Posted: February 21st, 2014 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: News | Tags: cloud, Comptel, fulfillment, OSS/BSS, partner, Tech Mahindra | 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.
Posted: February 20th, 2014 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: News | Tags: Comptel, innovation, leadership, telecoms, World Finance | 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 email@example.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
Posted: February 13th, 2014 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: News | Tags: 2013, Comptel, Comptel Analytics, Comptel Fulfillment, Comptel Policy Control | 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!
Posted: December 20th, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: Comptel, Comptel Fulfillment, Comptel Social Links, contextual intelligence, Frost & Sullivan, Mobile World Congress | 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!
Posted: August 27th, 2013 | Author: OSS Team | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: analytics, big data, Comptel, CSP, predictive analytics, telco | 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.
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.
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.
Posted: July 23rd, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: catalog, catalog-driven fulfillment, Comptel, Comptel Catalog, Comptel Fulfillment, concept-to-cash, fulfillment, product lifecyc, provisioning and activation, Service order management | 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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Posted: July 17th, 2013 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights, News | Tags: analytics, business, Comptel, TM Forum | 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.
Posted: June 5th, 2013 | Author: Fariha Shah | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: brand, Comptel, Customer Experience Management | 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?
Posted: May 23rd, 2013 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: analytics, Comptel, Comptel Catalog, Comptel Fulfillment, Comptel Social Links, CSP, customer experience, Customer Experience Management, LTE, mobile, Mobile World Congress | 1 Comment »
Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC) in Barcelona had the highest attendance ever with 72,000 visitors. Every year, many of our customers do not have the opportunity to attend or meet us there, and to that end we created a customer workshop concept ‘Barcelona-in-a-Box’. The idea is simple – if you couldn’t attend MWC, we bring it to you.
We built the workshop concept on three key industry topics which were discussed during MWC and continue to be on the agenda of almost every CSP.
To set the scene for the Barcelona-in-a-Box sessions, we shared our observations on the industry, based on extensive and in-depth discussions with major operators across the globe, insight we have gained from industry analysts and an independently commissioned report.
These observations addressed increasing smartphone penetration and how it’s driving up data usage, but not necessarily increasing revenues – largely due to pressure by OTT services such as WhatsApp, Skype, YouTube and Facebook (to name a few). Secondly, we discussed how bundled tariffs and packages are increasingly attractive to mobile subscribers, assisting CSPs with customer “lock-in” and positively driving up revenues. We highlighted the next evolution of the bundled approach through creation of fully shared data plans, as seen in the US market for example. Finally, as an observation we deliberated that while LTE rollouts are still in their early stages, the importance of attracting the right high-use customers to adopt the highly valued (and highly subsidised) handsets is key for accelerating ROI on those infrastructures.
To ensure that we have the correct data on consumer needs in place, we at each session discussed the locally relevant results of the consumer survey, Customers Yearn for the Personal Touch from Their Mobile Operators, we made at the end of 2012 with Vanson Bourne, an independent research firm. We polled 6,000 consumers from 12 countries across EMEA, Latin America and Asia Pacific on their service usage and spending habits, as well as their relationships and satisfaction with their mobile operators.
In addition to vivid discussion on the common challenges and local consumer needs, some of the sessions included live demonstrations that showcased the solutions that Comptel has developed to address the needs of its customer. We showed the benefits of the Comptel Event-Analysis-Action strategic framework with:
- Robust and highly automated Comptel Fulfillment that supports service innovation and better customer interaction while reducing costs
- ‘Plug ‘n’ Play’ Catalog-Driven product creation that allows building and adapting marketable products quickly from established service components, accelerating new revenues and allowing agile responses to market changes
- Comptel Social Links, predictive analytics to improve and automate every-day decision-making at each customer touch point and serve customers based on their individual needs and techniques of finding the right customers for new products.
We have already taken Barcelona-in-a-Box across the Middle East, Europe and Asia receiving great acclaim for our initiative and its content, being quoted as having “a fresh approach” to actively engaging with our customers. The Comptel team has enjoyed the lively debates and sense of shared understanding of the industry state and prospects for the future. Based on the feedback, we have validated that Comptel is in-sync with CSPs and our solutions suitably address their needs. We are excited to see which topics are on top of the agenda for Barcelona in 2014!
Posted: February 12th, 2013 | Author: Ulla Koivukoski | Filed under: News | Tags: bandwidth, churn, communications service providers, Comptel, CSPs, customer experience, customer loyalty, Customers, every touch point, mobile, mobile operators, Mobile World Congress, Operators, survey, Vanson Bourne | 1 Comment »
It’s no secret that customer experience is a crucial element to communications service providers’ (CSPs) business growth strategies. Last year, I talked about the necessity to anticipate customer needs to help accomplish this, as highlighted by a survey conducted with research firm Vanson Bourne. This year, we worked with the company again to gain a global understanding of subscribers’ feelings toward their CSPs and found that they indeed welcome, and in fact desire, this personalised communication at every touch point. This includes from the first interaction when joining the service (35%), to when they are experiencing issues with the service (61%), to when their needs are changing (40%).
When would you like to have more personalised help/contact from your operator?
The good news for CSPs is that these interactions can help recoup the 20% of revenue that is currently being spent on churn compensation and retention, according to telecommunications industry consultant tefficient. While this number is staggering, it also means there is a huge cost-savings opportunity – if CSPs can earn customer loyalty. For one, churn prevention can be significantly reduced as, currently, more than one-third of consumers indicated that they might consider changing their mobile operators now if they could.
Would you like to change your operator now if you could?
Adding to this, there is a significant revenue opportunity to be had if CSPs personally interacted more often with customers. For instance, almost two-thirds of consumers said that they would like to download large files to their devices more often if they had a better rate plan for their mobile data, better bandwidth or a better device, and nearly half (49%) would pay for a temporary upgrade to download those files more quickly and improve their viewing experience, if offered. On average, consumers are willing to spend $3.80 for a temporary service upgrade—accounting for an increase in ARPU of 12 percent.
If your mobile operator offered you a temporary bandwidth boost / data consumption upgrade for a small charge, how much would you pay?
As I mentioned in today’s press release, the key to making this a reality and, ultimately, to earn customer loyalty, is through contextual intelligence at every touch point. As the survey results show, consistent, personalised interaction puts CSPs one step closer to winning consumers’ hearts, more efficiently utilising assets and profitably monetising their offerings.
Data for this survey was gathered from consumers in Brasil, Chile, France, Germany, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and Vietnam. A full copy of the research report will be available at Mobile World Congress (25-28 February 2013 in Barcelona) in Hall 6 at Stand 6C30, or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit our show microsite as well, for further examples of intelligence at every touch point.