The Next Stop, M2M: Biggest Trend of Our Time?

Posted: November 29th, 2011 | Author: Steve Hateley | Filed under: Events, Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

During my recent attendance at Management World Americas, it became clear that the subject of machine-to-machine communications (M2M) had progressed from the innovative discussion stage into concepts and uses within real industry verticals.

I listened to an interesting session in which the presenters noted that M2M may well, in fact, be the biggest trend of our time; however, as it currently provides only one percent of mobile revenue, communications service provider (CSP) investment is being held back.

What the market seeks is a one-stop approach, or umbrella solution for connectivity and M2M applications—similar to the Ethernet-exchange or Cloud-broker principles currently being seen across the industry. Through this approach, there’s great potential for growth, particularly for value-added services, if CSPs can prioritize and exert discipline in M2M investments and resources.

Vendors focusing on specific vertical markets will be ideally placed to gain a seat at the table, as many verticals, such as utility, healthcare, manufacturing and retail, use some form of M2M. But as sure as death, tax and CAPEX reduction, CSPs are looking for a quick return on investment (ROI), and in order to improve time-to-market, they must first invest in the right enabling technology.

To truly succeed, they will need to build an enablement framework that includes a connectivity model, device templates, collection and data analysis—assuming that the 3G/4G network is either in place or under construction. Within this framework, a defined catalog of specific service descriptions, superior scalability and automation are all necessities, as is using collected data to make analytical assessments and provide proactive resolutions to problems. Some good examples include using smart-grid meter data for innovative pricing, or using automotive data to aid in preventative maintenance and warranty cost reduction—these, of course, are not even one percent of the potential uses of M2M technology.

A key concern related to the implementation of M2M is the massive IP scalability required for end-devices, and industry forums are already investigating how IPv6 will have a leading role to play. Another way to help address these concerns is through just-in-time device activation or dynamic SIM management, where retailers or equipment wholesalers can enable devices at the point-of-sale—bringing significant cost-efficiency. This approach could typically be welcomed in the impending introduction of new, SIM-enabled vehicles rolling off the production line.

Ultimately, initial reluctance of CSPs to make investments in M2M needs to be offset with assurances around operational efficiency and acceptable ROI dependent upon time-to-market. This coupled with an ability to automate, maintain cost control, billing models and OSS are key considerations CSPs must make in order to play in this opportunity-rich space.

Customer Experience Takes Centre Stage at the Comptel User Group

Posted: June 15th, 2011 | Author: Olivier Suard | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

We began the 2011 Comptel User Group yesterday with our second annual OSS/BSS industry analyst day. As I previously mentioned, customer experience was a major theme within each of the presentations.

Our CEO, Juhani Hintikka, first explored the concept of data as the new oil—operators haven’t tapped the potential of subscribers’ information, he explained. In order to create customer loyalty and, at the same time, derive new sources of revenue, they need to exploit every event or transaction in a customer’s lifecycle (without compromising privacy) in order to gain critical insight and take proper action in real time.

Greg Scullard from Comptel’s CTO Office took this thinking a step further. Operators have largely focused on processing orders without developing real relationships with customers. But, as he noted, time is of the essence, and it’s the details that are paramount to winning customers’ hearts, minds and wallets. Operators should instead make analysing subscribers’ behaviours a priority; by doing so, they can find a way to interact with customers much earlier than points of sale, proactively ease their frustrations and prevent churn.

Whether speaking about next-generation fulfillment, the evolution of mediation and charging, or the potential of these two core Comptel areas when combined (e.g. dynamic SIM management), the leadership team proved that operators really need to think about OSS as an integral component to improving the customer experience and enabling their businesses.

Comptel User Group - Radisson Blu Espoo

Overall, the day’s conversations on customer experience were informative and lively, and industry analyst feedback on our corporate strategy and technology vision was positive. We look forward to building on the discussions today with our customer and partner presentations, and tomorrow with several interactive roundtable sessions.

Welcome to the 14th Annual Comptel User Group

Posted: June 13th, 2011 | Author: Olivier Suard | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

It seems like we were just in Windsor … but the 14th annual Comptel User Group is now upon us!

This year, our contact forum for customers, partners and industry analysts is being held in Espoo (near our global headquarters in Helsinki), Finland. Participants can look forward to networking with Comptel’s executive management, our catalog-driven fulfillmentdynamic SIM management, mediationcharging and policy control experts, and each other like in years past.

Comptel Headquarters

Focusing on the theme of customer experience, the event will feature a corporate strategy overview from CEO Juhani Hintikka, followed by a live Comptel Dynamic OSS demonstration led by CTO Gareth Senior. Communications service provider customers, including DNA Finland, Telenor Norway, Net Brazil and Claro Peru, will present, and a keynote from partner IBM will cover smarter communications through data analytics.

And once again, we will moderate an interactive session with panelists from partners Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent. The Q&A will explore the changing face of the customer experience, the critical role of OSS, and how network and other data can be translated into new revenue opportunities for operators.

As always, we invite both those attending and those unable to make the event to participate in discussions on “The Dynamics of OSS”—and to kick things off, show us how much you know about this year’s Comptel User Group location. Write your answers to these trivia questions in the comment section below.

When was Helsinki founded?

In what year were the Olympic Games held in Helsinki?

In what year was Helsinki a European City of Culture?

What is the number of the tram that is also known as the City Tram?