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

Posted: March 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on [NEW RESEARCH] What Telco CMOs and CIOs/CTOs Are Thinking About in 2014

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


What Exactly Happened at Mobile World Congress Last Week?

Posted: March 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Mobile World Congress 2014 broke all the records of the previous year. With more than 85,000 visitors and 1,800 exhibiting companies in Barcelona, the event saw quite a bit of fanfare. Comptel was at MWC all week and we enjoyed being right in the middle of the action.

From Big Data to smartphones, connected cars to connected refrigerators, Mobile World Congress 2014 showed us a glimpse of what we can expect this year… and next year and the year after that. As a final recap, we decided to comb Twitter and see what topics had caused the most excitement.


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: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Mobile World Congress Day 2: Getting Big Value Out of Big Data

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: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Mobile World Congress Day 1: Customer Experience, Disruption Reign Supreme

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 and Big Data at Mobile World Congress 2014

Posted: February 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes, Events | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

You probably have not been able to avoid hearing the term, “Big Data”, nor about the expectations of its limitless possibilities for communications service providers (CSPs). CSPs have a unique opportunity to delve into the spectrum of network, customer, service and other information at their fingertips and flowing through their OSS/BSS, eventually using it to improve both internal operations and customer-facing processes.

But Big Data sadly often means Big Projects. It is not just management of the three core “Vs” – volume, velocity and variety – that contributes to this, so can the setup of the technology to store and collect the data. But often, the biggest challenge stems from the fourth “V”, or value. What do operators need to do in order to drive true value from Big Data? I believe that there are some key requirements for being successful here:

  • Have a strategic business objective to focus on. Do not just collect data for the sake of collecting data, but have a goal in mind and a roadmap of what to do to drive more value when you reach that goal. (Buy-in from the boardroom, of course, helps, too, especially with issues like breaking down organisational silos.)
  • Don’t start with a blank slate. It’s important to have a set of proven, productised applications to address your business pains, whether it be customer experience-driven like smart throttling or network-focused for proactive service management, for instance.
  • Collect experience and learning in your organisation if you see information as your key asset, but don’t wait until you have built an experienced team to do so – have that as your plan, but start generating value from operational applications from the get-go.

And that’s where Comptel comes in. We’ve been developing our Big Data offering to help CSPs give their initiatives a running start, and also  supply them with the tools to support information-based decision-making and derive the true value they’ve been looking for – quickly and in a future-proof and extendable way – to solve acute business pains and build on that success.

Comptel provides a true Big Data solution, addressing all key components of the Big Data process:

1)     Data Ingestion: Integration, importing and formatting of historical and real-time data from CSPs’ own data sources, combined with external data for a truly holistic view of the business. This is powered by Comptel’s proven technology used in our mediation solutions.

2)     Data Management: Transformation, correlation, enrichment and manipulation of data to ensure optimal usability, and using the most appropriate methods to store data—whether it be Hadoop for unstructured data, massively parallel processing databases or in-memory data grids.

3)     Data Analysis: Highly accurate, real-time predictive analysis, modelling and reporting, powered by machine learning.

4)     Business Analytics Applications: Productised solutions to solve acute business pains, utilising the whole Big Data solution to drive immediate value.

One important aspect of Comptel approach’s is the utilisation of both historical and real-time data to drive true value—we do not see these as separate discrete steps of a process, i.e. building a predictive model and then applying triggers based on the model’s predictions, but instead having the predictive model applied in the real-time data stream to reap and benefit from contextual intelligence.

Clearly, Big Data analytics is reshaping the telco landscape. According to our recent research supported by Vanson Bourne, about two-thirds of telco executives (64 percent) say they are already in the process of leveraging Big Data to improve customer service, for instance. This is the time for Big Data to show that it is not just a hyped concept but a true generator of value—and we believe that the way to do that is through scalable, Big Data solutions designed to achieve and build on CSPs’ business objectives from day one.

To discuss how contextual and operational intelligence can augment CSPs’ efforts, come to our booth (Hall 5, Stand 5F41) at Mobile World Congress 2014. Look forward to seeing you in Barcelona this week!


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


How Telcos Can Benefit From Big Data Analytics

Posted: January 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on How Telcos Can Benefit From Big Data Analytics

Big Data has been, and continues to be, one of the buzziest terms in the tech world. Big Data analytics are essential for separating important customer and business information from the rest of the data. The contextual intelligence gleaned from Big Data analytics can, and should be, an important consideration for any business decision CSPs may make.

By examining customers’ social behaviours, such as call detail records (CDRs), how frequently they place calls outside of their networks, etc. CSPs can develop targeted, relevant marketing campaigns that simultaneously reduce the likelihood of churn and create new business opportunities. Of course, this is only one example of how Big Data is reshaping the way CSPs, and other companies for that matter, do business. Just take a look at what people in the Twittersphere are saying about Big Data’s future.

Comptel has pulled together some recent developments for Big Data analytics below. Enjoy!


5 Mobile Trends for Telcos to Watch in 2014

Posted: November 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on 5 Mobile Trends for Telcos to Watch in 2014

The changes for the telco industry will continue into 2014.

It’s the time of year when businesses in every industry are starting to think about what lies ahead. For the telecommunications industry, the past few years have been rocked by change in both consumer habits and technology… and 2014 looks like it won’t be any different.

From debates about national regulations to the increasing influence of OTT providers on the mobile landscape, next year is sure to be a decisive one for many communications service providers. That’s why Comptel decided to take a look at some of the most important developments for telcos and put them together on one page.

Here are five mobile trends for telcos to watch in 2014:

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


Around the World: Connectivity in Africa, Big Data Analytics and Adaptation

Posted: November 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World: Connectivity in Africa, Big Data Analytics and Adaptation

This week, there were a number of new insights across the telco industry. At Comptel, we’ve been keeping track of the ones that have really caught our eye. Here are three interesting articles that have come out recently:

Developing Telecoms

LTE Investment Key to African Connectivity

A panel of experts was asked by West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) how they would invest $100 million to improve Internet access in Africa, where connectivity is currently at the lowest rate in the world. Developing Telecoms’ editor James Barton believes that installing new 4G/LTE networks would create the best return on investment. He added that once people in Africa start accessing next-generation mobile networks, new competitive markets can open and, in turn, make Internet access more affordable.

Earlier this year, we wrote about the upcoming boom in mobile devices in Africa. By 2016, it is forecast that there will be more than one billion phones across the continent. The $100 million investment proposed by WIOCC may be hypothetical right now, but the need for 4G/LTE in the continent is a reality.

Information Management …

Big Data and Analytics Help Business Transform and Gain Competitive Advantage

Communications service providers (CSPs) are turning to Big Data analytics tools to cope with the constant changes in technology and consumer behavior. Through the use of these solutions, they can better adapt to new customer trends and prevent churn. CSPs, in particular, deal with a heavy amount of data, because of the high volume of calls, texts and data usage traveling across their networks each day. All of that information can be harnessed to create more targeted marketing offers, support better business planning and drive innovative infrastructure deployments.

Ulla Koivukoski argues that Big Data could potentially bridge silos across an organisation, too. By working with CTOs and CIOs, CMOs can create personalised campaigns by drawing contextual intelligence out of the network, customer and other data available to them. Consequently, silos can be overcome, and CSP executives can work toward the common goal of enhancing the customer experience.

Billing & OSS World

CSPs, Other Businesses Aren’t Adapting to Customers

A recent study by Ovum found that 90 percent of CSPs and other businesses are at risk of being irrelevant to their customers in the near future. Because of organisational silos and slow decision cycles, dynamic customer responsiveness is lacking. The findings show the need to create a fluid customer process that ensures each individual receives personalised attention in a timely manner. Building relationships with customers and earning their trust can help organisations remain relevant, and increase overall customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Big Data and Analytics are on APAC Telcos’ Minds

Posted: October 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World, Events | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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.


Download the Full Survey


Analytics Everywhere: A Recap of IBM’s Smarter Business 2013

Posted: October 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

This post was written by Malla Poikela, senior product marketing manager and Leila Heijola, channel marketing manager


We recently went to IBM’s Smarter Business event, which took place on 10 October at Finlandia Hall. We learned more about the increasingly important role Big Data and analytics will play in the coming years for businesses. That’s a topic dear to our own hearts, too, as Comptel works hard to help communications service providers (CSPs) leverage all of the information at their fingertips, turn it into contextual intelligence, and improve their business decision-making and performance.

What did we learn at the IBM event? The highlights of the key notes included:

  • 90% of data was created in the last two years
  • 86% of leading organisations say customer experience is the top priority
  • 81% of customers depend on social sites in their purchasing decisions
  • 72% of business leaders say that cloud is important

In particular, Big Data driven by smartphones, devices/sensors and social media, and insights, predictive analytics, mobility, cloud and the customer experience played a central role in the event. We would like to share the key takeaways from the variety of customer, partner and IBM presentations and live product demos.

Analytics for All

The central theme of IBM’s Smarter Business 2013 was how Big Data offers a totally new spectrum of innovative ideas and opportunities. Analytics is at the core of every data effort, a pervasive answer for almost “all” business problems. The three major trends we identified at the event were:

1. Big Data will make a “segment of one” a reality. Part of optimising Big Data analytics is about achieving a new level of personalised marketing. Let’s call it “segment of one.” As the number of customer touch points continues to increase, the intelligence from each touch point can help master customer interactions across different channels.

In turn, this will allow marketers an extremely granular view of customer needs, allowing for true individualisation and customisation of solutions and interactions/engagement.

2. Visualisation. Advanced visualisation tools and dashboards for business intelligence and predictive analytics, also known as the “face” of analysis and insights, will help democratise data across an organisation. Where reams of numbers and solid data only legible to IT were once the norm, newer tools offer easy and intuitive interfaces that make data accessible to more stakeholders than before.

This will usher in new perspectives on how to leverage data accordingly, because everyone from the CMO and CIO/CTO to the sales team will be able to get involved.

3. Process Optimisation. With powerful analytics tools that can span different departments, businesses will be able to better gauge efficiencies and effectiveness. That will allow for a deeper understanding of essential business parameters, challenges and anomalies. By providing a comprehensive and holistic view of customers, business and technologies, an analytics dashboard will allow companies to create a clearer picture of what should be done in development, marketing, system optimisation and more.

The Needs of the Future

Maybe the best way to demystify predictive analytics is by presenting the business results that have been achieved with it. At IBM’s Smarter Business 2013, those results were described as “astronomical,” as the proper application of predictive analytics can significantly reduce churn and improve campaign success rates by exponential degrees. As the democratisation of data and devices continues, we can only expect to hear more of the same.

This was a very insightful and well organized event. We gained plenty of valuable information and are looking forward to visit IBM Smarter Business again next year.