[NEW RESEARCH] What Telco CMOs and CIOs/CTOs Are Thinking About in 2014

Posted: March 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on [NEW RESEARCH] What Telco CMOs and CIOs/CTOs Are Thinking About in 2014

At Mobile World Congress 2014, one theme was prominent above all others: disruption. New kinds of mobile devices, social media, Big Data, virtualisation, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Over-the-Top (OTT) providers were central to nearly every product, service or discussion.

By now, it’s obvious to telcos that business models need to change and new strategies have to be implemented, but it’s difficult to know where to begin. That’s why Comptel conducted research with Vanson Bourne: to identify the barriers, strategies and attitudes facing telco CMOs and CIOs/CTOs as they look into 2014 and beyond.

Customer Experience: The Top Priority

Our research found that telco executives almost unanimously (80 percent) agreed that customer experience should be a goal of every employee in the organisation. While that goal may be established, executives are planning a number of different ways to get there. When asked about strategic priorities for 2014:

  • 60 percent are hoping to understand gaps in the service delivery process
  • 56 percent want to improve network performance
  • 52 percent are focused on developing new products
  • 48 percent want to understand customer experience on a granular level

The Big Data Behind Big Decisions

The intelligent use of data seems to be integral to telcos’ strategies this year. Predictive analytics, OSS/BSS consolidation and other initiatives can help streamline processes and modernise infrastructure; our research showed that executives are working hard to see these through.

While we found that integration, coordination and analytics are on the horizon, there still needs to be a fundamental shift in the way that different departments communicate – while 72 percent of CMOs want to understand gaps in service delivery, 68 percent of CIOs/CTOs said that they want to improve their networks.

These are the focuses we would traditionally expect from these organisations. Until executives agree on the mutual importance of each other’s responsibility, customer-centric initiatives are likely to remain at a standstill.

So how are communications service providers planning to overcome those barriers? And what will be possible if customer-relevant insights are shared between two traditionally separate organisations?

Check out our infographic, and download our eBook below to find out more!

Click to zoom.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


What Exactly Happened at Mobile World Congress Last Week?

Posted: March 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Mobile World Congress 2014 broke all the records of the previous year. With more than 85,000 visitors and 1,800 exhibiting companies in Barcelona, the event saw quite a bit of fanfare. Comptel was at MWC all week and we enjoyed being right in the middle of the action.

From Big Data to smartphones, connected cars to connected refrigerators, Mobile World Congress 2014 showed us a glimpse of what we can expect this year… and next year and the year after that. As a final recap, we decided to comb Twitter and see what topics had caused the most excitement.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Mobile World Congress Day 3: The Turning Point for Telco Networks

Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | Comments Off on Mobile World Congress Day 3: The Turning Point for Telco Networks

The third day of Mobile World Congress was defined by the keynote session about Big Data and mobile, but the underlying theme was network infrastructure. Three CEOs in the space touched on the upcoming evolution of networks: Joe Tucci of EMC, Michael Combes of Alcatel-Lucent and Patrick Gelsinger of VMware.

The consensus was that mobile devices and the dramatic, sweeping changes in traffic requirements are going to fundamentally change the structure, dynamics and functions of networks around the world.

“I believe we are just at the beginning,” said Combes.  He emphasized the importance of a structural change to build networks for the customer habits of tomorrow. “We clearly have to see the network differently to deliver the scale and elasticity required for new applications.”

Networks, in Context

Combes charged that the whole telecommunications industry is at a turning point that started about five years ago, when an increasing number of mobile devices entered the scene. He estimates that there will be a 440 percent increase in cloud and datacenter traffic between 2012 and 2017, but many communications service providers (CSPs) are still building networks with a legacy footprint.

Combes highlighted the debate taking place about the need for more intelligent, faster networks and how networks and the cloud are becoming more integrated. He touched on how this is changing the dynamic of the industry, because network operators will be deploying across a unified cloud platform and datacenters will be shared by multiple tenants.

“In Europe, there still aren’t enough investments in network and IT,” he said. “[CSPs] have no other way but to compete on price, as opposed to innovation.” He believes that networks must adapt to user needs and become user-aware.

Comptel’s vision of contextual intelligence at every touchpoint plays right into this line of thinking.

Infrastructure 2.0

Joe Tucci, the CEO of EMC, discussed the phenomenon as well.

“What’s happening is IT is bleeding into networks and vice versa,” he explained. “We call it the 3rd grade platform of IT.” He added that developers will rule in the future. They will look for platforms that help them create new and innovative solutions. And a lot of those platforms will be in the cloud.

Patrick Gelsinger of VMware picked up the conversation by explaining how virtualisation is bringing efficiency and savings to networks that used to rely upon physical servers. He added that VMware has actually virtualised 70 percent of the company’s own servers.

Comptel has been very excited about the potential held in software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV). If the expected benefits of lightning fast speed, agility and real-time responsiveness are realised, these new networks will empower CSPs to deliver better, more personalised customer experiences than ever before. It was great to hear that other companies in the space are working toward similar goals.

The telecommunications industry is indeed at a turning point and with the right infrastructure, CSPs will be able to meet both customer and business goals in new and creative ways.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Mobile World Congress Day 2: Getting Big Value Out of Big Data

Posted: February 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Mobile World Congress Day 2: Getting Big Value Out of Big Data

The first day of Mobile World Congress was a busy one, full of panels, speeches and workshops. When Day Two began, I knew it was going to be another exciting one, full of insights from thought leaders across the telco industry. Today, one of those thought leaders was Comptel’s VP of Analytics and Technology, Matti Aksela. Matti was a participant during the morning panel session, “Big Data Goes on Stage.” He joined executives from Blancco, Creanord, Omnitele, Tieto, and Tecnotree to discuss the current state of Big Data and the changes we can expect to see over the next several years.

Big Data is still a fairly difficult term to define. At Comptel, we believe that the term is a new label that’s being applied to something fundamental – the ability to build a business strategy around customer data. The panel acknowledged this, noting that telcos are handling petabytes upon petabytes of information that could potentially be useful to the business.

But what do telcos really need to make the most out of Big Data?

The Foundation of Data is Infrastructure

Tomi Paatsila, CEO at Omnitele, explained that scalable infrastructure is integral to Big Data analytics, because organisations have to be able to adapt to different traffic environments. Matti added that scalable infrastructure also needs to support different types of data to effectively consolidate all that information.

Part of that requirement is due to the emergence of new virtual machines (vms). Ideal infrastructures will have to be vendor-agnostic, providing a seamless integration for the technologies of yesterday, today and tomorrow. As Lucas Weber, product manager at Blancco pointed out, both virtualization and the rise of cloud computing have added new layers of complexity to the data that infrastructures must be able to handle.

However, collecting and processing all those petabytes of data can still be a cumbersome (and expensive) task for telcos, especially if they attempt to do so manually.

Automation for the Next Generation

The panelists agreed that automation is a key element to any Big Data solution. They also agreed that it’s important to analyse end-user behaviour at every possible touch point, a particular science of the customer experience that Comptel has championed for a long time. When telcos can collect contextual intelligence at every touch point, execs can make informed business decisions based on real-time, segmented customer interactions.

Matti often observes organisations that are frustrated with the results of their Big Data solution, because business leaders didn’t identity a specific motivation behind implementation. As Matti said on today’s panel, “The key is to start looking for value out of the data right away.” To do that, telcos need to decide which business problem can be solved with the help of Big Data. In Matti’s experience, the top use case is churn reduction.

Weber summed up the panel conversation perfectly: “At the end of the day, consumers and enterprises should benefit from Big Data.” As telcos strive to become customer-centric companies, the ability to efficiently utilise Big Data to create a better customer experience will be an important factor in their success, or their failure.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Mobile World Congress Day 1: Customer Experience, Disruption Reign Supreme

Posted: February 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Mobile World Congress Day 1: Customer Experience, Disruption Reign Supreme

At long last, the wait is over. The hype and speculation and planning has come to an end and this year’s Mobile World Congress begins. The leading authorities in the telco field have all come together to share their thoughts on the current state of the industry, as well as what lies ahead.

Day One of the conference featured speeches by a number of industry experts and one of the central themes throughout the day was customer experience. Everyone at Comptel has been excited to hear this renewed emphasis on delivering better service. We’ve worked hard to enable communication service providers (CSPs) to become customer-centric organisations. The goal to deliver a better customer experience is already helping break down traditional silos that exist between CMOs, CTOs and CIOs and, in the future, this may become a make-or-break priority for every telco business.

For example, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, chairman of GSMA and CEO of Telenor Group, believes that huge commitments from mobile operators to customers will be necessary going forward. He explained that, by 2020, there would be 22 billion mobile broadband connections and 200 million LTE connections, so telcos must be able to differentiate themselves by offering the best customer experience possible. Ahmad Julfar, Group CEO at Etisalat advised mobile operators to embrace increasing customer demands, from greater efficiency to personalised experience. In order to accomplish that, companies must have the right technological capabilities and a spirit of innovation.

Sirgoo Lee, CEO of Kakau Group, took this concept a step further, saying that innovation is not enough. He believes that organisations must be completely disruptive. And who better to harp on the importance of disruption in the telco industry than Jan Koum, founder and CEO of WhatsApp? Today, Koum highlighted the company’s most recent disruption – the introduction of a voice product. While this voice product stole the spotlight today, moving forward, Koum believes that data is going to be key for continued disruption.

The power of data is something that Comptel has believed in for years. In fact, it’s for that very reason that our VP of Analytics and Technology, Analytics Business Unit Matti Aksela shared his insights on what it takes to successfully deploy a Big Data strategy in advance of this year’s event.

As Mobile World Congress 2014 unfolds this week, we’ll be curious to see what other central themes emerge in the keynote presentations. For now, though, it’s clear that the priorities we’ve set for 2014 reflect the changing needs of the telco industry. Be sure to keep checking back in for continued roundups and thoughts on this year’s event!


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Comptel and Big Data at Mobile World Congress 2014

Posted: February 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes, Events | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

You probably have not been able to avoid hearing the term, “Big Data”, nor about the expectations of its limitless possibilities for communications service providers (CSPs). CSPs have a unique opportunity to delve into the spectrum of network, customer, service and other information at their fingertips and flowing through their OSS/BSS, eventually using it to improve both internal operations and customer-facing processes.

But Big Data sadly often means Big Projects. It is not just management of the three core “Vs” – volume, velocity and variety – that contributes to this, so can the setup of the technology to store and collect the data. But often, the biggest challenge stems from the fourth “V”, or value. What do operators need to do in order to drive true value from Big Data? I believe that there are some key requirements for being successful here:

  • Have a strategic business objective to focus on. Do not just collect data for the sake of collecting data, but have a goal in mind and a roadmap of what to do to drive more value when you reach that goal. (Buy-in from the boardroom, of course, helps, too, especially with issues like breaking down organisational silos.)
  • Don’t start with a blank slate. It’s important to have a set of proven, productised applications to address your business pains, whether it be customer experience-driven like smart throttling or network-focused for proactive service management, for instance.
  • Collect experience and learning in your organisation if you see information as your key asset, but don’t wait until you have built an experienced team to do so – have that as your plan, but start generating value from operational applications from the get-go.

And that’s where Comptel comes in. We’ve been developing our Big Data offering to help CSPs give their initiatives a running start, and also  supply them with the tools to support information-based decision-making and derive the true value they’ve been looking for – quickly and in a future-proof and extendable way – to solve acute business pains and build on that success.

Comptel provides a true Big Data solution, addressing all key components of the Big Data process:

1)     Data Ingestion: Integration, importing and formatting of historical and real-time data from CSPs’ own data sources, combined with external data for a truly holistic view of the business. This is powered by Comptel’s proven technology used in our mediation solutions.

2)     Data Management: Transformation, correlation, enrichment and manipulation of data to ensure optimal usability, and using the most appropriate methods to store data—whether it be Hadoop for unstructured data, massively parallel processing databases or in-memory data grids.

3)     Data Analysis: Highly accurate, real-time predictive analysis, modelling and reporting, powered by machine learning.

4)     Business Analytics Applications: Productised solutions to solve acute business pains, utilising the whole Big Data solution to drive immediate value.

One important aspect of Comptel approach’s is the utilisation of both historical and real-time data to drive true value—we do not see these as separate discrete steps of a process, i.e. building a predictive model and then applying triggers based on the model’s predictions, but instead having the predictive model applied in the real-time data stream to reap and benefit from contextual intelligence.

Clearly, Big Data analytics is reshaping the telco landscape. According to our recent research supported by Vanson Bourne, about two-thirds of telco executives (64 percent) say they are already in the process of leveraging Big Data to improve customer service, for instance. This is the time for Big Data to show that it is not just a hyped concept but a true generator of value—and we believe that the way to do that is through scalable, Big Data solutions designed to achieve and build on CSPs’ business objectives from day one.

To discuss how contextual and operational intelligence can augment CSPs’ efforts, come to our booth (Hall 5, Stand 5F41) at Mobile World Congress 2014. Look forward to seeing you in Barcelona this week!


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


5 Comptel Highlights from 2013

Posted: December 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on 5 Comptel Highlights from 2013

2013 has been full of good news and remarkable achievements by the Comptel team. We wanted to quickly recap five of the year’s highlights:

1. Mobile World Congress 2013

At the beginning of 2013, Comptel had a notable presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona. At MWC 2013, there was a lot of talk, from monetising LTE and ensuring privacy when it comes to Big Data, to efficiently using operational assets and enriching the customer experience – themes that are sure to carry over into 2014.

2. Comptel Survey Reveals Preferences of Mobile Consumers

To gauge consumer sentiment when it comes to mobile operators today, Comptel also conducted an extensive survey on customer experience, with the help of Vanson Bourne. Our survey showed that there’s a real need for better, more personal interaction between communications service providers (CSPs) and their customers—and that this can be fostered with contextual intelligence at every touch point.

3. Partnerships Forge New Paths

In keeping with our goals of improving the customer experience and “Making Data Beautiful,” we partnered with organisations that have those objectives in common. First, we partnered with Accanto Systems to help ensure that our customers are empowered with next-generation customer experience management capabilities. Second, we partnered with salesforce.com by integrating Comptel Fulfillment to revolutionise sales and service creation and delivery innovation.

4. Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Recognises Comptel

This year, Comptel was awarded “Most Innovative Telecom OSS / BSS Vendor of the Year” by Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific. The analyst firm’s annual Asia Pacific ICT awards program is given to companies that displayed growth in performance and ground-breaking achievements. In addition to those metrics, Frost & Sullivan examined nominees’ major customer acquisitions, portfolio diversity and product innovation.

5. Comptel Social Links Wins Pipeline Innovation Awards

Another major victory for Comptel was winning a Pipeline Innovation Awards for Comptel Social Links. Pipeline’s annual programme honoured prominent telecommunications industry innovators for their advancements in technologies, products and deployments. The 2013 judging panel was comprised of key executives from leading CSPs around the world such as AT&T, BT, Cox, Intelsat, TELUS, Turkcell and Yota, as well as influential industry analysts.

To 2014 and Beyond

We’re proud of everything we’ve accomplished and can’t wait until 2014, which we’re sure will be just as good as 2013!


Globally Evangelising #MWC13 – “Barcelona-in-a-Box”

Posted: May 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC) in Barcelona had the highest attendance ever with 72,000 visitors. Every year, many of our customers do not have the opportunity to attend or meet us there, and to that end we created a customer workshop concept ‘Barcelona-in-a-Box’.  The idea is simple – if you couldn’t attend MWC, we bring it to you.

We built the workshop concept on three key industry topics which were discussed during MWC and continue to be on the agenda of almost every CSP.

To set the scene for the Barcelona-in-a-Box sessions, we shared our observations on the industry, based on extensive and in-depth discussions with major operators across the globe, insight we have gained from industry analysts and an independently commissioned report.

These observations addressed increasing smartphone penetration and how it’s driving up data usage, but not necessarily increasing revenues – largely due to pressure by OTT services such as WhatsApp, Skype, YouTube and Facebook (to name a few). Secondly, we discussed how bundled tariffs and packages are increasingly attractive to mobile subscribers, assisting CSPs with customer “lock-in” and positively driving up revenues. We highlighted the next evolution of the bundled approach through creation of fully shared data plans, as seen in the US market for example. Finally, as an observation we deliberated that while LTE rollouts are still in their early stages, the importance of attracting the right high-use customers to adopt the highly valued (and highly subsidised) handsets is key for accelerating ROI on those infrastructures.

To ensure that we have the correct data on consumer needs in place, we at each session discussed the locally relevant results of the consumer survey, Customers Yearn for the Personal Touch from Their Mobile Operators, we made at the end of 2012 with Vanson Bourne, an independent research firm. We polled 6,000 consumers from 12 countries across EMEA, Latin America and Asia Pacific on their service usage and spending habits, as well as their relationships and satisfaction with their mobile operators.

In addition to vivid discussion on the common challenges and local consumer needs, some of the sessions included live demonstrations that showcased the solutions that Comptel has developed to address the needs of its customer. We showed the benefits of the Comptel Event-Analysis-Action strategic framework with:

  • Robust and highly automated Comptel Fulfillment that supports service innovation and better customer interaction while reducing costs
  • ‘Plug ‘n’ Play’ Catalog-Driven product creation that allows building and adapting marketable products quickly from established service components, accelerating new revenues and allowing agile responses to market changes
  • Comptel Social Links, predictive analytics to improve and automate every-day decision-making at each customer touch point and serve customers based on their individual needs and techniques of finding the right customers for new products.

We have already taken Barcelona-in-a-Box across the Middle East, Europe and Asia receiving great acclaim for our initiative and its content, being quoted as having “a fresh approach” to actively engaging with our customers. The Comptel team has enjoyed the lively debates and sense of shared understanding of the industry state and prospects for the future. Based on the feedback, we have validated that Comptel is in-sync with CSPs and our solutions suitably address their needs. We are excited to see which topics are on top of the agenda for Barcelona in 2014!


Mobile World Congress 2013: Guest Speakers on LTE, Analytics

Posted: March 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

As I mentioned the other day, Mobile World Congress was filled with excitement, with a robust exchanging of ideas among the various attendees and our customers and partners, as we look to the future of telecom. At the show, we were happy to further some of the discussions on LTE and analytics by welcoming a few guest speakers to Comptel’s booth.

The founder of operator benchmarking consultancy tefficient, Fredrik Jungermann, took us through how to pinpoint the right LTE customers. He first mentioned that not as many LTE customers are signing up as operators would like, but the numbers are rapidly growing. For example, 58% of Korea’s data traffic was over LTE in December 2012, and, likewise, Tele2 in Sweden saw an LTE penetration of 40%.

Fredrik explained that we’re transitioning away from a world of unlimited data, with more demand now put on unlimited voice and text. Of the smartphone data that is being used, 60% is through Wi-Fi, which is going un-monetised. With this in mind, he posed the question: what if operators could turn things around and monetise this traffic using LTE or operator-owned Wi-Fi?

Fredrik Jungermann at Mobile World Congress 2013

The upsides include basic monetisation, which will mainly be based on volume, and as data traffic grows over the top (OTT) players can become an additional source of revenue. Further, offering shared data plans will help enable unused devices and drive revenues even further. The downside to this, though, is that it can be costly to supply LTE handsets, as they have the highest specs. Analytics can help match the expensive and rare handsets to the right customers – dynamically based on individual customers’ needs and behaviours. Overall, this is much more efficient than providing subsidised LTE handsets to everyone.

Additionally, we heard from Zain Kuwait’s director of management information systems, who delved into the various ways the company is improving the customer experience with analytics. If you are interested in learning more about this presentation, as well as Fredrik’s, please email comptel.marketing@comptel.com.

What did you think of this year’s Mobile World Congress? We’d love to hear your favourite highlights and if you heard any interesting news or stats around LTE and analytics. Safe travels home to all!


Mobile World Congress 2013: Qtel Rebranding

Posted: February 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Here in Barcelona, I had the fantastic opportunity to attend an exclusive Qtel event in which the company unveiled its new brand: Ooredoo. This translates to ‘I want’ in Arabic, which reflects the telco’s new focus on customer centricity and catering to end users’ desires. Examples of this vision include statements like: “I want a service that reflects who I am”, “I want the world to smile with me”, and “I want to fly higher”.

QTel new brand launched at MWC13

There were an amazing number of people who spoke at the launch, including Cherie Blair on her charity for women, the general of the International Telecommunication Union, the director general of the GSMA, Qatar’s Olympic medallist from the summer 2013 games, and the CEOs of Qtel Qatar and its subsidiary, Indosat. It was also announced that football star Lionel Messi is the operator’s new global brand ambassador, although he was unable to attend due to an important match.

Ooredoo strides to enrich people’s lives by understanding every single person’s wishes and dreams, and looking at how they can be fulfilled regardless of income or demographic. With this thinking, mobile services and Internet will be more broadly distributed in order to evolve the mobile economy, for prosperity, equality and beyond.

It was clear that the operator is really committed to people’s needs, as both connecting and challenging customers was stressed. It’s leading a Millennium initiative with the GSMA to help alleviate the burdens of poverty, simplifying broadband access so more people have the opportunity to educate themselves.  The CEO of Indosat, Alex Rusli, explained that island people previously had to travel up to four hours for the closest services. After access was made available where they lived, they started to grow and develop. The moral of this story is that rural communities should have the same opportunities as those in the city – everyone deserves an opportunity to grow.

Adding to this is a particular emphasis on women. For instance, the company is rolling out a special program in Iraq specifically for women where the tariff decreases after three minutes of a voice call. Since women tend to talk for longer periods over the phone, they can now enjoy less expensive calls. There are also going to be more female staff serving women at various points of sale and an initiative to help women establish businesses – checking the price of fabric, for example, to ensure they are not overpaying.

Every person wants to grow, and Ooredoo is providing the opportunity to do so by contributing to social business, enriching people’s lives and connecting the world. What do you think of Qtel’s new brand? Leave your comments here or email us at comptel.marketing@comptel and share your thoughts about the 2013 Mobile World Congress!