Q3 2011: An Update on Comptel’s Business and Strategy

Posted: October 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Q3 2011: An Update on Comptel’s Business and Strategy

It’s been a really busy and eventful third quarter for Comptel, and today we announced our results.

Over the past quarter, we announced the agreement reached with Cisco to purchase the AXIOSS assets. This obviously had a significant financial impact on the quarter. It also provided Comptel with the incentive and the means to accelerate the development of our Next Generation Fulfillment (NGF) platform (more details about this soon).

During the three-month period, we closed three major deals with a value of over €0.5 million. We also continued investing in our sales channels and service organisation, and hiring new employees, as part of our strategy to get closer to our customers.

So in terms of the results, Comptel’s business developed favourably in the Middle East and the Americas. Net sales also grew in Europe West; however, in Europe East, the deliveries remained few. Overall, Comptel’s net sales were €16.6 million, up from last year’s Q3 (€15.3 million), but still below our expectations. Our operating result, excluding one-off items, was €-0.8 million as result of the investments we have been making. Once the impact of the AXIOSS sale is taken into consideration, the operating result is €8 million.

Comptel has been working hard on many fronts, including our strategy, which we will be unveiling this quarter. So stay tuned!


Strategies for Coping with Mobile Data Consumption

Posted: September 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

By Samantha Tanner, Telecoms IQ, IQPC

Figures released by U.K. regulator Ofcom in August show that mobile data traffic has increased 40 fold over the past three years, with 27% of adults and 47% of teenagers now owning smartphones.

In the regulator’s Communications Market Report, it stated that “the recent adoption of smartphones has been accompanied by an increase in the volume of mobile data transferred over the U.K.’s mobile networks. This increased 40-fold between 2007 and 2010.”

Image Courtesy of mediabistro.com

The report also showed that 27% of U.K. adults accessed the Internet on their mobile phones at the start of 2011, up 22% from 2010. Additionally, social networking has overtaken email as the most popular use of smartphones.

This is just one example demonstrating the exponential growth in mobile data and the need by operators to do something about the increases in the amount of data being crunched, especially when they start trialing LTE. Customers are demanding more bandwidth in order to run faster, interactive services, but at the moment, most networks just simply can’t cope.

With Cisco projecting that, by 2015, 66% of global mobile data will be taken up by video streaming, what is the solution in order to optimise mobile networks so that they can cope with the huge increase in mobile data being consumed?

Increasing bandwidth and spectrum is playing a part in how operators are attempting to accommodate increasing data usage. This is why the push towards LTE has gained such incredible momentum, especially in the U.S. The value of spectrum can be seen in the AT&T merger with T-Mobile. While the merger makes the network the largest in the country, it also gives the operator far more spectrum to play with than its closest rival Verizon. More spectrum also allows AT&T to give their customers exactly what they want, meaning more LTE coverage.

Operators are also coping with mobile data consumption by using a variety of pricing and promotional strategies to strike a workable balance between encouraging use of data where resources are plentiful, deterring it when resources are scarce and ensuring maximum payback on their network investments. However, they require the right OSS solution to give them the levers to control this service, encourage customer demand and create profitable new business.

If mobile data grows as much as it is predicted to over the next couple of years, operators are going to have to act fast in order to maintain the bandwidth speeds that their customers will be demanding, much like what AT&T has already figured out.

Telecoms IQ will be running three events in the coming months that will examine the role of LTE and mobile network optimisation: LTE Deployment Strategies, Data Offloading Strategies and Mobile Network Optimisation.


Comptel to Sell Axioss Software to Cisco

Posted: August 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Today, we announced our intention to sell to Cisco the Axioss software, originally developed by Axiom Systems, which Comptel acquired in 2008. This deal, which is worth EUR 21.3 million, is estimated to close in September 2011. Comptel will continue in the fulfillment business, developing and selling the Comptel Fulfillment solution. Comptel and Cisco will also continue in their cooperation across other areas of OSS/BSS, e.g. cloud mediation and charging.

Comptel originally acquired Axioss in order to strengthen our position as a leading provider of fulfillment solutions for broadband, mobile and next-generation IP networks. Our strategy remains unchanged. We have been busy working on the next release of our fulfillment solution, based on a new technology platform, which will be released in the first half of 2012. Comptel will also retain its existing Axioss customer relationships and will continue to support these customers.

As part of the deal, Cisco is also taking on some personnel related to the Axioss assets, mainly those based in the U.K. Mr. Gareth Senior, Comptel’s CTO and member of the Executive Board, will be transferring to Cisco.

As you can imagine, we are very excited about this deal. In my opinion, it underlines our technology leadership in the OSS/BSS domain.


Viva Las Vegas! Comptel Goes to Cisco Live!

Posted: July 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Viva Las Vegas! Comptel Goes to Cisco Live!

Comptel is attending Cisco Live!, taking place 10-14 July in Las Vegas. In 2010, our partner’s U.S. event had 12,700 registrants; this year, Cisco is expecting to have more IT and communications professionals travel to Las Vegas (four of which will be from Comptel) than ever before.

For those of us not attending the actual show, we can always follow the event virtually. In 2010, the virtual event had more than 4000 visitors—it will be interesting to see if these figures will surpass those of last year as well.

Whether in Las Vegas or in front of their computers, attendees can choose from more than 500 technical sessions or attend several keynote sessions, the first of which CEO John Chambers will lead today. Then tomorrow, two dynamic ladies, CTO Padmasree Warrior and CIO Rebecca Jacoby, will take the stage and give their views on Cisco’s technology vision, including the impact on Cisco’s IT and business strategy.

Comptel is exhibiting (booth #2080—next to the Cisco Live! Lounge), and is available to demonstrate our fulfillment and cloud chargeback (based on Comptel Convergent Mediation) solutions, which are key to our Cisco partnership.

If Cisco Live!’s technical sessions, keynotes or World of Solutions expo hall, as well as the event’s evening entertainment, are not enough, and you are not keen on gambling, why not dive with the sharks! Dive-certified Mandalay Bay guests will now have the opportunity to scuba dive in the 1.3 million gallon, 22-foot deep Shipwreck Exhibit, surrounded by sharks, rays, sawfish, green sea turtles and schools of fish. Viva Las Vegas!


Survey Says: Close Customer Focus and Real-Time Data Analysis Key

Posted: July 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

In addition to organising an industry analyst day and customer / partner presentations, Comptel moderated an interactive session focused on the customer experience during last month’s Comptel User Group (CUG). The session, which involved our partners Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent, surveyed nearly 100 attendees on the evolving state of the customer experience, the role network and other service data and OSS play, and the significant potential revenue opportunities for communications service providers (CSPs). Like our past research, it yielded quite interesting results!

Respondents first indicated that they believe CSPs, when compared to over-the-top (OTT) players, device manufacturers and operating system companies, provide the best customer experience. However, as Cisco’s Russ Kaufmann brought up, OTT players have a head start in providing good customer experience for cloud services. Alcatel-Lucent’s Pierre Dubost also made a good point—if asked the question of who provides the best customer experience two years ago, there likely would have been a very different answer. But, CSPs are really trying to invest in customer care and focus on driving brand loyalty rather just pushing products.

Supporting this, nine out of ten participants pointed to customer experience management as one of the major factors contributing to operators’ survival and success—because as Kaufmann pointed out, when things do go wrong, it can greatly affect churn. These responses support those of a Comptel-sponsored Vanson Bourne survey, which previously identified customer experience management as a significant potential revenue opportunity. Eighty-seven percent of consumers said that their quality of experience influences their allegiance to their CSP, and the majority of them would not only move but also pay more money for faster, more personalised services.

While the importance of a high customer experience was clear, there was general agreement that it’s difficult to determine what exactly will satisfy each customer. More than half (55%) of participants indicated that network performance has the greatest influence on the customer experience, yet all of the other responses varied. Dubost was right in saying that all of these factors are impactful—ultimately, CSPs require a holistic view of customer behaviour in order to better manage (and take the necessary actions to ensure) the customer experience.

Clearly aligned in thought, 100% of survey respondents recognised the value of leveraging network and other service data and their OSS; however, only about one-third of CSPs noted that they are fully utilising this information. There is a huge opportunity for operators to gain superior insight into customers and improve end-users’ experiences. With real-time data analysis and a close customer focus, CSPs can also boost their bottom lines, for example, through profiling for targeted marketing campaigns and traffic shaping for premium services.

Comptel is excited to see how operators take advantage of the opportunities a real-time, interactive and personalised OSS platform presents. What do you think of the interactive session discussion? For more information about the survey results, please contact comptel.marketing@comptel.com.


TM Forum Catalyst Explores the Monetisation of Cloud-Based Collaboration Services

Posted: May 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Over the past several years, Comptel has participated in a number of TM Forum Catalyst projects (most notably, the Product and Service Assembly initiative). And in the run up to Management World 2011, we’ve decided to team up with BT, Cisco and Progress Software again and build upon the Inter-Cloud Service Management Catalyst. A press release was distributed today announcing the latest proof-of-concept and the addition of Amartus, InfoVista and MetraTech to it.

I am particularly excited about the Enhanced Cloud Service Management Catalyst, as it is the first to involve Comptel’s mediation and policy control solutions. Last year, we were primarily focused on fulfillment, with being responsible for orchestrating the delivery of hosted unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) services. Now, in the second phase, we’re also taking a key role in the monetisation of these services by capturing and rating usage and performance data from the infrastructure. It’s great to have this year’s project leveraging most of our software assets, and thus completing the Comptel Dynamic OSS loop.

What’s also interesting to note about this Catalyst—the same core set of applications traditionally used to manage mobile networks is being applied to UC&C in the cloud. For instance, just like the mobile world has gone through many changes in terms of the way subscribers pay for services, customers of UC&C solutions will be looking for pricing that accurately represents their usage levels—whether its billing for video and call usage per minute or per second, blended pricing where video usage doesn’t incur charges for the audio that accompanies it or different pricing for the host and participants. To achieve this service differentiation, operators of UC&C services can exercise flexible policy control and charging capabilities.

Management World 2011 attendees, if you’d like to demo the project, email comptel.marketing@comptel.com or visit the Enhanced Cloud Service Management Catalyst booth in Forumville.

For those unable to make it to Dublin, a whitepaper with more information on “The Criticality of Effective Service Management in Monetising Cloud-Based Collaboration Services,” is available for download.


On Our Way to Futurecom: October 25-28 in Sao Paulo

Posted: October 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Here at Comptel’s Sao Paulo office, we are getting all geared up for next week’s Futurecom, which will be taking place in our home town. Futurecom is one of the most important events of the year, not just for Brazil but for the whole region. It welcomes approximately 15,000 people (many of them decision-makers as presidents, directors and managers from both the vendor community and communications service providers) from across approximately 40 countries.

Futurecom offers delegates the opportunity to see some of the region’s greatest personalities in the world of communications, who will be giving presentations about their companies, views, trends, best practices, lessons learned and more. Often, these generate a fairly large audience discussion, as the primary format of the event is panel-based; speakers make brief presentations on particular themes, and after that, they get together for heated debates to dig deeper into these communications topics.

On Wednesday, October 27 at 2:40 Brazil time in IT Arena Pavilion A, Comptel will be giving one of these talks, in conjunction with our partner Cisco. We’ll be diving into the opportunities and challenges cloud presents for communications service providers and enterprise customers, as well as our participation in several TM Forum Catalyst projects.

There is also an exhibition area, where key suppliers and operators show their latest product and solution innovations. Indeed, Comptel has a booth at the event (#B2), where we will be showcasing our Comptel Dynamic OSS, and in particular, focusing on service fulfilment and policy control and charging.

We can’t wait to meet existing and prospective customers and partners. Get in touch with us at americas@comptel.com if you would like to schedule an appointment!


Will you be in Management World 2010 in Nice next week?

Posted: May 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Will you be in Management World 2010 in Nice next week?

Can’t believe Management World 2010 is just a week away!  Comptel and our customers and partners have been quite busy preparing for it.  Here’s a brief overview of some of the key activities we’ll be involved in at the Nice event.

CTO Gareth Senior and Ralf Jaeger from partner Cisco Systems’ Worldwide Managed Services Team will be teaming up for a presentation as part of TM Forum’s Successful Business Transformation Summit.  On Tuesday, May 18 at 5 p.m., head over to the session, to hear about and discuss managed services’ vital role in enhancing the overall customer experience, maintaining competitive advantage and modernizing communications service providers’ (CSPs) systems to handle the ever-changing telecom environment.

Customer Telecom Personal Argentina will also be speaking at the show.  Kick off the Revenue Management & Profitability Summit with Leticia San Juan on Wednesday, May 19 at 10 a.m.  She’ll explain how the CSP was able to meet business goals, such as reducing the duration of the activation process duration, with an integrated self-service solution.

Don’t forget about the Catalyst stands in Forumville!  Comptel is participating in three of these collaborative initiatives at Management World 2010.  We’ll be on hand with our fellow participants to discuss the Inter-Cloud Service Management (from a service fulfillment perspective), Cloud Service Broker (from a service-layer active catalog and design studio perspective) and Service Model (from a federated product and service catalog perspective) Catalysts.

For those going to Nice, we hope you’ll swing by booth #21 and say hello.