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.
Connect with me on Google+
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 email@example.com. You can visit our show microsite as well, for further examples of intelligence at every touch point.
Posted: December 4th, 2012 | Author: Ulla Koivukoski | Filed under: Events | Tags: BSS, CIQ4T, Comptel, digital, Management World Americas 2012, MWA, OSS, TM Forum | No Comments »
I’m here at Management World Americas 2012 in Orlando, Florida, where the air is filled with excitement. This year, the theme is “everything that can be digital, will be” – which is reinforced by the rapid growth of our digital economy, expected to reach $20.4 trillion by 2013. Kicking things off this morning was TM Forum’s President and CEO, Martin Creaner, who addressed how to manage complex services as this growth continues, and discussed the industry’s transformation.
To illustrate his point, Martin drew a parallel to frogs – if you put a frog in cool water and then slowly increase the heat, the frog will boil alive before he realises that his life is in danger, even though he’s aware of the gradual temperature change. This is an analogy to the problems our industry faces. We realise change is happening all around us, in the types of phones we use, with increases in data usage, how we use that data, and beyond. But understanding these changes and actually doing something about them are two entirely different things.
That’s where the challenge of innovation comes into play. When it comes to innovation, there are two categories – the first is sustaining innovation, which is about making things better and improving on products and services that already exist in the market. The second, and more difficult type of innovation, is disruptive. This is focused on creating a new market, with new technologies and services.
Currently, market leaders tend to be strong with sustaining innovation and poor at disruptive innovation. Martin noted that, while always important to cater to customers, the downside of sustaining innovation is that it can hold you captive by them. To avoid being the boiling frog, organizations really need to both sustain and disrupt with their innovations. Martin explained that breaking the cycle comes down to putting space between your innovative efforts and the demand of existing customers. In doing so, you can not only innovate for the here and now, but also take steps to change for the future.
This is something we pride ourselves on at Comptel, especially with our Contextual Intelligence for Telecommunications (CIQ4T) concept – a way we’re innovating for service providers. It allows them to understand their customers with predictive analytics, and interact with them intelligently for relevant offers and, ultimately, for a better customer experience.
We’re excited to see what the rest of the show offers, and if you’re at Management World, stop by our booth (#7) in the expo hall!
Posted: November 30th, 2012 | Author: Diego Becker | Filed under: Events | Tags: broadband, BSS, Comptel, Management World Americas, MSO, MWA, NET, OSS, real-time | No Comments »
It’s that time of year again – Management World Americas is about to kick off, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be presenting on day one of the conference in the Cable Summit with Rodrigo Duclos, CIO of NET. Part of a track on “The Road to Applied Success”, our session will cover the Brasilian cable multiple system operator’s (MSO) OSS/BSS transformation project and evolution to provide a richer customer experience.
Due to skyrocketing demand for broadband services, NET wanted to develop a more sophisticated quota management system, using the Comptel Mediation system, to enhance its communications offerings and personalise service and price plans for subscribers. Rodrigo will explain how the cable MSO was able to automate the mediation process and more intelligently analyse customers’ broadband consumption, and discuss the benefits this can bring to NET’s business. For instance, it allows for more advanced charging models based on service use and gives subscribers the power to control and monitor their usage and bills in real time—resulting in more streamlined operations, a flexible and creative business model and an enhanced customer experience.
Again, I’m very excited to share this great case study with Management World Americas attendees. I hope you will come see the presentation on Monday, 3 December at 10:30 a.m. EST in the Cable Summit or visit the Comptel booth (#7) in the expo hall.
Posted: October 25th, 2012 | Author: Mauro Carobene | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: 3G, Comptel, LTE, OSS/BSS, telecom | 1 Comment »
Let me briefly introduce myself. I am Mauro Carobene. I have been appointed CMO in Comptel
a few days ago. I have been in the BSS/OSS business since 1996, when I started my career in Italtel. Since then, for one reason or another, I haven’t been able to leave the OSS/BSS arena. I have been in R&D, technical support, consultancy, sales and sales management roles.
I was asked me why I am still in this niche of the telecom market and not looking to do something else. I have asked myself the same question many times. If I look back to 1996 and consider what was understood as OSS back then, we have taken huge steps forward. Back in the day, most of the actions were completed manually on a type of VT100 terminal
using MML commands
. Today the situation has improved a lot on the one hand, but on the other the system complexity is growing exponentially. It is true that we have pretty user interfaces and nice tools to control the network, but it is equally true that the complexity of services and the time to launch and activate these services are growing exponentially.
To launch a new tariff plan five years ago required at least six months of planning. While still working in a different company, I remember working – already in March – in preparation for the Christmas campaign for one of our big customers… and I also remember how we failed the delivery already in November and how that customer was not able to run the campaign as planned. Nowadays, the marketing department of each operator (or Communication Service Provider since the difference between the two is getting bigger and bigger) can execute plans within a few hours. “Operators XYZ launched a flat fee campaign yesterday, we need to do it immediately as well!” and the CIO/CTO needs to execute immediately.
If someone asked me if operators have reached the right level of automation in running their operations, my answer is no. If we consider all the progress made in all the other fields of technology, I think that OSS/BSS is lagging behind.
What is missing?
1: “Plug and play” integration capabilities. When I buy an USB, I can plug it in to my computer and it works. I don’t need to care about the brand or the technology. I simply buy it, plug it in and I’m ready to watch movies, get auxiliary light or use a cup that keeps my coffee hot while I’m writing an email. This is USB
. Does the USB “Plug and play” concept exist in today ‘s OSS/BSS? The answer is a definite no. Operators are still spending a fortune to integrate different components and applications. There are naturally good reasons for the current state of business, but the fact remains that we are still behind.
2: Time to market for new services. Ideally, every service should be 100% modular and completely separate from technology. The capability to build customised services should be available for everybody directly from a Web UI. If I buy a car, I don’t have to waste time thinking about the asphalt or the type of road in general when I drive. The level of expectation should be the same for telecommunications. We shouldn’t need to care about 3G
or whatever technology. OSS/BSS should enable operators to completely separate the service layer from network layer, enabling them to build an overall service where each single service component can be hand-picked from a catalogue.
3: “Real decision automation”. Every CSP collects a huge amount of data and is capable of using different tools to correlate and post-process this data. The real issue is this: “Can these tools make decisions and make these decisions happen – and not just analyse?” If I drive a car and I have an ABS system
, when I hit the brakes and the wheels start to swerve, the ABS takes immediate action. It doesn’t generate a report that says “you hit your brakes too hard and now you have crashed the car!” Just image what the driver of the said car would do with such report…Transforming analysis into action will be the key success factor in enabling automatic decisions.
This is why I am still in this business. I dream of the day when the operator CEOs will able to decide which component to choose without thinking about the possible hidden costs of the integration, will be able to launch a new tariff plan or a new service simply by asking for the PowerPoint presentation from their marketing department and last but not least, will be able to automate all the phases of the process without ‘having to hit a wall’ and then simply receive a report that states the obvious. This is what we want to achieve in Comptel and this is the mandate that will keep me in the OSS/BSS business for a time to come.
Posted: October 23rd, 2012 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: News | Tags: analytics, business, Comptel, Comptel Fulfillment, mediation, Social Links, strategy | No Comments »
Last week, we announced Comptel’s financials for the third quarter of 2012, which proved that our earlier focus on cost containment is quickly showing results. This quarter was ripe with strong sales, bringing the company back to profitability, and I am very pleased to show revenue growth in all of Comptel’s areas of business.
We won two significant projects from South America – one is outside of our traditional domain, from a Brasilian utility company that purchased Comptel Fulfillment, and the other is with Telefonica Argentina that continued to consolidate its mediation systems with Comptel. Reinforcing our position as a powerful analytics vendor, we also closed a Comptel Social Links deal with a prominent operator group in the Middle East. In addition, there was a considerably large sized managed service deal, and a few larger upgrades of Comptel Mediation and Comptel Fulfillment contracts from existing customers.
As anticipated, the operating result for the third quarter was positive. We met the cost-savings targets set in June, and the cost level for this quarter was significantly lower compared to the first half of the year. Now, it is time to move forward following the regrettable personnel-related efficiency measure we completed during the quarter and continue the execution of our strategy. We’re confident that we’re moving in the right direction and are further improving the integration of our analytics capabilities and striving to deliver on our corporate values.
One of our goals is to become the leader in customer interaction automation for telecommunications, and we’re also looking to expand this outside of our traditional domain. This will ultimately have an impact on our sales and marketing strategy, which will both be aligned with the approach, as the role of our partners will become even more important. In order to implement the new sales and marketing approach, we decided to build a strong team of sales executives, headed by the newly established role of Chief Market Operations Officer (CMO), who will take the lead in this transformation. At the same time, we also simplified our Executive Board to ensure the organisation is as efficient as possible and can successfully execute the strategy.
Overall, the third quarter of 2012 has been quite busy. Maybe the best way to sum up this quarter is to simply reiterate how I concluded the last quarter: I’m honoured to convey, on behalf of Comptel, that we are looking forward to continuing to deliver on our promises to the market in the fourth quarter of 2012.