Comptel Recognised by Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific as Most Innovative Telecom OSS / BSS Vendor of the Year

Posted: July 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Comptel Recognised by Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific as Most Innovative Telecom OSS / BSS Vendor of the Year

Comptel is pleased to announce that Frost & Sullivan has named it the Most Innovative Telecom OSS / BSS Vendor of the Year. The analyst firm’s annual Asia Pacific ICT awards program is given to companies that displayed growth in performance and groundbreaking achievements. In addition to those metrics, Frost & Sullivan examined nominees’ major customer acquisitions, portfolio diversity and product innovation.

Kari Jokela, vice president, Asia Pacific, was on tap to receive the award in a ceremony at the St. Regis in Singapore.

Specifically, Comptel Social Links, which was introduced to the APAC market and globally in 2012 following the acquisition of Xtract, has been key to our continuing innovation in the market and raising the bar when it comes to customer experience management. The integration of the advanced predictive analytics technology into our proven mediation and fulfillment software platform has challenged the traditional OSS / BSS approach, and allowed communications service providers to integrate their sales, technology and marketing organisations, and transform their Big Data into big opportunities. This has placed us in a unique position in the market.

We are honored to receive this award, because it shows that Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific believes in our Event – Analysis – Action strategic framework. We know that our customers and partners not just on the continent but also worldwide share our belief in that strategy, too, and are realising the powerful impact that automated decision-making and customer interaction can have on their businesses.

We would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate our customer Robi Axiata Limited, who were named Emerging Market Service Provider of the Year during the awards ceremony.

Thank you, and there are plenty of more exciting things to come in 2013 and beyond!


Telecoms Network Equipment Manufacturers Move to Create an Interoperability Initiative… Finally

Posted: May 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Telecoms Network Equipment Manufacturers Move to Create an Interoperability Initiative… Finally

At Comptel, we’ve prided ourselves on being an Operations Support System Independent Software Vendor (OSS ISV) that can span across different standards and interfaces. For us, that flexibility is crucial to building and providing a dynamic system that we know will fit all of our customers’ needs. That said, I won’t hide the fact that to make sure our software runs just as well on one telecom network equipment manufacturers (NEM) technology than another’s requires significant effort from our team.

That’s why we were interested to see that Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), three of the world’s largest telecom NEMs, have decided to launch an OSS interoperability initiative (OSSii).  In short, the businesses agreed to sign bilateral, cross-licensing agreements that will ostensibly help foster the development of a standardised interface from their equipment.

We’re curious about where this initiative will lead. TM Forum has been working on standardised interfaces for fifteen years, and we can’t help but wonder if this could be the start of a rival organisation. Huawei’s OSS & wireless networks president Jiang Wangcheng said that the OSSii will “provide operators in all markets the ability to fully capitalise on the best OSS solutions available”, reducing operating costs and time-to-market, but most of the top ISV OSS solutions already have very sophisticated interface development kits that allow for support, time-to-market flexibility and interoperability.

Could this OSSii instead be meant to help these big NEMs capture a larger slice of the OSS pie for their own services and SI organisations? Nevertheless by simplifying interface challenges, the market could take on a new dynamic.

Innovating on Top of an Interface

Most OSS ISVs like Comptel have already accomplished what Ericsson, Huawei and NSN are trying to do. We’ve had to develop solutions that communicate across different platforms and systems out of sheer necessity. Comptel has solved the interoperability issues of telecoms vendors with products that work across the board. The real challenge now is integrating existing and new networks to deliver convergent services in a way that maximises reusability and capacity.

The OSSii is a move in the right direction for these three NEMs, who have been guarding their licenses and interfaces very closely up until now. We hope that, once they have developed a standardised interface, they will join OSS ISVs to help revolutionise the space of concept-to-cash, Service Defined Network (SDN) and other upcoming changes in the telecom industry. This is where we think the future is—beyond operability and resource management, into the realm of profitable service growth.


Delivering Contextual Intelligence at Every Touch Point – Comptel at Mobile World Congress 2013

Posted: January 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Delivering Contextual Intelligence at Every Touch Point – Comptel at Mobile World Congress 2013

For marketers in the ICT industry, the first quarter of the year is traditionally packed with key activities, which set tone and present the themes for the coming quarters. Mobile World Congress (MWC13) is one of those major events where most of us put a lot of effort to showcase something new and innovative that captures the attention of the public.

We at Comptel believe that Contextual Intelligence at Every Touch Point helps Communications Service Providers (CSP) to connect emotionally with their customers to make and save money.

We thought that we were early with the preparations on the themes, spearheads and the actual marketing elements that we wanted to share prior to the event and at the actual event.  We surprised our advertising agency with a reasonably well documented storyline and spearhead descriptions. So we all thought that we are ready for execution and have more than enough time.

When executing our plans, we once again met the same challenges as also the CSPs face when trying to seamlessly launch multi-device and multi-channel services, which their customers demand. Considering how fast the suitable tools and technologies develop, this might sound like a piece of cake. However, the variety of available devices, browsers and releases is endless, and the testing and fine-tuning the applications can be quite an exhausting task – especially if the application in question  contains any additional elements besides  text, still pictures or videos that are stored, for example, in YouTube.

The complexity of the CSPs’ service creation and delivery environments cannot even be compared to our small project. However, this served as a good reminder for us at Comptel,  that the service experience consists of such a big number of variables that the solutions we develop to handle the provisioning and activation of customers and services efficiently and effortlessly are indeed needed.


Management World Americas 2012: Everything that can be digital, will be

Posted: December 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Management World Americas 2012: Everything that can be digital, will be

I’m here at Management World Americas 2012 in Orlando, Florida, where the air is filled with excitement. This year, the theme is “everything that can be digital, will be” – which is reinforced by the rapid growth of our digital economy, expected to reach $20.4 trillion by 2013. Kicking things off this morning was TM Forum’s President and CEO, Martin Creaner, who addressed how to manage complex services as this growth continues, and discussed the industry’s transformation.


To illustrate his point, Martin drew a parallel to frogs – if you put a frog in cool water and then slowly increase the heat, the frog will boil alive before he realises that his life is in danger, even though he’s aware of the gradual temperature change. This is an analogy to the problems our industry faces. We realise change is happening all around us, in the types of phones we use, with increases in data usage, how we use that data, and beyond. But understanding these changes and actually doing something about them are two entirely different things.

That’s where the challenge of innovation comes into play. When it comes to innovation, there are two categories – the first is sustaining innovation, which is about making things better and improving on products and services that already exist in the market. The second, and more difficult type of innovation, is disruptive. This is focused on creating a new market, with new technologies and services.

Currently, market leaders tend to be strong with sustaining innovation and poor at disruptive innovation. Martin noted that, while always important to cater to customers, the downside of sustaining innovation is that it can hold you captive by them. To avoid being the boiling frog, organizations really need to both sustain and disrupt with their innovations. Martin explained that breaking the cycle comes down to putting space between your innovative efforts and the demand of existing customers. In doing so, you can not only innovate for the here and now, but also take steps to change for the future.

This is something we pride ourselves on at Comptel, especially with our Contextual Intelligence for Telecommunications (CIQ4T) concept – a way we’re innovating for service providers. It allows them to understand their customers with predictive analytics, and interact with them intelligently for relevant offers and, ultimately, for a better customer experience.

We’re excited to see what the rest of the show offers, and if you’re at Management World, stop by our booth (#7) in the expo hall!


Join Comptel and NET at Management World Americas 2012 Next Week

Posted: November 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Join Comptel and NET at Management World Americas 2012 Next Week

It’s that time of year again – Management World Americas is about to kick off, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be presenting on day one of the conference in the Cable Summit with Rodrigo Duclos, CIO of NET. Part of a track on “The Road to Applied Success”, our session will cover the Brasilian cable multiple system operator’s (MSO) OSS/BSS transformation project and evolution to provide a richer customer experience.

Due to skyrocketing demand for broadband services, NET wanted to develop a more sophisticated quota management system, using the Comptel Mediation system, to enhance its communications offerings and personalise service and price plans for subscribers. Rodrigo will explain how the cable MSO was able to automate the mediation process and more intelligently analyse customers’ broadband consumption, and discuss the benefits this can bring to NET’s business. For instance, it allows for more advanced charging models based on service use and gives subscribers the power to control and monitor their usage and bills in real time—resulting in more streamlined operations, a flexible and creative business model and an enhanced customer experience.

Again, I’m very excited to share this great case study with Management World Americas attendees. I hope you will come see the presentation on Monday, 3 December at 10:30 a.m. EST in the Cable Summit or visit the Comptel booth (#7) in the expo hall.


Men at Work Down Under

Posted: November 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes, Events | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Men at Work Down Under

We all know that during these uncertain economic times, life in business might not be always that easy, don’t we?  However, I’m a strong believer in positivism and its power of energizing people.  Therefore, I took the opportunity to write this small blog to share the joy and enthusiasm of my dear colleagues Down Under.

We in Comptel have worked hard to transform the company from a traditional, if I dare to say maybe a bit dull telco engineering company, to a faster moving and an agile Internet-age software  company.  After ten months in Comptel, I have experienced an amazing spirit of ”Make it Happen”, which is also one of our four core values. The recent recognition by Frost & Sullivan is only one example of the results of our dedication.

I was personally inspired by the pictures the team sent to me after the Awards Banquet on the 20th of November 2012 in Australia.  It is wonderful to see Men at Work Down Under with such big smiles while knowing that they really put their hearts into it and give their best  effort to bring the highest customer value in their respective markets.

The other reason to write this blog is to remind of our thought leadership in Contextual Intelligence For Telco (CIQ4T). The comment from Mr. Mark Dougan, managing director, Australia & New Zealand, Frost & Sullivan confirms that we have succeeded in differentiating with our approach:  “The company has proven its ability to not only effectively operate and grow in the competitive market, but also, with the debut of its CIQ4T, fuel OSS innovation and raise the bar for CSPs’ customer engagement practices.”

Simply put, Contextual Intelligence (CI) is the principle of understanding a uniqueness of a person and the circumstances, ( i.e. the context) and turning that understanding into an opportunity. This is a valid guideline for various business situations as well as for life in general.  If you happen to be around Orlando next week, visit us at Management World Americas, 2-6 December 2012 to hear more.


Succeeding in OSS Project Engagements – Insights from MEA

Posted: November 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World, Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Succeeding in OSS Project Engagements – Insights from MEA

A learning organisation is the sum-total of the experiences of its people. At Comptel, we take great pride in having delivered on excellent projects, and the lessons we have learned through them are our prised possession. To a large extent, a distinctive pattern begins to emerge from the various projects and engagements conducted in each region. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) is no exception – its unique characteristics come through its many region-specific best practices, as well as the lessons and cultural themes we have accumulated through our commitment to our customers.

When it comes to the success of a project, leadership is an important aspect– from managing project charters and negotiating scopes, to resolving conflicts and involving stakeholders, to addressing resources and process implications. From my experience in MEA, I’ve seen six elements of success emerge that stem from strong leadership.

1. Trademarks
First, it is very important that a project be ‘trademarked’ both internally and externally. This should go hand-in-hand with the company’s corporate strategy and bear an inspiring slogan that attracts everyone’s contribution. Externally, with the customer, the trademark should bear in succinct terms the top 2-3 goals and objectives sought from the project. These should be posted at all times as the overriding milestones for all stakeholders, especially the customer. Internally, this should become more of a symbol that people can relate to in daily activities, when talking by the water coolers, for instance. Last, it should be attached to a group of influential sponsors, decision-makers and key participants, who can help develop an inclination across company ranks to make the project successful.

2. Strong Launch
The project should be kicked off like the Olympics. What I mean by this is that everyone should feel willing and ready to be a part of an exciting new journey. The most important thing is making sure that the project leadership is technology savvy and capable of understanding the complexities involved. A sense of control, responsibility, raw skill and effective management can only be inculcated by a project manager with extensive domain expertise. This, in my humble opinion, can be a deciding factor for a project’s success at the very outset. The project leader should then be able to recruit a balanced team and prepare for a strong launch.

3. Alignment
The project leader should have a comprehensive, organisation-wide understanding of the customer’s business units (e.g. commercial, network, human resources, finance), business processes (TM Forum standards can help), key stakeholders, parallel vendors and existing IT and systems landscape. This helps align the project to all of these various entities, so that any risk is taken care of proactively, and all parties/resources are marshaled to a collective success.

4. Clear Scope
It’s important that the project leader is actively involved alongside any sales staff in negotiating, understanding and freezing the scope of a project. The scope should be very clearly documented and have approval from all key stakeholders. This can involve details such as key objectives, success factors, project scheduling and budgeting, and risks. Again, it takes a project leader proficient in that domain to effectively record the different requirements, needs, assumptions and risks.

5. Communication
The project leader should be able to develop a very clear communications methodology to ensure transparency and a real-time window into the project’s workings. He or she should be able to identify ‘what messages’ need to be passed to ‘which stakeholders’ at ‘what intervals’ through ‘what methods and channels’ with ‘what level of severity’. The communications methodology should be able to integrate and harmonise the many artifacts of project communication including meetings, emails, progress reports, workshops and portals.

6. Motivation
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the project leader should strive to be a true source of motivation, energy and inspiration for the whole team. A confident and independent leader can take hold of a project without letting control sink away to distant and irrelevant corners of the organisation. He or she should be bold enough to take calculated risks and use the team’s best energies to create win-win situations with the customer. An effective project leader manages and resolves conflicts through creative ideas and through the power of communication. A dynamic leader is imaginative enough to adapt the fabric of the project to the changing strategic needs of the customer and of his or her own organisation. Finally,  he or she should be able to culminate all of these leadership themes into closing the project, celebrating it like a hard-earned victory, learning from its course and moving on to the next challenge with a bigger, more self-assured poise.

These types of leaders deliver on strategic opportunities, resulting in increased revenues through cross-sell and up-sell opportunities and references, and ultimately happier customers.


Counting Down to AfricaCom 2012

Posted: November 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Counting Down to AfricaCom 2012

Working in marketing, I am constantly trying to identify which conferences are the right fit for showcasing various products and solutions. While conducting these searches, Comptel, like other practical companies, often finds itself targeting the fastest growing market: Africa. It may come as no surprise, then, that Comptel will have a stand at the 15th annual AfricaCom conference taking place 13-15 November in Cape Town. This year’s thought-provoking programme promises to reflect Africa’s potential to influence a market already filled with vibrant new dynamics.

At the show, we will have a dedicated team of experts on-site that are happy to speak with communications service providers (CSPs) about the true value we can bring to their business by driving innovation and growing lifetime value through real-time, personalised customer engagement.  The Comptel team is looking forward to demonstrating how to reduce churn by transforming data into actionable intelligence. Acting on this intelligence, in addition to maximising customer lifetime value, helps CSPs distinguish themselves amidst a competitive market. The company will also discuss how to achieve accelerated and accurate advanced service deployments to enhance customer satisfaction, loyalty and their propensity to spend.

Will you also be attending the conference? If so, be sure to stop by Comptel’s stand, #C05, to find out how the right integrated mediation, policy control, charging, service fulfilment and predictive social analytics capabilities can deliver a fresh approach to telecommunications business for greater profitability.

To set up a meeting in advance, please contact comptel.marketing@comptel.com. Looking forward to seeing you in Cape Town!


Viewpoint – The Single or Dual Catalog Conundrum

Posted: September 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Advantages of a catalog-driven fulfillment philosophy

We’re regularly faced with our Service Provider customers and prospects questioning the inclusion of catalog within the Comptel Fulfillment stack – stating quite categorically that “they already have a product catalog” and why would they need another? So I just wanted to put a few words together to demonstrate the real advantages behind the service catalog approach.

More than ever, increasingly complex services depend upon efficient, fast and accurate time-to-market, but too often in many OSS and BSS implementations, product specifications are intrinsically linked to the workflow that implements the service. In the most extreme cases, the workflow itself is the specification of the service. This practice leads to an unmaintainable and inflexible architecture, because every time a change is required to a product, the workflow must be modified. The more changes that are made, the lengthier the workflow becomes, and the more unreadable, unmanageable and unviable it is as a practical architectural solution. Unfortunately, in many cases this tends to be the case for single catalog implementations.

In catalog-driven fulfillment, the service catalog acts as the brains of the system. This means that service order management, provisioning and activation systems are not only able to retrieve product decompositions from the catalog, but also use that information when orchestrating and fulfilling orders. Additionally, in a well architected solution, workflow components can be designed within order management which can be published for discovery by the service catalog.

Comptel’s catalog-driven approach to service fulfillment works independently of workflow design, effectively decoupling product lifecycle management from the technical processes required to implement services. When technical product information is managed in Comptel Catalog, a customer has better visibility on deliverable products. Additionally, they will find it easier to define new products that can be delivered without complex and lengthy workflow creation and modifications.

Therefore, specifying technical product information in a data definition, rather than in a workflow design delivers immediate efficiencies in terms of building, delivering, enhancing/customising and supporting a product. Taking a catalog-driven fulfillment approach will allow a CSP to:-

  • Launch products and services faster. Increasing the profitable lifespan of new services, accelerating product launch to meet market expectations for new service and quickening competitive alignment.
  • Reduce product launch and management costs. Enabling access to new low volume niche markets, protecting margins in the face of reduced profit on mass market services.
  • Enable greater innovation in product and service creation. Customer expectations for tailoring is growing, so maximising the ability to convert network potential into innovative marketable products, particularly products built together with partners, is key.

Reflections on MEA

Posted: August 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Reflections on MEA

A few months ago, a friend made me aware of the Afrinnovator website displaying the tagline: “Putting Africa on the map,” with the goal of “telling the stories of African startups, African innovation, African-made technology, African tech entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs.”

As somebody who likes to visit technology blog sites like Engadget, GigaOM, Mashable and the slightly more quirky The Register, this was an eye opener – even for somebody living in Africa.

Two things stood out.

First, this publication is focused on technology really changing lives. We’re living in a world where seemingly everything is mobile, where there’s an “M-something” for everything. For instance, there is mobile banking, education, agriculture, trading, health, security and government. Additionally, it’s about mobile meeting the daily needs of the consumer — not just a mobile “entertain -and -share-everything” mentality as I am more accustomed to reading about.

Second, these services are not only being delivered by “sexy” data bandwidth hungry smartphone apps, but are also using low-tech solutions that will work with even the least technical phone. For example, there is mobile banking using USSD, mobile medical diagnosis using MMS to send pictures, and even mobile vehicle licensing and resume submissions for jobs using SMS.

So, you may now be asking what the OSS angle is for an OSS blog.

Well, the point is the differences I noted between the mobile service innovation in developed vs. developing countries is an example of how markets naturally work to allocate resources at an aggregate level to meet their needs. However, while most people will tolerate my generalisations of developed vs. developing markets, it is fair to say that generalised services are no longer good enough for individual subscribers within markets.

Essentially, what is needed at an aggregate level is not necessarily what is needed at an individual level within those markets. This is what Comptel’s Customer Engagement Solutions can do to ensure an operator that the appropriate services and customer experience is delivered for individual subscribers, given their personal context.

Now, as a consumer of services I am the first to admit that I don’t always know what I want until after I have experienced it – or it is taken away. So, am I suggesting empowering operators with mind-reading abilities? You bet I am…