Operation Nexterday: The Playbook for Success in the Age of Generation Cloud

Posted: February 25th, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Life is full of digital moments. Comptel strongly believes that digital and communications service providers who perfect these moments have a unique opportunity to rise above the competition and thrive today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow – namely, Nexterday. In fact, we wrote a book on it.Operation Nexterday launch party

In Operation Nexterday, we describe the perfect storm currently changing the way operators serve customers and drive revenue, securing their future in the digital and communications industry. It all starts with Generation Cloud, digitally savvy group of consumers and businesses who are setting a new standard for service in today’s highly connected digital world.

These buyers make real-time purchasing decisions and shop on their own terms. They don’t want to play by the old rules of engagement, and if your products and services are too restrictive or slow for their needs, they won’t hesitate to switch to one of your competitors.

The numbers back this up – a recent consumer survey we conducted in January 2015 revealed that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of consumers prefer to purchase digital content when and how it is convenient for them.

And these pressures aren’t restricted to B2C buyers. As our book explains, the trends of hyper-personalised marketing, multi-channel purchasing and instant gratification extend to B2B buyers as well. Instead of separating B2C and B2B channels, we need to start thinking of a unified business-to-human approach.

How do operators adapt to this new landscape?

By embracing Operation Nexterday to help rewrite your playbooks for approaching sales, marketing, technology and service in the age of Generation Cloud consumers and prosumers. Our book describes those who are pioneering the market, offers industry research and features third-party expert insight, offering the strategies you need to transform your business. More specifically, it includes:

  • Examples from operators like T-Mobile and Telefonica, who are successfully turning the industry on its head with new service, sales and marketing, and technology strategies
  • Research and insights from leading industry voices such as Fredrik Jungermann of tefficient, Dr. Mark Mortensen and Anil Rao of Analysys Mason, and Nancee Ruzicka of ICT Intuition
  • Thoughts on transformation through strategic innovation from Professor Neo Boon Siong, Chairman of the Nanyang Executive Education and former Dean of the Nanyang Business School at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University

Operation Nexterday, which will be available in hard and soft copies, will be officially released at a special launch party on Monday, 2 March at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The party will be held at 5 p.m. CET at our stand, #5G40. We invite you to join us to pick up a copy of the book and learn more about our suggested framework for guiding operators’ future in the digital and communications industry.

If you are not attending Mobile World Congress but would like a hard or digital copy of Operation Nexterday, please contact our team at comptel.marketing@comptel.com.

We urge all like-minded telco professionals and businesses to join the Operation Nexterday movement by getting the book and spreading the word, which you can do with the #operationnexterday Twitter hashtag.


A Review of Comptel’s 2014 Business and 2015 Outlook

Posted: February 6th, 2015 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Comptel’s growth accelerated towards the end of the year. Our sales in Q4 grew by approximately 21% compared to last year, and  our order backlog grew significantly compared to the previous year.

During the second half of 2014, we won several new customers as well as several multi-year deals with our existing customers. In Q4, we won two new customers, both in South America. Looking at the full year, we doubled our new customer wins: to eight in 2014 compared to four in 2013.

Our new solutions grew almost 26% in Q4, as well. However, our full-year expectations for new solutions did not materialise as we had expected. Our current business was strong and grew by 5% in 2014 as a whole and compared to the previous year.

Regionally, Asia-Pacific grew throughout the year, Europe had a very strong second half, and the Middle East performed as planned in 2014. As previously stated in 2014, our challenges were in the South America region.

Our net profit improved also significantly from previous years due to some previously made tax changes in Asia and also due to some new decisions by the tax authorities. Going forward, we expect this to reduce our effective corporate tax rate.

We ended the year with a solid balance sheet and continue to be net cash positive. During 2014, we secured 26 significant orders, valued over EUR 0.5 million. In 2013, the comparable number of orders was 17. The Group’s reported order backlog increased from the previous year, from EUR 40.8 in 2013 to EUR 55.2 million at the end of the 2014 financial year. The company’s total backlog including multi-year orders beyond 12 months is more than EUR 70 million.

New Organisation

Comptel renewed its organisation in the beginning of 2015. The new organisation reflects the company’s focus on the two core business areas. Going forward, the two business units are: “Comptel Intelligent Data” and “Comptel Service Orchestration.” The Comptel Intelligent Data business unit includes Comptel Convergent Mediation, Comptel Policy and Charging Control and Analytics. The Comptel Service Orchestration business unit includes Comptel Provisioning and Activation, Comptel Fulfillment and Comptel Inventory.

Moreover, the company continues to have common sales and services organisations and corporate functions. In addition, Comptel established a new business unit, which will concentrate on new ideas and products in the early stage to develop them further.

Business Outlook and Markets

The business environment and industry of telecommunications operators is at a clear turning point, since new technologies and business competitors are entering the traditional telecommunications market. We expect the trend to continue in 2015.

While fundamental investments are targeted to high bandwidth, 4G and fibre networks, operators have a strong need to develop and launch new services and improve the quality of the customer experience, to gain the full potential of their investments in a heavily competitive market. Fierce competition inside the telecommunications industry and against the newcomers in the same market requires that operators improve their business processes continuously and pay special attention to their cost structure.

The significance and role of software in managing the telecommunications networks and in enabling more business for operators will further increase. We expect that the implementation of new network technologies and services will slightly increase the value of the software market and will create demand for larger software delivery projects. The operators will require both services and new project deliveries that create a strong basis for business growth. Network technologies will also be moving to software-based cloud environments at an increasing pace, and will bring new and more extensive business opportunities for our service orchestration and intelligent data solutions.

We expect the 2015 net sales to grow compared to the previous year, and we expect operating profit to be in the range of 8-12%, excluding one-time charges. Characteristically, a significant part of Comptel’s operating profit and net sales is generated in the second half of the year.


How a Push for NFV Standardisation Brought Comptel to ETSI

Posted: January 8th, 2015 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

By Stephen Lacey, Director of Business Architecture, Comptel

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has been overseeing standardisation in the telecommunications industry for more than two decades, and in our work, Comptel has been closely following ETSI’s principles for nearly that long.

Our involvement with the organisation first started from our roots in data processing and mediation; so you could say that we’ve adhered to ETSI standards since the beginning of GSM.

Over the years, part of our business has increasingly aligned itself to fulfilment and orchestration of complex enterprise, residential and subscriber services (rather than solely provisioning and activation), and as ETSI itself became more involved in orchestration, we began to consider whether it made sense to join ETSI fully. We are pleased to share that in the latter half of 2014, we officially became a formal member organisation.

The Influence of NFV

The tipping point was in 2012, when ETSI launched a workgroup for Network Function Virtualisation (NFV). This Industry Specification Group (ISG) was developed at the behest of seven communications service providers (CSPs), who desired standardisation around this nascent technology. Interest in NFV has since increased significantly especially in 2014 and will continue to grow this year, as more operators consider how it can help them move away from expensive, proprietary network hardware toward more flexible solutions.

The NFV conversation intrigued us. Simon Osborne, our CTO for fulfilment, recently explained to Global Telecoms Business that NFV service orchestration involves “all the elements we’ve seen in the past” in traditional service orchestration. As a result, our end-to-end order orchestration and management software complemented with mediation and analytics – which supports network functions running on virtualised hardware – is a perfect fit for the type of operational structure the world of NFV needs.

Additionally, the other elements of our product portfolio, including mediation and policy control, are considered as network functions and will be deployed within the NFV environment in the future.

Ultimately, we feel that Comptel’s proposition—having a complete, automated software stack that requires very little intervention—was unique to ETSI’s workgroup, and that we could help provide a more complete picture into NFV deployment, scale and capacity management challenges, as well as offer effective insights to support standardisation in this emerging area.

Workgroups in Focus

Today, we are one of more than 200 CSPs, network equipment providers (NEPs) and technology companies within the NFV ISG, working to conceptualise and contribute to the standards that will guide this technology’s application in the years ahead. Formal meetings are held quarterly – the next one is scheduled for February in Prague. Individual work streams have monthly meetings to hammer out these standards – the next one for the interface and architecture workgroup is being held mid-January in Shanghai.

The NFV ISG has only just completed the first phase of standardisation, where the high-level architecture and design of this technology infrastructure is being developed. We are now entering the second phase of standardisation, where member organisations are divided into work groups to focus on specific items, such as examining the management and orchestration of an NFV system via an Operations Support System (OSS) interface.

How Operators Win

One major benefit of ETSI’s workgroups is that they bring together organisations from all sides of the industry to guide a collaborative and forward-looking conversation about an emerging area of telecommunications. Since Comptel will be intimately involved in those conversations now and in the future, we will be able to bring a higher level of expertise to conversations with our customers. We are excited about being directly involved in NFV’s development as a new foundational platform for network infrastructure.

NFV will define our future. More operators want the flexibility to run network operations software on commodity hardware, so that they can keep pace with the cloud-based competitors now edging their way into the market. To truly position yourself as a fully formed CSP, you need a partner who knows where this software-defined market is headed.

Visit our SDN/NFV Resource Library to learn more about how cloud and virtualisation technology helps operators unlock cost savings, enable flexible networks, and compete on a higher playing field.


Season’s Greetings from Comptel

Posted: December 18th, 2014 | Author: Leila Heijola | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

It’s hard to believe that 2014 is just about to come to a close! Like we’ve discussed in Decembers past, Comptel sends season’s greetings cards electronically and donates the money saved from the traditional, printed cards to a charitable fund.

Last year, Comptel selected UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, to support victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In 2012, we started a project with Kiva, an organisation focused on connecting people through financial lending to empower entrepreneurs. Our contribution to this non-profit has since generated 38 loans in 24 countries.

In 2011, we donated to Plan International, one of the oldest and largest children’s development organisations in the world, which works to promote child rights and bring millions out of poverty. And, our donation for 2010 went to the Kileva Foundation, which helped pay for the building of a Kileva Eastfield Primary School classroom.

Drum roll for this year’s chosen charity…which is Right to Play! While food, water and shelter are essential, so is a childhood, complete with education and opportunities to actively engage with other children. There are areas of the world today where children are not able to experience the benefits of play – and Right to Play aims to tackle this problem.

Right to Play uses the power of play to educate and empower children to be guardians of their own health and active participants in their communities. The organisation’s programs create positive experiences and teach important life skills that help children adopt and maintain lifelong healthy behaviours and attitudes.

There is more to come in our work with Right to Play – stay tuned! But, in the meantime, we wish you, all of our customers, partners, investors and friends, a peaceful and happy holiday season and look forward to another fruitful and cooperative year in 2015.


Comptel’s New Sydney Office Honors 15 Successful Years in the Region

Posted: December 16th, 2014 | Author: Special Contributor | Filed under: Around the World, Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

By Jussi Ware, Vice President, Australia and New Zealand, and Alliances APAC, Comptel

After 15 years of business in Australia and New Zealand, Comptel celebrated the opening of a new office in Sydney, Australia on 4th December.

Our business and customer base in Australia and New Zealand have grown steadily since we opened our original regional office in 1999. Today, eight of the leading telcos in the Australian and New Zealand market are Comptel customers. In recent years, Comptel has played an important role, in particular, in national broadband initiatives both in Australia, supporting NBN Co, and in New Zealand, supporting Chorus and Enable as part of that country’s Ultra-Fast Broadband programme.

The new office celebrates our continued commitment to support communications service providers and other telco industry players in Australia and New Zealand.

It was a pleasure to host a party to reinforce this and Comptel’s success in this market. Guests included local customers and partners such as NBNCo, Tech Mahindra, Alcatel-Lucent and Pactera. Representatives from Finpro, Team Finland and the Finland-Australia Chamber of Commerce also brought some Finnish flavor to the party.

Mr. Pasi Patokallio, Ambassador of Finland for Australia and New Zealand, gave the welcome address followed by comments from Comptel CEO Juhani Hintikka.

We are constantly looking for opportunities to add value and provide local support and relevant solutions to our customers around the globe. The new Sydney office will allow Comptel to further grow within the Australian and New Zealand telco markets, while strengthening our ability to serve customers in this part of the world.


Comptel Had a Strong Third Quarter

Posted: October 24th, 2014 | Author: Juhani Hintikka | Filed under: Industry Insights, News | Tags: , | No Comments »

Comptel is pleased to announce that we had a strong third quarter in 2014 compared to last year, both in terms of quarterly growth in net sales as well as in terms of profitability

In the third quarter, our project and license revenue grew by 20 percent compared to the third quarter in 2013. Our growth came both through winning new customers as well as from new projects. Our new and current business areas grew in the third quarter compared to last year.

We also secured six significant orders, valued over EUR 500,000. Our existing customers in Saudi Arabia and India placed significant orders and we also won a new customer in Pakistan. Also our backlog strengthened significantly overall. In 2014, Comptel has won six customers compared to four last year.

During the past quarter we also signed a strategic partnership agreement with Hitachi. Our Japanese partner will be reselling our Comptel Policy Control solution globally. This new partnership enables us to enter the Japanese market and establish our presence there.


Comptel Enters Strategic Partnership with Hitachi

Posted: October 5th, 2014 | Author: Simo Isomaki | Filed under: News | Tags: , , | No Comments »

With the rapid uptick in mobile device use, continued data traffic growth and demand for innovative, high quality infotainment services, communications service providers (CSPs) need to build flexible network operations platforms that can help them keep up with changing customer preferences. At the same time, CSPs, supported by these platforms, must be able to scale network capacity up and down based on need and, hence, better manage costs incurred for running the services.

Packet Core is vital to CSPs in the data-centric world…and even more so is Evolved Packet Core (EPC), the 3GPP-specified architecture system that manages data connections in LTE networks (Wikipedia). Part of EPC, Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) is a central system used to manage policy definitions within the network for users, services and devices.

Some time ago, these ‘rules’ were defined simply for managing bandwidth. They granted only certain bandwidth to a user’s session (say during web browsing or video streaming). The industry has since transitioned to develop more business-centric models, but CSPs need to continue to evaluate how to monetise all that data. Analysing that information is crucial for building more personalised experiences that win hearts, minds and wallets.

This is why Comptel and Hitachi have entered into a reselling partnership, as recently stated via a stock exchange press release. The companies will work together to help CSPs across the globe, with an initial focus on the Japanese and US markets, to help businesses adapt to increasingly competitive market dynamics.

CSPs around the world can now access Hitachi’s vEPC with a PCRF system that can help them create personalised offerings and ensure fast time-to-market. Meanwhile, CSPs can better manage their network resources and service quality—supporting a high customer experience and aiming to drive efficiency and operational flexibility improvements.

We are excited about this new collaboration, as it demonstrates the strength of our policy control and charging technology, as well as our domain expertise, and marks a possibility to enter into a new market, namely Japan. Comptel is pleased to be a part of accelerating Hitachi’s traffic management solution and vEPC offering, and we look forward to building a long, successful relationship with the company.


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

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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.