A Recap of LOOP APAC14

Posted: November 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Recap of LOOP APAC14

Last week at LOOP APAC14,  communications service providers came together to discuss the future of the telecommunications industry and how new tools and developments can help spur innovation and disruption. The team at Comptel – along with representatives from Salesforce.com, Tech Mahindra and GE Smallworld, offered insights into what CSPs can expect next year and how new kinds of technologies will help revolutionise networks and customer experience.

We put together a collection of tweets to help show the highlights of the conference:


10 Takeaways from Guy Kawaski at #Inbound14

Posted: October 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | Comments Off on 10 Takeaways from Guy Kawaski at #Inbound14

HubSpot’s annual #Inbound14 offered perhaps one of the most interesting line-ups of all marketing conferences this year. Around 10,000 marketers were “spoiled” with a full agenda of dynamic speakers such as Guy Kawasaki, Simon Sinek, Malcom Gladwell and Martha Stewart – not to mention a truly memorable performance from R&B singer and songwriter Janelle Monáe.

The keynotes were among the highlights of the Boston-located event; I especially enjoyed the “10 Lessons That I Learned from Steve Jobs” presentation given by the former chief evangelist of Apple, Guy Kawasaki. Each lesson was a key principle that Kawasaki thought set Jobs apart from the pack. Here’s a summary of those lessons:

1. Experts are clueless.

Experts are good at giving you advice on the existing world order, but according to Kawasaki, they really can’t tell you how to change the world, innovate or predict the next big thing. Kawasaki said that, in order to truly create change and innovate, you need to listen to yourself.

2. Customers cannot tell you what they need.

Kawasaki refers to the famous Henry Ford quote, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” He added that customers can tell you how to make something better, but if you are after a paradigm change, you’re on your own.

3. The biggest challenges beget the best work.

Apple and Jobs always went against the biggest competitors and the biggest challenges. That inspired them to keep innovating, experimenting and learning.

4. Design counts.

Kawasaki admitted that design doesn’t appeal to everyone, but added that it counts for enough people to be significant. And, he added, “no matter your product or service, good design only enhances the [customer] experience.” We couldn’t agree more.

5. Use big graphics and fonts.

According to Kawasaki, “the point of your presentation is not to give someone the text of what you’re saying; it’s to give them just enough anchor points to follow what you’re saying.”

6. Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence.

The world is constantly changing. Kawaski advised attendees to “be nimble and flexible,” even if that would mean reversing your strategy.

7. Value ≠ price.

Kawasaki told the audience that this was one of the most important learnings from Jobs: “Price is something you pay on the first day, but value is the sum total of the experience.”

8. “A” players hire “A+” players.

Kawasaki said that future success is also a recruitment issue. If A-class leaders hire B-class people, B-class people will soon hire C-class people. Kawasaki pointed out that one of the keys to Apple’s success was to hire the best of the best.

9. Real CEOs do the demos.

Companies cannot be thought leaders – only people can. CEOs cannot be hidden in corner offices. They need to be the visible face of the company.

10. Marketing = unique value.

A market full of similar products and services will drive the whole market to price wars and diminishing returns. Always aim to create something that has unique value – like the iPod + iTunes combination or a connected car.

Optimists are the Best Innovators

Kawasaki concluded by saying that skeptics aren’t the best innovators. Optimists are. In order ignite a paradigm change, you have to be able to see something valuable, unique and something that doesn’t yet exist and make it happen.

Comptel believes Kawaski’s innovative mindset is also important in the context of the telecommunications industry. Now, more than ever, communications service providers (CSPs) should find new ways to provide value for customers. Most CSPs are engaged in a price war, but are doing little else to really meet the customer’s needs. These days, though, true value means giving customer what they want on a personal level across every touchpoint. That’s because value is no longer about the lowest price, it’s about offering customers something that meets their needs at that exact moment.

That doesn’t just mean implementing new technology that can help modernise operations. It means working on a new culture that bridges silos, leverages Big Data and, above all, creates an unforgettable customer experience by offering value that empowers customers like never before.


In the telecommunications space, cloud is one of the next big innovations. Want to learn more?

Download the Stratecast whitepaper, “Operations & Monetization Platforms in the Cloud: Why the Time May Be Right for Back Office as a Service (BaaS).”

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What Comptel, Hillary Clinton and Bruno Mars All Have in Common

Posted: September 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on What Comptel, Hillary Clinton and Bruno Mars All Have in Common

It’s not every day that Comptel can say we have something in common with former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or pop singer Bruno Mars. But, this October, all three of us will be in attendance at the Salesforce.com annual conference, Dreamforce. Comptel was personally invited to be a part of the Communications Industry Showcase, so with the host of amazing keynote speakers, more than 350 exhibitors and an expected 130,000 event-goers, we couldn’t be more excited to be part of the action.

This year, we’ll be showing off a number of different ways that Salesforce and cloud technology can operate in a telecommunications environment. New cloud-based, front-office solutions are appealing to businesses across many industry verticals, but none more so than in communications. Comptel Fulfillment will be part of an industry-wide showcase that offers the blueprint for integrating a cloud-based enterprise platform like salesforce.com into a telecommunications operating environment.

In addition, we’ll be showing off Comptel Service Order Validator, an app on the Salesforce AppExchange that enriches the traditional lead-to-activate process with better order accuracy and reduced service delivery time by validating B2B customer requirements in the cloud. This app bridges the gap between enterprise sales and operations, and makes customer and service order orchestration much more efficient.

Comptel will also be introducing an exciting new partnership and integration with a leading order management and CPQ cloud alliance partner, showcasing network-aware sales process automation, and intelligent telco lead-to-activation.

We’re eager to show how communications service providers can improve and succeed by automating the interactions between IT, services and the network in the cloud. If you’d like to meet us at Dreamforce, send an email to comptel.marketing@comptel.com to arrange a meeting or visit us in the Industry Showcase, Moscone South as part of the Cloud Expo Campground 13-16 October, 2014.

Hope to see you there!


Want to learn more about how CSPs can benefit from the cloud?

Download the Stratecast whitepaper, “Operations & Monetization Platforms in the Cloud: Why the Time May Be Right for Back Office as a Service (BaaS).”

Download


VoLTE, NFV/SDN and OTT Are All Stars at Policy Control Conference 2014

Posted: May 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Earlier this month, Comptel had the privilege of attending the Policy Control and Data Pricing 2014 conference in Berlin.

Jyrki Berg, vice president of products and solutions, and Tinakaran Ramdas, Comptel Policy and Charging Control product manager (pictured left), joined me at the expo, which focused on how communications service providers (CSPs) and telecommunications vendors are adapting to the industry’s constantly changing technology and competition.

The presentations and speeches covered a broad range of themes including over-the-top (OTT) business models, network function virtualization (NFV), software-defined networking (SDN), voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services, policy and charging integration and, of course, data pricing.

Here’s what industry thought leaders had to say about each topic.

The OTT Dilemma

As can be expected, one of the major issues CSPs discussed had to do with OTT providers, from Skype to WhatsApp… and every messaging and voice service in between. Lucy Lombardi, the senior vice president of industry relations for Telecom Italia, had some news to share: telcos need to find new ways to innovate when it comes to battling OTT providers for market share.

While it’s challenging for CPSs to compete with the agility of OTT providers when it comes to time-to-market, Lombardi suggested that CSPs focus on customer experience and strategically partner with OTT providers when local services are needed, a higher quality of service (QoS) is desired or customers want more security. OTT providers might be able to adjust and adapt faster than telcos, but there are still plenty of opportunities for CSPs that pursue customer-centric innovation.

NFV & SDN: One Policy to Rule Them All

The NFV / SDN discussions all came back to policy control and traffic management. The consensus at the conference was that the full potential of NFV / SDN can only be reached if systems can dynamically prioritise traffic. The right policy, however, can result in big savings when implemented.

“Policy is the brain,” one speaker told attendees, “but rules engines and current engines are changing a lot from [their] current forms.”

He added that the right deployment of NFV can improve service agility and flexibility, and even make CSPs look a little more like web companies, offering the faster service roll-outs of OTT providers.

VoLTE – A Game Changer

One speaker said that VoLTE is going to be a “game changer” for policy control. He reminded attendees that voice is still a critical revenue generator, with 70 percent of revenues – about $600 billion – coming from voice services. And that’s all at risk from OTT providers.

Cost reduction is a big draw of VoLTE services. The speaker added that, when voice services are run through LTE, twice as many voice calls can run through the same spectrum. Some telcos are already working to deploy VoLTE for customers – about 10 percent have some form of VoLTE service in place, and the GSMA expects 20 more VoLTE deployments this year alone.

When telcos move voice to LTE, policy and service opportunities grow wildly. Scalability and performance improve, and CSPs can potentially experiment by separating data and voice into different packages.

The Data Debacle

When it came to pricing, the conference discussed one thing in particular: data. Keith Breed, the research director of the Tariff Consultancy, wondered aloud whether the vast differences in data pricing could be sustainable. In Europe, data had a relatively low price, whereas in North America, it was much higher. While the market can influence pricing, competition counts – and with less flexible pricing toward data, more OTT providers will proliferate.

Yet there was another data-related topic to be covered, too: net neutrality. There’s a debate within the European Union (EU) about how the Internet ecosystem is changing; at the core of that debate is what role CSPs should play in connecting people. Should all traffic be created equally? How should infrastructure be built to cope with rising demands?

Cisco estimates data growth in 2013 climbed by 57 percent in Western Europe and by 99 percent in Eastern and Central Europe. That kind of demand will change both policy control and data pricing, so it’s up to CSPs to think about how to adapt to new infrastructure demands.

There were many more great presentations and thought-provoking speeches at the Policy Control and Data Pricing in Berlin.
We will cover some in detail in the upcoming weeks, so check back for more!


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We’re Exhibiting at Policy Control and Data Pricing 2014

Posted: March 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on We’re Exhibiting at Policy Control and Data Pricing 2014

Comptel is excited to share that we’ll be exhibiting at the upcoming Policy Control and Data Pricing 2014 conference, taking place 8-9 April at the Radisson Blu hotel in Berlin.

This is the fourth year of the conference, which has become a key event for the global telco industry.

As policy continues to evolve into a multi-faceted tool for traffic management, revenue generation and much more, it’s becoming increasingly important to build a network that can handle the rapid growth of user data.

We’ll be there to meet with our customers and others interested in learning about our analytics-enhanced Comptel Policy and Charging Control offering. Our unique approach natively integrates policy control and charging in a modern, offer-driven service creation environment, Charging Policy Offer Design (CPOD), allowing for the fast introduction of new services. This ultimately helps communications service providers become more responsive to customer needs, which is critical in an increasingly mobile and context-driven world.

If you’re attending the conference, and would like to find out why we think policy control needs a ‘SPARK’ today, please come stop by our booth!