Three Reasons Why the Telco Industry Needs to Be Thinking about Big Data

Posted: April 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Three Reasons Why the Telco Industry Needs to Be Thinking about Big Data

At Comptel, we really do believe that data is more than just bits and pieces that can be turned into something truly beautiful. This may seem like a daunting challenge to most communications service providers (CSPs), but that’s why we’re here.

We’ve been doing a lot of work to change that perception—and it’s clear that we’re not the only ones thinking about how Big Data can be a game-changing asset for CSPs. Here are three recent topics that have come up in the news that draw on Comptel’s studies and opinions on Big Data:

1. Flexible Service Packages

As mature markets become saturated, CSPs have to get creative with offers, and one thing is for certain: service packages are going to have to change.

In a recent Computerworld Bulgaria piece, we saw the consumer survey that we debuted at Mobile World Congress highlighted to put more emphasis on this trend.

To recap: our survey found that 49% of consumers chose their current mobile operator because of the service plan, and almost half said they would pay for a temporary upgrade that improved their plan.

The bottom line is that CSPs need to find a way to get the right promotion to the right customer at the right time. Using predictive analytics, it’s now possible to make sense of Big Data and proactively offer the right customers a more flexible service plan that can meet their needs.

2. Monetization

In a recent RCR Wireless News report, The smarter telco: Exploring service and network intelligence, Kelly Hill explains that many CSPs are looking for new ways to keep monetizing their services. She points to three specific trends that will have a huge impact:

  • The transition to all-IP and LTE networks
  • The accelerating trend toward cloud connectivity and network virtualization
  • Big Data collection and processing

When discussing Big Data, Kelly cites our research showing that only 27% of operators are currently using analytics on a daily basis, while 33% are using them on a weekly basis.

This could prove to be a disastrous oversight for CSPs. As trends like the shift to all-IP networks and cloud connectivity come into play, analytics that can drive the most value out of Big Data in near real-time is critical for engaging customers and making business decisions.

3. Influence

Big Data analytics isn’t just about finding out what customers need, it’s finding out which customers are influential.

In a recent Financial Times web piece that cited one of our recently commissioned whitepapers, the big message was that, finally, CSPs have the technology to actually use the considerable data at their disposal.

The piece highlights several viewpoints from established telco experts. One of the most interesting points is that, by using Big Data, CSPs can discover which customers are “queen bees.” These are the users who have extensive networks of friends and family. If this particular user leaves his/her operator, then dozens of others could follow because of that influence.

So, it’s best to use Big Data to identify those “queen bees” and find ways to make sure they’re happy.

Continuing the Conversation About Big Data

Most CSPs have Big Data in one form or another, but having it and using it to its full potential are two different things. As this conversation shifts from data to strategy, it’s time to consider how to best operationalize all the valuable information that’s been gathered. In other words, it’s time to leverage Big Data for results.

Over the past few years, Comptel has worked hard for those results to be attainable by offering advanced predictive analytics tools that can automate customer interactions and take relationships to the next level. We’re at the start of an exciting new kind of Big Data revolution. With the right strategy and the right tools, CSPs won’t just have more information for their operations than ever before, they’ll actually be able to do something with it.


Smart Order Validation – Powered by Predictive Analytics

Posted: February 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes, Events | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Smart Order Validation – Powered by Predictive Analytics

Most order management implementations rely on an ‘order entry – order orchestration – order execution’ philosophy. It’s a commonly used model, although providers are regularly heard to comment about a lack of visibility into orders, once a service delivery process has begun. This lack of visibility leads to a poor experience for customers who in many cases suffer a poorly configured service and are generally first to flag that there is an issue. The problem is likely to grow and become more relevant to mobile operators, as end-to-end LTE service rollouts and complex Enterprise mobility solutions (including BYOD), add an increasing amount of touch points in the network.

A big challenge faced by CSPs with traditional order management is costly order fallouts. With a lack of visibility and control throughout the order orchestration process, both network resources and the workforce can be deployed or dispatched at incorrect times – typically when earlier pre-qualification stages of service order orchestration have failed to complete. This can be costly in operational and investment terms.

What if you could intelligently and proactively analyse requests for service, before they are placed as orders in the system? What if you could use predictive analytics to perform “smart validation” of orders as they come in, to judge which orders are expected to cause problems?  What if you could proactively treat these orders differently? – assign them to a special queue to specifically address and ensure customer satisfaction. Is it possible to leverage fulfillment and analytics to be preventative instead of purely reactive?

Smart Order Validation

Deep analysis into the data used at each critical stage of order orchestration can help to predictively validate feasibility, reveal patterns and identify input behaviour that contributes to higher order fallout rates. Armed with advanced and analytically-enriched information, CSPs can effect real improvements to service delivery accuracy, aid in the improvement of business processes and help to drive down operational costs.

Comptel are available at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona 25-28 February to discuss this and other topics including:-

  • Personalising policy and charging powered by predictive analytics
  • Monetising mobile broadband with contextual marketing
  • Improving QoE based on expected customer value
  • “Making inventory work” with a federated approach

Is There an Monetization Upside Using Analytics when Launching LTE?

Posted: February 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights, Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Contextual Intelligence at Every Customer Touch Point

The telecommunications market has become increasingly data driven; it plays a central role and extends into all areas of people’s daily lives. Consumers and business customers alike are looking for services and applications that reflect their diverse and individual needs. Over-The-Top players (OTT) such as Facebook, Google, YouTube and so forth, are increasingly successful in winning the hearts, minds and wallets of customers, by offering the applications and services that meet customer needs ‘beyond connectivity’.

“Monetising the data” –topic has been hot for a while now in telecommunications and other enterprises. Monetisation in terms of growing the data traffic and revenue but also using the data for customer and network intelligence is a huge business opportunity and yet challenging to capture. We see data as a lever for the CSPs to connect emotionally with their customers at every touch point where they interact with their customers.

Such interaction include a specific, personalised campaign at the moment when the customer is most open for a new offering or a temporary capacity allocation for a heavy video upload need. Our consumer research, which we conducted in 12 countries across the globe by VansonBourne, December 2012 (will be launched prior to Mobile World Congress) , shows that nearly half of the consumers would be willing to pay for a temporary bandwidth boost or data consumption upgrade. Thus the potential is there and can be monetized by leveraging advanced and predictive analysis and automated decisions and actions to make and save money. In other words; by leveraging contextual intelligence at every touch point.

At Mobile World Congress we will discuss the topic in more details with concrete showcases. The business use case list is long, but we have chosen the ones, which on one hand can demonstrates quick business results and on the other, can help CPSs integrated their organizational teams.

  • Analytically-enriched order orchestration
  • Analytics-driven, predictive policy control
  • Contextual Mobile Data Campaigning
  • Using a Federated Model to “Make Inventory Work”
  • Customer value driven network prioritization

On Tuesday, 26th we will have a special guest, Fredrik Jungermann, the founder of tefficient, who will discuss on:

“Pinpoint the right customers – or dilute margin”

Fredrik shares his analysis of advanced LTE markets – including the US – with focus on the impact LTE has on the profitability of leading service providers. Is there an monetization upside using analytics?

To book your seat send the meeting request with a specific reference to: “Right customers for LTE”.  See you there!



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!


Men at Work Down Under

Posted: November 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes, Events | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Men at Work Down Under

We all know that during these uncertain economic times, life in business might not be always that easy, don’t we?  However, I’m a strong believer in positivism and its power of energizing people.  Therefore, I took the opportunity to write this small blog to share the joy and enthusiasm of my dear colleagues Down Under.

We in Comptel have worked hard to transform the company from a traditional, if I dare to say maybe a bit dull telco engineering company, to a faster moving and an agile Internet-age software  company.  After ten months in Comptel, I have experienced an amazing spirit of ”Make it Happen”, which is also one of our four core values. The recent recognition by Frost & Sullivan is only one example of the results of our dedication.

I was personally inspired by the pictures the team sent to me after the Awards Banquet on the 20th of November 2012 in Australia.  It is wonderful to see Men at Work Down Under with such big smiles while knowing that they really put their hearts into it and give their best  effort to bring the highest customer value in their respective markets.

The other reason to write this blog is to remind of our thought leadership in Contextual Intelligence For Telco (CIQ4T). The comment from Mr. Mark Dougan, managing director, Australia & New Zealand, Frost & Sullivan confirms that we have succeeded in differentiating with our approach:  “The company has proven its ability to not only effectively operate and grow in the competitive market, but also, with the debut of its CIQ4T, fuel OSS innovation and raise the bar for CSPs’ customer engagement practices.”

Simply put, Contextual Intelligence (CI) is the principle of understanding a uniqueness of a person and the circumstances, ( i.e. the context) and turning that understanding into an opportunity. This is a valid guideline for various business situations as well as for life in general.  If you happen to be around Orlando next week, visit us at Management World Americas, 2-6 December 2012 to hear more.


Counting Down to AfricaCom 2012

Posted: November 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Counting Down to AfricaCom 2012

Working in marketing, I am constantly trying to identify which conferences are the right fit for showcasing various products and solutions. While conducting these searches, Comptel, like other practical companies, often finds itself targeting the fastest growing market: Africa. It may come as no surprise, then, that Comptel will have a stand at the 15th annual AfricaCom conference taking place 13-15 November in Cape Town. This year’s thought-provoking programme promises to reflect Africa’s potential to influence a market already filled with vibrant new dynamics.

At the show, we will have a dedicated team of experts on-site that are happy to speak with communications service providers (CSPs) about the true value we can bring to their business by driving innovation and growing lifetime value through real-time, personalised customer engagement.  The Comptel team is looking forward to demonstrating how to reduce churn by transforming data into actionable intelligence. Acting on this intelligence, in addition to maximising customer lifetime value, helps CSPs distinguish themselves amidst a competitive market. The company will also discuss how to achieve accelerated and accurate advanced service deployments to enhance customer satisfaction, loyalty and their propensity to spend.

Will you also be attending the conference? If so, be sure to stop by Comptel’s stand, #C05, to find out how the right integrated mediation, policy control, charging, service fulfilment and predictive social analytics capabilities can deliver a fresh approach to telecommunications business for greater profitability.

To set up a meeting in advance, please contact comptel.marketing@comptel.com. Looking forward to seeing you in Cape Town!


Join Comptel at the Global Broadband Traffic Management Congress!

Posted: November 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Join Comptel at the Global Broadband Traffic Management Congress!

From 6-8 November, the Comptel team will be participating in Informa’s flagship Global Broadband Traffic Management Congress (BBTM) at the Royal Garden Hotel in London. While communications service providers (CSPs) have seen success with the rapid uptick in data usage, they are simultaneously seeking ways to better manage and monetise these services. BBTM offers the opportunity to explore the latest developments for changing the path of diverging revenue and traffic growth curves, and learn more about the policy control and charging tools available to help deliver mobile data, optimise quality of service and the customer experience, and boost CSPs’ bottom lines.

Comptel not only will be on hand at booth #14 to discuss the latest data pricing models, congestion management, Big Data and analytics, real-time charging and service personalisation and more, but also will present alongside the more than 100 speakers (including 50+ from CSPs) during the Congress. On Tuesday, 6 November, at 16:25 (Track B), Simo Isomäki, head of global business support, will elaborate on the crucial role of predictive analytics and contextual intelligence in relation to policy control and charging, and how CSPs can gain actionable insight from customer behavioural patterns to personalise and monetise broadband services. Simo will also take part in a Track A panel session on the obstacles for two-sided business models that same day at 12:30.

BBTM is a tremendous forum for networking with others across the mobile broadband ecosystem. We would be delighted to meet you at our booth or have you attend one of Comptel’s presentations. Enjoy the event, and please contact comptel.marketing@comptel.com should you like to arrange a more thorough discussion about Comptel’s comprehensive portfolio of Customer Engagement solutions and how we apply our CIQ4T approach to policy control and charging.


“Minding” Your Own Business

Posted: October 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on “Minding” Your Own Business

A few months ago in a blog where I discussed the need for more service personalisation, I admitted that it was tough for operators to engage effectively on a more personal level because I myself “don’t always know what I want until after I have experienced it – or what I had is taken away” …

I also, however, suggested that it is possible and operators should be empowered with “mind-reading abilities”!

Let me illustrate with a totally non-OSS related example: my 6 year old son. Unlike a lot of his friends (and his parents), he is totally disinterested in food. However, over the years, we have observed that when he gets hungry, he starts to get unreasonable and emotional. He never says he is hungry or asks for food, but we have learned that when he starts behaving that way and he has not eaten for a while, that giving him a snack returns him to his usual good natured self.

In this example, my son apparently does not know what he wants or needs (un-communicated needs) – and feeding him any other time is of course pointless too (context).

So we:

1.    Learned (and re-learned) this behaviour using our human intelligence i.e. we do not use a list of rules to identify the situation;
2.    We take into account the context i.e. when he last eat or whether his sister had just bitten him again;
3.    We act then and when it is needed.

And this is a pretty good example of the “mind-reading” capabilities Comptel’s Contextual Intelligence for Telecommunications (CIQ4T) can offer operators: LEARN, examine the CONTEXT (in real-time) … and ACT.

I will be manning the stand for Comptel (C05) at AfricaCom in Cape Town from the 13th-15th November and would love to discuss further how Comptel can provide operators with “mind-reading” abilities for more personalised customer engagement.


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”.