Moving Forward on Comptel’s Road to the Cloud

Posted: December 5th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Moving Forward on Comptel’s Road to the Cloud

Cloud imageBy Anand Adhiappan

Every great journey has a destination. In a business journey, your ultimate goal should be to find new strategies, ideas and approaches that benefit for your customers. The cloud might be the biggest such destination for many businesses in the telco industry today, and at Comptel, our cloud journey is about embracing the emerging platforms and solutions that will make life easier and better for our customers.

Comptel’s cloud journey took another big step forward at this year’s Nexterday North, where we announced the addition of another cloud solution, Fastermind. Everything about Fastermind is influenced by or tailored for Generation Cloud, the savvy digital natives whose buying and engagement preferences are changing the ways telcos have to service their customers.

Generation Cloud wants services on their terms, at their speed and personalized to their specific wants and needs. The cloud is the only way to deliver the dynamic, personalized services these customers crave.

As an industry, the benefits that we have realized by cloud adoption is unquestionable. We are on a journey powered by the cloud for our infrastructure, engagement and business models. Therefore, a well-balanced cloud strategy that drives focus back to business top-line and in parallel drives up the cloud maturity is needed.

The cloud has opened new business models that weren’t feasible in the past. It accelerates partnering, experimentation and building of ecosystems. But, it also creates complexity and dilemma with all the options that are achievable – stretching from NFV/SDN to private cloud to public cloud applications and hybrid environment, from do it yourself options to SaaS options.

Service providers are on a road to cloud. Many service providers have matured their cloud infrastructure strategy and have collaborated with their vendor partners to deploy solutions in the cloud and have demonstrated clear efficiency gains.

So, what’s your cloud journey look like? Are you running at the speed of business? Are unlocking new revenue streams? Is stakeholder engagement better than before? Do you have free hands to experiment new propositions? Even a small tweak to a service has a significant positive impact to the top line and experience.

Future success relies on being proactive and open to engaging as a part of a broader ecosystem. Cloud as an engagement model is bringing businesses closer so they can collaborate and win together. Cloud native strategy will bring the needed maturity. Cloud directions taken today with the focus on future proactive needs is a road to cloud!

At Comptel, we love the cloud. It brings us closer to our customers than ever before. We have been on a cloud journey for a long time already, as our operator customers serve more than 300 million end-customers in the private cloud environment. To date, our cloud solutions have provided our customers with important improvements in efficiency, but our upcoming product roadmap includes several important steps that will help us draw even more value out of the cloud. Stay tuned for more, and share your cloud journey!


(Working) Life at an Internal Start-up

Posted: October 19th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on (Working) Life at an Internal Start-up

The start-up life is interesting anywhere, but especially so when you’re working at an internal start-up.

Comptel’s A.I.R team has been working hard to create a cloud-based SaaS analytics offering, and get it technically and commercially tested in the market. Development work has been successful; we are just about to go out with A.I.R’s second release, called Intelligent Monitoring. Together with our previous release, Critical Alarm Prediction, we are now able to process cloud analytics in a way that’s easily scalable, adaptable, automated and convenient in many use cases.

Starting with improving maintenance processes in networked environments, A.I.R’s capabilities can be implemented in various situations where plain data needs to be turned into information, information turned into knowledge, and finally, knowledge turned into decisions and actions.

These solutions that we’ve developed within our internal start-up are expanding Comptel’s offerings and making them future-proof. For instance, A.I.R has added virtualization, capacity balancing, and flexible access to resources, technology and competencies to Comptel’s portfolio for its current and future customers. After all, any offering today without cloud-based capabilities may as well be deemed pre-historic. We have already used our solutions successfully in several proof of concepts, too.

The DNA of a typical start-up includes a strong element of focus. Results must be sharp and precise, answering the customer and user needs exactly and quickly. Though start-ups lack the support and power of larger organizations and their ready-made processes, the benefit of having a start-up mentality is the ability to react and execute fast.

The potential to scale up a start-up business is often limited, but it depends on the product. If the product is fully digital, rather than reliant on a physical system, then the scaling is possible for even the smallest teams and organizations.

Looking ahead, we plan to adapt cloud-based capabilities into more of Comptel’s offerings, including its Intelligent Data offering. And with our customers becoming increasingly active in the Internet of Things, we’ll be looking to produce automated processes for connected, intelligent systems across all aspects of life.

In everything we do, innovation is the goal. Our mission is finding ways to not only improve our customers’ business, but also to drive the technical evolution of our surrounding world, from housing and health to transportation, security and production. “Innovation” is not simply a buzzword – we encourage everyone to use and execute it daily. Big innovation might get noticed, but it’s usually the small and even invisible innovations that keeps us moving ahead and beyond.


What’s new with SDN and the Cloud?

Posted: April 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on What’s new with SDN and the Cloud?

As communications service providers (CSPs) compete with over-the-top providers (OTT) for revenue, there’s an increasing emphasis on them to beef up their responsiveness and agility. Many CSPs are evaluating software-defined networking (SDN), network function virtualisation (NFV) and the cloud as ways to achieve this. But will SDN and NFV be a revolution or an evolution? And are CSPs going to turn to commercial networks or open source ones? We decided to comb the Twittersphere to see what kinds of developments were happening around these topics this week:

If you would like to learn more about Comptel’s thoughts on SDN, NFV and more, set up a meeting with us at TM Forum Live!


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:

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Comptel, Tech Mahindra and New Strategic Partnership for 2014

Posted: February 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Comptel, Tech Mahindra and New Strategic Partnership for 2014

By Peter Middleton, Vice President, Global Alliances, Comptel

The secret is out – the role of fulfillment is becoming increasingly important to operational and business transformation for communications service providers (CSPs). The trouble is, the scope of these projects is simultaneously broadening to include complex, multi-strand service delivery processes, high-volume and high-speed fibre deployments, cloud-based IT and virtualised networks.

I am pleased to share that to help CSPs tackle this, Comptel and Tech Mahindra have signed a non-exclusive strategic partner agreement. Together, we’ll deliver integrated, 360-degree service fulfillment solutions, and continue to develop innovative offerings that can quickly support our customers’ needs and accelerate their future business growth.

As communicated on the Helsinki Stock Exchange on 18th February by our CEO Juhani Hintikka, the partnership means that Comptel will be able to serve our customers with a wider sales channel, increased productivity and the scalability to deliver large and complex OSS/BSS transformation projects. In addition, Tech Mahindra are establishing a Comptel centre of expertise and training centre, which will secure and grow knowledge across their organisation.

Over the past 18 months, we’ve invested heavily in our next-generation fulfillment platform—to ensure that CSPs deliver a high customer experience and have seen strong business performance rooted within operational excellence. This partnership was the next logical step for us to broaden the product’s reach, whilst internally we start to pair it with our additional areas of expertise, such as predictive analytics.

Tech Mahindra was an obvious choice, with its OSS/BSS industry experience and focus on fast enablement and time-to-delivery. We are pleased to extend our work with the company and believe our partnership will allow us to meet and exceed the challenges facing CSPs today in the increasingly complex telecommunications market.


Meet Comptel at Dreamforce 2013

Posted: November 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Meet Comptel at Dreamforce 2013

Comptel will be attending the Dreamforce 2013 event in San Francisco November 18 to 21. Dreamforce, the biggest cloud computing event of the year,  will take place at the Moscone Center and multiple other venues across San Francisco. In 2012 this annual event brought  together over 90,000 Salesforce.com users, developers and partners. For this year organisers are expecting to have over 100,000 registered Salesforce.com stakeholders to connect, collaborate, and inspire.

The 11th Dreamforce event is hosted by salesforce.com, the company behind the successful cloud-based CRM system and application platform. The Dreamforce event has over 1,250 breakout sessions. Each industry theme features breakout sessions in a variety of formats and levels, giving attendees a chance to meet with Salesforce.com product teams, learn from expert users and partners at leading companies, and pick up new ideas and ways of working.

There will be a Communications Industry Partner Pavilion next to the Communications Track Session Room with a number of salesforce.com software and consulting partners that focus on Communications. Comptel will be exhibiting at the Communications and Media Industries Day Pavilion at The Westin San Francisco Market Street on Tuesday 19th November, where we will be showcasing the cloud-hosted Comptel Service Order Validator application, available shortly. The application will leverage the cloud’s low TCO advantages to enrich the traditionally linear lead-to-activation process with sales process interaction, service validation and real-time awareness, provided by pre-integration with the Comptel Fulfillment platform.

If you are interested in scheduling a meeting with Comptel at Dreamforce, please contact us.


Preparing for Cisco Live! in San Diego

Posted: June 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

As we look forward to the upcoming summer holidays, we remain busier than ever here at Comptel.  Just in the coming week, we have a flurry of activity planned including preparing for our annual Comptel User Group in Copenhagen and sending a team of Comptelians to the other side of the globe for Cisco Live! in San Diego.

With the aim of helping our customers deliver innovative lifestyle services flexibly and economically, we’ll be showcasing some key products at Cisco Live! that do just that. Focusing on Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (CIAC ) and the Virtualised Multi-tenant Data Center (VMDC), attendees can come to Comptel’s booth (#444) and see the Comptel Virtualisation Charging Solution for Cloud – developed to align and support both technologies.

Since I cannot attend Cisco Live!, I really envy all of the attendees who have a wonderful opportunity to see the world famous Mythbusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman on stage. In addition to the show happenings, there are also several opportunities to network with peers during extracurricular activities. Hope to get some live footage from San Diego!


Around the World

Posted: March 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

RCR Wireless News…
Latin America Counts 32 HSPA+, 5 LTE Networks
According to a 4G Americas report, Latin America is increasingly deploying HSPA technology and rolling out LTE. Currently, the region has 72 commercial deployments of HSPA technology in 31 countries, with five commercial LTE networks and 300,000 LTE connections expected by the end of 2012.

Along the same lines, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) recently published a report showing that 300 operators worldwide have committed to commercial LTE network deployments or are engaged in trials, technology testing or studies. This is a significant increase—50 percent, in fact—over the previous year.

The LTE evolution is clearly catching on in Latin America, just in time for the region’s networks to be ready for the data boom expected during the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

TelecomsEurope…
CEE Operators on the Ball in OTT and Connected TV
Over the past year, there has been an explosion of activity in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) online video sector, with operators jumping head first into new market opportunities by offering a variety of new services.

Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts that online video Internet traffic in the region will account for 27 percent of total Internet traffic by 2015. Additionally, the number of connected devices is set to dramatically increase, and the growth of such devices will continue to fuel over-the-top (OTT) service launches. However, operators are increasingly adapting when it comes to OTT services by investing in the development of full multi-screen services to attract subscribers and, in some cases, by teaming up with OTT providers.

The boom in OTT offerings provides an opportunity for operators to embrace innovation and introduce new value-added services. Do you think operators are able to effectively collaborate with OTT players to create mutually beneficial offerings that will appeal to customers?

CommsMEA…
A Busy Agenda
In 2011, the telecom industry came to terms with two major global shocks—the global economic downturn and the disruption caused by mass digitisation. The downturn accelerated the commoditisation of traditional telecom services, pushing operators to cut costs and increase efficiency. The digital boom encouraged operators to boost network capacity and connectivity, and introduce new services that take advantage of mobile payment platforms and cloud computing.

Due to these global changes, the telecom ecosystem is becoming much more competitive as new players from adjacent industries and technological innovation challenge operators. This year, operators will spend more on infrastructure as 4G/ LTE goes mainstream, and make strategic choices by leveraging existing capabilities and building new ones.

With the unprecedented choice of services and devices, customers will likely emerge as the winners of the drastically changing telecom landscape—do you agree with this prediction?


Mobile World Congress: A Week in Reflection (Part I)

Posted: March 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mobile World Congress: A Week in Reflection (Part I)

It was another sunny February at Mobile World Congress (MWC). Barcelona brought a welcome respite from the tail-end of a snowy winter across Finland and central Europe. The last time I was here was 2009 during my time at InfoVista. I then thought that fifty thousand attendees for an event was remarkable, but this year, more than 67,000 visitors from 205 countries were in attendance, including more than 50 percent of attendees holding C-level positions and 3,500+ CEOs. Although an astronomic figure, it was hardly surprising based on the advances made in technology in recent years. In fact, back then, the sceptics were out in force asking “Why would I need a tablet device from Apple when I have a PC or Mac and an iPhone?”. Looking at the current size of the tablet market, it’s clear that the discussions at MWC are noteworthy predictions of what we can expect to see in the market and at future shows.

A Refreshing New Look for Comptel

“Wow, you’ve changed! was the reaction of many of our customers, friends and analysts to the new face of Comptel that was revealed. The new brand with the tagline, “Making Data Beautiful”, that had been publicly announced only days before, took many by surprise but was the catalyst for fresh discussions around new products, solutions and positioning.

All the Big Players, Exuberance and Excess

The usual suspects packed into the exhibition; many of whom weren’t happy with one stand. These “big hitters” such as Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Cisco—builders of next-generation mobile infrastructures—had covered all bases by appearing with both commercial (marketing) and closed areas.

For the commercial appearances, Huawei certainly took the prize for the biggest exuberance as can be seen in the image, with a cascading liquid neon display. The Chinese giants certainly also took the Hateley prize for having spent the most on MWC, and this was clearly visible not only on the expo floor but also all around Barcelona!

One of the key business and thought leadership areas for NSN  was Machine-to-Machine (M2M). The company discussed an enterprise vertical-focused solution that leveraged a traditional managed service architecture, complete with infrastructure and processes, alongside a service enablement layer with a “smart” object focus. These “smart” objects obviously relate to the new generation of consumer and commercial devices containing SIM or other forms of IP communication to the network—either public or private. The operational and value chain associated with the entire M2M opportunity is still largely undefined and without standards; however, one thing is for sure: the important role that will be played by the application developer community and strategic eco-system partners that communications service providers (CSPs), network vendors and systems integrators (SIs) will need to form. NSN has clearly taken that into consideration for its ‘fully managed vertical end-to-end services’.

The Top Topics

So what were the top themes this year (that I noticed as an exhibitor)?

Theme Sponsor Observation
M2M GSMA, network and OSS vendors, device manufacturers, mobile operators Early technology adopters and innovators only at the moment. Earliest standardisation expected in 6-12 months. Value-chain is open for interpretation!
Cloud-based Services Network and OSS vendors, cloud and virtualisation vendors, data centre hosting companies Mobile operators adopting cloud-techniques for operational and cost-efficiency in the midst of severe data and content demand and growth. Bring your Own Device introducing IT security challenges and opportunities for virtual machine providers.
LightRadio Network vendors Alcatel-Lucent specifically leading the field with a conference-wide 4G deployment that its execs leveraged to great effect.
Policy Control & Charging OSS/BSS vendors Although disputed by Comptel’s 2010 announcement, identified as an important trend in the next 12 months.
Actionable Intelligence & Analytics Revenue assurance and OSS/BSS integrators and vendors, customer experience management-focused vendors, network vendors, other independent software vendors Most have “analytics” in their go-to-market pitch; however, as seen, it can be applied across the industry in different forms. Not a lot of “action” in the actionable intelligence!
Managed Services OSS/BSS integrators and vendors Aligning with mobile operator needs to outsource and reduce operational and development costs, so they can focus on their core businesses.
Application Development Android, Blackberry and a multitude of smaller developers The future is definitely in app development—the “trendy” and “place to be” community of the conference.
Consumer Electronics (Smartphones & Tablets) Samsung, Blackberry, Motorola, Nokia—the usual suspects Innovation around an existing theme (tablets). Geeks’ paradise but nothing earth-shattering. Galaxy Note was about the most significant.
Near-field Communication (NFC) and Cell-enabled Electronic Payment Operators, innovators and GSMA An attempt by mobile operators to “own” electronic payments using NFC in the handset tied to subscriber identity and profile. New operator-banking partnership opportunities but security regulation is a hot topic.

Do you agree with the hot topics I’ve identified? Leave a comment and let us know what stood out to you at Mobile World Congress. Also stay tuned for the second part of my reflections on the Barcelona event.


Comptel Prepares for Cisco Live! in London

Posted: January 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Comptel Prepares for Cisco Live! in London

Next week, the Comptel team is again heading to Cisco Live! in London, and we expect cloud to be a popular point of discussion at the show. Cloud services offer great revenue potential for communications service providers (CSPs), but harnessing that potential requires a comprehensive platform dedicated to a very different kind of business.

Our staff will be on hand to demonstrate how the Comptel Virtualization Charging Solution (VCS) for Cloud is tailored toward this new business model. It re-uses many of Comptel’s existing mediation and charging components that are already deployed with various CSPs worldwide, and enables them to create advanced and flexible charging models in a cloud context (e.g. Software-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Storage-as-a-Service).

The VCS acts as the mediation layer between a CSP’s cloud environment and billing system by collecting usage statistics of virtual machines managed via e.g. Vcenter, Xen or Hper-V, and then processing network bandwidth data from e.g. Nexus routers and rating the data according to active subscriptions, and finally delivering rated items for billing-based specified time intervals. We like to call this “concept to cash”.

If you’d like to talk with us about cloud services’ impact on BSS/OSS, how CSPs can best manage their network assets for managing cloud services and our VCS solution, come to the Comptel booth (#E3)—you’ll find us just next to the Cisco Industrial Network Solutions demo area. (Some of the demo areas have less technical names such as Bloodhound—unrelated to K-9s, Bloodhound SSC is the ultimate land speed record car!)

One other fun fact: After Cisco Live! in London is complete, the conference venue, ExCeL London, will play a big role in the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, serving as the host to seven and six events (or 80 and 74 medals) respectively. As my peer Andrew Gavin wrote during the FIFA World Cup in 2010, the network infrastructure must have greater capacity than those of previous sporting events based on the anticipated increase in traffic demand. This will be key to ensuring a high customer experience for the global audience the Olympics will bring to London. Cisco will be supplying the routing, switching, firewalls and IP telephony to approximately 100 venues across the U.K. to support the summer games, and they will be showcasing that during Cisco Live.

We hope to see you at the event!


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.