Posted: November 14th, 2013 | Author: Leila Heijola | Filed under: Around the World, Events | Tags: broadband, FinPro, FTTx, Middle East, Saudi Arabia | No Comments »
Last week, Comptel accompanied Finpro on a trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. CEO Juhani Hintikka and country director Teo-Tuomas Hirvonen took part in the delegation, which was again led by Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori and consisted of executives and employees from 17 other Finnish companies. The trip included meetings with government officials and business sessions related to not just information and communications technology (ICT) but also education, energy efficiency and medical care.
Comptel has joined a number of Finpro trips in recent months; most recently, our team travelled to Indonesia. We welcomed the opportunity to participate in this particular delegation, as we already have a strong presence in Saudi Arabia. Comptel has built long-term business relationships with several communications service providers (CSPs) – including market leader Saudi Telecom Company (STC).
Comptel had many interesting discussions about the future of the industry during our business meetings. The country’s population of nearly 30 million has an extremely high mobile penetration of 176 percent, and about 60 to 70 percent are under the age of 30. That’s opened up significant service innovation and revenue opportunities for Saudi CSPs – but it’s come with its fair share of challenges, too. As the mobile market continues to mature, and as demand for connectivity continues to increase, operators must look to improve its approaches to customer experience and service quality management in order to effectively differentiate from competitors and grow their businesses. According the Saudi Arabian Communications and Information Technology Commission, the substantial growth potential is in the increased demand for broadband services, especially for the fibre-optic network (FTTx) services.
Comptel was glad to have the opportunity to visit Saudi Arabia with Finpro – and looks forward to embarking on future trips to further build our relationships with CSPs and their local economies.
Posted: November 8th, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: cloud, CRM, Dreamforce, fulfillment, order management, Salesforce.com, Service order management, Service Order Validation | 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.
Posted: October 30th, 2013 | Author: Leila Heijola | Filed under: Events | Tags: emerging markets, FinPro, Indonesia, mediation | 1 Comment »
Last week, Comptel’s CEO Juhani Hintikka and vice president of Asia-Pacific Kari Jokela visited Indonesia as part of the FinPro business delegation to discuss future economic cooperation between Finland and Indonesia. A leader in FinPro, Comptel has previously visited India, Kazakhstan and Chile, among other countries, to meet and work with those regions’ local communications service providers (CSPs) and government officials.
Juhani Hintikka, Jan Vapaavuori - Minister of Economic Affairs and Kari Jokela
Comptel has been doing business in Indonesia for more than 10 years now, and we’re excited to continue to build relationships with those in the region. The Asia-Pacific telecommunications market has tripled in size since 2003 and added one billion new connections. By the end of 2013, experts expect there to be three billion connections total. Next year, Analysys Mason predicts that Indonesia will steadily move toward deploying 4G services.
To help CSPs in the region prepare for this wave of change, Comptel aims to offer new products and services through an extended range of local partners. For example, the company recently announced that it is working with local partner Lintas Teknologi to deliver Comptel Convergent Mediation to the second largest CSP in Indonesia, Indosat. By consolidating the mediation of its entire mobile product portfolio, the operator will be able to handle billions of transactions daily, while seamlessly scaling as its business grows.
As 2013 draws to a close and Comptel looks at a new year, we couldn’t be more excited to cultivate our relationships with CSPs throughout Indonesia and Asia-Pacific, and offer them new ways of doing business that help grow their revenues, streamline their operational processes and build customer loyalty.
Want to learn more about what the telco industry is thinking about in the APAC region? Download our APAC survey below!
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Posted: July 17th, 2013 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights, News | Tags: analytics, business, Comptel, TM Forum | No Comments »
Yesterday, we announced Comptel’s financials for the second quarter and first half of 2013. To review the April – June period, our operating profit increased significantly compared to the previous year; we secured six significant orders (each valued over EUR 500,000) during this timeframe. We shared the news of communications service providers (CSPs), including Turkey’s Avea, Zain Kuwait and an African operator in conjunction with Tech Mahindra, leveraging our portfolio to get smarter about their operations, improve the customer experience and realise their business performance objectives.
Comptel also announced two new industry partnerships in the run up to our participation at TM Forum’s Management World conference in Nice in May. And as noted in our results announcement, our operating expenses decreased over the first half of the year, while we’ve realised efficiency improvements from the measures put in place in 2012.
Improving profitability continues to be our key goal throughout the rest of the year. We are further investing in our sales efforts in Latin America, the Middle East and new markets in Asia, and actively seek growth in these regions to compensate for the challenging market situation in Europe. We are also focusing on developing our fulfillment product line and our advanced analytics solutions over the coming months.
Comptel has especially received excellent feedback from the market about our strategic direction with regard to analytics – this was further reinforced with a Pipeline Innovation Awards win for Comptel Social Links. Earlier in the quarter, we re-organised this business unit to further open up opportunities in this area and further add value to our CSP customers, and now, we estimate that analytics deals will close in the second half of the year.
As I said last quarter, Comptel is on the right path, and is successfully executing its Event-Analysis-Action strategy and strengthening its position in the customer interaction automation domain.
Posted: June 6th, 2013 | Author: Leila Heijola | Filed under: Around the World, Events, Industry Insights | Tags: analytics, bandwidth, big data, Bulgaria, communications service providers, customer experience, Customer Experience Management, LTE, mobile broadband, services | No Comments »
This week, we hosted a media event in Sofia, Bulgaria, where we have an important global service delivery site. We employ more than 70 IT professionals there and are hoping to grow this office in the coming years. Our team caters to European and Middle East and African customers—quite often in cooperation with our global service delivery team based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The theme for the event was built around the Barcelona-in-the Box concept, but this time, we wanted to highlight the Bulgarian market. Ulla Koivukoski gave a presentation entitled “Bulgaria on the Global Mobile Map,” which covered three main themes: Enriching the User Experience – Enriching the Operator, Big Data, and Business Transformation – Reshaping the Operator.
What we learned is that the Bulgarian mobile market is very similar to the markets in most European Union (EU) countries. For example, the number of post-paid customers is high when compared to the prepaid market, which accounts for just one-third of subscribers. The challenges in the Bulgarian market are also very similar to others in the EU. According to Business Monitor, the mobile average revenue per user (ARPU) in Bulgaria declined 25.3 percent in 2012, while mobile sector growth was at 5.5 percent and reaching 167.1 percent market penetration.
This means that communications service providers’ revenues are getting thinner, and at the same time, there are investment plans for bringing LTE to the market. The Bulgarian fixed broadband market is very advanced, and therefore, customers also have great expectations for mobile data.
During the event at Grand Hotel Sofia, the attendees shared their views about the Bulgarian mobile market. Most people admitted that they very seldom use mobile data, instead relying on open Wi-Fi networks that are widely available. Local operators could turn things around and monetise this traffic using LTE or operator-owned Wi-Fi. We also brought new ideas concerning how to apply our ‘Event’-‘Analysis’-‘Action’ strategy to build business and showed one use case demonstrating how we can derive value from data with operational predictive analytics.
Comptel is ‘Making Data Beautiful’ with automated decisions that drive action, and we were honored to show the attendees in Sofia just how we do that.
Posted: May 23rd, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: analytics, Comptel, Comptel Catalog, Comptel Fulfillment, Comptel Social Links, CSP, customer experience, Customer Experience Management, LTE, mobile, Mobile World Congress | 1 Comment »
Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC) in Barcelona had the highest attendance ever with 72,000 visitors. Every year, many of our customers do not have the opportunity to attend or meet us there, and to that end we created a customer workshop concept ‘Barcelona-in-a-Box’. The idea is simple – if you couldn’t attend MWC, we bring it to you.
We built the workshop concept on three key industry topics which were discussed during MWC and continue to be on the agenda of almost every CSP.
To set the scene for the Barcelona-in-a-Box sessions, we shared our observations on the industry, based on extensive and in-depth discussions with major operators across the globe, insight we have gained from industry analysts and an independently commissioned report.
These observations addressed increasing smartphone penetration and how it’s driving up data usage, but not necessarily increasing revenues – largely due to pressure by OTT services such as WhatsApp, Skype, YouTube and Facebook (to name a few). Secondly, we discussed how bundled tariffs and packages are increasingly attractive to mobile subscribers, assisting CSPs with customer “lock-in” and positively driving up revenues. We highlighted the next evolution of the bundled approach through creation of fully shared data plans, as seen in the US market for example. Finally, as an observation we deliberated that while LTE rollouts are still in their early stages, the importance of attracting the right high-use customers to adopt the highly valued (and highly subsidised) handsets is key for accelerating ROI on those infrastructures.
To ensure that we have the correct data on consumer needs in place, we at each session discussed the locally relevant results of the consumer survey, Customers Yearn for the Personal Touch from Their Mobile Operators, we made at the end of 2012 with Vanson Bourne, an independent research firm. We polled 6,000 consumers from 12 countries across EMEA, Latin America and Asia Pacific on their service usage and spending habits, as well as their relationships and satisfaction with their mobile operators.
In addition to vivid discussion on the common challenges and local consumer needs, some of the sessions included live demonstrations that showcased the solutions that Comptel has developed to address the needs of its customer. We showed the benefits of the Comptel Event-Analysis-Action strategic framework with:
- Robust and highly automated Comptel Fulfillment that supports service innovation and better customer interaction while reducing costs
- ‘Plug ‘n’ Play’ Catalog-Driven product creation that allows building and adapting marketable products quickly from established service components, accelerating new revenues and allowing agile responses to market changes
- Comptel Social Links, predictive analytics to improve and automate every-day decision-making at each customer touch point and serve customers based on their individual needs and techniques of finding the right customers for new products.
We have already taken Barcelona-in-a-Box across the Middle East, Europe and Asia receiving great acclaim for our initiative and its content, being quoted as having “a fresh approach” to actively engaging with our customers. The Comptel team has enjoyed the lively debates and sense of shared understanding of the industry state and prospects for the future. Based on the feedback, we have validated that Comptel is in-sync with CSPs and our solutions suitably address their needs. We are excited to see which topics are on top of the agenda for Barcelona in 2014!
Posted: May 10th, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events | Tags: customer experience, Events, Management World | 3 Comments »
The past few months have been very busy at Comptel. In addition to getting ready for Management World 2013 in Nice next week, we’ve been building partnerships with other organisations that also believe in taking customer experience to the next level for communications service providers (CSPs). By working with like-minded businesses, we have been able to not just help CSPs adapt to current trends, but plan for the future, too.
Here are our two latest joint offerings with our newest partners:
1. Adaptive Next Generation Service Assurance with Accanto Systems
First, we have partnered with Accanto Systems, a pioneer in customer experience management solutions for converged networks, to include Comptel Convergent Mediation with Accanto’s Intelligent Customer Experience Management (iCEM) platform. The result is a powerful, advanced network traffic monitoring tool that empowers CSPs with real-time, actionable intelligence they can leverage to deliver a better quality of service and quality of experience.
The Adaptive Next Generation Service Assurance offering will be critical as CSPs work to accommodate the explosive growth of data traffic and connected device usage, while simultaneously deploying new technologies such as LTE. It’ll be especially handy for service operations because it will enable them to drill down into available data to create a holistic view of network, service and device usage.
“We are happy to partner with Comptel and announce our joint offering to the market,” says Jarkko Multanen, CEO of Accanto Systems. “By combining Comptel’s convergent mediation product with our iCEM platform, we believe we can effectively address the performance management challenges that CSPs currently face, and at the same time, create new opportunities by providing visibility into the customer experience.”
2. Comptel Fulfillment Integration with Salesforce.com
Our other new partnership is with cloud computing leader Salesforce.com. Initially, we have entered a non-commercial agreement in order to revolutionise the way CSPs think about sales, service and innovation by integrating Comptel Fulfillment, our leading platform for catalog-driven order orchestration, with Salesforce.com. This will allow CSPs to better focus on accuracy and timeliness of service delivery.
“Comptel recognises that our customers are driving their focus to becoming ‘customer companies’ and that we need to leverage our platform to help them accelerate their transformation,” says Antti Koskela, senior vice president and CTO of Comptel. “Our next-generation fulfillment platform allows us to innovate in the areas that are most important in helping CSPs focus on the customer experience.”
The Future is Customer-Focused
Both of our partnerships are in line with what Comptel believes is the future of all CSPs: personalising service for every individual customer. We are determined to continue innovating to help CSPs with this mission and when we find a partner working toward the same goal, everybody wins.
Comptel will be at Management World 2013 in Nice, France from 14 -16 May. Stop by at Agora 2#11 if you’re interested in talking more about the future of CSPs and customer experience management. If we’re not there and you want to meet, please send us an email at email@example.com.
Posted: April 25th, 2013 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: charging, data pricing, OTT, policy control, real-time charging, real-time policy | No Comments »
At the Policy Control and Data Pricing Conference 2013 last week, I attended an interesting panel discussion that spoke about how marketing’s role was evolving when it came to policy and charging decisions. One of the most important takeaways was that marketing is going to have to get more involved in policy control and charging acquisition decisions, which has largely been the territory of telecom and IT departments.
That’s because, these days, CSPs are not seeing policy as an independent function. Instead, the focus is more on generating money with policy and charging tools.
The reason that marketing’s input is getting crucial is that, with revenues from voice and text on the decline, communications service providers (CSPs) have to create strategic, adaptive and sticky policies and charging bundles to monetise data. Cooperation with OTTs is becoming more important, because businesses need to develop flexible, joint offering models that can be adjusted for an increase in the revenue from data and cover the investment costs of ever-growing data networks.
Marketing is interested in developing an environment which makes it easy to offer targeted policy and charging bundles to customers, which is difficult to implement without the help of predictive analytics that can determine individual usage patterns and behaviour.
Combining Policy with Monetisation
Most CSPs today treat policy and charging as separate from strategic monetisation campaigns, but that’s changing. The panel showed that many businesses are thinking about policy and charging as a way to create a holistic approach to providing customers with the most relevant services. As data becomes the dominant force of monetisation, CSPs will have to transform policy control from static to dynamic and from reactive to proactive… and this is where marketing comes in.
Traditionally, policy decisions were predominantly made by telecom and IT departments, but as more emphasis is placed on analytics and ROI, marketing will have to be integrated into the mix. Now it’s time to analyse the information more thoroughly, and look beyond data usage per customer into what kind of data is used, by whom, at what times, and through which context, and make sophisticated predictions about the potential change of data usage or risk of churn. All in all, policy and charging models are going to become more complex, which in turn requires accurate network planning, end-to-end design and implementation capability.
Marketing will have to work with IT and telecom to target policy and charging models at a much more granular level. Each customer will have to be offered a policy and charging based on current and predicted behavior and data usage trends. Analytics tools will be the key to not just determining existing trends, but planning for new ones and responding to them in real-time or near-realtime, depending on each use case’s requirement.
The Paradox: Real-Time Policy and Real-Life Turnaround
As the panel explained, the problem right now is that the creation and management of policy control is not flexible or efficient enough. Often, policy models touch many parts of the organization, so decisions have to get approved by multiple departments and multiple levels of management before going into action. In these cases, CSPs risk losing serious revenue opportunities by not responding to customer needs quickly enough.
So, how can CSPs find efficient tools and simplify the process so that these new, innovative services will reach the audience fast enough?
Real-time analytics require real-time turnaround, but right now there are a lot of requirements for any policy change. It can take up to six months or more to deploy new policies, which inhibits the growth of the flexible environment needed to improve the deployment cycle in the first place.
The panel concluded by saying that there is a need to discover a way to simplify the process involved in policy creation. At Comptel, we’ve worked hard to provide some of those tools, with our analytics-driven mediation, policy control and charging platform. The answer to simplifying policy control and charging may be found in the new tools for CSPs that are available, which can better help marketing, IT, and telecom all come together to build business growth.
Posted: April 19th, 2013 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: analytics, charging, LTE, policy control | No Comments »
This week, I attended the Policy Control and Data Pricing Conference in Berlin and came away with a lot of interesting insights. One of the subjects was, of course, the future of policy control and charging (PCC). As mobile devices diversify, so, too, do the ways that people use them. Consequently, communications service providers (CSPs) are going to have to think about PCC in a whole new way.
Policy should now be pervasive across all customer touch-points and platforms. Agility and flexibility is going to be paramount in new use cases, because CSPs are going to see a near-limitless combination of mobile data usage bundles, particularly when it comes to multimedia use. To meet this demand, there will have to be innovative new policy and charging models.
The Troubling Siloes of OCF and PCRF
Right now, most PCC efforts are separated. That can be a huge barrier, since OCF (Online Charging Function) and PCRF (Policy and Charging Rules Function) efforts can be stuck in siloes and CSPs can find it difficult to integrate them. However, now there are a lot of requirements coming from the market for diverse policy use cases that require integrated charging capabilities. On the other hand, policy is becoming more and more a strategic monetisation engine for CSPs. Given that there will be so many different use cases in the coming years, which need to be launched to the market quickly, it’s inevitable that policy control and charging systems are going to grow together, so keeping the two separate will do more harm than good. Policy offerings will grow more complex as use cases grow more diverse. Not only that, “policy” is something that spans all networks – applications, BSS, OSS, every device is affected by policy control.
Still, once there’s a platform that can scale alongside policy and charging solutions, PCC is going to be critical for CSPs. It’s clear that, as policy and charging evolve, so, too, will pricing bundles. CSPs that can create versatile bundles and use predictive analytics to offer them to the right customers at the right time will have a huge advantage in the coming years. Predictive analytics together with catalog-driven policy and charging will form in the future the environment to correspond customer’s ever-growing need for individually targeted packages and make them available fast.
Without the relevant user data, it’s impossible to personalise policies effectively. That’s important, given that presenters at the Policy Control Conference seem to believe that innovative strategies for policy will rely on increasing personalisation. So, it’s time for CSPs to consider how they can leverage the big data already at their disposal for meaningful customer insights so they can better monetise their services.
A prime example here is LTE deployment. During the Mobile World Congress, we heard how LTE service has proven to be difficult to monetise effectively, given that customers often don’t use LTE to its full potential and CSPs have to heavily subsidise LTE handsets. With the help of predictive analytics we should on the one hand target the LTE bundles with the subsidised handsets for the customers who would have the greatest benefit. But on the other hand by creating new policies based on user and usage data, it’s possible to create unique bundles that can make LTE a flexible service that becomes available when customers need it, not before. A good example is the instant bandwidth refreshment – also known as the turbo boost – to satisfy customer’s increased data usage.
This conference has highlighted what we here at Comptel have known for some time: real-time policy and charging decisions are going to dovetail with predictive analytics and catalog-driven approach.. Why? Because predictive analytics are the key to unlocking useful customer insights that can generate contextual intelligence for all customer interactions. With the right data and tools on hand, CSPs can learn about individual data usage and create new policy controls based on the easy-to-launch catalog-driven configurations that offer customers solutions when they need them, revolutionising the way that businesses think about policy, charging, and big data.
Posted: March 1st, 2013 | Author: Ulla Koivukoski | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: 4G, analytics, LTE, Mobile World Congress, Unified data | 3 Comments »
As I mentioned the other day, Mobile World Congress was filled with excitement, with a robust exchanging of ideas among the various attendees and our customers and partners, as we look to the future of telecom. At the show, we were happy to further some of the discussions on LTE and analytics by welcoming a few guest speakers to Comptel’s booth.
The founder of operator benchmarking consultancy tefficient, Fredrik Jungermann, took us through how to pinpoint the right LTE customers. He first mentioned that not as many LTE customers are signing up as operators would like, but the numbers are rapidly growing. For example, 58% of Korea’s data traffic was over LTE in December 2012, and, likewise, Tele2 in Sweden saw an LTE penetration of 40%.
Fredrik explained that we’re transitioning away from a world of unlimited data, with more demand now put on unlimited voice and text. Of the smartphone data that is being used, 60% is through Wi-Fi, which is going un-monetised. With this in mind, he posed the question: what if operators could turn things around and monetise this traffic using LTE or operator-owned Wi-Fi?
The upsides include basic monetisation, which will mainly be based on volume, and as data traffic grows over the top (OTT) players can become an additional source of revenue. Further, offering shared data plans will help enable unused devices and drive revenues even further. The downside to this, though, is that it can be costly to supply LTE handsets, as they have the highest specs. Analytics can help match the expensive and rare handsets to the right customers – dynamically based on individual customers’ needs and behaviours. Overall, this is much more efficient than providing subsidised LTE handsets to everyone.
Additionally, we heard from Zain Kuwait’s director of management information systems, who delved into the various ways the company is improving the customer experience with analytics. If you are interested in learning more about this presentation, as well as Fredrik’s, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What did you think of this year’s Mobile World Congress? We’d love to hear your favourite highlights and if you heard any interesting news or stats around LTE and analytics. Safe travels home to all!