The Most Compelling Conversations on the Comptel Blog in 2016

Posted: December 22nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Most Compelling Conversations on the Comptel Blog in 2016

In 2016, Comptel focused on extending our Nexterday message and encouraging operators to stop over-thinking and start doing what they need to do to transform their businesses. The energy and excitement we felt at Nexterday North 2016, our second annual anti-seminar, told us that many operators are doing just that, turning the big ideas they hear around the industry into game-changing results. nexterday selfie

Here on the Comptel blog, we always want to give room for those big ideas to take shape. Let’s take a look back on some of the top pieces – and ideas – we wrote in the past year.

Enabling the Personalised Customer Journey

All operators are on a journey to better serve their customers. The activities they take in this area can be put into two categories – customer transformation and network transformation. In this piece, we explained exactly what the personalised customer journey is all about, and offered a model for how operators can win the hearts and minds of their customers.

Forget the iPhone. The Next Great UI Design Change is in OSS

The new iPhone UI looks a lot like the old iPhone UI, which tells you how iterative many of Apple’s latest updates have become. In this blog, we proposed that it’s time the OSS embraced a design overhaul, and explained exactly how the OSS of the future should look to offer the same ease of use you might expect from an iOS product.

Comptel Partnerships to Introduce Fresh Digital Service Approaches

2016 was also a busy year for Comptel and our partners. At TM Forum Live! in Nice, we were involved in three separate industry catalysts, each led by a Comptel partner. There was Telefonica’s Open Source MANO project, Orange’s sponsored data initiative, and IBM’s cloud-based networking architecture. These cross-industry initiatives are so important to Comptel because they keep us on the forefront of innovation. We want to lend our expertise in a way that benefits the entire industry, and we’re proud to stand alongside these partners in that effort.

Reimagining OSS to Enable Dynamic Digital Service Delivery

Our digital service lifecycle management (DSLM) model was a major theme for us in 2016, and in the Spring we put it to the test as part of the IBM Cloud Based Initiative. In this post, we explain exactly why and how digital service delivery needs to change to serve a new breed of digital customer.

Spectrum is the First Step. How Will Operators Next Invest in 5G?

Innovation abounds in connectivity, and 5G represents one of many emerging frontiers for investment and development. In the U.S., regulators opened up spectrum for telco experimentation, and in this post we covered the challenges that lay ahead for telcos who dipped their toes in this industry.

Sponsored Data is a Path to Revenue for Savvy Mobile Operators

Pokémon GO was a huge mobile gaming craze in the summer of 2016, and T-Mobile jumped on the buzzworthy topic by offering players one year’s worth of free mobile data exclusively to play the game. It was another example of a savvy sponsored data play that shows other operators how they creatively leverage data access to win over digital customers.

In 2016 we also launched Nexterday.org, our online magazine and reader community. You can read much more of our writing on digital transformation, customer experience and network innovation there.


Forget the iPhone. The Next Great UI Design Change is in OSS

Posted: September 13th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Forget the iPhone. The Next Great UI Design Change is in OSS

Have you preordered your new iPhone 7? Or were you, like many observers, underwhelmed with Apple’s latest product launch?

The tech leader rolled out the newest version of its smartphone last week, and by all accounts the latest iPhone’s features are mostly iterative than innovative. The most disruptive hardware change was also the one that frustrated consumers the most: the elimination of the 3.5 mm headphone jack, which requires iPhone users to use Apple’s proprietary headphones instead. iphone 7

Similarly, the iPhone’s user interface seems to have plateaued. While the iPhone 7 will ship with a new operating system that includes a handful of new features, the look and feel of Apple’s UI is still virtually unchanged from where it was several generations ago. You can add some more pixels here and round off a few bevels there, but for the most part, iOS doesn’t offer much opportunity for further design innovation. Apple’s UI is what it is because that’s what its devout customers expect.

That’s not necessarily a knock against Apple’s UI. They’ve found an interface that suits its fanbase, and they’ve even inspired design innovation in other areas of software development. In fact, one software experience that’s long overdue for a fresh coat of paint and user-friendly functionality is OSS.

To date, we’ve seen OSS interfaces designed around the technology in the network: topologies, hardware representations and configurations that must be manually realigned based on user. However, the emerging app- and data-driven digital economy is putting increased pressure on operator networks to be agile, dynamic and automated. Meanwhile network function virtualisation (NFV) is changing the speed and nature of service orchestration by simplifying network processes and application deployment.

Doesn’t it make sense, then, that the OSS should be refreshed to enable an agile and more productive work experience for telco operations managers?

Telco is starved for a strong, functional and distinct OSS UI. The folks who support service orchestration vary in roles, responsibilities, skill levels and professional backgrounds. OSS UIs should be designed to correspond to that variety, so that each user is able to focus only on those operational elements that they are most equipped to manage. That increases efficiency and the speed at which digital services can be developed, verified, deployed and improved.

As a result, time-to-profit goes down, while customer satisfaction goes up.

That’s why the shift toward cloud-service operational management will bring an evolution to the OSS, in the form of tailored, intuitive user experiences and subsequently increased productivity. The new OSS will be open, capable of seamlessly interacting with both telco and IT apps and their corresponding management systems. As a result, telcos benefit from a higher order platform to specify, test, publish for consumption and deliver services across virtual, physical and IT domains.

An intuitive OSS UI also supports a seamless end-to-end service lifecycle, eliminating any gaps in the process by which network resources are discovered and services are designed and deployed.

Ultimately, the new OSS recognises that virtualisation is an opportunity for telco to reinvent itself. Operators can offer more than just a telecommunications platform – they have a chance to become part of a larger, distributed IT infrastructure that seamlessly provides services to end customers. Our existing OSS culture needs to evolve in order to recognise that this paradigm shift requires opening up the infrastructure to deliver services and resources in a more agile, open and systematic way.

Comptel will discuss the reinvention of the OSS user interface paradigm in The Hague for SDN & OpenFlow World Congress, 10-14 October 2016. Contact comptel.marketing@comptel.com to connect with our team or arrange a meeting at the event.


Through Network Transformation, POST Technologies Gains Flexibility, Operational Savings

Posted: July 13th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Compelling Cases | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Through Network Transformation, POST Technologies Gains Flexibility, Operational Savings

Outdated back-end systems no longer offer the flexibility to help operators create the dynamic digital services their customers want, nor do they lead to cost-efficiency from an operational perspective. Recognising this, many service providers across the globe are undertaking challenging back-end fulfillment transformation projects for their networks, with the aim of reducing operational expenses and providing customers with next-generation digital services.OSS Transformation

For telcos, these network transformations are complex enough, but add on complimented mergers, acquisitions, regulations and organisational restructuring, and the project can seem downright implausible.

However, one Comptel customer was able to achieve the seemingly impossible and re-engineer its network for better flexibility.

New Business Model Requires Back-End Transformation

After the leading Luxembourg postal and telecommunication service provider, POST Luxembourg, divided its existing telecommunication operations into two separate companies due to regulatory obligations, the organisation’s new business model required a back-end transformation.

POST Telecom would market telecommunication services to residential and corporate customers and POST Technologies would provide wholesale services to POST Telecom and to Other Licensed Operators (OLOs). The company needed to split the IT operations and processes that supported both divisions, while still meeting a regulatory requirement that all orders shared the same processes, regardless of which customer placed the order.

Although POST Technologies would not need to directly interface with residential and corporate customers, the company recognized that it still needed to transform its fulfilment architecture so that wholesale customers could deliver modern and innovative services to their various end users.

Regulations put an added layer of pressure on POST Technologies, as the company was given a tight implementation schedule – the first phase needed to be up and running within nine months.

Equipped for The Future

Stemming from a negative experience with a previous waterfall-based transformation that was based on fixed, pre-defined project design and timelines, POST Technologies decided to follow agile work principles for this particularly daunting project.

“Agile methods were already used by POST for development projects,” said Luca Nadalini, Head of OSS-ISS-Fulfillment for POST Technologies. “But this was the first time we applied them to a large transformation project.”

Comptel, which already applies agile methods in product development, was able and willing to work with POST Technologies using lean delivery.

After a three-year long planning and evaluation phase, using TM Forum’s Frameworx as references for terminology and best practices, POST Technologies selected Comptel’s FlowOne Fulfillment suite as the company’s unified fulfillment solution for all services, enabling automated, accurate and controlled workflows. The suite also offered POST Technologies flexible service portfolio development, enabling the company to meet changing market needs and improve competitiveness.

Best of all, POST Technologies gained the flexibility to adapt its fulfillment processes to new requirements in the future, without having to engage in another expensive transformation project.

Working with Comptel, POST Technologies was able to meet its business objectives in a very challenging timeline. POST has now completed the first phase of its transformation project, which has already led to an increase in operational efficiency, higher revenue and margin, and improved customer experience.

Download this Comptel case study to get the full story on how POST Technologies transformed its fulfillment architecture with Comptel’s FlowOne Fulfillment.


3 Comptel Webinars Explore the Global Fibre Broadband Opportunity

Posted: June 23rd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on 3 Comptel Webinars Explore the Global Fibre Broadband Opportunity

Operators around the world are finding ways to make the fibre broadband opportunity work to their advantage, and many others are using those blueprints to chart their fibre initiatives.fiber internet services

Comptel explored the fibre broadband opportunity from every angle in a recent series of webinars. In the first session, “How to Build a Perfect Setup and Business Model for Fibre Connectivity and Services,” Comptel CTO Simon Osborne was joined by analyst Dean Ramsay of Analysys Mason and product manager James Wheatley to discuss the market opportunity and ideal business model for fibre services.

Ramsay explained that, per Analysys Mason estimates, about 50 billion in U.S. dollars was spent on worldwide capital expenditures related to fibre-to-the-x (FTTX) capabilities. That was about 2 percent higher than 2014, said Ramsay, who added that more than half the world’s consumers will have access to fibre internet by 2020.

That would be an ideal outcome for many consumers, who are starved for faster internet to support complex home networks. The average household will run multiple fixed and mobile devices from a single home Wi-Fi network, and with bandwidth-greedy services like 4K video ready to enter more homes, demand will only increase in the years ahead. Ramsay explained that most consumers now know that fibre is the latest and greatest technology for fixed broadband services, which makes fibre capability an attractive marketing tool for operators.

Of course, to offer fibre, operators need to solve a number of infrastructure, network and service challenges. In his part of the presentation, GE’s James Wheatley explained how proper network design – focused on automation, optimisation and a single view to disparate networks – can help operators efficiently meet overwhelming demand for higher bandwidth services. He also offered best practices for aligning physical inventory to meet customer expectations around service availability and quality. Watch the first webinar here to learn more.

In the second webinar, Ramsay and Comptel’s Patrick Wijngaarden elaborated on our project with Chorus, a New Zealand-based operator that completed an aggressive fibre deployment in less than one year. “How Chorus Cut 40% of Service Delivery Time with Modernised Fulfilment” provides a strong case study for intelligent service fulfilment around fibre, as Chorus was able to roll out fibre to a majority of the country’s population thanks to an automated fibre provisioning process devised by GE and Comptel.

This type of intelligent network transformation, which limits disruption to the network while significantly increasing operator capabilities and service opportunities, provides a crucial blueprint to operators exploring fibre deployments. The third and final webinar in our series provided another compelling example, this time from POST Luxembourg, which navigated the delicate balance of a corporate split-off by adopting a more dynamic, efficient and automated fulfilment architecture to serve existing and future demands from customers. Watch “Agile Delivery Leading to Successful OSS Transformation” to learn more about that story.

As we’re seeing from worldwide activity, fibre will undoubtedly continue to be one of the top services those customers demand in the years ahead. Not only will fibre deployments help operators keep up with consumer expectations, but as Comptel VP North America Peter Middleton explained recently, fibre capabilities could also be the difference-maker that helps smaller operators compete with larger players in key markets like United States.

The only thing standing in the way? Network transformation. Chorus and POST Luxembourg proved that the network does not have to be an obstacle to service opportunity, as long as you know how to devise an intelligent and efficient strategy for evolution.

Watch the complete “Winning with Fibre” webinar series to catch up on the issues around fibre connectivity and to receive a blueprint for building the perfect business model for fibre connectivity and services.

Watch part 1: “How to Build a Perfect Setup and Business Model for Fibre Connectivity and Services

Watch part 2: “How Chorus Cut 40% Of Service Delivery Time with Modernized Fulfilment

Watch part 3: “Case Example – Agile Delivery Leading to Successful OSS Transformation


Comptel Partnerships to Introduce Fresh Digital Service Approaches at TM Forum Live! 2016

Posted: May 6th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Comptel Partnerships to Introduce Fresh Digital Service Approaches at TM Forum Live! 2016

Technology partnerships are crucial to innovation in telecommunications. At next week’s TM Forum Live! 2016, Comptel will demonstrate the outcome of several recent industry collaborations, all of which are designed to introduce new approaches to digital service delivery, customer engagement, data monetisation and networking.

Comptel is taking part in three distinct partner-driven initiatives, including two TM Forum Catalysts, individually led by Telefonica and Orange; and an IBM-led digital service architecture blueprint. The ultimate objective of each initiative is to open operators’ eyes to new possibilities for infrastructure management, service delivery and offer creation through NFV service orchestration and intelligent fast data management.

Our contributions vary by project. In two of the cases, we’re putting the digital service lifecycle management (DSLM) model that we introduced in Nexterday: Volume II, with our FLOWONE service orchestration technology, managing forward-looking approaches to service delivery. In the third project, we’re supplying expertise and technology in the creation of a new, progressive data monetisation strategy.

Forward-thinking approaches are crucial at a time when customers desire fast, intelligent, personalised offers. Operators are also keen to take advantage of dynamic, intelligent, highly automated and virtualised network environments to speed up innovation, time-to-market and to improve security.

Here’s what you can expect from each partnership, with guidance on how you can learn more and engage with Comptel and our partners at TM Forum Live! 2016.

IBM’s Target Architecture for Cloud-Based Networking

Comptel, IBM and Juniper Networks have developed a new approach to digital service delivery for B2B and B2C customers, incorporating an orchestration and fulfillment architecture that allows operators to better manage end-to-end service lifecycles in complex hybrid networks of virtualised and non-virtualised services.

The architecture is based on our DSLM proposition, which you can read more about in a recent blog from our CTO Simon Osborne. The end-game is a network that’s able to automatically and dynamically deploy network capabilities and agile services in a way that gives customers automated, self-service digital service purchasing and delivery.

To learn more, visit the IBM booth at TM Forum Live!

Open Source NFV Service Orchestration and Lifecycle Management Catalyst with Telefonica

Comptel is also participating in two TM Forum Catalysts, which are proof-of-concept initiatives that encourage technology partnerships in the name of industry innovation.

The first is the NFV Service Orchestration and Lifecycle Management based on Open Source MANO Catalyst – sponsored by Telefonica. Along with Indra and Etiya, the initiative centres on Open Source MANO (OSM), an ETSI project to develop an open source stack for NFV management and orchestration, demonstrated here within a hybrid network environment.

DSLM also plays a crucial role in this Catalyst, as does our FLOWONE V service orchestration solution. The aim is to test the OSM software stack in a practical context and analyse how it needs to evolve to be production-ready.

To learn more about this Catalyst, join Telefonica and Comptel for our theatre session on Tuesday, May 11, 14:30-14:50 at the Catalyst Theatre.

Orange’s Catalyst on a Mobile Sponsored Data Business Model

Finally, Comptel will take part in an Orange-championed Catalyst, “New Business Models with Mobile Sponsored Data,” which also includes partners Salesforce and CloudSense, plus Sigma Systems and DataMi. We’ve contributed our Intelligent Fast Data technology and capabilities to illustrate how enterprises can sponsor mobile customer data usage as a way to incentivise the use of enterprise digital services, increase data engagement, collect usage data and apply policy control.

To learn more about this Catalyst, attend our session titled “New Business Models with Mobile Sponsored Data” at the Catalyst Theatre on Wednesday, May 12, 13:40-14:00.

Comptel is proud to partner with each of these technology leaders in collaborative efforts to introduce new solutions to communications. Whether it’s by improving digital service delivery through new infrastructure models, further developing OSM, or enhancing customer engagement through the creation of new business models, we’re excited to pioneer digital transformation. We can’t wait to share our progress with attendees at TM Forum Live! 2016.

Visit TM Forum’s Catalyst Zone to see these Catalyst demonstrates in action. To arrange a meeting with Comptel at TM Forum Live! 2016, email comptelmarketing@comptel.com

Learn more about the orchestration capabilities of Comptel’s FLOWONE and download a copy of the Comptel and Heavy Reading research report, “Digital Service Lifecycle Management: How Communications Service Providers Can Play a Successful Role in the Digital Economy.”

You can also learn more about how Comptel is enables operators and global enterprises to act on Intelligent Fast Data in our recent Intelligent Data webinar.


A Collaboration to Fulfil NFV’s Potential in the Digital Economy

Posted: May 5th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on A Collaboration to Fulfil NFV’s Potential in the Digital Economy

It’s a really good time to be a shopper. The world’s top ecommerce marketplaces, like Amazon and eBay, make it easier and faster than ever for consumers to buy whatever they want on any device, at any time. Top brands are also striving to offer a better buying experience – you can go on Nike.com right now and fully customise and order your own pair of shoes without leaving your couch.

Personalisation. Convenience. Instant gratification. Customers want it all, and technology means top brands are able to deliver. As a result, we’re operating in a new digital economy, one that’s driven by personal choice and an experience-led approach.

So why are many operators still struggling to deliver a convenient, automated and engaging customer experience?

The digital service purchasing process needs to evolve, and since we first discussed this topic in last year’s Operation Nexterday, we’ve heard some great success stories from operators who are undergoing that transformation. But we’ve also heard from operators who need guidance devising and launching a new model for digital service delivery.

That’s why, at next week’s TM Forum Live!, we are launching a proposed architecture for digital service delivery in partnership with IBM and Juniper Networks. The IBM platform for Cloud Based Networking (CBN), intends to maximize the agility offered by network function virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networks (SDN) to create a better model for service delivery in the digital age.

What NFV/SDN Can Do for Digital Service Delivery

As I wrote in a recent LinkedIn Pulse piece, the virtualisation of networks and services empowers operators to present customers with the right services at the right time. That’s because NFV and SDN offer the infrastructure agility and flexibility to rapidly create new digital services, including their operational aspects, at maximum speed and minimum cost. In other words, NFV and SDN allow operators to move fast enough to create a more immediate and satisfying digital customer experience.

Of course, given that the embrace of NFV technologies won’t happen overnight, this vision doesn’t require a dramatic shift to a fully virtualised network. Instead, operators will deploy NFV capabilities as “islands” within their infrastructure, leveraging existing physical resources and associated OSS/BSS platforms as part of a hybrid approach for some time to come.

The Comptel/IBM/Juniper initiative, which is built in accordance with the Comptel Digital Service Lifecycle Management (DLSM) model proposed in Nexterday: Volume II, takes this hybrid approach into account. Designed as a three-tiered architecture, DSLM relies on a central orchestration layer that manages requests from the top customer engagement and business management layers, and supports those requests with appropriate resources from the bottom virtual and physical resource layer.

Each layer works together to deliver automated order validation, self-service customer configuration and intelligent resource management for easy scalability.

Creating Reality from New Digital Service Possibilities

How would this all be exposed to the customer? Through a better digital buying experience.

Customers should now be able to self-configure and order a broader range of services from a digital catalogue, and the operator’s infrastructure would handle the automated creation and immediate fulfillment of those services.

In the enterprise world, businesses looking to add on a new IT or communications service will be able to abandon the legacy linear purchase process that’s plagued by lengthy requirements reviews, proposals and bids which lead to delays, fallouts or generic IT implementations. Instead, much of the enterprise sales process will be automated, helping operators improve experience and sales.

The model creates a foundation for operators to easily grow and deliver a wide range of new service capabilities. With NFV, operators are able to assume the role of digital service aggregators, setting up marketplaces for B2C and B2B buyers to purchase existing and emerging digital services. For enterprise customers, that might even mean buying the very virtual functions they need to provision their own networks.

Ultimately our partnership with IBM and Juniper aims to reveal the business potential of virtualised networks when applied to service delivery – and how it unlocks new possibilities for operator service growth.

We invite you to visit the IBM booth at TM Forum Live! in Nice, France, from 9-12 May to learn more about the IBM Cloud Based Networking initiative and our model for dynamic digital service delivery. Email ComptelMarketing@Comptel.com to schedule a meeting.

You can also read more about the initiative from Comptel CTO Simon Osborne, read the Heavy Reading white paper or catch up on our view of digital service lifecycle management on Nexterday.org, our online magazine and reader community.


Reimagining OSS to Enable Dynamic Digital Service Delivery

Posted: April 25th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Reimagining OSS to Enable Dynamic Digital Service Delivery

By Simon Osborne, CTO Service Orchestration, Comptel

In the world of telco, emerging back office technologies – especially network functions virtualisation (NFV) – appeal to operators not just because of the promised evolution of infrastructure management, but also because of the potential difference these technologies can make to the bottom line.

It all starts and ends with digital services. We’re living in an app-driven world, where consumers build personalised ecosystems of apps and over-the-top (OTT) content. These customers are on the search for apps and services that solve specific problems or meet their unique needs, from personal health to entertainment and everything in between.

Businesses are the same way. Not only do companies want access to a wider range of digital capabilities – video and Web conferencing, cloud-based email and productivity software, connectivity and security services – but they also now expect a B2B buying experience comparable to the speed and personalisation they receive as B2C digital buyers.TM Forum Live

How can operators deliver personalised, engaging service experiences to B2B and B2C customers? Through a conversational and automated service orchestration and fulfillment framework.

Comptel is partnering with IBM and Juniper Networks to develop just such an architecture. As a participant in IBM’s Cloud Based Networking (CBN) initiative, our aim is to leverage SDN and NFV technologies in the creation of an agile, self-service model for service configuration, validation and completion. We’ll share our new revision for OSS and dynamic digital service delivery with attendees and booth visitors at TM Forum Live! in Nice, France from 9-12 May.

Extending the Potential of NFV and SDN

Technologies in isolation don’t really change much about the state of play. The same is true for NFV. There’s nothing inherently disruptive about having a virtual version of a network function. Adding a “v” in front of OSS won’t mean you’ve revolutionised your business. It’s really about how you’ve applied that new technology to meet customer demands.

The real value of NFV is that gives operators the agility and flexibility to consider new ways to serve enterprise and individual customers. With a highly scalable, agile and flexible network, an operator can dream up and launch the innovative problem-solving services their customers want. In turn, the self-created apps and service ecosystem can drive new operator revenue streams.

The Model for Dynamic Self-Service Delivery

To bring this vision to reality, IBM is adopting Comptel’s Digital Service Lifecycle Management (DSLM) proposition. This NFV-driven model works across three layers: one for network orchestration, virtual function, IT and physical network management; a middle orchestration layer to manage end-to-end hybrid service orchestration and the digital service lifecycle; and a top layer for front-office customer engagement and business management.

Comptel’s FLOWONE V service orchestration solution will fulfil the central DSLM layer, while IBM and Juniper will provide the network domain and IT service orchestration, dynamic operations, customer engagement, DevOps and security applications and services. Through integration with a digital service catalogue, this three-tiered system is able to support fast and easy self-service product ordering and configuration at the customer level. The model accounts for automated validation to ensure service availability and feasibility, and includes intelligent resource management to ensure the system can scale for service demand.

In future blogs, we’ll dive into the market potential for this type of model and the technical aspects that make it possible. But for now, it’s clear to see the revenue possibilities for operators. With a smart, automated and self-service digital sales cycle, you empower customers to build their own personal ecosystem of digital services and apps. Agile NFV and SDN technologies let you deliver these capabilities at an attractive cost. Ultimately, this model presents an innovative way for operators to expand their service capabilities and unlock new revenue in the era of rising digital expectations.

Visit Comptel and IBM at TM Forum Live! to learn more about the IBM Cloud Based Networking  initiative and our model for dynamic digital service delivery. Email ComptelMarketing@Comptel.com to schedule a meeting. You can also read more about digital service lifecycle management at Nexterday.org, our online magazine and reader community.


Why Telcos Need to Make Mediation More Intelligent than Ever

Posted: August 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights, Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

When communications service providers (CSPs) think of mediation systems, it’s natural for them to consider billing and assurance processes. Most mediation platforms have traditionally been focused on the processing of transaction data records (xDRs). However, having too narrow of a focus on transactional data misses the big opportunities that can be made possible with analytics-enhanced data orchestration.

Data orchestration is all about making sense of the new sources of structured and unstructured data flooding networks. From social media networks to app usage, location points to alarms and probes, CSPs enthusiastically need a way to make all of this information more accessible, intelligent and actionable. Thanks to the dawn of the Internet of Things, we’re standing at the brink of a touchpoint explosion. Data is playing a fundamental role in every customer’s life. Yet while Big Data provides a significant opportunity for CSPs to make more intelligent decisions, the “data wrangling” – hand-sorting through mounds of data to collect what’s most relevant – is still consuming precious time and resources. In fact, according to recent research from The New York Times, data scientists spend 50 to 80 percent of their time just “wrangling” the data, to ready it for action.

While the xDR has usually been the only link between the network and customer data, now, the key to alleviating time-consuming data wrangling will be found in data orchestration – empowered by analytics and contextual intelligence. This will revolutionise how CSPs use data for operations, customer relationships and business planning.

A new, intelligent approach to event processing can help to make sense of this information tsunami, and fully leverage that data to make operations and businesses more intelligent, and enable real-time decision making. By combining more intelligent analysis and predictive analytics with complex event processing (CEP), it’s possible to bridge informational silos between back-office systems and glean actionable foresights that go far beyond simply processing transactions.

Imagine, for example, if your analytics-enriched mediation system could foretell when there’s going to be a service peak or potential revenue loss before it happens. Or what if OSS/BSS could communicate and correlate network and customer data, then send automated messages to customers based on current network events? Maybe it’s to notify customers of potential bandwidth issues in the next hour or to tell them about a new product.

Through data integration and orchestration enhanced with embedded analysis, that’s finally possible.

Measuring the Customer Experience

OSS/BSS systems are highly effective at processing the data related to billing and assurance, with the analysis based on xDRs. Full-blown data integration, ingestion and orchestration brings all the information from other sources into the mix, so CSPs have a full view of network and customer activity across an array of sources.

With that data collected and aggregated, machine learning-enabled mediation can have a big impact. Intelligent mediation can explore data and forecast service usage, which better informs service forecasting, operational efficiency and impact on revenue. Through a streamlined and intuitive presentation layer that allows for data visualisation through dashboards, CSPs can detect signs of service anomalies and patterns in customer behaviours that allow for proactive decision-making. By consolidating the data and learning from it through sophisticated artificial intelligence, this new kind of mediation can create displays and dashboards that help operators view opportunities and risks that were previously invisible.

Protecting Revenue with Operational Intelligence

Customer experience isn’t the only thing that can be vastly improved through intelligent mediation. Revenue loss often occurs when xDRs are lost, corrupted or otherwise arrive incomplete or malfunction in network becomes evident as a sudden drop of usage events is reported for a service. These errors can get lost in the processing shuffle, and by the time they’re detected, revenue has already suffered. Intelligent mediation can help prevent these issues.

By observing the deviations between the forecast and observed values of transaction records, the mediation system, leveraging predictive analytics, can notify operators that there’s an anomaly. Machine learning ensures that this process continually grows more intelligent and capable of more rigorous analysis in the future.

Analytics-enriched mediation empowers CSPs like never before by allowing businesses to make the most of the data that’s already being transmitted across networks and allows for real-time decision capabilities thanks to analytics and automation. With an embedded analytics-engine in place that can contextually read data and automatically send notifications to both customers and the operations team, CSPs can sidestep the data wrangling and make mediation systems – and business processes – more intelligent than ever before.


Want to learn more about intelligent mediation? Download “What You don’t Know Will Cost You: Using Contextual Intelligence in OSS / BSS Operations to Protect & Increase Revenue,” a whitepaper sponsored by Comptel and authored by ICTIntuition.
Download


Comptel Opens New Office in Noida, India

Posted: May 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events, News | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Comptel Opens New Office in Noida, India

This is a guest post from Comptel’s Manish Minocha.

After many months of anticipation, our new office in Noida (Delhi NCR), India officially opened its doors yesterday! We were pleased to share this milestone with some of our customers in an inauguration ceremony – the Finnish ambassador to India, His Excellency Mr. Aapo Pölhö, even joined us for the celebration.

Comptel launched its India operations back in 1996, so we could build closer relationships with the region’s communications service providers (CSPs). Our business footprint has grown substantially since then, with the likes of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Tata Teleservices deploying our OSS/BSS solutions. Our software now reaches nearly half of the country’s population (569 million subscribers)!

“For many years, India has been a key market for Comptel,” said our CEO Juhani Hintikka. “This new office reaffirms our commitment to helping our CSP customers transform their operations, innovate and deliver new offerings and grow their businesses. We are happy to play a key role in shaping the region’s telco market.”

Over the past 18 years, Comptel has also formed strong partnerships with global and local system integrators, such as IBM, TCS and Tech Mahindra, to enable us to further deliver high-quality OSS/BSS solutions that address the business and operational requirements of CSPs in India and worldwide.

“Since Comptel established its India presence, we have grown our team significantly, with further expansion still to come,” said Arun Aggarwal, president of Comptel South Asia. “With the growth of big data and interest in analytics to improve customer engagement and all aspects of CSPs’ technical and commercial processes, along with our strong base of integration partners, the future looks bright for Comptel in India.”


Through the new office, we hope to tap into the wealth of talented individuals in the region, to also continue to strengthen Comptel’s global services and support business and help operators ‘make their data beautiful.’ Stay tuned for more exciting things to unfold from the new office in Noida and Comptel.


Abe’s Law of Experience Design

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

There once was a sharp-dressing American gentleman named Abraham Lincoln. He was a great man by many standards, and there’s also a brilliant quote from him I always use as the first slide of all of my presentations and lectures: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

I think Honest Abe was spot on – why wait for the world to change, when you can just roll up your sleeves and get the wheels turning? At Comptel, we’ve adopted Abe’s wise words as our unofficial slogan in our mission to drive a meaningful, usable, and delightful user journey for customers across all of our products.

Beyond UI

Good user experience doesn’t happen by accident. It’s rooted much, much, deeper than just the graphical user interface. These are self-evident fundamentals that the likes of Jony Ive from Apple have made very visible in the consumer product space over the past decade, but strangely are still not widely adopted in professional software markets. The simple fact of the matter is that in a domain as business-critical and complex as OSS, putting proper weight on your user experience – instead of just the user interface – is even more important than with consumer products.

To that end, Comptel is dedicated to making a dent in our industry through strategic experience design. For us, user experience is not an obligatory final touch at the end of the R&D pipeline, it’s a driving force that runs deep throughout the organisation – from Product Managers, UX Designers, and Development teams, who work together to lay the basic bricks for the user journey, all the way to sales and service teams. We are all responsible for contributing to the overall user and customer experience in our daily work.

In the coming months, we’ll share more on the importance user and customer experience and offer further insight on today’s design trends. You will have the chance to get to know Comptel’s creative process, as well as our research methods and the design tools that we’re using to redefine experience design as we know it.

This is most definitely not a monologue, so we would love to hear your thoughts on the current stage of experience design in the OSS space. Please take this opening piece as an invitation to an honest dialogue, whether in the comments section below, on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ediootti), or over a very real cup of coffee in a face-to-face conversations!

Juho Paasonen is Head of Experience Design at Comptel