The Cutting Edge of Cool

The 5GPP delivered its vision of a ubiquitous 5G network and Ericsson, Nokia Networks, and Huawei were pegged as the companies to watch in 5G network equipment development.

Comptel completely rebranded and reenvisoned itself complete with a new look that emphasizes black jeans and red sneakers over starched suits and leather loafers. The company has framed and described a transformation that it calls Operation Nexterday. Comptel even published a book chock full of valuable though leadership about the transformation required in telecommunications. 

“Operation Nexterday is a desired stage and transformative journey that digital and communications service providers need to start today to succeed in the future,” says Ari Vänttinen, CMO, Comptel. “We have framed four key transformations that will get operators where they want to go: (1) deliver connected, contextual and convenient digital buying experiences for Generation Cloud customers, (2) build agile recommendation and offer design engines to monetize more in less time, (3) transform business and service orchestration flows from ground to cloud, and (4) turn Big Data into Intelligent Fast Data."

Amdocs debuted an enhanced version of its mobile financial services product, Amdocs CES 9.2 (its OSS+BSS solution expanded with virtualization capabilities), Amdocs Services, and a personalization and contextualization solution that leverages Amdocs Big Data Analytics. This company also showcased an automated virtualized customer premises equipment (vCPE) solution to meet enterprise customer demands for new, user-defined service. The vCPE was co-developed with its partner Juniper Networks. 

Comverse rolled out a collaboration with Smith Micro that illustrates one way CSPs can compete with OTT players. Think visual voicemail on steroids! The solution incorporates fun, engaging visual content and enhanced communication features, including voicemail to text transcription, voice SMS with optional transcription, personalized talking avatars, scenic backgrounds, and voice effects, videomail, and more. Beyond the obvious benefits to the customer experience, the solutions gathers user experience analytics and includes support for advertising (read: additional monetization). 

“We’ve shown that offering users trusted, convenient visual messaging features, combined with fun, personalized content, is a surefire way for service providers to create new, recurring revenue streams and engage consumers,” said Jim Mains, Chief Strategy Officer at Smith Micro. 

CSG International had huge news with the launch of its new digital services platform, Ascendon. The new platform enables CSPs, content producers and retailers to rapidly roll-out and monetize new digital services such as movies, music, games, home security and more. CSG is flexing its billing background as well. By overlaying existing BSS and other technology systems, CSG Ascendon enables providers to bring these new digital services to market without uprooting existing infrastructure.

“CSPs must participate in the fast-growth digital services economy to fuel their growth, moderate the rise of competing services and capture digital services market share,” said Dr. Mark H. Mortensen, program leader for Analysys Mason’s Digital Economy Software Strategies practice. “To become a digital services provider of choice, CSPs need to quickly extend their business infrastructure to support retail and service operations for consumers in the new world, across multiple channels and on any device.”

Is telecom becoming cool?

There are two things that characterize a telecom event: a preponderance of males, and a boatload of acronyms. Together, this has a tendency to create a coolness black hole. Things might be changing, though! While women are still underrepresented and acronyms abound, service providers are starting to get with the program and recognize the need to transform their businesses. And the new digital experiences and devices have wow-factor. The digital revolution has disrupted nearly every business, and to remain relevant, CSPs need to innovate--they need to become cool companies that provide cool services to a cloud-conscious generation moving at internet speed. Mobile World Congress 2015 definitely showcased this cutting edge of cool, and it was an exciting week, and an exciting time to be in the communications technology business! 


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