Q2 2012: An Update on Comptel’s Business and Strategy

Posted: July 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Today, we announced Comptel’s financials for the second quarter of 2012 and for the first half of the year as a whole. This is a personal milestone for me, as it marks my second year fully immersed as CEO — and as you’ll see from our mid-year highlights, I’m confident in the direction the company is moving.

This past quarter, our order backlog rose to a record high, as we won a significant EUR 5.4 million project to consolidate the mediation systems of a leading operator in Western Europe.

The upfront investments in the customer interface have yielded results in our largest regions, Europe and Asia, and we won seven new customers globally. Although our net sales have not yet met expected levels, they stayed on par with last year’s numbers, EUR 20.3 million (EUR 20.0 million). And we are optimistic our investments will grow our 2012 net sales approximately 10 per cent from the previous year. Integration of the advanced analytics expertise acquired in February 2012 has proceeded exceptionally well, resulting in winning our first deal for Comptel Social Links software.

We continued to bring new products to the market as key strategic initiatives. The major launch of Next Generation Comptel Fulfillment 8 software this quarter was received remarkably favourably by the OSS/BSS industry.  We also unveiled our Contextual Intelligence for Telco (CIQ4T) concept this quarter, providing communications service providers a framework for bringing customer experience to the next level. This innovative approach truly differentiates Comptel in the market.

Our business mix of licence and services sales was impaired by the personnel, project delivery and marketing costs, causing lower operative results than expected. To remedy this, we initiated first productivity action by streamlining R&D in Norway and further cost saving initiatives will bring us approximately EUR 10 million on annual level. During the second half of 2012, we will realise EUR 3-4 million savings. These initiatives will secure our competitiveness, sustain the execution of our strategy, and deliver an estimated 0 – 5 per cent operating profit of net sales, excluding one-off items.

Beyond the figures, we also concentrated the first half of the year on executing our new strategy. We opened new offices in Istanbul and Cairo  and announced several major customer wins around the world. These included, Telefónica Central America’s mediation consolidation that enabled the efficient management of more than half a billion daily transactions, Thai mobile operator Real Move’s deployment of Comptel’s Fulfilment solution to gain customers from the 3G market,  Kcell Kazakhstan’s replacement of its provisioning and activation system with Comptel’s Fulfilment suite to support its 3G rollout, and Kuwaiti’s  Watanya Telecom improvement of its customers’ first use experience with Comptel’s Dynamic SIM solution.

We also launched a new portfolio approach with our Customer Engagement solutions and Comptel Services Portfolio, in addition to a refreshed Comptel brand identity at Mobile World Congress Barcelona in February. We shared a white paper regarding Contextual Intelligence for Telcoms at Management World Dublin and organised our annual Comptel User Group in Copenhagen with more than 100 participants from leading service providers and industry analysts. On top of this, our customer engagement solutions were honoured in Pipeline’s Innovation Awards and the 2012 IBM Beacon Awards as the best communications industry solutions — reinforcing our capability to bring innovative products and solutions to the market.

Overall, the first half of 2012 has been largely focused on executing our strategy, investing in bringing new products to market, winning new customers and developing our Services Business. As we move into this next quarter, we’ll continue onwards building on our stated strategy and remain confident the productivity programme will secure our competitiveness. And I’m honoured to convey, on behalf of Comptel, that we are looking forward to continuing to deliver on our promises to the market in the second half of 2012.


Around the World

Posted: October 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Connected Planet…
Analysis: Is Bill Shock Pressure Creating a Tipping Point for ‘Great’ Customer Service?
Alex Leslie predicts that customer experience will improve as a result of regulators’ efforts to lower bills for mobile usage. His article was published on the heels of new FCC and CTIA guidelines dictating that network operators send voice or text alerts to users as they approach data limits. Regulators in Australia, Asia and Europe are already following suit.

Even though regulations are often met with resistance, history shows that they can be beneficial in giving rise to improved solutions and services—and customer experiences. For example, previous rules about data usage and billing accuracy led to revenue assurance with communications service providers (CSPs) improving their billing strategies. Do you think history will repeat itself, with the new bill shock regulations opening opportunities for CSPs to differentiate themselves in the customer service department?

Light Reading…
Policy Is Still Strategic, But Changing
A survey by Heavy Reading shows that network operator executives expect policy management to gain importance, and predicts that a new generation of policy gear will be deployed to handle increased functionality. The survey results also reveal interest in using policy control to enable business models with third-party content, and mirror Comptel CEO Juhani Hintikka’s predictions that the next phase in policy control will take advantage of third-party applications with content prioritisation.

What these new business models require is more scalable policy technology that can integrate with charging and billing systems, so that operators have a wider range of triggers to drive policy, both in creating new services and in managing congestion.

Microsperience…
The Four Main Pillars of the Telecoms Customer Experience
Telecoms analyst Teresa Cottam writes that many CSPs are focusing on their own needs rather than looking at customer experience from the customer’s point of view. She says that there are four main pillars to the telecoms customer experience:

1)      Network Experience
2)      Commercial Experience
3)      Product Experience
4)      Service Experience

The pillars need to simultaneously work together while also being individually optimised in order to support the overall customer experience.  Even though customers should be the focus of the business, Teresa stresses that operators still need to be profitable. The key challenge is finding the right tools that will help CSPs improve customer engagement and at the same time, help them increase their revenue.


Q2 2011: An Update on Comptel’s Business and Strategy

Posted: July 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Q2 2011: An Update on Comptel’s Business and Strategy

Today, we announced our results for the second quarter of 2011 and the first half of this financial year.

This past quarter has been a decent one for Comptel. Our order flow improved from the previous year, and our business developed favourably in the Middle East and Africa, where the measures initiated late last year, such as investments in customer service and consulting resources, have yielded results. In our largest market, Europe, the net sales remained low, which was the main reason for a decreased Group net sales. However, we are optimistic that the decision to split Europe into East and West, and to reorganise our operations to get closer to customers, will help improve the situation. Overall, Comptel’s financial position remained strong during this period.

Looking beyond the figures, the first half of 2011 has been a busy one for Comptel. We attended a number of large events, including Mobile World Congress (Barcelona, February) and Management World (Dublin, May), and held our very own Comptel User Group – CUG (Helsinki, June). All of these were excellent showcases for us, and we had many successful business meetings. We also closed 10 deals of over €500K in value (compared to eight in the same period last year), including four that we consider strategic (NBN CO and three Comptel Control & Charge) deals. Also, as mentioned above, we reorganised to bring our sales and services capabilities closer to our customers and prospects. In particular, we grew our sales force in Australia, Germany, Italy, Russia and the UK. We also made a number of new appointments to the board.

Going forward, Comptel will continue to invest further in the development of our sales and service channels, as well as in our products.

So all in all, it was a busy first half of the year, and we have an even busier second half ahead of us!


Ensuring Everybody Is Ready for Number Portability Implementation

Posted: June 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ensuring Everybody Is Ready for Number Portability Implementation

By Samantha Tanner, Telecoms IQ at IQPC

The most important aspect when implementing number portability is making sure that awareness of the service transcends regulators, operators and customers to ensure a smooth implementation and allow greater choice in taking up the service.

Number portability’s overall aim is to allow mobile phone subscribers the choice of changing service providers whilst keeping their existing numbers. Therefore, it allows greater freedom for customers, while pushing operators into offering an improved service and creating greater competition. So, in order to make Number Portability successful from all sides, how do you go about promoting it?

Malta is a successful case study in how to promote Number Portability before implementation in order to create awareness of the service. Although full number portability was not implemented in the country until 2006, the idea was set in motion in 2005 when the Malta Communications Authority published its Number Portability proposal. A full campaign was strategically planned in order to make the Maltese people aware of the new service that would be made available to them.

Philip Micallef, chief executive of the Malta Communications Authority (MCA), explained this decision: “This period was very important as it was set in order to give the industry time to set the various processes involved. In the meantime, when this decision was published, it was featured prominently in the media, including the main television stations during prime time news. A number of interviews undertaken by MCA staff on the subject also took place during this period and were well covered by a number of newspapers, radio programmes and television programmes.”

Additionally, the regulator promoted the service with SMS short codes and sent out information booklets to provide the information that mobile phone users would need in order to make a decision on whether to take advantage of the service or not.

The process of promoting the scheme in Malta has carried on beyond the inception of Number Portability. As Philip Micallef explains, “Public awareness is also being extenuated by the operators who are now marketing number portability in their own campaigns trying to attract people to subscribe with them, and at the same time, keeping their telephone numbers. The result of the public awareness on number portability is evident by the high number of porting statistics.”

This is in stark contrast to the situation currently being played out with Number Portability implementation in Kenya. Although the service was announced and implemented by the country’s regulator, there has been opposition to the service with the country’s two biggest operators who have been locked in a bitter dispute over claims of sabotage. The regulator Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has had to step in with this dispute threatening to affect the nation’s perception of the whole service.

Other, more successful, Number Portability implementations, such as that experienced in India, show that educating the nation’s mobile phone users and making sure the operators know that their customer service has to improve helps make the service a success. Since Number Portability was introduced in January, more than 10 million mobile phone users have opted to use the service. This, in part, has been down to superior branding implemented by smaller operators. Additionally, in the two and a half years since Number Portability has been available in Brazil, over 9 million people have utilised the service with over 1.2 million porting their number in the first half of 2011.

Similarly, once Nigeria implements Number Portability and other countries in Eastern Europe follow suit, such as Romania, it’s important that the regulator and operators work closely together in setting out some clear guidelines to adhere to – like in India and in Malta. They’ll really want to avoid any such situation that has been seen in Kenya.

In summary, one of the greatest benefits of number portability is that it forces operators to review their OSS capabilities in order to avoid churn. The service makes them look at their customer service strategy, network capabilities and billing systems in order to improve upon their service.

This post was created from content for the Number Portability 2011 event being held in London from 20th-22nd June.