Why Telcos Need to Make Mediation More Intelligent than Ever

Posted: August 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights, Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

When communications service providers (CSPs) think of mediation systems, it’s natural for them to consider billing and assurance processes. Most mediation platforms have traditionally been focused on the processing of transaction data records (xDRs). However, having too narrow of a focus on transactional data misses the big opportunities that can be made possible with analytics-enhanced data orchestration.

Data orchestration is all about making sense of the new sources of structured and unstructured data flooding networks. From social media networks to app usage, location points to alarms and probes, CSPs enthusiastically need a way to make all of this information more accessible, intelligent and actionable. Thanks to the dawn of the Internet of Things, we’re standing at the brink of a touchpoint explosion. Data is playing a fundamental role in every customer’s life. Yet while Big Data provides a significant opportunity for CSPs to make more intelligent decisions, the “data wrangling” – hand-sorting through mounds of data to collect what’s most relevant – is still consuming precious time and resources. In fact, according to recent research from The New York Times, data scientists spend 50 to 80 percent of their time just “wrangling” the data, to ready it for action.

While the xDR has usually been the only link between the network and customer data, now, the key to alleviating time-consuming data wrangling will be found in data orchestration – empowered by analytics and contextual intelligence. This will revolutionise how CSPs use data for operations, customer relationships and business planning.

A new, intelligent approach to event processing can help to make sense of this information tsunami, and fully leverage that data to make operations and businesses more intelligent, and enable real-time decision making. By combining more intelligent analysis and predictive analytics with complex event processing (CEP), it’s possible to bridge informational silos between back-office systems and glean actionable foresights that go far beyond simply processing transactions.

Imagine, for example, if your analytics-enriched mediation system could foretell when there’s going to be a service peak or potential revenue loss before it happens. Or what if OSS/BSS could communicate and correlate network and customer data, then send automated messages to customers based on current network events? Maybe it’s to notify customers of potential bandwidth issues in the next hour or to tell them about a new product.

Through data integration and orchestration enhanced with embedded analysis, that’s finally possible.

Measuring the Customer Experience

OSS/BSS systems are highly effective at processing the data related to billing and assurance, with the analysis based on xDRs. Full-blown data integration, ingestion and orchestration brings all the information from other sources into the mix, so CSPs have a full view of network and customer activity across an array of sources.

With that data collected and aggregated, machine learning-enabled mediation can have a big impact. Intelligent mediation can explore data and forecast service usage, which better informs service forecasting, operational efficiency and impact on revenue. Through a streamlined and intuitive presentation layer that allows for data visualisation through dashboards, CSPs can detect signs of service anomalies and patterns in customer behaviours that allow for proactive decision-making. By consolidating the data and learning from it through sophisticated artificial intelligence, this new kind of mediation can create displays and dashboards that help operators view opportunities and risks that were previously invisible.

Protecting Revenue with Operational Intelligence

Customer experience isn’t the only thing that can be vastly improved through intelligent mediation. Revenue loss often occurs when xDRs are lost, corrupted or otherwise arrive incomplete or malfunction in network becomes evident as a sudden drop of usage events is reported for a service. These errors can get lost in the processing shuffle, and by the time they’re detected, revenue has already suffered. Intelligent mediation can help prevent these issues.

By observing the deviations between the forecast and observed values of transaction records, the mediation system, leveraging predictive analytics, can notify operators that there’s an anomaly. Machine learning ensures that this process continually grows more intelligent and capable of more rigorous analysis in the future.

Analytics-enriched mediation empowers CSPs like never before by allowing businesses to make the most of the data that’s already being transmitted across networks and allows for real-time decision capabilities thanks to analytics and automation. With an embedded analytics-engine in place that can contextually read data and automatically send notifications to both customers and the operations team, CSPs can sidestep the data wrangling and make mediation systems – and business processes – more intelligent than ever before.

Want to learn more about intelligent mediation? Download “What You don’t Know Will Cost You: Using Contextual Intelligence in OSS / BSS Operations to Protect & Increase Revenue,” a whitepaper sponsored by Comptel and authored by ICTIntuition.

Comptel Opens New Office in Noida, India

Posted: May 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events, News | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Comptel Opens New Office in Noida, India

This is a guest post from Comptel’s Manish Minocha.

After many months of anticipation, our new office in Noida (Delhi NCR), India officially opened its doors yesterday! We were pleased to share this milestone with some of our customers in an inauguration ceremony – the Finnish ambassador to India, His Excellency Mr. Aapo Pölhö, even joined us for the celebration.

Comptel launched its India operations back in 1996, so we could build closer relationships with the region’s communications service providers (CSPs). Our business footprint has grown substantially since then, with the likes of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Tata Teleservices deploying our OSS/BSS solutions. Our software now reaches nearly half of the country’s population (569 million subscribers)!

“For many years, India has been a key market for Comptel,” said our CEO Juhani Hintikka. “This new office reaffirms our commitment to helping our CSP customers transform their operations, innovate and deliver new offerings and grow their businesses. We are happy to play a key role in shaping the region’s telco market.”

Over the past 18 years, Comptel has also formed strong partnerships with global and local system integrators, such as IBM, TCS and Tech Mahindra, to enable us to further deliver high-quality OSS/BSS solutions that address the business and operational requirements of CSPs in India and worldwide.

“Since Comptel established its India presence, we have grown our team significantly, with further expansion still to come,” said Arun Aggarwal, president of Comptel South Asia. “With the growth of big data and interest in analytics to improve customer engagement and all aspects of CSPs’ technical and commercial processes, along with our strong base of integration partners, the future looks bright for Comptel in India.”

Through the new office, we hope to tap into the wealth of talented individuals in the region, to also continue to strengthen Comptel’s global services and support business and help operators ‘make their data beautiful.’ Stay tuned for more exciting things to unfold from the new office in Noida and Comptel.

Comptel Recognised by Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific as Most Innovative Telecom OSS / BSS Vendor of the Year

Posted: July 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Comptel Recognised by Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific as Most Innovative Telecom OSS / BSS Vendor of the Year

Comptel is pleased to announce that Frost & Sullivan has named it the Most Innovative Telecom OSS / BSS Vendor of the Year. The analyst firm’s annual Asia Pacific ICT awards program is given to companies that displayed growth in performance and groundbreaking achievements. In addition to those metrics, Frost & Sullivan examined nominees’ major customer acquisitions, portfolio diversity and product innovation.

Kari Jokela, vice president, Asia Pacific, was on tap to receive the award in a ceremony at the St. Regis in Singapore.

Specifically, Comptel Social Links, which was introduced to the APAC market and globally in 2012 following the acquisition of Xtract, has been key to our continuing innovation in the market and raising the bar when it comes to customer experience management. The integration of the advanced predictive analytics technology into our proven mediation and fulfillment software platform has challenged the traditional OSS / BSS approach, and allowed communications service providers to integrate their sales, technology and marketing organisations, and transform their Big Data into big opportunities. This has placed us in a unique position in the market.

We are honored to receive this award, because it shows that Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific believes in our Event – Analysis – Action strategic framework. We know that our customers and partners not just on the continent but also worldwide share our belief in that strategy, too, and are realising the powerful impact that automated decision-making and customer interaction can have on their businesses.

We would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate our customer Robi Axiata Limited, who were named Emerging Market Service Provider of the Year during the awards ceremony.

Thank you, and there are plenty of more exciting things to come in 2013 and beyond!

Delivering Contextual Intelligence at Every Touch Point – Comptel at Mobile World Congress 2013

Posted: January 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Delivering Contextual Intelligence at Every Touch Point – Comptel at Mobile World Congress 2013

For marketers in the ICT industry, the first quarter of the year is traditionally packed with key activities, which set tone and present the themes for the coming quarters. Mobile World Congress (MWC13) is one of those major events where most of us put a lot of effort to showcase something new and innovative that captures the attention of the public.

We at Comptel believe that Contextual Intelligence at Every Touch Point helps Communications Service Providers (CSP) to connect emotionally with their customers to make and save money.

We thought that we were early with the preparations on the themes, spearheads and the actual marketing elements that we wanted to share prior to the event and at the actual event.  We surprised our advertising agency with a reasonably well documented storyline and spearhead descriptions. So we all thought that we are ready for execution and have more than enough time.

When executing our plans, we once again met the same challenges as also the CSPs face when trying to seamlessly launch multi-device and multi-channel services, which their customers demand. Considering how fast the suitable tools and technologies develop, this might sound like a piece of cake. However, the variety of available devices, browsers and releases is endless, and the testing and fine-tuning the applications can be quite an exhausting task – especially if the application in question  contains any additional elements besides  text, still pictures or videos that are stored, for example, in YouTube.

The complexity of the CSPs’ service creation and delivery environments cannot even be compared to our small project. However, this served as a good reminder for us at Comptel,  that the service experience consists of such a big number of variables that the solutions we develop to handle the provisioning and activation of customers and services efficiently and effortlessly are indeed needed.

Management World Americas 2012: Everything that can be digital, will be

Posted: December 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Management World Americas 2012: Everything that can be digital, will be

I’m here at Management World Americas 2012 in Orlando, Florida, where the air is filled with excitement. This year, the theme is “everything that can be digital, will be” – which is reinforced by the rapid growth of our digital economy, expected to reach $20.4 trillion by 2013. Kicking things off this morning was TM Forum’s President and CEO, Martin Creaner, who addressed how to manage complex services as this growth continues, and discussed the industry’s transformation.

To illustrate his point, Martin drew a parallel to frogs – if you put a frog in cool water and then slowly increase the heat, the frog will boil alive before he realises that his life is in danger, even though he’s aware of the gradual temperature change. This is an analogy to the problems our industry faces. We realise change is happening all around us, in the types of phones we use, with increases in data usage, how we use that data, and beyond. But understanding these changes and actually doing something about them are two entirely different things.

That’s where the challenge of innovation comes into play. When it comes to innovation, there are two categories – the first is sustaining innovation, which is about making things better and improving on products and services that already exist in the market. The second, and more difficult type of innovation, is disruptive. This is focused on creating a new market, with new technologies and services.

Currently, market leaders tend to be strong with sustaining innovation and poor at disruptive innovation. Martin noted that, while always important to cater to customers, the downside of sustaining innovation is that it can hold you captive by them. To avoid being the boiling frog, organizations really need to both sustain and disrupt with their innovations. Martin explained that breaking the cycle comes down to putting space between your innovative efforts and the demand of existing customers. In doing so, you can not only innovate for the here and now, but also take steps to change for the future.

This is something we pride ourselves on at Comptel, especially with our Contextual Intelligence for Telecommunications (CIQ4T) concept – a way we’re innovating for service providers. It allows them to understand their customers with predictive analytics, and interact with them intelligently for relevant offers and, ultimately, for a better customer experience.

We’re excited to see what the rest of the show offers, and if you’re at Management World, stop by our booth (#7) in the expo hall!

Join Comptel and NET at Management World Americas 2012 Next Week

Posted: November 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Join Comptel and NET at Management World Americas 2012 Next Week

It’s that time of year again – Management World Americas is about to kick off, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be presenting on day one of the conference in the Cable Summit with Rodrigo Duclos, CIO of NET. Part of a track on “The Road to Applied Success”, our session will cover the Brasilian cable multiple system operator’s (MSO) OSS/BSS transformation project and evolution to provide a richer customer experience.

Due to skyrocketing demand for broadband services, NET wanted to develop a more sophisticated quota management system, using the Comptel Mediation system, to enhance its communications offerings and personalise service and price plans for subscribers. Rodrigo will explain how the cable MSO was able to automate the mediation process and more intelligently analyse customers’ broadband consumption, and discuss the benefits this can bring to NET’s business. For instance, it allows for more advanced charging models based on service use and gives subscribers the power to control and monitor their usage and bills in real time—resulting in more streamlined operations, a flexible and creative business model and an enhanced customer experience.

Again, I’m very excited to share this great case study with Management World Americas attendees. I hope you will come see the presentation on Monday, 3 December at 10:30 a.m. EST in the Cable Summit or visit the Comptel booth (#7) in the expo hall.

Viewpoint – The Single or Dual Catalog Conundrum

Posted: September 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Advantages of a catalog-driven fulfillment philosophy

We’re regularly faced with our Service Provider customers and prospects questioning the inclusion of catalog within the Comptel Fulfillment stack – stating quite categorically that “they already have a product catalog” and why would they need another? So I just wanted to put a few words together to demonstrate the real advantages behind the service catalog approach.

More than ever, increasingly complex services depend upon efficient, fast and accurate time-to-market, but too often in many OSS and BSS implementations, product specifications are intrinsically linked to the workflow that implements the service. In the most extreme cases, the workflow itself is the specification of the service. This practice leads to an unmaintainable and inflexible architecture, because every time a change is required to a product, the workflow must be modified. The more changes that are made, the lengthier the workflow becomes, and the more unreadable, unmanageable and unviable it is as a practical architectural solution. Unfortunately, in many cases this tends to be the case for single catalog implementations.

In catalog-driven fulfillment, the service catalog acts as the brains of the system. This means that service order management, provisioning and activation systems are not only able to retrieve product decompositions from the catalog, but also use that information when orchestrating and fulfilling orders. Additionally, in a well architected solution, workflow components can be designed within order management which can be published for discovery by the service catalog.

Comptel’s catalog-driven approach to service fulfillment works independently of workflow design, effectively decoupling product lifecycle management from the technical processes required to implement services. When technical product information is managed in Comptel Catalog, a customer has better visibility on deliverable products. Additionally, they will find it easier to define new products that can be delivered without complex and lengthy workflow creation and modifications.

Therefore, specifying technical product information in a data definition, rather than in a workflow design delivers immediate efficiencies in terms of building, delivering, enhancing/customising and supporting a product. Taking a catalog-driven fulfillment approach will allow a CSP to:-

  • Launch products and services faster. Increasing the profitable lifespan of new services, accelerating product launch to meet market expectations for new service and quickening competitive alignment.
  • Reduce product launch and management costs. Enabling access to new low volume niche markets, protecting margins in the face of reduced profit on mass market services.
  • Enable greater innovation in product and service creation. Customer expectations for tailoring is growing, so maximising the ability to convert network potential into innovative marketable products, particularly products built together with partners, is key.

Contextual Intelligence Gets Personal

Posted: September 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Contextual Intelligence Gets Personal

Earlier this week , I was speaking at 16th Annual Nordics & Baltics Telecom Executive Forum in Copenhagen about Contextual Intelligence. A colleague of mine, Malla, did a great blog about it before the conference, but I thought of giving a bit of a different view of my day…

Context: Dad
Time: 08.00, UTC+2, Helsinki
Story: I woke up – and being a family dad taking care of the morning routines for my kids.- and having breakfast with them, all the while waiting for the nanny to arrive and for me to start my regular working day.

Context: Travel Organizer
Time: 08.15, Helsinki
Story: It was time for me to leave to the airport. I took my laptop bag, gave a hug to the kids. I checked my bags, airline tickets, USB sticks, passport and all other necessary stuff for the trip and ensured they were rather well packed to ensure smooth transit at the airport. I then jumped in to a taxi and waved my family bye-bye, knowing I’d return the same day.

Context: Business Traveller
Time: 08:40, Helsinki
Story: At the airport I had done the check-in’s the day before and moved rather quickly through all the necessary security procedures to be early at the gate. I noticed that I had a plenty of time and I chose to go through the story I was going to present one more time over a cup of coffee.

Context: Aircraft enthusiast/spotter
Time: 09:40, Helsinki
Story: When going to the plane by bus transfer I happened to think about the plane I was going to take:. a Bombardier CRJ 200, 1st trip for me on this type. The type turned out to be a rather familiar configuration among the CRJ types I’ve flown before and also similar to many other smaller regional jet configurations. Inside there is a 2+2 seater configuration and I had the aisle seat on row 10, mid-plane.

Context: Storyteller for conference
Time: 10.00, Helsinki
Story: I thought of the topic I was presenting and wondered about the angle to take. I had had many go’s at this, but I had a new idea based on my day. I felt pretty much like sitting on a bus on my way to a customer meeting in the ‘neighboring city’, especially when considering the price tag of the flight: a whopping 49€ (two-way) plus taxes. The fare is also split between the airline and airport, so not a lot. I made a comparison in my mind between how far I would get with about 40€ using long-haul busses or trains and this flight. The conclusion was that air travel is at least as cheap as or even cheaper than busses and trains, especially for comparable distance and speed. Right there and then I realized that I was ‘riding a bus to Copenhagen to give a speech’.

Context: Travel organizer trying to be in the right place at the right time
Time: 10.30, UTC+1, Copenhagen
Story: Knowing I had a customer meeting before the speech, I ‘fled from the airport rather quickly and luckily, the formalities are rather relaxed in Scandinavia, so rather soon after landing and taxing to the right stand, waiting for the bus to arrive, walking through the customs, entering a taxi after visiting an ATM to get local currency, I was on my way to the conference venue . Phew.

Context: Conference Guest
Time: 10.50, Copenhagen
Story: At the conference venue hotel, Radisson BLU Scandinavia Hotel, I announced myself to the conference organizer, material and update on my speech slot and also cleared the process of updating my slides for the speech with the organizer, just before I was to meet my customer contacts.

Context: Sales/Marketing person
Time: 11.00, Copenhagen
Story: I can’t give out many details, but I think the meeting went well with the customer representatives and I felt rather pleased having thought over the story that I walk through with them.

Context: Industry Expert giving speech to conference audience
Time: 12.00, Copenhagen
Story: My speech started on time. I gave my speech, not liking the fact I was the last speaker before lunch. That is a rather challenging position for a speaker as people may have their minds wandering to lunch, and utilized my own day, like I’m doing here, to add bit of flavor to the message. After the speech, I grabbed my gear, greeted our local team participateding in the conference and spent a few minutes with people talking about my speech and started my journey back home.

Context: Worried dad thinking can he make it back on time
Time: 12.35, Copenhagen
Story: Sitting on the backseat of the taxi, I prepared myself for as a quick run through the airport as possible. I knew I had to be on that plane if I was to relieve the nanny in time, as her employment contract pretty much is for 8 hours day. We arrived to the airport at 12:45.

Context: Just another business traveller
Time: 12.45, Copenhagen
Story: Although I was in a rush, the rest of the people seemed to be as well, so I did not get any special treatment at the airport and while I felt a strong urge to ‘run for it’, the flow of people and ‘the process’ took it’s time. I boarded ‘the bus home’ pretty much on-time, (by my calculation, I was the 3rd last person to enter), but they did not announce my name yet, nor any others.

Context: Aircraft enthusiast/spotter
Time: 13.25, Copenhagen
Story: ‘Just another A319’. I have been in so many to date, but the high-light was the comfy seat and the satisfaction, that it seemed just possible to be at home on time. And the day was pretty successful too.

Context: Businessman
Time: 13.40, Copenhagen
Story: While travelling back, I was checking out a couple of potential business trips and familiarized myself with a few key details I had to pay attention to still by the end of week. I had some coffee to help me keep focused and my mind on the key issues. Once again, this felt really similar to taking a bus and having my own ‘space’ with little interference from other people or the scenery outside. ‘The bus’ landed 10min early and I felt exhilarated to see the plane to tax to a gate nearby the exit area. Time of landing was 15.50.

Context: Mix of businessman and dad
Time: 16.10, UTC+2, Helsinki
Story: While taking the taxi home, I synchronized emails, sent a few text messages to my wife and nanny telling I would be on time, and made few business calls just to ensure things were moving in the right direction.

Context: Dad
Time: 16.30, Helsinki
Story: Coming home, I was immediately being greeted by my kids and a rather happy nanny, who updated me on how the day had gone. I joined my family for a walk with and then later for dinner together.

This very long story has a point. 1st of all, it is no longer a big adventure to ‘take the bus’ via air travel. In a similar fashion, the way we communicate is changing from ‘vanity and luxury’ to ‘common and everyday’, even more so by generations younger than mine for example. Prices in commodity markets are known to be tight, and hence it is vital to understand the contexts in which the individual people find themselves in a much deeper and rich fashion to be able to address the exact, detailed needs of these ‘smaller and smaller segments of people’ whose contexts change within day, like mine did on this rather unusual, but still, very interesting day.

Contextual intelligence for Telco is all about understanding the fine-grained segmentation of customer base, addressing the needs of the customer within the right context and at the right time and with an attractive interaction. This makes the Communications Service Providers more important and relevant to their customers, and at the same time, makes the CSP a much more relevant party to the so called ‘OTT players’ who I’d like to call partners or customers of CSP. After all, the OTT players , also yearn for accurate and detailed information on the people using the services. This information could potentially be provided by the CSP. How many contexts do you think you have in your life? How much each of them overlap with each other and would you have different needs as a user of communication services when finding yourself in those contexts? Would it be great to have these contexts understood appropriately at the right time with the right kind of service? I would LOVE that and we at Comptel are working hard to making it a reality. That’s why we at Comptel say “Comptel – Making Data Beautiful”.

Thinking of Postponing BSS/OSS Enhancements? Think Again

Posted: December 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Thinking of Postponing BSS/OSS Enhancements? Think Again

By: Deb Osswald, Research Vice President, Next Generation Network (NGN) Operations, IDC

Communications service providers (CSPs) often prioritize network investment over OSS/BSS, but they need to think again. OSS/BSS is now, more than ever, a critical enabler in shaping service portfolios and the customer experience.

It seems that with IT and networks converging and more and more services being delivered from IT clouds, we think CSPs might want to consider prioritizing IT-centric BSS/OSS initiatives right up there with network-enhancing ones. While we will stipulate that the network is the central asset of CSPs and is clearly worthy of major investment, it is also CSPs’ operational efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility that can more often than not help them distinguish themselves in the increasingly crowded communications landscape.

Unique assets like a flexible billing system and a simple-to-use, easy-to-navigate self-service, web portal can give CSPs a real advantage in the marketplace; plus, some increasingly important application areas such as analytics, policy management and customer experience management (CEM) can add to their value propositions. With robust capabilities in these key areas, CSPs will have much more to offer than the over-the-top (OTT), Internet-based service providers can possibly offer because these abilities will allow them to be much more innovative in how the service or application is ultimately created, configured, bundled/delivered and supported. In addition, CSPs are uniquely equipped to leverage differentiating capabilities like location, presence, context and even augmented reality to create new service mashups or supplement a specific application to improve its utility and ultimate value to customers.

Also, CSPs must be equipped to tap into the vast ecosystem of application, service and content providers, and must have highly automated systems and processes that can handle rapid integration, management, delivery and customer support for third-party-provided service components, applications and content. Costly onboarding of an independent software vendor’s application or slow and laborious implementation of a new pricing plan for data downloads can cripple the profitability of an otherwise highly profitable offering. To make matters worse, if CSPs don’t have their operations up to par and ensure they are highly automated, and yet are able to get to market an innovative offering that suddenly attains great popularity, the offering’s very success can kill profitability for that offering. A lack of automation for a particular offering that achieves a high volume of sales can dramatically impact profitability by compressing margins to unacceptable levels that will turn an otherwise successful launch into a financial and operational disaster.

With growing opportunity residing in the SMB and mid-market enterprise segment, CSPs would do well to invest in BSS/OSS enhancements, cloud infrastructures and integration of the two in order to ensure they can support business-critical application delivery (via the self-service SaaS model) to this important customer set that is fast-embracing the value of the on-demand, pay-per-use application model.

The bottom line is CSPs must realize that investing today will yield significant dividends tomorrow. Missing the boat on this new services paradigm (cloud, M2M, etc.) by not investing in operations today is missing the boat on attaining relevance in the markets of the future. Leverage your networks, invest in your BSS/OSS and provide customers with a relevant portfolio of fully automated, high quality, secure services, applications and content. Also offer customers a positive experience (high quality of service, SLAs when appropriate, etc.) and use the network to elevate the reliability of your offerings, but ensure that success of an offering means financial success as well.

Deb Osswald manages IDC’s research on telecom industry business and operational practices and systems and contributes to the firm’s broad portfolio of network infrastructure market research. She is leading IDC’s telecom software research with a focus on delivering business value to clients through research efforts focused on communications service provider (CSP) investments in software-driven IT, including cloud and machine-to-machine (M2M) service enablement platforms, analytics applications and tools, business and operational support systems (BSS/OSS), service delivery platforms (SDPs) and next-generation policy management.

Around the World

Posted: December 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Connected Planet…
The First of the Top Trends for 2012, Including: Micro-Transactions for Everyone
With the New Year right around the corner, Alex Leslie provides an overview of what private equity firm M/C Partners sees as the top 10 communications trends for 2012. Dealing with capacity issues is expected to be the biggest trend, according to the company; communications service providers (CSPs)will likely accelerate the build out of fiber to the tower in order to keep up with bandwidth and quality of service demands.

What Alex notes as most interesting from an OSS/BSS point of view is the expansion of the micro-transaction business models into massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), console games, video, communications services and social networks. With the majority of this money being paid as subscriptions, Alex says this opens an opportunity for pricing and billing sophistication.

Do you agree with M/C Partners’ list of the top 2012 communications trends? Is there anything else you foresee having a major impact on the industry in the New Year?

Making the Impossible Possible (A Fishy Tale)
Analyst Teresa Cottam begins her blog post with an anecdote about a U.K. supermarket chain. In the midst of the recession, the supermarket was able to sell its Alaskan salmon at an incredibly low price, creating a truly competitive advantage. There was much speculation about how it was able to do this, but the answer was as simple as finding a new shipping route, which enabled the store to shorten the journey from Alaska to the U.K., and therefore, reduce the cost of the product.

Teresa’s main point is that almost nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. CSPs can innovate if they have a clear vision and sufficient imagination to prevent challenges from holding them back.

Teresa goes on to explain that she sees billing and charging as the next big opportunity for innovation, and believes that visionaries will see the opportunities CSPs now have to differentiate themselves and create new revenues. To achieve their business goals, CSPs need to bring their operational team members together, understand their customers and work with partners to deliver the right product at the right time.

In the end, the analyst challenges readers with the following question: “Are you, as a service provider, happy to risk falling behind when the leap comes, or are you one of those already preparing their run up?”

Gulf News…
Telecoms ‘Must Focus on Doing What They Do Best’
Should operators look to Google and Facebook to share advertising revenue? Panelists at the Smart Handheld Summit 2011 in Dubai say no, arguing that CSPs should instead tighten operational efficiency and stick with what they do best—providing Internet access.

Venture capitalist Paul Doany warns that straying into commercial operations, such as new platforms and mobile apps, will be harmful for revenues. On the other hand, Osman Sultan, CEO of du telecom, thinks operators should take part in third-party advertising-based revenue streams, and believes this is possible if telecom operators across the Middle East work together.

Matching the tremendous growth of Internet giants will certainly be a challenge. However, Dr. Bassam Hannoun, CEO of Wataniya Mobile, says operators can drive the telecoms industry forward through management and protection of revenue. In the coming year, Bassam believes the operators who will find success are those who can turn a disconnected value chain into a seamless solution.