TM Forum Live! 2015 Recap: 3 Key Takeaways on Telco Digital Transformation

Posted: June 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Comptel was in Nice, France for TM Forum Live!, where the discussion surrounded the innovative technology, emerging consumer trends and unique businesses challenges that face the digital and communications industry now and in the coming years.TM_Forum Live 2015

The event’s overarching theme involved making the concept of a “digital business” real. We enjoyed the opportunity to hear thoughts and ideas from some of the leading voices not only in telecoms, but also in the greater technology community. We also took advantage of the chance to lend our unique viewpoint on the significant revenue opportunity available to operators who embrace innovative sales, service and marketing strategies through their own Operation Nexterday.

Here are three big takeaways we observed from the event’s keynotes and summit sessions:

1. Digital Transformations Require Radical New Views and Approaches

TM Forum’s new CEO, Peter Sany, led off the keynote schedule with a discussion on the significant ways in which digital technology is transforming our world. He explained that we’re living in a time of major change and opportunity, which is evident by the development of today’s sharing economy, the ongoing innovation of connected devices and the democratisation of technology accessibility.

To manage these transformations and make the most of the opportunities they provide, Sany says operators need to shift their perspective to place the customer front and centre. He also advocates the forming of non-traditional partnerships in telco to enable faster, dynamic innovations.

Sany’s thoughts mirror the views we shared in our book, Operation Nexterday. As we explained, consumers today require instant gratification, maximum flexibility and a high level of personalisation. Operators must embrace a new way of selling, marketing and offering their services, so customers’ needs are put first. That may require unusual partnerships with companies they may now currently view as competitors like over-the-top (OTT) providers – more on that shortly.

TM Forum 2015

2. Infrastructure, Affordability – Two Key Barriers to Digital Expansion

While there are 7.2 billion people on Earth, only 3 billion are connected to the Internet, and connecting those remaining 4.2 billion is a slower process than some might expect. Markku Mäkeläinen knows this – he is the director of global operator partnerships for Facebook, and he is one of the leading minds working on making those connections.

The chief barriers to connectivity that Mäkeläinen has noticed throughout Facebook’s Internet.org project are infrastructure, relevance and affordability. Facebook is trying to solve the relevance challenge by providing free Internet access to users in developing countries, so that those individuals who aren’t aware of the Internet might understand its value in supplying free news and education.

At the same time, operators share the burden of solving the other two challenges – infrastructure and affordability. Much of the developing world only has access to 2G connections, and a significant portion of these regions won’t support the construction of towers or radios. Meanwhile, 500 MB of data is affordable only to 34 percent of users in this part of the world. Facebook is working with operators to sort out these challenges with concepts like a lightweight version of Facebook that consumes fewer resources than the full version, and the operators involved will need to deliver innovative and creative ideas.

3. To Stay Relevant, Telcos Must Collaborate with OTTs

Recently, it’s been a popular observation that we live in a world in which the largest accommodations provider, AirBnB, owns no real estate, the largest taxi service, Uber, owns no cars, and the largest retailer, Alibaba, owns no inventory.

Harmeen Mehta, Global CIO of Bharti Airtel, India’s leading provider of pre- and post-paid wireless and fixed digital communications services, brought up this point as an example of the threat facing operators. Although most innovations in telecoms rely entirely on the infrastructure built and owned by operators, they are not the ones coming up with these ideas, proving that there’s no guarantee that the player who owns the platform has the power.

OTT providers have swooped in to provide new services that speak directly to consumers’ changing behaviours and desires. As many operators stand on the fringes and watch, their own assets are being leveraged to support innovative digital services. Rather than remain on the sidelines, Mehta encourages operators to engage in the business of “enriching lives” and start thinking of ways to partner with OTT providers.

Moharmustaqeem Mohammed, VP of Mass Market Marketing Operations at Telekom Malaysia, shared a similar sentiment in a separate session when he said the true operator struggle of the day is not to identify uniqueness, but rather relevance in a digital ecosystem crafted by consumers. This is also a position we advocate in Operation Nexterday – that to remain relevant in a changing telco landscape, operators must first recognize consumers’ overwhelming influence.

Want to learn more about Operation Nexterday and the telco digital transformation? Contact Comptel Marketing (comptel.marketing@comptel.com) to find out when our Beyond the Event Horizon roadshow is coming to your city


Sprint’s ‘Direct 2 You’ Service Tailor-Made for Generation Cloud

Posted: April 22nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Sprint’s ‘Direct 2 You’ Service Tailor-Made for Generation Cloud

From the milkmen who delivered dairy in the early 1900s, to the earliest pizza delivery services of the 1960s, to the shipments of furniture, mail and much more straight to your door, home delivery is nothing new to consumers.sprint direct 2 you

However, sometimes taking a proven concept and applying it with a new context is all it takes to create fresh buzz.

That’s what U.S. mobile operator Sprint hopes to do with its new Direct 2 You service. Announced last week, Direct 2 You aims to “bring the store experience” to customers, who buy or upgrade their Sprint mobile phones, according to the company.

A Sprint customer service specialist – driving a Sprint-branded van, of course – will hand-deliver the new phone wherever the customer wants, whether at home, the workplace or even the local Starbucks. Once on-site, the Sprint specialist can help the customer set up the new device, transfer files and data from an old phone, initiate backups and walk through features.

Sprint also offers to buy your old phone as part of its trade-in program, and representatives will be able to value the old device on the spot during the in-person visit, the company said.

At the same time, customers won’t be pressured into buying other Sprint services. In comments to The Verge, Sprint vice president Rod Millar claims its representatives will not be pursuing upsells during their visits, instead focusing solely on ensuring customers are “happy and delighted.”

Though the entire program may seem old-fashioned at first glance, Sprint is actually demonstrating its savvy regarding modern consumer demands. This personal touch is the exact right approach for operators trying to appeal to Generation Cloud, who, as we explain in our new book Operation Nexterday, prefer to shop on their own terms.

Our recent survey of consumer digital buying preferences reveal 65 percent prefer to purchase digital content and services at their convenience, while 60 percent are influenced to buy by tailored recommendations from their operators.

Sprint’s home delivery service addresses several of these preferences. Customers are empowered to set the terms of their delivery and aren’t pressured to buy add-ons they don’t want. Our survey made it clear that consumers today are highly resistant to any service experiences that feel forced, and that they won’t hesitate to switch away from digital and communications service providers they feel are too aggressive with offers.

A personal support experience also matches customers’ desire for tailored service. Best of all, the entire service makes it faster and easier for consumers to purchase the latest technology. They know exactly when and where their new phone will arrive, and if Sprint is able to meet its delivery times consistently, that should limit customer frustration and increase their speed-to-satisfaction.

Direct 2 You is a step in the right direction for Sprint, which is showing it won’t stand idly by as its closest competitors try to win market share through other customer-first service offerings. And the program is a prime example of the type of creative thinking other operators will need to embrace if they hope to win customers’ hearts and minds—and wallets—in the era of Generation Cloud.

Learn more about the factors influencing Generation Cloud’s purchasing habits—and the strategies operators must embrace to succeed—in our new book, Operation Nexterday.


Study: Enterprises Hungry for Digital Services, If You Can Deliver

Posted: April 7th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , | Comments Off on Study: Enterprises Hungry for Digital Services, If You Can Deliver

Enterprise customers desire an easy way to purchase and even re-sell digital services, but operators are missing out on this opportunity because they don’t offer an intuitive and engaging digital buying experience, according to a recent report.ICT Intuition Enterprise study

ICT Intuition and Coleman Parkes Research released the results of its “Enterprise Multi-Client Study,” which surveyed more than 1,000 global business leaders across a variety of industries to better understand what enterprises want from connected digital services offerings – as both users and potential resellers. These offerings include, among many others, security and IT infrastructure management applications, business insight or data analytics programs and sales management tools.

The survey – findings from which were also published in our book, Operation Nexterday – revealed several insights into the steps operators need to take to monetise the digital services opportunity. As ICT Intuition president and founder Nancee Ruzicka explained, “operators are not taking advantage of a potentially lucrative market in which businesses are eager for connected digital services.”

Missed Opportunities

ICT Intuition Enterprise study_2According to the survey, 81 percent of respondents are currently using connected digital services to improve productivity, generate revenue or reduce business costs. Of the 19 percent who are not, all said they are considering these services.

On top of that, 71 percent would even like to bundle such connectivity into the products they sell, and among that group, 95 percent said they would want to partner with a digital or communications service provider to achieve this.

The report also explored the types of digital services businesses would pursue and their buying criteria. Businesses today largely prefer to purchase cloud and managed services that require minimal upfront development and maintenance, said the report, because they themselves lack the technology expertise and resources to build up their internal IT capabilities.

Turnkey connected digital services are, therefore, the preferred choice among many business buyers, especially if operators are able to help with implementation and development. Additionally, enterprises don’t necessarily need digital services that integrate with legacy systems, as they are happy to replace existing IT applications with faster, better technology, according to the survey.

How Operators Can Improve

Ultimately, the chief revelation was that enterprises are much more comfortable with digital services than previously expected. In fact, as Ruzicka writes, businesses today desire the same advantages and experiences that digital services offer consumers – if only operators would make it easy for them to partake.

“Businesses don’t have the time or resources to build business functionality themselves, and even for unique, industry-specific applications, only 2 percent are not considering as a Service (XaaS) options,” Ruzicka wrote in the book. “This is a seller’s market, so why aren’t digital and communications service providers selling?”

One big difficulty is that many operators currently lack a simple digital platform through which business customers can quickly search for and purchase digital services – something similar to the mobile app store experience consumers already enjoy.

That’s an experience operators will need to develop, something that can be achieved through next-generation operations and business support system (OSS / BSS) solutions. The insights drawn from such a platform can also inform future value-add services and revenue opportunities, thus fuelling future growth.

Ultimately, enterprises are ready to start talking about digital services, if only their operators could get on board. Savvy digital and communications service providers that embrace forward-thinking technologies stand to benefit in a big way.

Get a copy of Operation Nexterday for additional survey findings, insights and analysis.


Mobile World Congress Recap: 3 Key Takeaways on the Future of Mobile Communications

Posted: March 5th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Mobile World Congress Recap: 3 Key Takeaways on the Future of Mobile Communications

Comptel is in the trenches in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, where the theme this year is all about living on the “Edge of Innovation.” Tens of thousands of attendees are here, all striving to explore how evolving mobile communications technology is changing the way we live, work and play.Comptel Operation Nexterday Mobile World Congress

We made our mark on MWC by launching our book Operation Nexterday at a special launch party Monday evening, and we were thrilled to share our game plan for the future of digital communications with a large crowd that turned out for drinks, tapas, and free copies of the book!

Some of the communications industry’s leading innovators and visionaries are in attendance for MWC, which is a big benefit to attendees who want to get a sense for how the industry is changing and where it is headed in the coming months and years. Here are three key takeaways we gathered from conference keynotes and sessions we attended:

1. Mobile Consumers Need Digital Confidence

In the event’s opening keynote on Monday morning, the chief executives from four of the world’s top operators – Telefónica, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telenor – shared their thoughts on how mobile will need to evolve to meet the demands of the future.

Panellist César Alierta, executive chairman and CEO of Telefónica, explained that nearly 43 percent of the world’s population – around 3 billion people – are connected to the Internet, and 90 percent of the world’s population is expected to have a mobile phone by 2020!

Comptel Operation Nexterday Mobile World CongressEach of these consumers will need to have “digital confidence,” or better control over their digital lives and privacy, explained Alierta. The industry will also need to support up to 50 billion new connected devices that make up the Internet of Things and the ‘industrial Internet.’

As a result, operators will need to embrace efficiencies that will enable millions of new customers to connect to the Internet and engage with new digital services. Alierta identified network quality, affordability and service attractiveness as potential areas of improvement for operators who anticipate a surge of new consumers.

2. Data Drives Context, Which Drives Mobile Opportunity

As we have discussed before, targeted marketing is one effective way to reach the digitally savvy Generation Cloud – but only 4 percent of enterprises have the resources, budget and promise to deliver on context and better serve customers, according to Andrew Harrison of Dixons Carphone. Harrison was one of eight panellists in a conference session that explored how businesses could gain the context needed to deliver engaging, personalised content to the right customer at the right time.

Panellist Peter Fitzgerald of Google UK described why context is so critical to the buying experience. Mobile means purchase opportunities arise regardless of location and situation, whether a consumer is at work, home or even sitting on a train checking their phone. Forty-two percent of consumers use their phone in a retail store to compare prices for a product they see on the shelf – a practice known as “showrooming” – but savvy retailers are taking the opportunity to reach these connected buyers by pushing relevant, in-the-moment offers to their devices right in the store, said Fitzgerald.Comptel Mobile World Congress booth

Businesses today can leverage contextual data to propel instantaneous, personalised offers, and mobile devices are the perfect starting point to find that data. Smartphones and tablets are at the centre of our digital worlds, and as a result, they’re an ideal resource for contextual consumer data.

3. It’s Mobile’s Moment. How Will You Connect Consumers?

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of products at Google, described Google’s efforts to enable Internet connectivity for consumers around the world. As Pichai explained, consumers in the developed and emerging world may take connectivity for granted, but 4 billion people around the world currently lack access to the Internet.

Google’s efforts to expand connectivity include bringing Google Fibre to urban areas in Africa, and its Project Loon initiative, which uses a network of high-altitude balloons traveling in the Earth’s stratosphere to bring LTE speeds to rural areas around the world. Pichai also discussed the drone company Titan, a recent Google acquisition that designs lightweight solar-powered airplanes which act as “floating cell phone towers,” bringing connectivity to consumers below.

Pichai added that Google will work with operators to build services to deliver to newly connected consumers, but when asked how Google could justify its lofty infrastructure investments, he explained that “it’s mobile’s moment right now.” The bottom line? In the age of affordable connected devices, operators need to follow Google’s lead and embrace innovative ways of reimagining service infrastructure. Better-connected consumers present bigger business opportunities for the savvy service providers who can innovate in the new era of Generation Cloud.


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

Posted: February 25th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | 2 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.


Reduce Order Fallout to Compete in Complex Network Environments, Says New Analysys Mason Whitepaper

Posted: February 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Reduce Order Fallout to Compete in Complex Network Environments, Says New Analysys Mason Whitepaper

With enterprise customers contributing a considerable portion of revenue to CSPs – even up to a third of total revenue for some Tier 1s – telcos’ focus on the business services segment is greater than ever before. As CSPs look to the B2B arena for new revenue growth, creating and maintaining a positive customer experience is becoming a key driver for their success.

In a recent whitepaper, analyst firm Analysys Mason explored one of the most common barriers to achieving an optimal customer experience: order fallouts.

Specifically, the firm notes that the impact of order fallouts most often comes to bear on customer service. It especially affects the “Join” and “Onboarding” touch points, when orders are captured, processed and provisioned, and services are set up and paid for. Resulting prolonged service delivery can frustrate many customers, even leading them to cancel orders completely, despite all efforts by the operator to resolve the issue.

Plus, it’s not just diminished customer service (and, consequently, a diminished overall experience) that is at stake. Order fallouts can hurt CSPs in other ways too, for example, by increasing their operational costs and creating longer lead-to-cash cycle times.

Analysys Mason outlined some of the top factors contributing to order fallout propensity, one of which is the complexity and newness of a service. For service offerings that have existed for many years (like POTS), CSPs have established a good understanding of how to accurately capture orders, validate them, and design and deliver them at minimal costs. But as newer services like Ethernet, IP VPN, unified communications and VLAN increase in complexity, the volume of failed orders steadily increases in kind. Now, imagine the service complexity and ensuing order fallouts that CSPs will see as they transition to virtualised environments like SDN and NFV!

The top reason for order fallouts, Analysys Mason determined, is poor order quality. Order entry systems typically rely on standard templates without consideration for things like specific configuration requests, or up-to-date information on the availability of network and IT resources. As a result, a gap emerges between what the system thinks can be delivered, and what can realistically be delivered.

Exacerbating the issue, this kind of validation technique is often applied later in the order orchestration process, causing duplicated efforts and even further delays, and ultimately damaging the customer experience – something CSPs cannot afford.

Clearly, there is a strong need for CSPs to deploy more robust order validation techniques, especially during the earlier stages of the order capture process, to reduce order fallout potential.

Joining forces with cloud-based solution providers Salesforce and CloudSense, Comptel is fulfilling this by offering a service order validation solution, which improves order quality and reduces order fallouts with real-time, pre-order service design feasibility and validation via the cloud. Bringing enhancements like this into order management systems will be essential as network services continue to evolve towards virtualisation, and accurate and efficient service order orchestration becomes a primary competitive differentiator.

Want to learn more about order fallouts? Download the Analysys Mason whitepaper, “Reducing order fallouts: Key to success with business services.”

Download


From San Francisco to Kuala Lumpur, Where was Comptel in 2014?

Posted: January 14th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on From San Francisco to Kuala Lumpur, Where was Comptel in 2014?

By Katja Kurisjärvi, Marketing Manager, Comptel

My colleague, Leila Heijola, recently wrapped up Comptel’s 2014 with news of several significant orders, but what wasn’t mentioned was the success Comptel had at events near and far over the course of the year! From industry events like Mobile World Congress in Spain to Comptel’s very own user groups in Europe and Asia, we were able to communicate and collaborate with our communications service provider (CSP) customers, industry partners and other global enterprises alike.

To start off the year, we made a splash at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. More than 85,000 visitors and 1,800 exhibiting companies joined together to discuss hot topics in telco like Big Data, connected cars and the newest smart devices on the market. Comptel’s Matti Aksela, for one, spoke on a panel, “Big Data Goes on Stage,” covering the current state of data collection, refinement and analysis and the changes we can expect to see over the next several years.

While at the event, we launched our study detailing the issues on the minds of CMOs and CIO/CTOs in 2014. Additionally, we were excited to announce partnerships with Tecnotree and a Tier 1 U.S. mobile operator.

Next came TM Forum Live! in Nice, France, where a significant focus was on network function virtualisation (NFV). Around this theme, we announced several partnerships including an integration with GE Smallworld to streamline telco service fulfilment. The conference was a great space to discuss the emerging technology with other attendees, and opened many people’s eyes to the potential SDN and NFV have for the telco industry.

The fun didn’t stop in Nice, though… Salesforce’s Dreamforce, which took the form of a beach party in San Francisco, California, was a great opportunity for Comptel to hone in on the connection between front- and back-office systems and telcos’ evolution with the cloud and virtualisation. Beyond the lively entertainment, one of the themes, Reimagine: Customer Experience, definitely rang true for Comptel, as we exhibited with our collaboration with CloudSense and technology blueprint to help CSPs improve the B2B customer experience.

In addition to attending these industry events, we decided to host our own to connect on a deeper level with our customers. Our first user group of the year took place in Långvik near Helsinki, Finland, and the second was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Both were great opportunities to discuss the processes and technologies to help spur CSPs’ transformation and future innovation. At the APAC event, we also picked the brains of some attendees on how they were planning to revolutionise customer experience in 2015.

Not surprisingly, analytics, automation, intelligence and the customer experience were on the minds of CSPs globally in 2014, and through great events, we were able to hear from operators about their business pressures and share our views on tackling their various areas of friction.

It’s no secret that the telecom industry is rapidly changing, and we’re looking forward to building on the progress made at a variety of events in 2015!


How Telcos are Planning to Revolutionise Customer Experience in 2015

Posted: November 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on How Telcos are Planning to Revolutionise Customer Experience in 2015

Prior to our LOOP14 APAC conference, taking place this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we had the chance to survey a number of our communications service provider (CSP) attendees about what’s on the horizon for telecommunications in 2015. Last year, there was growing awareness about how marketing and sales can be improved through Big Data initiatives, but only 16 percent of CSPs surveyed said that they had launched a Big Data project.

This year, there’s a big focus on how to ensure that every bit of data is collected, processed and put to use for the business, most of all, to build new kinds of consumer experiences. Every CSP surveyed recognised that the consumer buying experience will play a greater role in CSPs’ service creation and delivery processes – so in order to improve time-to-market and innovate and target personalised service campaigns in real time, CSPs first have to leverage the organisation’s data.

How are they planning to do it?

Processing Every Bit of Data

As we described in our recent blog post about the need for a data refinery, CSPs are increasingly focusing on ways to make the most out of all of the network, subscriber and other data flowing into their IT systems. Unsurprisingly, our survey revealed that one big focus in the APAC region is Big Data and analytics.

A vast majority (82 percent) of respondents said that Big Data and analytics play a “moderate” or “large role in company operations. Big Data analytics has become a cornerstone in personalising the experience for consumers – 55 percent of respondents said that they were planning to use Big Data analytics to improve product and service sales with targeted marketing.

What’s keeping CSPs from doing it? More than a third (36 percent) of respondents said that they only have a limited internal understanding of how to use Big Data analytics.

This all links back to the broader effect to improve the customer experience. When respondents were asked about consumer journeys:

  • 100 percent said that interacting with customers in the right way at the right time and in the right context will help create a frictionless experience.
  • 100 percent said that their organisation is consistently working towards improving customers’ journeys.
  • 91 percent said that their business depends on the ability to know and understand customers at an individual level
  • 82 percent said that customer service is more important than the latest handset or network technology for customer retention.
  • 73 percent said that Big Data analytics are vital for prompting responses to customers at ‘moments of truth’ in their journeys.

Big Data and the Customer Journey

CSPs are thinking about breaking out of “telecommunications” as we know it. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents said that their businesses were becoming diversified service providers by moving into adjacent markets through expansion, acquisitions, joint ventures and equity investments.

The sample size for the LOOP14 APAC conference was by no means the size of the worldwide telecommunications industry, but the findings still offer valuable insight for CSPs. It’s clear the telecommunications industry is heading in a direction where the customer takes front and centre of all initiatives. The real question becomes whether or not CSPs have the knowledge and technology to leverage the data they need to do it.

Want to see the full findings of our LOOP14 APAC Survey? Download the full report.

Download


Reimagine: Dispatches from Dreamforce 2014

Posted: October 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Reimagine: Dispatches from Dreamforce 2014

Beach party or customer conference? That’s what many were wondering on Tuesday here at Dreamforce 2014 in San Francisco, after Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff kicked off with a “Good Vibrations” performance from the Beach Boys, followed by a traditional Hawaiian blessing ceremony. The rumour-mill was turning for the industries’ worst kept secret and we felt that there was a reveal on its way…

But everyone soon got down to business, with more than 1,400 expert-led sessions across every industry imaginable. From a philanthropic-geared keynote given by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to the launch of a new wearable smart watch, Puls, from musical performer Will.i.am, the spirit of innovation was high, and the conversations were exciting.

The common thread throughout it all was to reimagine – whether it is reimagining our approach to climate change with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, reimagining music for the masses with musician Neil Young or reimagining new business models with Kris Davies of AT&T.

Here are some of our highlights from the sessions:

Reimagine: Customer Engagement

One thing is being made clear at Dreamforce this week: more than ever, the customer is king. Salesforce and attendees hammered home the importance of businesses truly evolving to become customer-centric companies.

According to executives from Telefonica and Fastweb, telcos, in particular, have some work to do in the customer experience and satisfaction department. But challenges from over-the-top (OTT) disruption, industry consolidations and new emerging communications service providers (CSPs) are setting a high bar for managing the customer journey.

What’s needed most are simple, relevant and proactive systems that can better steer and enhance the modern-day customer buying experience. Our own announcement at Dreamforce this week reflected this. Through a collaboration with CloudSense, we’re providing an intelligent platform that improves the B2B customer experience, through automated, multichannel sales, customer order management and service delivery.

Reimagine: Analytics

With the influx of web services and devices, it’s no surprise that more than 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated in the last two years. What’s more, with an estimated 50 billion connected “things” expected by 2020, that volume of data is expected to grow exponentially.

The REVEAL: Salesforce responded this week, announcing a new cloud-based analytics platform, Wave, to provide customers with predictive analytics features, integrated with its own SaaS-based customer relationship management (CRM) offering. The platform is designed to make it easier for everyone to explore data, uncover new insights and take action instantly from any device.

Reimagine: Collaboration

As technology continues to evolve, collaboration is becoming even more integral to success. We’ve seen this first-hand in our successful Communications Industry Showcase alongside other industry leaders at Dreamforce this week. The ability to collaborate around sales, customer engagement and projects forms a live feedback loop that nurchers continuous process and product improvement and can help to align better with customers.

Musician Neil Young demonstrated the importance of this in a very different way with the introduction of the PonoPlayer, an audio device designed to change the way we listen to music. The history of recorded sounds is in jeopardy if we continue to listen to “Xeroxes of Picassos,” said Young. His new device allows for the digital remastering of vinyl masterpieces to properly capture the full experience intended by the recording artist.

PonoPlayer is the first music company to use the Salesforce Community Cloud, a collaborative environment that leverages communities of fans to discuss the merits of music tracks and beyond. It’s a great example of how new technology can improve the buyer’s journey and positively impact commercial success.

Reimagine: The Future

As we wrap up an exciting week at Dreamforce, we’re reinvigorated by the ideas and innovation that are shaping the future of telco and all industries. We’re already looking forward to seeing what Dreamforce 2015 will bring!

For more information on our latest collaboration with CloudSense, please click here. To learn how CSPs can benefit from the cloud and deliver an improved customer experience, click here.


Save Money, Make Money with a Predictive Approach to Critical Alarms

Posted: June 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Save Money, Make Money with a Predictive Approach to Critical Alarms

The influx of smartphones, tablets and other connected devices has changed the fabric of mobile customer expectations: in short, they’re higher than ever before. People today expect to work online, consume content or access cloud services, wherever they are and whenever they want. These new technologies add to the complexity of already diverse networks, which requires an increase in maintenance work and a balancing act of how to allocate scarce resources and competencies across the board.

According to a 2013 survey conducted by Comptel and Vanson Bourne, Quality of Service (QoS) is one of the primary drivers of customer acquisition and retention. It is a basic competitive requirement for communications service providers (CSPs) today, thus traditional network planning and optimisation or maintenance tasks are no longer sufficient. QoS management needs to be a much more proactive process today, to help keep customers happy in the long run.

That being said, the business case for proactive service management has multiple factors. Many telcos have scaled back on preventive plans to save money and resources. But while the savings are immediate in the short-term, corrective site visits and longer downtime can, ultimately, be more expensive and cause costly customer compensation and retention activities.

So, how can CSPs predict network faults and correct them preventively, without overspending? Comptel recently published a whitepaper that outlines the benefits of a predictive site maintenance approach to critical alarms, where tasks are prioritised based on anticipated network failures.

Critical alarm prediction allows CSPs to see further into the future. It’s a new kind of service management that predicts alarms and service disruptions on a network element level with advanced real-time analytics.

Here’s a quick preview of the whitepaper on the value of Critical Alarm Prediction to CSPs:

Reduce operating costs

A major cost in site maintenance comes down to workforce expenditures. When there are no emergencies and maintenance work is conducted during normal working hours, CSPs can achieve the most efficient use of their workforce. By simply predicting faults before they occur, and using the workforce accordingly, CSPs can save on operational expenditures.

Prevent revenue loss

CSPs know the angst associated with an unexpected site failure. Not only is the current traffic on the site affected, but any future traffic to the site is impacted until it’s back online. However, when potential faults are predicted, site maintenance can be scheduled and prioritised, and traffic can be even re-routed proactively, if necessary, reducing downtime and potential revenue loss.

Improve customer experience

The cost of churn, including churn prevention, is the single largest cost item for mobile operators. Coupled with data-savvy customers who are less likely to sit through local network outages, CSPs should prioritise QoS and the quality of experience (QoE). Introducing Critical Alarm Prediction enables CSPs to predict faults and schedule maintenance, which helps reduce site downtime and positively impacts the customer experience.

Build a culture of proactive service

Critical Alarm Prediction has the potential to introduce completely new ways of approaching proactive service management. It’s a business application that can help CSPs act before failures occur and, ultimately, move toward more intelligent analysis and operational processes.


Want to learn more about how a predictive approach can benefit CSPs? Download Comptel’s whitepaper, “How Prediction of Critical Alarms Helps CSPs Reduce OPEX, Prevent Revenue Loss and Improve Customer Experience.”

Download