Let the 15th Annual Comptel User Group Begin!

Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Let the 15th Annual Comptel User Group Begin!

After some very good conversations at Management World 2012 in Dublin just a few weeks ago, we’re eager to continue the momentum and kick off the 15th annual Comptel User Group in Copenhagen, Denmark this week. Attendees can look forward to networking with Comptel’s executive management and our resident solution experts and learning from other customers and partners, in addition to partaking in some fun extracurricular activities like dinner at one of Copenhagen’s oldest theme parks and most popular attractions, Tivoli.

During the event, we’ll be exploring what seems like one of the hottest topics in the telecoms industry at the moment—analytics. In particular, we’ll be focusing on how it applies to Contextual Intelligence for Telecommunications (CIQ4T) and how it can help communications service providers (CSPs) address the challenges of customer experience management. Stay tuned for the results of an interactive voting session on this topic!

This year’s Comptel User Group will also feature a corporate strategy overview from CEO Juhani Hintikka, followed by presentations from TRUE Corporation in Thailand on provisioning, tefficient on improving efficiency in the telecoms sector, and Heavy Reading analysts Sarah Wallace and Ari Banerjee on compelling use cases for analytics, among others. Product demos and sessions on how they can help CSPs make data beautiful and better engage with their customers will also be available throughout the week.

While we wait for things to officially begin, here are some fun facts about the beautiful city of Copenhagen:

Did you know…

  • In 2007, Copenhagen was voted the world’s happiest city.
  • Around 30 percent of the Danish population – 1.8 million out of 5.4 million – live in the Copenhagen Metropolitan area.
  • Copenhagen’s harbor has been thoroughly cleaned in the past decade:  the inner harbor is now clean enough to swim in.
  • The dragon spire of Copenhagen’s old Stock Exchange, Børsen – now home to the Danish Chamber of Commerce – was created by a designer of fireworks.

Stay tuned for more insights from various Comptelians on-site at the Comptel User Group!


Management World 2012: The Importance of Dynamicity for Innovation

Posted: May 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

While the weather remained unexpectedly warm here in Dublin, the conversations at Management World 2012 also heated up this week. Like Keith Willetts discussed in his keynote session, dealing with competition from over-the-top (OTT) players, combating churn and managing revenue growth were big areas of focus at TM Forum’s annual flagship conference. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a session that touched upon these industry challenges and really reinforced the overall theme of innovation.

Henk Ensing, technical consultant for TNO Information & Communication Technology, a Dutch institute for applied science that specialises in helping companies innovate, covered the potential for dynamic billing and why communications service providers (CSPs) need to inject some new thinking into their charging concepts and business processes. He highlighted that the key elements to dynamicity were analysing transaction-based usage, applying intelligent business rules and considering the contextual status of individual customers. Coincidentally, these were the main attributes for Comptel’s own Contextual Intelligence for Telco (CIQ4T) perspective.

Henk went on to state that dynamic billing brings the element of customer trust to a new level and illustrated this with an analogy comparing CSPs to fresh produce market merchants. Many people have a regular routine of going to the market on the weekend, generally stopping by their favorite vendors for particular foods. The vendors, in turn, are familiarised with their customers’ preferences and can tailor the products they sell accordingly or make recommendations on complimentary additional products based on their extensive experience with the produce—further strengthening their interactions. The vendors, however, don’t always have fixed prices on their produce, which may vary depending on factors like the season and supply. Yet, what keeps the customers coming back? It’s the relationships the vendors are building and nurturing.

Similarly, dynamic billing is based on strong customer relationships where each transaction is a unique opportunity to create a positive end-user experience. Taking into account the context of and appropriately targeting each individual customer interaction is key though. For example, CSPs should consider where the customer is in his or her lifecycle and what products will fit his or her specific needs and wants, at an appropriate time that adds true value.

Policies that govern charging and the network have an important role to play in understanding and implementing this dynamic ability. According to Henk, the beauty of dynamicity is that these policies can be changed in real time based on customers’ evolving requirements. Say, if someone gets paid every two weeks, he or she can opt to make a payment during that time and customise it depending on his or her personal preferences.

Henk’s thoughts on dynamic billing and charging concepts fit in nicely with the discussions at Management World 2012 and reflected Comptel’s own thinking on how CSP innovation needs to evolve. Analysing customer behaviour is just one step of the process, but intelligently determining their contexts to make interactions more relevant and personalised will significantly result in a high quality of experience and improve CSPs’ bottom lines. Ultimately, it’s about strengthening loyalty through a focus on relationship enhancement.


Management World 2012: Do What You Do Best

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Management World 2012: Do What You Do Best

Hello from Ireland, or as they say in Gaelic, Dia dhuit! Comptel is having a fantastic start to this year’s Management World 2012 – where the sun is shining and the Guinness is never in short supply. This year’s theme is “Rethinking Communications – Enabling Connected Life”, and the key undertones so far seem to be innovation, the customer experience and revenue monetisation.

The keynote speakers on day one of the conference touched on some interesting points to this end. In particular, TM Forum chairman Keith Willets began with the humbling statistic that there are now six billion people connected on the planet, who are cumulatively driving the speed-up of change – a “digital tornado,” he called it.

As this digital revolution occurs, so too comes fundamental changes to mobile architecture, and the big question is – can communications service providers (CSPs) adapt quickly enough and deliver the innovation levels that will be required to survive and prosper? Keith also talked about CSPs needing to continue to break down product silos with IP services and find ways to work with over-the-top (OTT) providers, as well as described this new digital economy as SAASification – with new exciting opportunities emerging for simplified service offerings in various verticals including healthcare, energy and M2M.

So how do you rise to the top of the digital world? Keith assured the audience – do what you do best, and forget the rest. Innovation will be huge, so instead of punishing failure, encourage risk-taking. Look to collaborate and partner with other telecoms software and CSPs to enable and maintain innovation.

And, analytics’ use for personalising products and tailoring services for customers will play a big part at the end. Ultimately, success will come from customer centricity and, in particular, real-time, individualised engagement – after all, Keith asserted, it’s now the customer that holds all of the power!

We’re looking forward to the rest of Management World 2012, and if you’re interested in speaking with us, then swing by the Comptel booth, #64!


Two Strong Approaches for Facilitating Improved CSP Business Performance

Posted: May 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

It’s been some time since I last shared updates on Comptel’s business and strategy, but I was inspired to blog after listening to our team’s briefing for Management World 2012.

Over the past several months, I have continued to travel and meet with customers and partners around the world. It is interesting to see that everybody wants to become more efficient, while growing their top lines and improving their business performance—but in the various regions, the approaches communications service providers (CSP) have taken to achieve these goals have been very different.

Recalling these dialogs, I am confident that the event-analysis-action strategic framework Comptel has developed is capable of addressing most of their needs and seeing through their business objectives. So, I’m excited to highlight two strong approaches for facilitating improved CSP business performance, which we are on hand to discuss and demonstrate this week in Dublin.

Let me first touch upon Contextual Intelligence for Telco (CIQ4T), a completely new approach that can help CSPs take customer experience management to the next level and fully maximise their business opportunities. The concept comes from another discipline but is one we felt was critical for CSPs to leverage.

Utilising advanced predictive analytics technology, CIQ4T allows CSPs to gain an understanding of the uniqueness of individual subscribers and circumstances, and leverage that knowledge to predict behaviours and market changes, in turn, reducing churn, boosting customer engagement and realising better business.

What does that mean exactly? As Comptel’s vice president of analytics, Matti Aksela, shares in this video, the key characteristics in CIQ4T are contextual real-time insights, advanced predictive analytics and the fact that all of this intelligence can be translated into timely and relevant action. By leveraging historical and real-time data and predictive modelling to provide unique insights into future customer behaviours, CSPs can determine more targeted, appropriate and timely offerings for increased ARPU.

CIQ4T also provides the foundation for dynamic profiling and segmentation for service bundles and campaigns, makes mobile advertising more relevant and informs network operations with an estimation of usage volumes and types of devices in use for optimised asset utilisation. All of this contributes to most of the areas where CSPs want to focus—and so far, our customer implementations and proof-of-concepts have demonstrated encouraging results. One of the cases, which targeted a specific customer segment (top 10% of monthly users),has already showed a 21% reduction in churn and 25% increase in revenue.

This is only the first step in bringing the CIQ4T approach to life, but I’m expecting it to become a necessity for CSPs, as more recognise that their customers want personalised, real-time interaction and the importance of targeting the right individual with the right offering at the right time.

Next, I’d like to mention the progress of our fulfillment offering and how our Next Generation Fulfillment strategy has come to fruition. Likewise, this is a much-needed component for CSPs to ensure a high customer experience, particularly at the first point of engagement, in order to remain competitive and to drive profitable business.

Our real-time, high-performance, catalog-driven and fully integrated fulfillment platform monitors and expedites the end-to-end process from service order capture to service delivery with precision and with minimal human intervention, which greatly reduces the likelihood of failed orders, disappointed customers and, ultimately, lost revenue.

We will be announcing in the coming weeks and months how CSPs are leveraging Comptel Fulfillment to accelerate time-to-revenue for new products; support service innovation to help gain first-mover advantage; and ensure accurate and consistent product launches and deployments, optimising the customer experience and leading to improved retention and ARPU.

Again, I am confident that this development will meet the changing service aggregation needs, enable true innovation for market leadership and set CSPs out on the right path in today’s increasingly complex telecoms environment.

I hope we will have a chance to ‘co’nverse on facilitating improved CSP business performance at Management World 2012 this week, and wish everyone a very productive and ‘co’llaborative tradeshow.


Reflecting on My First Three Months with Comptel

Posted: May 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Reflecting on My First Three Months with Comptel

I promised to write a follow-up blog post after completing Comptel’s rebranding and spending one quarter with the company. I was especially inspired to do this after one of the Finnish business papers asked me to describe how I felt after having spent 100 days in my new role—but in just one sentence.

Requests for this type of ‘elevator pitch’ can be extremely difficult, particularly to be so concise, but mine came pretty easily: “It’s refreshing to be in a company where the values are high on senior leaders’ agendas and present in everything we do.” And after sharing this ‘elevator pitch’, it became even clearer to me that my colleagues, who have been with the company a bit longer, have positively experienced the change Comptel has gone through in the past year, and that other newcomers like me have also welcomed the spirit of the highly knowledgeable and friendly people we have.

In the last blog post, I also discussed the ‘love business’ and how the majority of consumers feel like they haven’t been getting enough love from their communications service providers (CSPs). I feel like discussing this softer side of doing business is critical for any organisation that wants to succeed. So, I’ve tried to summarise our corporate values and make them a bit more concrete with a couple of my own recent experiences as examples.

For instance, last week, I had the privilege of participating in a session where the core members of our analytics team shared their backgrounds and where they would like to see Comptel go in this space. There were many fascinating stories with members of the group talking about their Ph.D.s in mathematics, shared passions for solving problems, and journeys from battling trial and error to ultimately achieving real success when demonstrating how their algorithms can help CSPs get closer to their customers (e.g. predicting the churners with extreme accuracy). This was the perfect setting for showing our excitement about the value add we deliver to our customers and our focus on constantly making things happen and improving the results. I regret that I did not capture those stories via video, but we will soon have a short one featuring Matti Aksela, vice president of analytics. (In the meantime, you can read about Matti’s views on customer experience management in the April-May issue of VanillaPlus,)

Similarly, I visited three of our main offices: Sao Paulo, Brasil; Reading, U.K.; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and found that it was really refreshing to see positive energy, close collaboration at both the global and regional levels, and a strong desire to meet our customers’ needs. And, respect, which is challenging to execute across all individuals in an organisation, was clearly evident as well. I believe the diverse cultural mix across our global organisation lends well to the way respect is shown and expressed—whether it is related to customer requirements or collegial collaboration.

Am I still in a honeymoon phase with Comptel? I don’t think so after hearing that long-time employees share the same feelings—and that they were the ones who established and have made our corporate values happen. The key to this: believing that nothing is impossible and being able to put egos aside and respecting decisions made as a team versus as individuals.

It’s interesting to see how our four values—passion, united, respect and make it happen—are related. It is a bit difficult to make the most out of oneself without passion, and business today is such a complex entity of variables that nobody can make it alone; thus, it is critical to unite and collaborate. Without respect, we cannot ensure that our work is fully resourced and timed to deliver the expected results, such as the processing of more than half a billion network transactions daily for Telefónica Central America.

Comptel’s business outlook is ambitious, requiring constantly winning new customers and enhancing our portfolio by launching new products, solutions and services—all while improving our productivity. The key to achieving these objectives is to align all of the forces needed to reach these goals, ensure a shared direction, keep people motivated and tweak the environment to produce winning teams. I believe that well-implemented values like ours provide fuel for the engine needed to deliver such promises to the market.

This was my reflection from my past three months at Comptel, but as I’m more of a forward-looking person, I would like to briefly highlight our presence at Management World 2012 next week. We are excited to meet with customers, partners and prospects, and discuss how we can help CSPs understand the status and context of their networks and their customers and their service use, rapidly respond to changing market requirements and, more importantly, institute the best approaches for predicting churners and generating new revenue opportunities for better business. We are all passionate and excited about showing how our ‘event-analysis-action’ strategic framework has been operationalised. Hope to see you in Dublin and ‘co’nverse on making data even more beautiful!