Getting an app to the top of the rankings doesn’t obviously happen over the weekend. We at Comptel FWD have been working on the Digital Sales Channel, aka FWD, solution for more than two years, building, fine tuning & improving especially the UX we have always felt is & will be the key to success.
I will not go through the whole process from the early design principles of the FWD to the fine tunings together with 2degrees, but rather focus on what made the difference for 2degrees to get their Data Clock app (powered by FWD) to number one spot literally over the weekend in New Zealand.
Whatever is offered, needs to add value to the consumers. In case of the Data Clock (FWD), the pricing needs to be well thought so that it makes sense for the consumers. And the range of packets offered needs to be good enough. Not necessarily from minutes to months already at the launch, but extensive enough so that users can find what they need.
Data Clock pricing was carefully though over and the immediate feedback from new users was strongly supporting this. Also the time based packets offered in Data Clock covered from minutes to up to a day, so that users were able to find proper offer for their various needs. It was extensive enough for people to get interested, install the app & register as users.
We have also seen in all our cases that a proper free welcome packet makes a huge difference. It makes the first (and most difficult) purchase transaction easy & risk free for the consumers. Thus making the subsequent purchases easier. Data Clock offered 24 hour free welcome packet, something not seen before in the NZ markets.
One of FWD’s key functionalities is dynamic pricing. Operator may create happy hours, special discounts in minutes. And make them live immediately. That is something 2degrees did already at day 1, same day as they had Data Clock market launch. Happy hours are a great way to surprise users positively, get them curious about the service and to tell about the service further to their own networks. Positive surprises lead to viral effect.
2degrees have also used the capability of the system to show their customers they care in the case of major events. Shortly after launch NZ was hit with Cyclone Cook, 2degrees sent a poke to the base of data users “Take care out there” with a free 1 hour data packet. The company believes as the base grows, this will be an important social marketing tool, which can also let the company help those in need in times of natural disasters e.g. earthquakes etc.
Any launch needs to be supported by proper campaigns & visibility in different channels. We have seen from one case to another that driving app downloads & registrations the good old SMS is still very effective tool. But SMS campaigns need to be supported by proper materials e.g. in homepage, tutorials, FAQ etc.
That is exactly how 2degrees did it. Daily SMS campaigns, supported by a growing visibility in different media: web site, banner ads, TVC, Youtube, Facebook, POS, you name it.
As we are talking about a new service provided by a telco, the importance of an appropriate organization providing & delivering the service cannot be stressed too much.
Early on, the program needs an advocate who is connected well in the organisation to engender high level (C level and reports) engagement. This engagement will lead to faster results and drives a level of focus on the organisation to succeed, and to break away from traditional slow telco models that can inhibit growth.
Telco organizations have been created to provide, well, telco services. Typically the processes take their time, days, weeks, even months. With FWD the requirements for the supporting organization changes dramatically: creating a new offer or a new campaign in the solution takes only minutes. If the organization is not able to facilitate this kind of “internet speed”, the solution is not used according to its potential. Which will be immediately seen as lower service uptake.
In 2degrees case, they realized early on in the process that their current organization doesn’t properly facilitate FWD. So they created a flat virtual organization, where they have dedicated resources from relevant teams: Product, Finance, Comms, IT, Care & Sales.
This made it possible for 2degrees to utilize the new features of FWD already from the beginning. As an example, first pokes/dynamic pricing campaigns were launched at the same time with the market launch as described above.
Last but not least: there is clearly high demand and opportunity in the markets for new operator service & pricing models.
We’re only one month in to 2016, and already the team here at Comptel has been busy on multiple fronts. We’re putting the final touches on our follow-up to our successful book Operation Nexterday. You’ll be able to get a full hard copy of Nexterday Volume II at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and we’ll also have a download link on our soon-to-be-launched website, Nexterday.org.
We have much more in store for this year, but before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it’s worth taking a quick look back and the progress Comptel made in the past 13 months. As it turned out, 2015 was a hallmark year for Comptel. We’ve been an important player in this industry for 30 years, working hard to deliver solutions that keep our telco customers competitive.
However, we recognised the playbooks that we – and the industry as a whole – have relied on for so long are broken. We used last year to pioneer change in the way that this market serves its customers, embracing digitalisation and helping operators learn how they can become the perfect digital company.
Along the way, we developed product innovations that support our vision of Nexterday, partnered strategically and are proud to have been recognised for all we accomplished. With that in mind, here are a few highlights from Comptel’s transformative 2015:
Last year we launched Operation Nexterday – a mission and framework encouraging operators to redefine their sales, marketing, technology and service approach to better suit the demands of the tech-savvy digital natives that make up Generation Cloud.
We wrote a 150-page book explaining how the evolution in B2B and B2C buyer demands is challenging the telco industry, and outlining steps to achieve Nexterday – from perfecting the digital buying experience and monetising new services faster, to orchestrating network functions from ground to cloud and utilising intelligent, fast data.
The book compiled insights from industry experts within Comptel and across the digital and communications landscape, including analysts and academics. It was published at Mobile World Congress 2015, with more than 5,000 copies distributed since.
The success of the book led us to launch our first “anti-seminar.” In November, we held the inaugural Nexterday North event in Helsinki, Finland, as a side event to the global startup conference Slush. The event focused on digitalisation and motivating operators to think about the telco world with a non-traditional mindset. Nexterday North brought together more than 500 Comptel customers, partners, key industry players and futuristic business thinkers from around the world to examine digital services as the next major revenue stream for telcos.
Our product teams kept their foot on the gas and worked tirelessly to develop solutions that would help our customers succeed in Nexterday.
MONETIZER™, brought to market in July 2015, is an industry-first business policy and charging toolset enabling digital and communications service providers to innovate and design rich service offers instantly. With MONETIZER™, you can create, configure, launch and modify dynamic, contextual packages – and profit from consumers’ data usage – in minutes instead of months.
At Nexterday North, we launched FWD, an easy and contextual solution for operators to sell and market time-based mobile data directly from a smartphone. The FWD app makes buying mobile data fast, convenient and personal for consumers, while giving operators an easy-to-manage digital sales and marketing channel to maximise data revenues.
We also extended our work with partners in our industry in an effort to help shape the future of telco.
We launched a four-month-long program with long-standing customer Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to develop the next generation of IT talent in Saudi Arabia. The program educates young Saudi professionals on communications networks, strengthens their knowledge of Comptel’s technologies and enables them for future leadership positions within STC.
Comptel also joined a partnership with Pivotal to market their solutions together in the Asia-Pacific region. The partnership enables operators to immediately act on data with easy, quick access to Comptel’s packaged data analytics applications via the Pivotal Big Data Suite.
Industry Recognition and Accolades
We achieved several proof points of excellence in 2015, including recognition by CIO Review as one of the 20 most promising M2M Solution Providers in 2015, and the Best Performing IT Team by TDC. The Comptel Operational Intelligence Model won OSS Innovation of the Year in the TelecomAsia Readers’ Choice and Innovation Awards, and the company’s work to evolve Chorus New Zealand’s fulfilment system was honoured with a Global Telecoms Business Award. Congratulations to my colleagues here at Comptel for earning this prestigious recognition!
We’re Only Getting Started
It’s fine to pat yourself on the back once in a while, and I’m certainly proud of what our team was able to achieve last year. However, in an industry that’s always evolving, we always want to be moving forward. Last year showed what Comptel is capable of, but we’ve only scratched the surface. In 2016, our mission is to execute on the ideas we introduced last year and turn those concepts into action. We’re challenging operators to create perfect digital companies for and with their customers. We invite you to join us on our journey toward Nexterday and to start transforming your business as well.
Comptel will be in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2016 (Hall 5, Stand 5G40). We’ll launch our latest book, Nexterday Volume II, and host a #Nexterday party on Wednesday, 24 February at 7 p.m. CET. To book a meeting, contact your Comptel account manager or send us an email at MWC2016@comptel.com.
By Harry Järn, Head of New Business Ventures, Comptel NXT
Last week’s Nexterday North delivered big ideas from industry experts, business leaders and futurists who discussed the impact of digitalisation on our world. It also included one big surprise: the launch of Comptel’s FWD, a solution that we believe will revolutionise how operators serve customers in the next age of digital services.
What is FWD? It’s a full E2E, cloud-based, white-labelled, solution for operators.
The basic components of FWD, which includes SMPL, the native app, CTRL, the cloud-based controlling system and CNSL, the browser-based operator management tool, combine to create a complete solution for enabling and managing mobile data purchasing.
The native app radically simplifies how mobile customers purchase data. It puts customers in the driver’s seat by letting them set their own terms for buying data. It also puts operators in a better position to monetise mobile data at a time when customers desire more control of service terms and highly personalised, instantaneous service.
Our own mobile customer survey demonstrated why many subscribers are frustrated with the current state of mobile data purchasing. According to the report, 65 percent of consumers struggle to find a mobile data package that fully meets their needs, while 62 percent feel their mobile operator lacks a wide enough range of package options.
Part of that frustration can be tied to rigid mobile data packaging. Though they currently buy data by the gigabyte, customers aren’t sure just how much data they need. Is a 1GB package enough if you only plan to check emails and surf the Web? Is a 10GB plan economical for someone who watches streaming video on their smartphone?
FWD eliminates customer confusion by empowering mobile users to easily buy time-based data access. Here’s how it works: Let’s say a user wants to browse Facebook for just a few minutes. After he opens the Facebook app, he’ll be prompted with a few time-based data options, whether it’s one minute or one month of access. Once the data packet is purchased, the user is free to browse Facebook without limits, and he can easily extend his session if he needs more time.
That means no more bill shocks for surpassing their data overages. No more frustrating data throttling in the middle of a streaming television program or movie. No more complex, extended data service plans. It’s a simplified purchasing process that ties directly into customers’ desire for data control. Our survey found that 65 percent of mobile users want to set their own terms for buying digital content and services. FWD lets them do that.
The FWD management tool for operators opens up new possibilities to sell, target and market mobile data, as well as monitor your business performance in real time. You have full control over offer creation, which means you can experiment with new ways to entice your mobile customers. Embedded analytics will help you understand how your customers consume mobile data and allow you to react accordingly, which could mean dynamic pricing that helps you run a more efficient and profitable network. All of this analysis occurs instantly and in-the-moment, not after a month of data crunching.
We’re also excited about the possibilities FWD offers operators in tapping into a new market: the 2 billion individuals worldwide who have not yet been connected to the internet. With smartphone penetration expected to take off in emerging markets, the question of bringing all these new mobile users only will need to be answered. FWD provides a compelling solution because it’s easy to use, fosters customer engagement and loyalty, and encourages customers to spend more on mobile data.
Digitalisation is forcing many operators to re-think how they engage with and serve a new breed of mobile consumer. Comptel is excited to help operators innovate their service approach and drive toward a digital business revolution.