-12 May to learn more about the IBM Cloud Based Networking initiative and our model for dynamic digital service delivery. Email ComptelMarketing@Comptel.com to schedule a meeting.

You can also read more about the initiative from Comptel CTO Simon Osborne, read the Heavy Reading white paper or catch up on our view of digital service lifecycle management on Nexterday.org, our online magazine and reader community.


Reimagining OSS to Enable Dynamic Digital Service Delivery

Posted: April 25th, 2016 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

By Simon Osborne, CTO Service Orchestration, Comptel

In the world of telco, emerging back office technologies – especially network functions virtualisation (NFV) – appeal to operators not just because of the promised evolution of infrastructure management, but also because of the potential difference these technologies can make to the bottom line.

It all starts and ends with digital services. We’re living in an app-driven world, where consumers build personalised ecosystems of apps and over-the-top (OTT) content. These customers are on the search for apps and services that solve specific problems or meet their unique needs, from personal health to entertainment and everything in between.

Businesses are the same way. Not only do companies want access to a wider range of digital capabilities – video and Web conferencing, cloud-based email and productivity software, connectivity and security services – but they also now expect a B2B buying experience comparable to the speed and personalisation they receive as B2C digital buyers.TM Forum Live

How can operators deliver personalised, engaging service experiences to B2B and B2C customers? Through a conversational and automated service orchestration and fulfillment framework.

Comptel is partnering with IBM and Juniper Networks to develop just such an architecture. As a participant in IBM’s Cloud Based Networking (CBN) initiative, our aim is to leverage SDN and NFV technologies in the creation of an agile, self-service model for service configuration, validation and completion. We’ll share our new revision for OSS and dynamic digital service delivery with attendees and booth visitors at TM Forum Live! in Nice, France from 9-12 May.

Extending the Potential of NFV and SDN

Technologies in isolation don’t really change much about the state of play. The same is true for NFV. There’s nothing inherently disruptive about having a virtual version of a network function. Adding a “v” in front of OSS won’t mean you’ve revolutionised your business. It’s really about how you’ve applied that new technology to meet customer demands.

The real value of NFV is that gives operators the agility and flexibility to consider new ways to serve enterprise and individual customers. With a highly scalable, agile and flexible network, an operator can dream up and launch the innovative problem-solving services their customers want. In turn, the self-created apps and service ecosystem can drive new operator revenue streams.

The Model for Dynamic Self-Service Delivery

To bring this vision to reality, IBM is adopting Comptel’s Digital Service Lifecycle Management (DSLM) proposition. This NFV-driven model works across three layers: one for network orchestration, virtual function, IT and physical network management; a middle orchestration layer to manage end-to-end hybrid service orchestration and the digital service lifecycle; and a top layer for front-office customer engagement and business management.

Comptel’s FLOWONE V service orchestration solution will fulfil the central DSLM layer, while IBM and Juniper will provide the network domain and IT service orchestration, dynamic operations, customer engagement, DevOps and security applications and services. Through integration with a digital service catalogue, this three-tiered system is able to support fast and easy self-service product ordering and configuration at the customer level. The model accounts for automated validation to ensure service availability and feasibility, and includes intelligent resource management to ensure the system can scale for service demand.

In future blogs, we’ll dive into the market potential for this type of model and the technical aspects that make it possible. But for now, it’s clear to see the revenue possibilities for operators. With a smart, automated and self-service digital sales cycle, you empower customers to build their own personal ecosystem of digital services and apps. Agile NFV and SDN technologies let you deliver these capabilities at an attractive cost. Ultimately, this model presents an innovative way for operators to expand their service capabilities and unlock new revenue in the era of rising digital expectations.

Visit Comptel and IBM at TM Forum Live! to learn more about the IBM Cloud Based Networking  initiative and our model for dynamic digital service delivery. Email ComptelMarketing@Comptel.com to schedule a meeting. You can also read more about digital service lifecycle management at Nexterday.org, our online magazine and reader community.


Policy Control Conference 2016 Recap: Innovating to Enhance the Customer Experience

Posted: April 19th, 2016 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

Policy Control Conference 2016Policy control cannot be seen as a standalone function any longer. It needs to be combined with charging and predictive analytics to give customers the best, most contextual and personalised service experience. At the same time, effective policy and charging control also gives operators the flexible and agile tools they need to monetise data services. That was one big takeaway from the Policy Control Conference 2016, which bills itself as the world’s only event exclusively dedicated to the policy control market.

Nearly 200 policy control enthusiasts from 80 organisations gathered at Berlin’s Maritim proArte hotel from 5-6 April to learn about the latest and greatest developments in the field of policy control. The entire policy control ecosystem was represented, with scheduled presentations from solution vendors, operators and industry analysts. Executive speed networking, operator-hosted lunches, analyst breakfast roundtable briefings and operator and vendor dinner also offered plenty of opportunity for interaction.

Comptel was in attendance as a sponsor, and we also hosted “The Seven Deadly Sins of Policy Control,” a session with our VP MONETIZER Simo Isomäki and our VP Solution Architecture Martin Vieth. We highlighted the defective, broken aspects of policy control that needed to be corrected as operators evolve toward a modernised and future-proof policy environment. At the event, attendees heard how operators are addressing challenges like time to market, increasing customer experience demands and the introduction of virtualised functions into the network through innovation policy control management. Here are several big takeaways from the event.

Complexity Slows the Speed of Innovation

Network agility is crucial to delivering the flexibility operators need to achieve a higher speed of service creation, which is a valuable asset at a time when monetisation opportunities crop up at a moment’s notice. However, overly complex telco networks slow everything down, making it difficult or in some cases impossible for operators to configure and launch new services fast enough to attract customers at their peak moment of interest.

Simo and Martin explained that the blame lies with complex and scattered network architecture and management, which kills innovation. As a result, many operators are “dead slow” – 69 per cent of CSPs say launching a new product or changing a product takes too long, according to Heavy Reading. The right environment and toolset could speed things up by giving operators a single view to create and change products and allow for service creation experimentation. Operators should strive to innovate when it comes to service pricing, add-on apps, data bundle configuration, delivery speed and more to appeal to digitally savvy customers.

PCC 2016 Simo IsomakiNFV and Policy Control

Network functions virtualisation (NFV) is, naturally, one key area of innovation affecting policy control. PCRF is often one of the first network functions to be virtualised as operators seek to respond quickly to changing market conditions.

Many telcos in attendance acknowledged the benefits of NFV, including its ability to drive a 95 per cent improvement in service cycles, outweighed the potential challenges of implementation. Presenters argued that policy control and analytics should be tightly integrated with network and service orchestration, delivering service and customer awareness to the NFV and SDN network.

At the same time, the Comptel presentation emphasised simplicity above all in NFV implementations. Operators are striving towards NFV – one said “If you don’t do NFV, you’ll be left behind”. In our session, Simo and Martin advised a hybrid approach in which brand-new NFV infrastructure and legacy environments work in cooperation to maintain simplicity.

Analytics Enables Better Service Experience

Another major theme at the show involved the central role customer experience should play in policy and charging control management decisions. For example, moving away from the idea of standalone policy control and toward a vision for natively combined policy control, charging, predictive analytics and real-time business reporting helps operators deliver a better and more targeted end-to-end service experience.

One operator described how they currently analyse customer usage behaviour and patterns with a Big Data cognitive learning analytics platform. Using that data, they can guide their policy engine for example to offer the best service with the most attractive apps to customers. Predictive analytics also informs service testing, so that operators can test and affirm a new services’ success before launching it publicly.

PCC 2016 Martin ViethThe Customer is at the Centre of Service Experience

Forward-looking service creation puts the customer at the centre by selling services the way buyers want. As Fredrik Jungermann explained at Nexterday North 2015, customers buy data by the bundle today only because that’s the way operators choose to sell data, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way or the perfect way to sell data. Rather than simply selling data on a small, medium, large or extra-large model, Simo and Martin advocated a model where data is flexibly bundled with attractive over-the-top (OTT) content services to appeal to the customer’s preference.

Additionally, there were discussions around the importance of offering consistent mobile service experience no matter the customer’s location. Presenters argued that there is value in policies being access-neutral whether a customer is on fixed internet, mobile data or a Wi-Fi network.

Similarly, operators could change the way the allocate bandwidth per application to improve service experience. Twitter and Netflix, for example, don’t need the same bandwidth speeds to run successfully, but that is currently how those apps are supported by many internet service providers. Why not flexibly support apps with an appropriate level of bandwidth, reserving the best speeds for live streaming videos?

Ultimately, that’s how operators and the industry need to think about policy control moving forward. The customer should always be at the centre of any major innovation in the network or otherwise, so an evolution in policy and charging control should likewise focus on improving the customer experience. Since complexity is the enemy of innovation, operators will need to only consider transformation that can make things work more simply and quickly.

Learn more about the tools how to monetise more in less time: Download our whitepaper about the MONETIZER™ or register to our MONETIZER™ webinar or click to read about our MONETIZER™. To keep up on the latest news and discussion topics, please join our Magazine and Reader Community in nexterday.org.



#MWC2016: It’s Time to Draw Real-Time Value From Untapped Customer Data

Posted: March 2nd, 2016 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

This year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) was another exciting one for Comptel. We launched a new book, Nexterday: Volume II, and Nexterday.org, an online magazine and reader community, threw a party, and met with many operators who were interested in learning more about transforming their business to address the demands of digitalisation, as well as partners, analysts and media. When it comes to effectively transforming to a digital company, one of an operator’s biggest assets is customer data.Comptel Data Refinery

A consistent theme throughout MWC 2016 was the idea that operators are sitting on a store of customer data that, like an untapped oil reserve, could deliver rich insights that lead to significant revenue opportunities. Rising interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t making matters easier – we saw a flood of manufacturers demonstrating their latest connected devices, from cars to wearables, at MWC 2016, plus a fair share of big thinkers promoting their vision for larger-scale, IoT-enabled operations, like smart cities. Here are takeaways from the MWC panel “Operator Customer Analytics,” where those challenges and opportunities were discussed.

The Operator Perspective
Comptel robotOperators have always collected data, but the ways in which they pool, interpret and act on information has changed as technology and processes evolve.

Kuan Moon Yuen, CEO of the consumer group at Singapore-based operator Singtel, explained that his company has developed a more sophisticated analytics estate by pooling insights from multiple data sources. Customer data usage has always been important to telcos, but Singtel stressed that analysing other information – location, device and real-time contextual metrics – allows operators to deliver tailored network optimization, better customer support and predictive, real-time marketing.

Dr. Jiwon Ashley Joo of SK Telecom agreed that context changes the way operators can serve customers. Her company changed its analytics framework to gain a more holistic view of how its customers interact with various services. This type of observation led to service innovation, including a popular new connected wearable device for kids and pets. As these new services are used, the operator collects even more information about its users, which inform future initiatives.

The Standards Association Perspective

Comptel MWC2016Of course, it’s easy enough to point out operators’ need to mine, interpret and act on their substantial data reserves. Rob Rich of TM Forum clarified the challenge by reminding MWC panel attendees of the significant skills gap that prevents many operators from actually putting these ideas into practice.

Of the substantial volume of data currently floating out there in operator environments, a small percentage – about 5 percent, said Rich – is actually actionable. To increase that percentage, operators need to develop an organizational culture for sharing data, and raise their level of sophistication when it comes to leveraging data.

That underscored what’s perhaps the biggest challenge operators face in maximizing customer data: they’re already a bit behind the eight-ball. For digital-born companies like Google and Facebook, a data-centric culture, mindset and competency is already built-in. Telcos need to change to acquire some of those qualities.

Comptel Multi-Touch Demo WallThe Customer Engagement Automation Solution Perspective

So, if the objectives are to combine multiple insights from disparate data sources, get smarter about how your organisation manages and analyses data and change the culture of your organisation to be more data-centric, what’s your next step?

Third-party partnerships can help operators improve their level of sophistication around analytics initiatives, even democratising analytics insight, so anyone from IT to marketing to sales can make smarter decisions about customer information. Analytics platforms bring together raw data from multiple sources, enrich it to provide context and drive the right actions instantaneously. These solutions enable automated and real-time decisions and actions, helping businesses keep pace with fast-changing buyer needs and wants.

The biggest opportunity here is in real-time and contextual marketing: an operator who learns a customer is running low on mobile data while that individual is listening to a streaming music app has the chance to deliver a highly relevant and compelling top-up offer at the perfect time. It’s how marketing can and should work if you’re able to act in real-time with the right information about your customer.

Learn more about how successful operators leverage customer analytics data in our new book, Nexterday Volume II.


Comptel at #MWC16: It’s Time to Take Action and Transform Telco

Posted: February 19th, 2016 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

There’s no bad time to visit Barcelona, but the Comptel team is especially excited to head to Spain for next week’s Mobile World Congress, which runs from 22-25 February. The reason why? We have big plans to follow up last year’s show with even more transformative announcements for operators, and you can learn all about them by visiting our booth – stand 5G40 in hall 5.Mobile World Congress 2016

MWC 2015 was a significant show for Comptel, because it’s where we debuted “Operation Nexterday,” our framework to help digital and communications service providers transform their businesses and thrive in the post-digital era. We launched a book, threw a party and shared our vision for new sales, marketing and service playbooks with the world.

Operation Nexterday took off. It inspired our first anti-seminar, Nexterday North, and we’ve seen how it’s changed the way our customers and partners talk about business opportunity in the era of digitalisation.

At MWC 2016, we want to keep our foot on the gas and build on that momentum. We’ve declared 2016 as a year of action and execution, when telcos take the Nexterday concept a step further and commit to transformation. We’re ready to help our customers and partners take action. Here’s how:

Nexterday: Volume II

Our first book introduced readers to the four factors creating the need for digital transformation: evolving buyer expectations, new monetisation strategies, advancements in telco infrastructure and the need for rich data insights.

This year’s sequel – a hard copy of which you can pick up at our booth, stand 5G40 in hall 5 – explains exactly how you can tackle each one. It also includes even more contributions from experts and visionaries both within and outside telco, including economist Dr. Kjell Nordström, business experts Stefan Moritz, Mark Curtis and Jeetu Mahtani, and analysts Stewart Rogers, Fredrik Jungermann, Caroline Chappell and Steve Bell.

#Nexterday Party

What’s a trip to Barcelona without a party? We’re hosting 400 people for a #Nexterday party on Wednesday 24 February starting at 7 pm CET. This isn’t the usual cocktails and canapes affair – we’ll have live performances, a DJ, superhero nitro cocktails, an open bar, bus transportation to the city centre and plenty of networking opportunities. You can pick up an exclusive ticket at the Comptel booth or at the stands of one of our partners: Salesforce, IBM, Tata Consultancy Services, Tech Mahindra, CloudSense and Hitachi.

FWD

Nexterday Party 2016Operators who stop by our booth can get a first-hand look at Comptel FWD, our disruptive digital sales and marketing channel for operators that creates a faster, convenient and more personal mobile buying experience for consumers. It’s a radical new way for operators to sell mobile services, and it’s how operators will connect the next 2 billion internet users to the Web.

Industry Blueprints

We’ll feature guides to help operators complete their digital business and IT transformations. Topics include cloud transformation, NFV service orchestration, IoT, agile elastic portfolios and automated contextual engagement.

Multi-Touch Demo Wall

Our demo wall will visualise how real-time data sources can be seamlessly connected with content and customer profiles, and then instantly turned into contextual, omni-channel actions for better business outcomes.

For Comptel, MWC 2016 will be about celebrating a year’s worth of progress and issuing a challenge for operators to take action. We invite you to join us in transforming for the better in 2016.

To book a meeting with Comptel at Mobile World Congress 2016, contact your Comptel account manager or send us an email at MWC2016@comptel.com. And be sure to stop by our booth, stand 5G40 in Hall 5, to pick up your copy of Nexterday: Volume II and get a ticket to the #Nexterday party.


Digital Disruption in the Physical World: Reflections from IoT World Forum 2015

Posted: December 21st, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

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.Internet of Things smartwatch iot

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.

shell connected car presentationNaturally, 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.shell presentation

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.


3 Major Takeaways From #NexterdayNorth

Posted: November 11th, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , | No Comments »

Nexterday NorthAlthough Comptel’s inaugural Nexterday North has wrapped up, post-event enthusiasm hasn’t faded at all. Take a few seconds to scroll through comments on our official Twitter hashtags – #Nexterday and #NexterdayNorth – and you’ll get a sense of the massive number of ideas and insights attendees were able to gain over two inspiring days in Helsinki.

As our CEO Juhani Hintikka said in his closing remarks, we are grateful to all of the partners, colleagues, speakers and guests who helped make our first antiseminar such a success. Plenty of blogs and articles have already been written recapping Nexterday North – check out the links at the bottom of this post for some of those – but here’s three of our own parting thoughts from the first Comptel anti-seminar.

rohit talwar stewart rogers

Futurist Rohit Talwar (left), Stewart Rogers of VentureBeat Insights

There is Hope for Humanity

Those were the words Juhani used to describe Day 1 of Nexterday North, and it’s easy to see why. Our first day’s presenters offered a hopeful message of perseverance, potential and positive transformation.

Futurist Patrick Dixon’s energetic presentation taught us that emotion is the single most important driver of the future of technology, business and culture. Successful businesses remember that and seek to satisfy their customers on an emotional level. WIRED’s Gregg Williams shared a similar take, saying “It’s just as important to take bad things out of people’s lives as it is to add good things.”

Riisto Siilasmaa’s candid talk on Nokia’s business transformation had the crowd buzzing, and he offered a compelling walk-through of how he helped lead the company through one of its most challenging time periods. It was an inspiring lesson for the crowd that even in difficult times, there is always hope if you can commit to change.

ted matsumoto, horacio goldenberg

Ted Matsumoto of Softbank (left), Horacio Goldenberg of Telefonica

Customers Drive the Future

A consistent theme through every session – and especially on Day 2 – was the importance of putting customers at the centre of business strategy.

Our moderator, Ville Tolvanen, hosted a fascinating fireside chat with T-Mobile’s Milan Ruzicka that explored the company’s popular customer-centric Uncarrier movement. In a panel discussion Smart Kalasatama’s Veera Mustonen suggested that business transparency earns customer trust, while Tele2’s Lars Torstensson explained consumers’ desire to set their own service terms.

Of course, you need strategy and structure to put customers at the centre. SoftBank’s Ted Matsumoto offered a compelling business model to help operators fine-tune to customer needs. We also heard from experts on the data, service architecture and monetisation strategies that will play a vital role in operators’ business transformation.

mehackit, fwd

Mehackit's Cycle for Technology (left) and the launch of FWD

It’s Time for New Ways of Thinking

Many of the presentations also focused on the new service opportunities available to operators, from app development to smart cities to digital servies.

VentureBeat’s Stewart Rogers described new insights into hyper-personalized marketing that could deliver richer customer engagement. Futurist Rohit Talwar suggested a business pairing – experienced workers with younger ones – to balance the need for structure and discipline with the desire to innovate. And storyteller Linda Liukas advocated that children today could be the next generation of innovators if we make learning about technology fun and exciting.

Nexterday North was an exciting and inspiring event with more than a few surprises, including the launch of Comptel’s FWD app, which we believe will change how operators sell and market mobile data forever. Ultimately, Nexterday North proved that when you think differently, you uncover ways to make the world a better place for everyone.

Nexterday North speakers

Read more about Nexterday North below:

How Nokia’s chairman demanded €2bn from Steve Ballmer

Telcos need to emulate SoftBank & decouple network / services businesses

Look to the future to survive disruption

Comptel’s Nexterday

Hackers’ Advantage Over Security Professionals: A Willingness To Share

Time Based Mobile Internet Data Purchase Finally Arrives

Forget Big Data, use “Little Data” instead


NFV, Service Orchestration, and the New Speed of Service Delivery

Posted: November 4th, 2015 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

In a recent blog, Light Reading reported that business considerations are driving operator interest in network functions virtualisation (NFV) just as strongly – and if not, more so – than technology drivers. In other words, more operators recognise that virtualised networks create new service opportunities and new means to generate revenue.Light Reading OSS event 2015

It all comes back to speed. With a more agile infrastructure, operators are empowered to move faster than ever in a number of areas, perhaps none more important than the speed at which they can deliver new revenue-generating services.

Digitalisation has introduced an entire industry of mobile and digital services that buyers love, from apps to over-the-top (OTT) content. At the same time, we’re living in the era of Generation Cloud, where customers expect instant gratification and a high degree of personalisation in their interactions with service providers.

And there are potentially many more services to deliver. Digital consumers across the board – from enterprises to individual consumers – are excited about the possibilities offered by emerging technology, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G connectivity.

As a result, whatever new services operators seek to offer in the near and distant future, it’s certain that NFV and SDN technologies will form the backbone of their service architecture. How will networks evolve to accommodate NFV, and what challenges will its implementation create in the management of existing operation support systems (OSS)?

Light Reading OSS event 2015Experts in the industry debate these questions every day, and this week Comptel will contribute our unique viewpoints during the Light Reading event “OSS in the Era of SDN and NFV: Evolution vs Revolution.” CTO Simon Osborne will host a keynote presentation on service orchestration and Strategic Product Manager Daniel Tyrode will join a panel discussion all about the role of service orchestration in programming the network for rapid service delivery.

These will also be key topics of discussion in Blueprint Alley at our inaugural Nexterday North event next week. If you haven’t already, there’s still time to register for that event and join the conversation around the future of service orchestration in light of the emergence of NFV and SDN.

Both events will address how the back office is influencing front office business decisions, and how operators can address the technical and operational challenges therein. Interestingly, the Light Reading blog mentioned one estimate that said 25 percent of telcos around the world are not fully on board with NFV, content to hang back and wait to see how the technology develops.

If they wait too long, those operators will find themselves at a disadvantage. Recent estimates from Appledore Research Group claim there are as many as 250 ongoing NFV trials and 25 early live deployments. A separate survey from Heavy Reading claims as many as 79 percent of operators expect to have a live NFV deployment by 2018.

Ultimately, many operators are ready to see what NFV can do for their bottom line. By finding technical solutions sooner rather than later, these telcos will more quickly be able to realise the benefits of faster service delivery.

Register today for a 2×2 Front Pass to Nexterday North (9-10 November) and receive full access to Slush, the massive startup conference that starts just two days later – running from 11-12 November.


3 Keys to Digitalisation’s Future from IBM Business Connect 2015

Posted: October 23rd, 2015 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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.Toroidion_1MW_Concept

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.

IBM Cognitive Era Business Connect 2015

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.

IBM Business Connect 2015 Cognitive Era

“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.


How Agility Helps Telco Operators Shift to Nexterday

Posted: October 20th, 2015 | Author: Antti Koskela | Filed under: Events, Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

Digitalisation has opened the door to new customer experiences and fresh monetisation opportunities, while virtualised infrastructure empowers telcos to do more with less, faster than ever. However, all of these new possibilities have also created a great deal of uncertainty. From a service architecture standpoint, operators are not sure that they can innovate fast enough, nor are they certain they can meet customers’ increasingly demanding expectations. register nexterday north

It’s a matter of eliminating friction and embracing flexibility. Innovation starts with service infrastructure, which is the foundation on which we build tomorrow’s digital service businesses. To get there, operators must seek solutions and partnerships that enable agility.

This will be a major focus point of the Blueprint Alley and related discussions at Comptel’s inaugural Nexterday North, which will run from 9-10 November 2015 in Helsinki.

Perhaps nowhere are operators’ challenges more evident than within the network. For decades, they have spent fortunes on building rigid architectures that suit their service needs, but digitalisation continues to expand the variety of potential service offerings and the number of ways these services are made available to customers. Voice is no longer the dominant service offering; operators must now quickly connect consumers with the data-driven services (apps, messaging and digital content) they crave.

That means operators must constantly re-evaluate the network to ensure they can capably serve customers now and in the future. This impacts the dynamic between operators and their technology partners. Though they may possess domain expertise, do legacy partners have the forward-looking vision and innovative solutions that deliver a wider range of services? If your entire service architecture is tied up with a single vendor full stack, do you have the flexibility to react to the next big digital development?

In our Blueprint Alley at Nexterday North, we will explain to visitors that agility will be their biggest asset in adapting for the next 10 to 20 years of telco.

agility telcoOperators must design their architecture to anticipate change, as agile service delivery will help reduce the friction that prevents them from connecting their digital supply with customers’ demands. If their current system integrator or technology vendor inhibits this approach, then it’s time for operators to seek progressive partners that possess both domain expertise and vision.

Nexterday North will be a rare opportunity to hear from big thinkers from both inside and outside telecommunications about building agile businesses. You will hear examples on what leading operators have been able to accomplish by emphasising agility in their infrastructure, and learn the steps you need to take to meet increasing customer expectations for speed and service.

By embracing this vision and looking at service architecture with a more creative eye, operators will eliminate obstacles and create a clearer, more certain path to future growth in Nexterday.

Want to learn more about agile service orchestration and delivery? Register for Nexterday North to receive a 2+2 pass – two days at Nexterday North, the site of our Service Orchestration Blueprint Alley, plus two days at the massive startup conference Slush.