Slush 2015 and Nexterday North: A One-Two Punch for Innovation

Posted: August 13th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Slush 2015 and Nexterday North: A One-Two Punch for Innovation

By Katja Kurisjärvi, Marketing Manager, Comptel

This November will be an exciting and energising month for the worlds of tech and telecommunications. Two major events, Comptel’s inaugural Nexterday North and Slush 2015, will descend on Helsinki, with the city welcoming thousands of tech leaders, entrepreneurs and big thinkers from around the world. It promises to be a full week of fresh ideas, big announcements and new visions for the future.

Nexterday North: The Antiseminar You’ve Been Waiting For

Just two days before Slush, Comptel will bring together the brightest minds in the digital and communications industry from 9 to 10 November with Nexterday North, which aims to take a fresh, bold look at the challenges and opportunities for traditional operators and emerging players and digital ecosystems.

Nexterday North will focus on three areas: Think Ahead, where we examine other industries to identify the industry’s collective blindspot, Think Again, where we re-evaluate industry learnings to challenge the status quo, and Think Beyond, where we’ll draw on the startup environment at Slush to find ways to think bigger and better about telco.

The event will also include Geekland, an invite-only Comptel user group that will share cutting-edge live demos, industry blueprint showcases and more. If you want to see what the future holds for your digital and communications services business, you need to be at Nexterday North.

You can register for Nexterday North at this link, and keep in mind that registering for a Nexterday Front pass will also grant you a Slush Conference Pass.

Slush

Slush is the leading European technology and startup event, organized in Helsinki and taking place from 11 to 12 November 12. The next world-conquering companies come to Slush to meet with venture capitalists, launch new products and share their technology breakthroughs with the global tech community.

The Slush program features a number of industries, including healthcare, education, clean tech, future enterprises and e-commerce. Speakers include the founders and leaders of tech unicorns such as Skype, King, Klarna and Supercell. The result is a palpable environment, with startups hoping to attract venture capital, media attention and technology partners, whereas investors come to look for the next billion-dollar company.

For digital and communications services providers, Slush is a great venue to learn about the emerging technologies that will continue to influence the behaviour of our generation. Slush is also a unique platform to identify business opportunities and connect more closely with digitally savvy consumers and businesses.

“With Nexterday North and Slush back-to-back, digital and communications service providers have a unique and exciting chance to hear from some of the world’s most creative thinkers and futurists in the span of a few days,” said Ari Vänttinen, CMO, Comptel. “Those four days in Helsinki will shake up the industry as we know it, providing the blueprint for what’s to come in digital and communications technology.”

“The Nordic countries have definitively put their name on the map of new technologies. The area accounts for 26 percent of all European exits yet has only 4 percent of the population,” said Marianne Vikkula, President and COO, Slush. “With events like Nexterday North and Slush, we want to make sure that the same development continues in the area.”

Charting a Future for Telco and Tech

The run up to Slush and Nexterday North also includes a number of 48-hour hackathons, including Ultrahack in which the Comptel team is participating from 6-8 November. Hackathons present a great chance for developers to refine their software with expert coaching on-site or build new innovations from scratch in a matter of hours.

It all adds up to what will be an exciting week in Helsinki. Visiting digital and communications service providers will be on the ground floor, where big ideas, concepts and partnerships are developed. You’ll learn about the technologies that are changing the world, the strategies that could change your business and the trends that are defining Generation Cloud.

The Comptel team is looking forward to an incredible series of events. We hope to see you in Helsinki.

Register now to reserve your spot at Nexterday North, and receive a conference pass to Slush 2015.


A Review of Comptel’s 2014 Business and 2015 Outlook

Posted: February 6th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on A Review of Comptel’s 2014 Business and 2015 Outlook

Comptel’s growth accelerated towards the end of the year. Our sales in Q4 grew by approximately 21% compared to last year, and  our order backlog grew significantly compared to the previous year.

During the second half of 2014, we won several new customers as well as several multi-year deals with our existing customers. In Q4, we won two new customers, both in South America. Looking at the full year, we doubled our new customer wins: to eight in 2014 compared to four in 2013.

Our new solutions grew almost 26% in Q4, as well. However, our full-year expectations for new solutions did not materialise as we had expected. Our current business was strong and grew by 5% in 2014 as a whole and compared to the previous year.

Regionally, Asia-Pacific grew throughout the year, Europe had a very strong second half, and the Middle East performed as planned in 2014. As previously stated in 2014, our challenges were in the South America region.

Our net profit improved also significantly from previous years due to some previously made tax changes in Asia and also due to some new decisions by the tax authorities. Going forward, we expect this to reduce our effective corporate tax rate.

We ended the year with a solid balance sheet and continue to be net cash positive. During 2014, we secured 26 significant orders, valued over EUR 0.5 million. In 2013, the comparable number of orders was 17. The Group’s reported order backlog increased from the previous year, from EUR 40.8 in 2013 to EUR 55.2 million at the end of the 2014 financial year. The company’s total backlog including multi-year orders beyond 12 months is more than EUR 70 million.

New Organisation

Comptel renewed its organisation in the beginning of 2015. The new organisation reflects the company’s focus on the two core business areas. Going forward, the two business units are: “Comptel Intelligent Data” and “Comptel Service Orchestration.” The Comptel Intelligent Data business unit includes Comptel Convergent Mediation, Comptel Policy and Charging Control and Analytics. The Comptel Service Orchestration business unit includes Comptel Provisioning and Activation, Comptel Fulfillment and Comptel Inventory.

Moreover, the company continues to have common sales and services organisations and corporate functions. In addition, Comptel established a new business unit, which will concentrate on new ideas and products in the early stage to develop them further.

Business Outlook and Markets

The business environment and industry of telecommunications operators is at a clear turning point, since new technologies and business competitors are entering the traditional telecommunications market. We expect the trend to continue in 2015.

While fundamental investments are targeted to high bandwidth, 4G and fibre networks, operators have a strong need to develop and launch new services and improve the quality of the customer experience, to gain the full potential of their investments in a heavily competitive market. Fierce competition inside the telecommunications industry and against the newcomers in the same market requires that operators improve their business processes continuously and pay special attention to their cost structure.

The significance and role of software in managing the telecommunications networks and in enabling more business for operators will further increase. We expect that the implementation of new network technologies and services will slightly increase the value of the software market and will create demand for larger software delivery projects. The operators will require both services and new project deliveries that create a strong basis for business growth. Network technologies will also be moving to software-based cloud environments at an increasing pace, and will bring new and more extensive business opportunities for our service orchestration and intelligent data solutions.

We expect the 2015 net sales to grow compared to the previous year, and we expect operating profit to be in the range of 8-12%, excluding one-time charges. Characteristically, a significant part of Comptel’s operating profit and net sales is generated in the second half of the year.


Why Telcos Need to Pay More Attention to Strategic Experience Design

Posted: January 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The telecommunications industry is no stranger to commoditisation. As over-the-top (OTT) players like Skype and WhatsApp bite into traditional sources of revenue, there has been a scramble to compensate for those lost profits elsewhere. That has generally meant charging more for data or thinking about how predictive analytics can help build more sophisticated marketing offers.

Yet all of that activity often overlooks one central theme: strategic experience design. The commoditisation of technology has changed the battleground from the technology itself to the design of the product – in short, the user and customer experience.

Together, these two elements fall under the umbrella of strategic experience design.  It’s not just your customers that benefit from that kind of holistic design; it’s your customer’s customers.

Psychology and Design

At the heart of good user and customer experience is an understanding of applied psychology. How are people using your product? What do they expect, and what’s the flow from the start to the finish?

At Comptel, we believe that good design comes from collaboration, honesty and respect. Communications service providers (CSPs) shouldn’t be afraid of listening to customer feedback on the experience of their products, or of collaborating across traditional department boundaries to apply the strengths of the virtual working team for a better final product.

When we choose to undertake strategic experience design for our own customers, Comptel doesn’t just draw a blueprint of what we want the user experience to look like – we map journeys of our customers’ needs. To do that, we directly involve customers in the process, ensuring that we never create a product in isolation of our audience. That ensures that the end result will be an intuitive and extremely efficient platform for CSPs.

A Different Approach

Strategic experience design should be created from four different best practice steps. Initially, it’s about the requirements of the user. That sets the baseline for the next step: the concept. The concept creates the abstract of the experience itself and helps to decide the design goals, and what needs to happen in order to achieve it.

From there, the experience design moves onto the base design. That’s where the different user journeys are defined within the product.  During this phase, a presentation is built that helps to visualise the flow of the design. That’s important when it comes to the last step, sensorial design. At this point, the layouts, prototypes and sensorial assets, such as graphics, animations and sounds, are input that complete the experience, finalising both the look and feel of the product interface.

A New Kind of Experience

For a long time, technology has taken the helm, steering all other elements of the product. With the commoditisation of so many telecommunications services, that’s changed. People won’t remember the technology you provide so much as the experience you provide them.

Comptel has recognised this, which is why strategic experience design is an integral part of our product creation and solution packaging, from day one to customer delivery. And why we think that we will lead the way in this space by leading by example.


5 Mobile Trends for Telcos to Watch in 2014

Posted: November 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on 5 Mobile Trends for Telcos to Watch in 2014

The changes for the telco industry will continue into 2014.

It’s the time of year when businesses in every industry are starting to think about what lies ahead. For the telecommunications industry, the past few years have been rocked by change in both consumer habits and technology… and 2014 looks like it won’t be any different.

From debates about national regulations to the increasing influence of OTT providers on the mobile landscape, next year is sure to be a decisive one for many communications service providers. That’s why Comptel decided to take a look at some of the most important developments for telcos and put them together on one page.

Here are five mobile trends for telcos to watch in 2014:

Want to learn more about what’s on the minds of telecommunications providers? Download our full Comptel User Group APAC Survey findings about Big Data, fulfillment and more.
Download the Full Survey


Comptel User Group 2012: Going Where the Puck Will Be

Posted: June 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Just a year ago, Comptel was discussing data as the new oil – touting the message that the key to future communications service provider (CSP) revenue is tapping into the information at their fingertips to better understand their customers. At this year’s Comptel User Group, CEO Juhani Hintikka took this a step further, explaining that it’s also about making data beautiful.

In his keynote presentation to customers, partners and industry analysts, Juhani examined the key factors impacting today’s telecommunications landscape. These included efficiently employing assets, monetising data services, differentiating with personalised customer information and driving contextual intelligence for meaningful actions. However, as famous hockey player (or as Juhani put it, the famous philosopher) Wayne Gretzky said: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” The same is true for the telecommunications industry – we need to increasingly predict what is important to customers rather than simply reacting.

So how do you know where the puck will be? Analytics can play a key role. For instance, Comptel’s analytics product has been over 80% accurate with results but, as Juhani stressed, this is only valuable if CSPs take action based on these insights – this can be anything from provisioning to targeted campaigns or beyond. They must capitalise on the opportunity to understand the uniqueness of each customer or circumstance and convert that into actionable intelligence.

Ultimately, contextual intelligence is about getting the basics right for profitability, churn reduction, and an increase in wallet share and brand recognition. And as the amount of data continues to increase, problems will likely arise. But if the telecommunications industry can embrace this approach aided by an event-analysis-action strategic framework to get the most value possible out of that data, the opportunity will only be that much bigger. If we can accomplish this, like Juhani stated, let the data grow…we can and will ultimately achieve the goal of making data beautiful.


The Difference Between CRM and CEM—and Why CSPs Need Both

Posted: June 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights, Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I’ve recently been asked for my opinions on the difference between Customer Experience Management (CEM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with relation to the telecommunications sector. This is, indeed, an interesting question, especially considering the subtle, yet remarkable, differences in the answer.

Let’s first consider CRM, which has traditionally been defined as a means for communications service providers (CSPs) to manage the contact and various segmentation parameters of their customers. For instance, these systems provide the ability to build targeted campaigns based on demographic or other more or less rigid segmentation criteria. CRM also enables CSPs to react swiftly when customers are demanding new services or to respond, after the fact, to a negative customer experience.

We are now, however, operating in a time where managing the customer base through high level segmentation or post-event action isn’t sufficient enough, on its own, to ensure a differentiating customer experience. This is where CEM steps in. It can enable organisations to proactively—and even preemptively—engage with, and take appropriate targeted actions to avoid any challenges that might surface, such as quality of service issues.

Yet, the perception still exists that CEM is simply the ability to understand, in-depth, the manner in which services are being used by subscribers and having the availability of related transactional data. While this helps broaden the knowledge about CSPs’ customer bases, their needs and preferences, we are now living in a time when CEM can be extended to encompass true personalised and proactive action.

Coupling real-time data from services and networks with a contextual understanding of a customer’s situation leverages both the CRM and CEM concepts to place real intelligence in the palm of CSPs. This level of contextual intelligence will, undoubtedly, bring with it great customer experience and differentiating opportunities.

The recently announced CIQ4T (Contextual Intelligence for Telecommunications) concept addresses this need and opportunity to link together CRM and CEM. It leverages advanced predictive analytics to provide a holistic, contextual understanding of individual subscribers’ usage patterns, behaviours and circumstances to proactively drive personalised interaction and improve overall experience.

After all, the battle for incumbent versus challenger in the telecommunications space is no longer being fought in the infrastructure build-out, but instead on CSPs’ ability to retain customers and build a positive reputation for service. Subscribers have so many options when it comes to selecting a CSP; it’s imperative for operators to proactively influence and eventually anticipate the needs and wants of its customers. So it really isn’t about defining the difference between CRM and CEM, it’s about making them work holistically together. #CIQ4T


Reflections on Comptel’s New Branding – “Making Data Beautiful”

Posted: February 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Behind the Scenes | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

‘I like not only to be loved but to be told I am loved.’

–English writer George Elliot (1819-1880)

If somebody had told me ten years ago that I would be talking about love in the context of telecommunications, I probably would have had an amused smile on my face and just continued with the technology and business jargon we used to have in conversations. Talking about beautiful data would have been an entertaining topic for the industry, where the competition was about the speed of launching new technology and compliance with standards.

The bright engineers, attractiveness of the communications service provider (CSP) business and innovations out of Silicon Valley have enabled, if not forced, a reasonably fast change of attitude in the telecommunications and Internet industries. We have left the era of measuring the customer experience by the technical metrics, for one where the customers should not only be loved but also shown love.

What has all of this to do with Comptel Corporation’s new brand, which I was supposed to discuss? Comptel plays a crucial role in helping CSPs show their love to their customers. We wanted this, plus the love for our own customers, the CSPs, and our partners, to be reflected in our new brand. Sounds complicated? It’s simple, really.

The rationale behind the brand is the fact that Comptel’s offering deals with processing a vast volume of data that is invisible below the surface. We collect this data in real time, turn it into actionable information and business intelligence for CSPs, and enable them to act on it—to better show their love to their customers. Ultimately, what we do helps people get closer to their interests and loved ones. We think this is beautiful.

At the core of the brand is the new Comptel logo. This bolder image heralds our fresh and confident approach to business, while the “co” of Comptel is highlighted as a constant reminder both internally and externally that we believe strongly in partnerships, bringing to mind words like “cooperate” and “collaborate”. Further, surrounding the “co” are two abstract, roughly formed letters “c” and “o”, which reference the data particles connecting the logo with our new tagline: “Making Data Beautiful”. The blue stands for our more than 25 years of experience, and the green conveys the renewal we are undergoing as a company.

We believe that a company’s brand is not simply about the way it looks, but it is rather the essence of the company. Fundamentally, a brand should encompass everything from the value added to customers and partners to the way a company communicates across all channels. This is exactly what we hope to embody with the new Comptel brand.

After three and half weeks as the head of marketing and communications of Comptel and jumping into the middle of the preparation to launch the new brand at Mobile World Congress, I can only be proud of my new colleagues who have worked hard to renew the business strategy and corporate values and who have now brought the new brand to life. We have started an exciting journey to turn around the company. I am happy to be a part of it and provide my personal ‘co’-promise: ‘Count on me’, too. Please visit us in Barcelona (Booth #1C06) and share your opinions on CSPs’ love for their customers and the beautiful data business.