What’s new with SDN and the Cloud?

Posted: April 23rd, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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:

- Executive strategies for 2014

- Barriers to integration

- Technology priorities

- Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Comptel’s Q1/2014 Results and Review

Posted: April 17th, 2014 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

At the end of the last year, Comptel stated that our main objectives remain largely the same as for the year 2013: we will continue to invest in the new businesses (Comptel Fulfillment, Comptel Analytics and Comptel Policy and Charging Control), drive the expansion to new countries and substantially increase our collaboration with partners.

Our order backlog increased from the last quarter and we won three new customers during the first quarter of 2014. We received a new Comptel Analytics deal with a leading Asian operator, Globe Telecom, a Comptel Fulfillment deal in Colombia and a Comptel Convergent Mediation deal in New Zealand.

During the quarter, we signed a strategic partnership with Tech Mahindra and also won our first joint project after the partnership agreement.

Our year-over-year net sales declined to 18.0 million (21.2 million) due to seasonality swings between quarters. We divested one of our legacy businesses that also contributed slightly negatively to our order intake and revenue.

Our profitability improved compared to the first quarter of the last year and our cost base is now lower due to earlier implemented cost saving measures. We maintained a strong cash flow (7.2 million) throughout the quarter and currently our cash exceeds our bank debt.


Comptel, Tech Mahindra and New Strategic Partnership for 2014

Posted: February 21st, 2014 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

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.


Comptel Wins World Finance Award for Telecoms Industry Leadership

Posted: February 20th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

As you may have seen last month, Comptel has been honoured by World Finance magazine as having the Best Innovation of Western Europe, 2013. The award recognises Comptel’s ongoing efforts to provide new products and services to communications service providers (CSPs) that help them adapt their businesses to the realities of the telecommunications market today.

CEO Juhani Hintikka recently traveled to London to receive the award from World Finance’s Jenny Hammond. He also sat down with her for a brief video interview about the challenges and opportunities facing CSPs in 2014. Specifically, he discussed the emerging capabilities of software-defined networking (SDN) and the consolidation that’s impacting CSPs as the competition for revenue increases.

“It’s essential to differentiate by harnessing the intelligence and data available in CSPs’ networks,” he explained. That means CSPs need to think carefully about how their OSS/BSS are being harnessed and how Big Data analytics can be applied to derive increased value from them. He also detailed Comptel’s continuing innovations into automated service fulfillment and policy control and charging.

You can view the conversation here:

In addition to the interview with World Finance, Juhani wrote a feature for the magazine on what it will take for CSPs to grow today. For CSPs to evolve and take advantage of the new opportunities becoming available to them, he writes in the piece, silos need to be flattened, and data has to be democratised across an organisation. Only when C-level executives can focus on one common goal – and apply the latest technology – can CMOs, CTOs, CIOs and CEOs work together to fuel a new kind of customer experience and drive their businesses forward.

Juhani and Comptel will be attending Mobile World Congress this month and look forward to continuing the conversation on these points while in Barcelona. To arrange a meeting with the company, email comptel.marketing@comptel.com or visit Hall 5, Stand 5F41.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

- Executive strategies for 2014

- Barriers to integration

- Technology priorities

- Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Comptel’s 2013 Results and Review

Posted: February 13th, 2014 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Comptel’s main target for 2013 was to improve profitability. In the first half of 2013, we continued the cost-savings program that was started in 2012, with the aim to improve efficiency and the company’s cost structure. Our operating profit, excluding one-time items, increased to 8.8 per cent (-1.0) on an annual level in 2013. Support and maintenance sales continued to be strong in 2013.

As defined in our strategy, we continued our research and development investments into our new solution areas. Comptel Fulfillment, Comptel Analytics (where we won two new customers) and Comptel Policy Control sales grew by 22 per cent year over year.

During 2013, we won four new customers and secured 17 significant orders, valued over EUR 0.5 million. Geographically, our sales grew especially in the Middle East and the Americas. Finally, to wrap up, in the fourth quarter, Comptel entered a new market in Vietnam, where we closed a new Comptel Fulfillment deal, as well as won a new customer for the same product in New Zealand.

We look forward to what 2014 holds for Comptel!


5 Comptel Highlights from 2013

Posted: December 20th, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

2013 has been full of good news and remarkable achievements by the Comptel team. We wanted to quickly recap five of the year’s highlights:

1. Mobile World Congress 2013

At the beginning of 2013, Comptel had a notable presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona. At MWC 2013, there was a lot of talk, from monetising LTE and ensuring privacy when it comes to Big Data, to efficiently using operational assets and enriching the customer experience – themes that are sure to carry over into 2014.

2. Comptel Survey Reveals Preferences of Mobile Consumers

To gauge consumer sentiment when it comes to mobile operators today, Comptel also conducted an extensive survey on customer experience, with the help of Vanson Bourne. Our survey showed that there’s a real need for better, more personal interaction between communications service providers (CSPs) and their customers—and that this can be fostered with contextual intelligence at every touch point.

3. Partnerships Forge New Paths

In keeping with our goals of improving the customer experience and “Making Data Beautiful,” we partnered with organisations that have those objectives in common. First, we partnered with Accanto Systems to help ensure that our customers are empowered with next-generation customer experience management capabilities. Second, we partnered with salesforce.com by integrating Comptel Fulfillment to revolutionise sales and service creation and delivery innovation.

4. Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Recognises Comptel

This year, Comptel was awarded “Most Innovative Telecom OSS / BSS Vendor of the Year” by Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific. The analyst firm’s annual Asia Pacific ICT awards program is given to companies that displayed growth in performance and ground-breaking achievements. In addition to those metrics, Frost & Sullivan examined nominees’ major customer acquisitions, portfolio diversity and product innovation.

5. Comptel Social Links Wins Pipeline Innovation Awards

Another major victory for Comptel was winning a Pipeline Innovation Awards for Comptel Social Links. Pipeline’s annual programme honoured prominent telecommunications industry innovators for their advancements in technologies, products and deployments. The 2013 judging panel was comprised of key executives from leading CSPs around the world such as AT&T, BT, Cox, Intelsat, TELUS, Turkcell and Yota, as well as influential industry analysts.

To 2014 and Beyond

We’re proud of everything we’ve accomplished and can’t wait until 2014, which we’re sure will be just as good as 2013!


Around the World

Posted: August 27th, 2013 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

As usual, there’s been a lot going on in the telco industry these days. Comptel wants to bring you the best, most interesting stories and studies we’ve found, so communications service providers (CSPs) can stay on track.

Here are three in particular that caught our eye:

Billing & OSS World…

Big Opportunities From Big Data, But Barriers Remain

Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed think that the main, long-term driver is generating new business models. Informa Telecoms & Media has released a new survey of telecom operators which shows that Big Data has the potential to create great opportunities for businesses in the future. The respondents also agreed that Big Data’s short-term driver is solving internal challenges.

Forty-eight percent of operators said that they have Big Data solutions implemented already. On average, they spend ten percent of their IT budgets on Big Data, and this is expected to increase to twenty-three percent within the next five years. However, a major barrier that continues to be an issue is that operators still lack a business proposition and a trained team to handle the implementation.

Comptel’s own Matti Aksela recently spoke to Telecom Asia on this latter issue: “Vendors operating in this space can have a very skilled team behind their analytics solutions, and knowledge on integration and decision-making based on the analytics, and can quickly achieve benefits for CSPs. It may be even easier to ‘tear down the silos’ coming from the outside than just working internally.” Read the full article on whether telecom operators should manage analytics in-house or outsource it here.

Analysys Mason…

Analytics Applications Provide Rich Functionality and Low-Risk Deployment to Help Drive New Use Cases

CSPs have been using traditional analytics tools to help review data, analyse it and report it. However, new analytics applications can be deployed and configured specifically for a CSP’s use case, automating the best practices learned throughout the industry while eliminating the need for scarce data scientists to help segment and manage the data.

The real challenge in deploying a new analytics solution is infrastructure. CSPs must be flexible about changes in operations, so the business can accommodate new tools into the workflow Infrastructures are usually created with a specific use case in mind, but when an application is on top of the old infrastructure, there’s always the risk of compatibility. Lastly, CSPs will have to depend on vendors for updates to the application. Analytics applications are beneficial for CSPs, but operators must have the means to implement a new system of data analytics for the analytics applications to be successful.

Matti Aksela spoke with Big Data Republic in June about Big Data’s ability to reduce churn through advanced, predictive analytics tools. Robi Axiata experienced the results first-hand – once the factors of churn were identified, strategies could be taken to predict and eliminate them in the future.

BillingViews…

Should experience come before the engagement?

With Big Data helping CSPs identify the granular aspects of the customer experience and customer engagement, it’s easier to see where in the organisation improvement is needed. While customer experience represents the sum of what a customer has experienced at a given time, engagement represents the sum of the customer’s experiences over time. For the customer experience to be improved, specific departments can be targeted and strategies can be recalibrated. Customer engagement, however, needs an enterprise-wise approach to be improved.

A customer’s lifetime value must be determined and closely nurtured by the entire organisation to ensure that engagement is positive and, as Ulla Koivukoski wrote, CSPs can uncover new revenue streams and grow businesses by focusing on engagement. Predictive analytics can play a major role in fostering departmental collaboration and, in turn, delivering high-quality customer experiences.


Catalog-driven Fulfillment Gets Validation, Concept-to-Cash Gains a New Guise

Posted: July 23rd, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Comptel is encouraged to see that Sigma Systems’ recent acquisition of Tribold further validates our lead in terms of championing catalog-driven fulfillment for communications service providers (CSPs). Comptel initially introduced the catalog-driven fulfillment concept in 2010, and affirmed our market leader position through the Comptel Fulfillment platform release in 2012, which is now in active deployment with customers appreciating the real value of the catalog-driven approach.

At that time, many of our customers were questioning the difference between our catalog approach (technical abstraction and simplification for faster time-to-market through process repeatability) and that of the commercial catalog (product definition and linkage to the commercial process such as CPQ). This debate was further discussed in blog posts “Viewpoint – The Single or Dual Catalog Conundrum” and “More on the Catalog Conundrum.”

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 able to not only 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, he/she will find it easier to define new products that can be delivered without complex and lengthy workflow creation and modifications.

It’s interesting that Sigma has chosen the concept of “Idea to Install” to explain the joint value of the aforementioned companies. Effectively, it’s another phrase invented to explain a traditional fulfillment northbound (BSS) and southbound (NEM) integration, accompanying phrases such as Order-to-Activate and Concept-to-Cash (which brings in the additional vector of revenue management).

There is trend forming among CSPs towards operational transformation, aimed at aligning systems closer to actual customer processes and the management of the customer experience (also known as the creation of the “Customer Company”). So is this north – south level of pre-integration relevant anymore when you consider the need for a more multi-dimensional integration approach towards Over-the-Top (OTT) providers and value-added applications? Only time will tell.


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Comptel’s Q2 and H1 2013 Business Activities and Results in Review

Posted: July 17th, 2013 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights, News | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Yesterday, we announced Comptel’s financials for the second quarter and first half of 2013. To review the April – June period, our operating profit increased significantly compared to the previous year; we secured six significant orders (each valued over EUR 500,000) during this timeframe. We shared the news of communications service providers (CSPs), including Turkey’s Avea, Zain Kuwait and an African operator in conjunction with Tech Mahindra, leveraging our portfolio to get smarter about their operations, improve the customer experience and realise their business performance objectives.

Comptel also announced two new industry partnerships in the run up to our participation at TM Forum’s Management World conference in Nice in May. And as noted in our results announcement, our operating expenses decreased over the first half of the year, while we’ve realised efficiency improvements from the measures put in place in 2012.

Improving profitability continues to be our key goal throughout the rest of the year. We are further investing in our sales efforts in Latin America, the Middle East and new markets in Asia, and actively seek growth in these regions to compensate for the challenging market situation in Europe. We are also focusing on developing our fulfillment product line and our advanced analytics solutions over the coming months.

Comptel has especially received excellent feedback from the market about our strategic direction with regard to analytics – this was further reinforced with a Pipeline Innovation Awards win for Comptel Social Links. Earlier in the quarter, we re-organised this business unit to further open up opportunities in this area and further add value to our CSP customers, and now, we estimate that analytics deals will close in the second half of the year.

As I said last quarter, Comptel is on the right path, and is successfully executing its Event-Analysis-Action strategy and strengthening its position in the customer interaction automation domain.


The Power of a Brand That Delivers on Its Promise

Posted: June 5th, 2013 | Author: Fariha Shah | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Sometimes, a brand can become so powerful that it can carry the entire organisation and even take over as a corporate identity.  We come across many stories where a brand becomes larger than life, bigger than the corporation running it, thus creating the ultimate experience for the customer. That’s the sign that a brand has fully delivered on its promise.

At Comptel, we did a brand refresh last year to align with our ‘Event-Analysis-Action’ strategy; the essence of it is captured in our slogan, ‘Making Data Beautiful’. Such a simple brand promise requires serious behind-the-scenes planning, because we have to tackle the complex, real-world scenarios behind Big Data, and introduce Comptel’s technological innovation and strategic framework as a key differentiator.

So how do we make data beautiful? I usually get this question from a lot of different people, from journalists to customers to new employees.  My answer is simple: we specialise in telecommunications and have been serving companies that have staggering amounts of data (Comptel processes 20 percent of global mobile data) for more than 26 years. This data has been collected, processed and analysed—and turned from intelligence into real-time opportunities for our customers. Ultimately, what we do brings people closer to their interests and their loved ones. We think that is beautiful.

The tag line expresses not just what Comptel does, but how we feel about our brand. It combines the rational (data) with the emotional (beautiful). Together, these two values basically define our company. We apply analytics to data in a way that allows for intelligent decisions, smart operations and the automation of customer interactions—turning Big Data into business opportunities for communications service providers (CSPs).

We recently got recognised for our ability to take CSPs to the next level in customer experience management. Such recognition not only endorses our brand but also helps to quantify value for our customers.

We are constantly thinking of partnerships to enhance our portfolio and fulfill our brand promise to our customers. Recently, we’ve been working with salesforce.com to commercialise the smart order validation opportunity. Comptel showcases the value of our growing portfolio to our customers through a solid track record of reducing costs, supporting service innovation, enabling operational excellence and improving the quality of customer interactions for CSPs across the globe.

Creating and maintaining a valuable brand may look easy, but it involves great thought leadership, engaging the right audience and constant validation to support your positioning in the market. Your brand helps build the perception of your organisation, and it goes much further than just your logo. After all, you need to stand out to be noticed, and what is a better way to be noticed than being a brand that delivers on its promise?

Image: 123ref.com