A New Era for Big Data: Accessibility, Integration and Analytics at IBM Business Connect

Posted: October 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | Comments Off on A New Era for Big Data: Accessibility, Integration and Analytics at IBM Business Connect

On October 15, Comptel’s team attended IBM Business Connect, an annual event held in Helsinki at the monumental Finlandia Hall. According to IBM, it’s one of the biggest ICT events in Finland, with 1,700 attendees from a diverse number of businesses and industries.

A year ago, many presentations at the conference emphasized the importance of Big Data. This year, the messaging shifted to focus on business models utilising predictive analytics. Here is a recap of the main things we took away from the event.

1. Analytics are valuable, but often inaccessible.

Even if analytics are everywhere, leveraging their full business value can still be a challenge. Organisations face obstacles around data integration and data preparation, in particular, and this seems to prohibit some companies from using Big Data analytics at all. Therefore, to leverage big data, an efficient data integration and refinery layer is required to be able to utilise every bit of crude data to fuel the business.

It’s also important not to forget that when analytics become a natural part of business processes and decision-making, there will be a growing need for intelligent and interactive reporting and dashboards. Analytics cannot be a privilege of data scientists only; the benefits of Big Data analysis should reach much further throughout organisations.

2. Data enhances the customer journey.

Analysing and modelling customers’ buying journeys will result in new competitive advantages. B2C and B2B companies alike should look to leverage the intelligence that predictive analytics and machine-learning capabilities offer. It can help businesses better understand individual customers and their context and preferred content and unique value, enabling the delivery of ‘moments of truth.’ This means taking the right approach or offering the right product at the right time, with the right content and in the right way to optimise their experience. Ideally, this should be done across and along a customer’s entire journey.

According to the presenters, more than half (54 percent) of CEOs in leading organisations want to focus on improving the customer experience by changing interactions from mass messaging to market segments to 1:1 relationships. Vanson Bourne research found that 90 percent of customers are interested in a more personal relationship with communications service providers. But to do this, there needs to be real structural changes within the business.

3. Proactive should replace reactive.

Before access to real-time, predictive analytics, business opportunities and strategies were largely based on reporting and business intelligence. Business units would comb through the results of previous campaigns and base future campaigns on those results.

Companies need to shift from this reactive, report-driven approach to a predictive, data-driven one, using a solution that can automatically make changes in the business depending on operational data or customer trends by matching customer’s context and content. Predictive analytics can empower every aspect of the business, from product manufacturing to infrastructure and operations to sales and marketing.

In order to create data that can be used to revolutionise a customer’s experience, the information first has to be cleansed and processed with analytics tools.

The Data of Being Human

Aside from the business presentations, we also enjoyed hearing the keynote speeches. The most inspiring speech was given by Pekka Hyysalo, founder of the Fight Back movement. Hyysalo had just graduated from the Ruka Alpine School, and he was ready to conquer the world of freestyle skiing. When filming a freestyle movie in Ylläs in challenging weather conditions, however, the last jump ended badly.

He spent almost three weeks in a coma and suffered a severe head injury. His medical evaluation gave very little hope for asuccessful recovery, but Hyysalo proved the doctors wrong. With a great attitude, unbeatable willpower and an incredible sense of humour, he learned to walk and talk again. Now, he’s sharing his story and fighting back step-by-step.

We hope to see him accomplish the ultimate feat: run a marathon. The marathon project started this autumn when the first Fight Back run was organised in Turku. The distance was 2.5 kilometres, and next year, the length will be doubled to five kilometres. Incrementally, Hyysalo plans to build up the distance and run a full marathon in 2018.

The day ended in a fireworks of minds (“Älytulitus”) with prominent public figures discussing their dreams and how they would like to see more intelligence in our everyday lives, from human-integrated identity chips (for convenience of shopping or travelling, for example) to intelligence in the kitchen (to reduce the amount of food wasted) to interesting thoughts of how to generate real-time awareness of our health.

While some of these may never come true, the future is ours to make, and we invite all to share in the spirit of open collaboration to accomplish our dreams and making the future brighter together, one step at a time.

Want to learn more about how Big Data can be integrated and accessible? Learn about Comptel EventLink 7.0 below:

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FTTH Conference 2014: Strategy, Process and Deployment in Europe

Posted: February 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployment has often been hailed as a cure-all to the problems that are plaguing many communications service providers (CSPs) today. Across Europe, bandwidth is becoming a pronounced issue at a time when more people are streaming more data than ever before. The problem is usually one of economic feasibility. While 93 percent of households in the U.S. can choose between cable or DSL connections, only 42 percent of households in Europe can choose a cable connection.

Meanwhile, FTTH deployment is an even longer way off in many countries… but potential opportunities can make it worth exploring in more detail. CSPs have taken this to heart. The benefits of FTTH deployments are too big to overlook, and with the right planning and execution strategies, these investments can seriously pay off in the long run.

A Real-World Case Study

Comptel knows firsthand that FTTH deployment can yield countless opportunities for CSPs, because we’ve worked with a number of them and done it successfully. In 2011, Australia’s NBN Co selected Comptel to provide catalog-driven service fulfillment for a national broadband project and to ensure wholesale services were delivered quickly and efficiently across the fibre network to retail channels. Last year, we partnered with Alcatel-Lucent to provide Chorus New Zealand with a fibre fulfillment and inventory solution. The high-speed broadband network supports retail service providers that are experimenting with new services, and has opened up revenue opportunities for Chorus New Zealand and the CSP’s customers.

When the agility and flexibility of fibre are fully leveraged, then CSPs unlock a whole new world of potential, which is more important than ever, given the decline of traditional sources of revenue. So what’s really holding CSPs back when it comes to FTTH? There are a number of technical hurdles to overcome, but nothing that can’t be solved with the right tools.

The fibre rollout lifecycle will be covered in detail in a workshop during the FTTH Conference 2014 in Stockholm. Comptel will be presenting alongside Alcatel-Lucent, Comsof – iToolsOnline, GE Smallworld, and TE Connectivity, and speaking specifically to the timely and accurate orchestration, deployment and launch of such services. “Optimised Planning and Execution of FTTH Deployments: How to Increase the Success Rate of Your FTTH Project” will also educate operators on how they can:

  • Plan a deployment without overspending on CAPEX and OPEX
  • Create efficient operational processes
  • Ensure effective network documentation

The workshop runs from 13:00 – 18:00 on 18 February. It’s in good company, too, with other sessions running throughout the day about the challenges and solutions facing FTTH, optimising FTTH with integrated solutions and showing case studies of successful deployments.

If you’re planning on attending the FTTH Conference 2014 and want to get in touch with Comptel, please reach out to us at comptel.marketing@comptel.com and see more details about the workshop with Comptel here.

Connect with me on Google+ or Twitter to keep in touch, or follow @ComptelCorp.


Want to learn more about what’s on the minds of communications service providers? Download our full Comptel User Group APAC Survey findings about Big Data, fulfillment and more.
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Big Data and Analytics are on APAC Telcos’ Minds

Posted: October 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World, Events | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

CSPs in the APAC region are thinking hard about Big Data and analytics. Comptel recently hosted a focus group in Bangkok, Thailand, with attendees from fourteen communications service providers (CSPs) across ten different APAC countries. A multitude of topics were covered during the sessions, but the main thing on everyone’s mind seemed to be Big Data and analytics.

We surveyed attendees in the weeks leading up to our event—and the results seemed to reflect the same trends. With twenty-five respondents, 79 percent of which came from the Southeast Asia region, we got a sense of the issues facing CSPs today. We asked what IT, marketing and R&D leaders were currently focusing on, and one way or the other, it always seemed to come back to Big Data and analytics.

Here’s what our survey revealed:

1. Nearly three-quarters of CSPs say Big Data and analytics will have a big impact on their organizations

Whether CSPs are trying to better target customers or increase operational efficiency, it’s understood that they could benefit from Big Data. Although 71 percent agreed that Big Data and analytics will have a significant effect on their businesses going forward, only 58 percent said that Big Data was being used effectively.

Many CSPs could be in the same place as other businesses – data is being collected, but not being properly leveraged. New systems, processes and strategies need to be considered to truly turn all of that information into intelligence and the right actions. Only 16 percent of CSPs said that they had begun a Big Data initiative.

2. Almost nine out of ten CSPs believe integrating IT with marketing results in richer customer engagement

As we’ve said before, the future of marketing is networks, and the future of networks is marketing. Marketing campaigns at CSPs are becoming increasingly dependent on analytics and the technology that IT controls. At the same time, there’s more pressure on IT to become aligned with the broader goals of the business.

By breaking through the silos between those teams, CSPs can radically improve customer service, increase efficiency, ensure smart operations and realise many other business benefits.

3. 54 percent of CSPs say that their organization is undergoing changes

The landscape for CSPs is shifting, so it’s no surprise that more than half of survey respondents said that their businesses were undergoing some kind of change. A third said that their organizations had launched LTE services, many within the past six months, while 46 percent said that they were in the process of consolidating their OSS/BSS systems.

The ongoing changes may signal a search for more efficiency. Just 58 percent of respondents said that their networks and operations were efficient. A third said that the processes were “somewhat” efficient, and 8 percent said they were “inefficient.”

The Promise of Big Data and Analytics

One way or another, these three trends showcase the need for CSPs to find the right platforms to streamline their operations and bring marketing and IT together to reach the next level. Big Data and analytics are the key to this kind of success, but only if all of the pieces are in place and effectively working together.


Download the Full Survey