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ISSN 1745-1736

October / November 2013 Volume 15 Issue 5

Have new models raised the stakes for CSPs? How fraud and revenue assurance are balancing risk and reward in the digital value chain

CEM CUSTOMER CARE Differentiate for competitive advantage VanillaPlus Insight out December 2013

4G How to spread the investment burden VanillaPlus Insight out February 2014

BIG DATA ANALYTICS Does big data mean big money? Read our VanillaPlus Insight at www.vanillaplus.com

POLICY How to safeguard profits. Read our VanillaPlus Insight at www.vanillaplus.com

BILL & CHARGE How CSPs can make money from BSS. Read our VanillaPlus Insight at www.vanillaplus.com

PLUS: Amdocs to acquire Actix for geo-location expertise • Thoma Bravo to buy Empirix • CSP IT spending to hit US$60bn in 2017 • Slovak Telekom opts for Oracle charging • €4bn on the table for real-time self-service in Europe, says AsiaInfo-Linkage • Virgin Mobile Australia extends CSG International usage • Cerillion unveils Skyline partner programme • Comarch scores Rogers deal • Guavus signs up Goel as new CEO • Read the latest news online at www.vanillaplus.com


Fast, Flexible & In Control MEET THE AGILE OPERATOR From serving more customers, to serving more needs, from running and maintaining, to caring and creating – entering the Networked Society requires a shift in focus. As the industry moves faster, the key to success is agility. Operators need to balance customer experience, efficiency and innovation all at once. This is where we can help. Working with the world’s leading operators, we know what it takes.

ericsson.com/realize

@EricssonOSSBSS


C O N T E N T S

IN THIS ISSUE TALKING HEADS Have new models raised the stakes for CSPs?

Raul Azevedo explains why it will become fundamental for CSPs to adopt the broader concept of business assurance as pressure for cost optimisation continues

18

4 EDITOR’S COMMENT CSPs need to focus on investment in future sources of revenue and optimising their existing operations. George Malim discusses the need to maintain a split personality

34 REVENUE ASSURANCE

5 INDUSTRY NEWS Amdocs acquires Actix for geo-location and optimisation skills, VC firm Thoma Bravo adds Empirix to telecoms software portfolio 6 MARKET NEWS Ovum predicts CSP IT spending to reach US$60bn in 2017, AsiaInfoLinkage research puts price on real-time self-service potential

39 CASE STUDY

8 PRODUCT NEWS Astellia launches Nova Care for customer services efficiency, EXFO launches Brix Mobile Insight for quality of experience insight 10 THE CONTRACT HOT LIST The latest vendor deals listed 11 CONTRACT NEWS Slovak Telekom selects Oracle online charging, Virgin Mobile extends CSG International deal

42

12 PEOPLE NEWS Who’s on the move

SECURITY THREATS

15 VANILLAPLUS REVENUE & FRAUD INSIGHT The fourth of our VanillaPlus Insights starts here with 30 pages examining how CSPs are refining their approaches to revenue assurance, fraud prevention, security and business assurance to minimise revenue leakage and losses and manage partnerships and customer relations more effectively.

48 CLOCKING OFF

The Insight contains a VanillaPlus-commissioned analyst report from analyst firm Technology Research Institute and includes features, interviews and a case study to help you gain a wider understanding of the challenges CSPs face in assuring revenue and preventing fraud. 47 DIARY Where to go and who to see 48 CLOCKING OFF! Nick Booth says doctors’ poor health and builders’ poorly-maintained houses can now be added to with CSPs’ failure to focus on internal integration

3


C O M M E N T

CSPS NEED TO LEARN TO LOOK IN TWO DIRECTIONS AT ONCE Predictions of relatively flat spending by CSPs on IT over the next four years may suggest a cloud of gloom spreading across the OSS/BSS community. Research by analyst firm, Ovum, projects CAGR of just 0.6% between now and 2017 but the detail behind the figures provides far greater comfort

R

eport author, Shagun Bali, points out that although the growth in total spending will be only modest, it’s how the spending is directed that counts. Bali says it’s likely that CSPs will reduce internal IT spending and increase their investment in external IT projects. That’s partly to do with CSPs’ increasing appetite to outsource projects – as evidenced by deals such as Amdocs five-year managed services deal with Vodafone group announced last quarter – and partly to do with CSPs looking to accelerate their businesses into new areas such as big data analytics in which they have limited internal resources.

George Malim, editor, VanillaPlus

That’s good news for vendors but it also underscores the extent to which CSPs are developing split personalities when it comes to IT decision making. The universal need to reduce operating costs and reset the cost base of the telecoms business is a priority but CSPs are torn between focusing investment and time exclusively on that and positioning their IT to support new services that can deliver new revenues. That’s borne out in research conducted by consultancy Northstream on behalf of AsiaInfo-Linkage. Looking into the potential value of real-time self-service to CSPs, the firm found CSPs are focusing on achievable cost reductions to the

EDITOR George Malim Tel: +44 (0) 0208 292 4036 george@vanillaplus.com DIGITAL EDITOR Nathalie Bisnar Tel: +44 (0) 1732 808690 nathalie@vanillaplus.com BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Cherisse Jameson Tel: +44 (0) 1732 807410 cherisse@vanillaplus.com

© Prestige Media Ltd 2013

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Mark Bridges Tel: +44 (0) 1732 807412 mark@vanillaplus.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Charlie Bisnar Tel: +44 (0) 1732 807411 charlie@vanillaplus.com PUBLISHER Jeremy Cowan Tel: +44 (0) 1420 588638 jc@vanillaplus.com

detriment of boosting new revenues with service creation. Bengt Nordstrom, the chief executive of Northstream bemoans that CSPs are focused on opex savings rather than harnessing the potential for revenue gain associated with such solutions. That need for CSPs to be looking in two directions at once can be clearly seen in the fraud management and revenue assurance sector. Some CSPs are neglecting their assurance practices in order to pursue new opportunities and others are focusing so intently on limiting leakage and eradicating fraud that they’re not ready to participate in complex, multi-party business models. It’s a lose-lose choice given the limited resources CSPs have. Focus too intently on fraud and leakage prevention in the traditional business and the CSP ends up wide open to new frauds in the new services value chain. On the flipside, if the CSP diverts too much resource to developing systems to support new models, millions of euros will be left on the table. There is a happy medium out there but it is very difficult to measure where and find a balance. Enjoy the magazine! George Malim

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VanillaPlus is distributed free to selected named individuals worldwide who meet the Publisher's terms of Circulation Control. If you would like to apply for a regular free copy supplied at the Publisher's discretion visit www.vanillaplus.com If you do not qualify for a free subscription, paid subscriptions can be obtained. Subscriptions for 6 issues cost £99.00 worldwide (or US$150 / EUR125) including post and packing. VanillaPlus magazine is published 6 times per year.

EDITORIAL ADVISORS

John Aalbers, chief executive, Volubill

Dan Baker, Research Director, Technology Research Institute

Andreas Freund, VP Marketing, Orga Systems GmbH

Louis Hall, chief executive, Cerillion Technologies

David Heaps, senior vice president, strategy, CSG International

Gabriel Matsliach, general manager, BSS Product Line, Comverse

Pat McCarthy, VP of Global Marketing, Service Delivery Solutions, Ericsson

Simon Muderack, senior vice president for marketing and alliances, Sigma Systems

Mac Taylor, CEO, The Moriana Group

Chris Yeadon, director of Product Marketing, Ericsson

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, stored, published or in any way reproduced without the prior written consent of the Publisher

Dr Reinhard Zuba, CMO, Vipnet (Telekom Austria)


I N D U S T R Y

N E W S

Amdocs to acquire Actix for geo-location and optimisation expertise Amdocs has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Actix for approximately $120 million in cash. This acquisition expands Amdocs’ customer experience portfolio further into the network domain to manage customer experience across both networks and IT. The Boards of Directors of Actix and Amdocs have approved the transaction subject to the satisfaction of the conditions to closing.

experience use cases and take proactive action based on network performance to modify and improve the experience of a specific customer or group of customers. As a result, service providers will be able to differentiate the customer experience and achieve cost-efficiencies with improved automation and optimisation of their existing networks, as well as when rolling out new network technologies, such as LTE and small cells.

With the acquisition of Actix, Amdocs will be expanding its CES (Customer Experience Systems) portfolio with geolocated network data that will drive a variety of optimisation use cases. Amdocs claims the acquisition will position it as the first vendor to offer customer experiencedriven network optimisation based on a holistic view of the customer experience across all networks, BSS and OSS.

“Together, Amdocs and Actix will continue to pioneer development in network optimisation, enhancing our position as the leading provider of network-independent solutions in this area,” said Bill McHale, chief executive officer of Actix. “The combination of our assets, spanning network and IT, will offer service providers the most powerful customer experience driven network optimisation solution available.”

Geo-located network information provided by Actix’s solutions, combined with customer data and capabilities from Amdocs’ policy management, BSS and OSS systems, will allow service providers to support sophisticated customer

Rebecca Prudhomme, vice president of product and solutions marketing for Amdocs, added: “With this acquisition, Amdocs will continue to lead the way in customer experience innovation. Linking

Rebecca Prudhomme: Unleash the power of experience

network knowledge to customer insight, we will continue to deliver on the promise of our CES 9 portfolio to help service providers unleash the power of experience, while delivering operational efficiencies.”

VC firm Thoma Bravo to buy test specialist Empirix Private equity firm Thoma Bravo has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Empirix, a provider of network testing, monitoring and analytics systems. Financial terms were not disclosed. Empirix helps customers master complexities within their networks and optimise business performance with realtime intelligence to reduce operational costs, maximise customer retention and grow top-line revenues. The Empirix customer base consists of CSPs, mobile operators, banks, insurance and healthcare companies. The company has achieved significant growth over the past five years, reporting 22% year-overyear revenue growth in 2012, partially driven by a significant increase in bookings

from global tier one mobile operators. “Empirix is a clear leader in the field of service assurance and network management,” said Robert Sayle, principal, Thoma Bravo. “We are very excited about this partnership.” Seth Boro, managing partner, Thoma Bravo, added: “The company offers a unique ability to analyse customer behaviours by application in real time. Its products, strategy and leadership have positioned it for success, and we look forward to accelerating that success through organic growth and strategic acquisition opportunities.” The acquisition will add to the investment firm’s portfolio in the service assurance and

network management markets. Recent investments include Network Instruments, InfoVista, Blue Coat Systems, nCircle, SonicWALL, Mentum, Solera Networks, Netronome, and more recently Keynote Systems. John D’Anna, the chief executive officer of Empirix, welcomed the move: “Empirix has experienced significant growth in the past several years as companies strive to better manage and transform complex communications systems and the business objectives they support. The resources of Thoma Bravo will strengthen our position to meet our customers’ glaring need for nextgen technology, while we rapidly complete our plan to bridge applications and network monitoring for both the enterprise and service provider markets.” 5


M A R K E T

N E W S

AsiaInfo-Linkage puts a €4.7bn price on the potential of real-time self-service OSS/BSS vendor AsiaInfo-Linkage has published research that Bengt puts a value on the costs Nordstrom: CSPs can save and the RTSS has a revenue they can generate much larger impact on by using real-time selfrevenue gain service (RTSS). The company commissioned consultancy Northstream to scope the potential and found that RTSS could generate benefits worth €4.7 billion for CSPs in western Europe alone. “Northstream found that if all the operators in 17 western European markets used

RTSS, they could achieve cost reductions of €541 million within 12 months,” said Mohammed Sha, director of product marketing at AsiaInfo-Linkage. “But that’s just one side of the equation – the other is the revenue boost. Northstream estimates that CSPs in the region could achieve a boost of €4.17 billion in incremental revenue within 12 months.” RTSS grants end-users a high level of control of their pre or postpaid service. In its simplest form, it enables end-users to independently perform self-care operations, such as checking an account balance or buying new packages.

However, its full potential truly revolutionises the customer experience currently observed in western Europe: endusers can transform and gift resources such as minutes, messages and data in real-time, they can turbo boost the speed of apps temporarily and negotiate a personalised tariff. Bengt Nordstrom, the chief executive of Northstream, added: "Our research shows that RTSS has a much larger potential impact on data revenue gain than on opex savings in both the pre- and post-paid customer bases, yet operators are still focusing on opex savings."

Ovum predicts CSP IT spending to reach US$60bn in 2017 The global telecoms industry’s revenues will remain roughly flat over the next few years, with a decline in spending on voice services counterbalanced by growth in spending on mobile and fixed (broadband) data services, according to global analyst firm Ovum. In a recent market forecast analysis report, it was found that as growth slows, market realities mean CSPs must find ways to serve their existing customers profitability rather than simply growing their customer bases. Shagun Bali, analyst for Telecoms Technology at Ovum and author of the report said: “Over the next five years, service and tariff innovation will be key revenue-generating strategies, while LTE rollout, network optimisation, and creative approaches to partnerships will become

focal points for cost savings. Telcos need to monetise new business models, make use of customer data by investing in analytics, and define their response to over-the-top (OTT) players.” Ovum estimates that CSP IT spending will reach US$60bn in 2017, growing at a CAGR of 0.6% between 2013 and 2017. Growth in CSP IT spending will be driven primarily by investments in packaged software and system integration. Spending in emerging markets in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (MEA), and South and Central America (SCA) will drive global IT spending. In North America, CSP IT spending will grow modestly at a CAGR of 0.8% to reach US$17.5bn by 2017. Bali stated that, “Although overall telco IT spending will grow modestly, the trend is for telcos to reduce internal IT spending

and increase spending on external IT projects. To control costs, telcos are outsourcing the maintenance of legacy IT and turning to trusted partners, both to implement unified and standards-based systems and software and to provide skills such as those of data scientists for big data analytics projects. Consequently, the overall addressable market for vendors will increase.” “The combination of middling profits, high capital requirements, high risk, and uncertain economic growth requires telcos to place their bets carefully, including investing in growing revenue streams and managing customer experience more than ever before. The result is increased opportunities for the IT industry. In the long term, telcos will place more focus than they have before on software to drive innovation,” concluded Bali.

NEWS IN BRIEF

Cerillion unveils Skyline partner programme Cerillion Technologies has announced a new partner programme for its cloud billing solution, Cerillion Skyline. The programme will see Cerillion working closely with a network of leading ecosystem partners in order to deliver maximum value to its cloud billing customers. “Our Cerillion Skyline partner programme is specifically designed to offer a compelling commercial opportunity for cloud infrastructure and solution providers to deliver innovative cloud-based services to their customers,” said Louis Hall, CEO of Cerillion Technologies. “By offering them the opportunity to resell or ‘white label’ our cloud billing solution, we are helping them drive competitive advantage in what is an 6

increasingly crowded marketplace.” Cerillion Skyline, a new Software-as-aService (SaaS) application, will help open up profitable new opportunities for businesses building service-based relationships in any industry vertical. Cerillion believes it will transform business models and drive expansion into new markets by enabling more sophisticated charging and billing models than are available in the cloud today.

Starhome completes MACH assets purchase Starhome has completed its acquisition certain MACH assets, divested by Syniverse in June 2013. Combined, the company will be known as

Starhome MACH. The combination of Starhome’s Value Added Services with MACH’s Data Clearing, NRTRDE, Business Intelligence and new Financial Clearing portfolio will create immediate opportunities to launch new services to the market. These will be offered worldwide with local regionalised support. Tal Meirzon, CEO at Starhome MACH commented: “The roaming market is undergoing fundamental change. Regulations are driving down retail revenues while network requirements and costs are increasing. Subscribers expect their service to work, regardless of boundaries or technological complexities. The Starhome MACH combination presents a tremendous opportunity to expand our presence in the market with solutions for the next generation of roaming challenges.”


AMDOCS REVENUE MANAGEMENT

Turn

Over-The-Top competition

into partnerships www.amdocs.com www.amdocs.com Š Amdocs 2013. All Rights Reserved.


P R O D U C T

N E W S

Astellia launches Nova Care for customer services efficiency Astellia, has expanded its Nova system by introducing Nova Care which is designed to Frederic provide customer service Vergine: Agents teams with real-time and are under easily understandable increasing information so they can pressure handle customer complaints more effectively. In a single screen, customer service agents can measure subscriber satisfaction and

quality of experience of each individual across all network technologies from 2G to 4G. Nova Care provides them with a detailed overview of the subscriber activity – such as voice calls, messages and data sessions – and helps them identify issues encountered by the subscriber as well as the cause of the problem. “Customer service agents are under increasing pressure to increase first call resolution (FCR) and to lower significantly the number of trouble tickets sent to level 2

teams,” said Frederic Vergine, the president of products at Astellia. “Nova Care provides not only the means to engage with customers and to show awareness and understanding of their experienced problems but also to diagnose if the subscriber is the only one impacted or if it is global to the cell. This is key information in helping operators organise resources and in prioritising optimisation activities based on the number of impacted subscribers.”

EXFO introduces Brix Mobile Agent for QoE insight EXFO has introduced its Brix Mobile Agent (BMA), a smartphone application that provides real-time insight into the customers' quality of experience (QoE). It was developed to address wireless operators' pressing need to optimise network performance and the quality of service delivered to end users. The landscape of the mobile market is changing dramatically with wireless devices spawning exponentially and data services overtaking voice services. What is not changing is that subscribers and end users continue to evaluate wireless networks based on the QoE that they perceive on

their mobile devices. The challenge for mobile network operators (MNO) lies in going beyond the last mile to validate what their customers are experiencing in real time, for different classes and quality of service. The BMA provides service assurance validation tests for wireless networks. Unlike other smartphone solutions on the market, the BMA supports two distinct modes: Foreground Mode, where engineers and technicians run tests on smartphones, and Remote Control Mode where tests and SLAs are scheduled and run by backend operations teams on

smartphones. This allows MNOs to select and monitor a wide range of data metrics. "By extending BrixWorx functionalities all the way to the field technician's hand, MNOs now have the ability to measure and analyse subscriber-device KPIs in real time, detect potential service degradations and make the necessary corrections before they impact customers," said Claudio Mazzuca, vice president of EXFO's Transport and Service Assurance Division. "This software agent for smartphones also enables MNOs to quickly optimise their network and perform service performance tests for utmost operational efficiency."

NEWS IN BRIEF Basset announces roaming management system Basset has introduced a roaming management product called Roaming Billing by Basset 5.0. The system includes an ARP (Alternative Roaming Providers) solution to enable CSPs to will be ready for the EU 2014 Roaming Regulation. Following the introduction of new EU regulations in July 2014, subscribers will have the choice to opt for the roaming services of an Alternative Roaming Provider while keeping their SIM card and mobile number. Alternative Roaming Providers (ARPs) could be mobile network operators (MNOs) in both home and visited countries, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and resellers of mobile communication services. These new regulations will pose both challenges and 8

opportunities for CSPs within the EU. Roaming billing is still considered a high margin business, even though recent years of competition and regulation have forced CSPs to start looking for alternatives to increase their revenues and keep up their margins.

Empirix launches IntelliSight big data analytics Empirix has released a new analytics platform that turns terabytes of data into real-time intelligence for improving customer experience and performance management as well as strategic business decision making. Empirix IntelliSight is the first solution of its kind designed to remove much of the cost and implementation barriers associated with big data in mobile, telecoms and enterprisewide deployments.

Organisations can use Empirix IntelliSight to easily unlock insights from information-rich network feeds and efficiently enrich and correlate them with existing warehoused data for deeper insights. Empirix ’s unique application packages, algorithms and visualisation options ensure that users anywhere in the company can quickly generate intelligence and fully explore the nuances behind those results. “The vast amounts of data generated by communications networks are a valuable source to understand customer behaviour and usage patterns. Empirix IntelliSight cuts through the noise and provides actionable intelligence by applying real time analytics, enabling CSPs to differentiate based on improved customer experience,” said Anil Rao, an analyst at Analysys Mason


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| www www.ixlink.com .ixlink.com

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www.telarix.com www .telarix.com


H O T

L I S T

VanillaPlus Hot List: October/November 2013 The Hot List below shows the companies informing us of recent contract wins or product deployments. If your contract is not listed here email the details to us now marked "Hot List" <editorial@vanillaplus.com>

Vendor(s)

Client Country

Product/Service

Aircom International

Orange, France

Aircom Asset network planning system chosen for French CSP’s mobile network

Awarded 9.13

Amdocs

Osnova Telecom, Russia

Amdocs Compact Convergence managed service model for real-time charging and customer care chosen for LTE launch

9.13

Astellia

Orange, Moldova

Astellia chosen by Orange Moldova to support 4G mobile network quality enhancements from field trials to commercial deployment

9.13

Comarch

Rogers Communications, Canada

Selected to provide Comarch Loyalty Management for Canadian CSP’s Rogers First Rewards customer loyalty programme

Comptel

Ziggo, The Netherlands

Dutch CSP selects Comptel Convergent Mediation to enable rapid collection, processing and transformation of service transactions into billable records

9.13

9.13

Comverse

Vimpelcom, Russia & CIS Comverse ONE real-time BSS deployed by Vimpelcom across its Russian and CIS division

CSG International

Virgin Mobile, Australia

CSG Singleview selected to improve customer experience and meet changing regulatory standards at Australian CSP

9.13

Ericsson

Etisalat, Egypt

Ericsson Mobile Broadband Charging and Charging 5.0 system selected to serve users with customised functionality

9.13

Ericsson

Zain, Jordan

Ericsson Charging & Billing in One system chosen to give pre and postpaid customers enhanced billing flexibility

9.13

Ericsson

Orange, Switzerland

Five-year contract expansion under which Ericsson will provide multi-mediation and multi-activation harmonised on a common platform

9.13

Wholesale communications aggregator chooses Pactera to provide and operate virtual network enabler services using Infonova R6 multi-tenant, concept-to-cash BSS

9.13

Infonova

iTelecom, Australia

10.13

Infonova

Unitymedia, Germany

Cable operator selects Infonova R6 concept-to-cash BSS platform for partnering orchestration and monetisation

10.13

NetCracker Technology

HubOne, France

NetCracker OSS selected to improve network topology control and expand service catalogue capabilities at Paris airports communications provider

9.13

NetCracker Technology

Robi Axiata, Bangladesh

NetCracker revenue management, integrated billing, interconnect billing and credit control selected to enable improved response

9.13

net mobile

Swisscom, Switzerland

Integration of Google Carrier Billing completed by net mobile to support Swisscom’s six million customers

9.13

Oracle

Slovak Telekom, Slovakia

Oracle Communications Network Charging & Control 5.0 chosen to help reduce new service time to market and costs

Oracle

SFR Reunion, La Reunion Implementation of Oracle Communications Converged Application Server and Server Controller to reduce capex and and Mayotte opex while supporting development of innovative services

Redknee

Sigma Systems

WeDo Technologies

iTSCOM, Japan

Belgacom, Belgium

SKY, Brazil

10.13

9.13

Redknee billing and customer care system launched at Japanese cable TV provider. Additional multi-year contract also signed.

9.13

Sigma’s Enterprise Product Management and Configure Price Quote products chosen to drive convergence of customer order management and product lifecycle management systems

9.13

Implementation of WeDo RAID revenue assurance software at Brazil’s largest satellite TV operator

9.13

Openet and Allot provide policy for TELE Greenland Openet and Allot Communications have announced their joint policy management solution has been selected by TELE Greenland, which provides fixed broadband and mobile networks across the country.

set of Policy and Charging Control (PCC) use cases. It enables TELE Greenland to shape and monetise the customer experience by rolling out flexible charging plans tailored to the activities of individual subscribers.

The solution combines Allot’s DPI technology Service Gateway for delivery of 3GPP compliant TDF functionality, together with Openet’s pre-packaged, fully customizable Express Solutions to deliver a

“We selected Openet and Allot due to their expertise in deploying end-to-end policy management solutions,” said Andy Aparico CIO at TELE Greenland. “The Express use cases will enable us to quickly launch new

10

revenue generating services and offers while in parallel improving overall customer satisfaction.” Christopher Hoover, global vice president of marketing at Openet, added: “Operators are looking for solutions that allow them to quickly deliver new revenue streams. Personalising data offerings and improving overall customer experience increases the lifetime value of their customers. That is what our Express Solutions offer.”


C O N T R A C T

N E W S

Slovak Telekom selects Oracle online charging Slovak Telekom, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom and the largest multimedia operator in Slovakia, has selected Bhaskar Gorti: Oracle Communications CSPs must Network Charging and invest in innovation Control 5.0 to replace its legacy charging system and support new service development and deployment, reduce time to market and lower operational expenses. Slovak Telekom offers a comprehensive portfolio of multi-play data and voice services for fixed and mobile networks to individuals, households and business customers. The company operates in a challenging and dynamic market and is seeking to gain a competitive edge by replacing its legacy prepaid charging solution to increase service innovation,

reduce costs and take full advantage of Oracle’s extensive online charging product capabilities for fixed and next-generation networks. Oracle Communications Consulting, a global team of highly skilled domain and product experts, will lead the implementation with its solution-driven design approach to provide a secure migration and evolution path, This approach, claims Oracle, will help streamline the implementation and reduce customisations to help maximise cost savings. “We chose Oracle Communications’ solution to replace our prepaid charging system due to its superior out-of-the-box capabilities to support all existing services, speed service time-to-market, lower costs and drive new revenue opportunities. Oracle Communications’ long-term product

roadmap, financial stability, extensive practical experience and in-depth knowledge to manage the entire transformation project were also critical factors in our selection,” said Andrej Piňák, service platforms development senior manager, Slovak Telekom. Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice president and general manger, Oracle Communications, added: “With the growing popularity of data-based services, CSPs must create new, innovative offerings and pricing promotions to meet constantly increasing customer expectations. However, too many CSPs are currently dumping resources into simply maintaining existing legacy charging infrastructure, rather than investing in innovation. With our deep expertise and product capabilities in online charging, Oracle Communications can reduce this IT complexity and help providers, like Slovak Telekom, drive revenue growth.”

Virgin Mobile Australia extends usage of CSG International CSG International has announced that Virgin Mobile Australia has expanded its use of CSG Singleview to improve customer experience and meet changing regulation. CSG’s partnership with Virgin Mobile spans more than 12 years. During that time, Singleview has scaled seamlessly in line with Virgin Mobile’s growth in the Australian market. “CSG Singleview is the core of our billing operations,” said Graham Milne, director of Technology and Delivery at Virgin Mobile Australia. “Singleview delivers exceptional flexibility and allows us to develop new

services quickly in a highly competitive market.” New capabilities supported by CSG Singleview allow Virgin Mobile customers to view and manage account balances accurately. This empowers customers to control their credit limits and provides them with usage notifications that help avoid bill shock caused by higher-than-expected voice and data usage. “Virgin Mobile’s enhancement of Singleview is focused on improving their already impressive customer experience,” said Ian Watterson, vice president and managing

director of Asia-Pacific for CSG International. “Virgin Mobile’s customers are now in full control of their spend, allowing them to avoid exceeding their voice and data limits through marketleading anti-bill-shock features.” The solution also enables Virgin Mobile to remain in full compliance with Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) standards. Today, more than 60 of the world’s leading wireline, wireless, mobile and IP network operators rely on CSG’s next-generation Singleview platform for their fully converged real-time prepaid and postpaid charging and billing services.

NEWS IN BRIEF Comarch to deliver Rogers First Rewards platorm Comarch is working with Canadian CSP Rogers Communications to deliver the Comarch Loyalty Management (CLM) solution to support the CSP’s new customer loyalty programme, Rogers First Rewards. The programme was launched earlier this summer in Ontario and Alberta and will continue to be rolled out across Canada throughout the remainder of 2013. The CSP designed the Rogers First Rewards programme to thank customers for their business, awarding points for every dollar spent on eligible Rogers purchases. “We are very happy to be working with Rogers Communications on their new loyalty programme. It will strengthen the company’s

relationship with their customers and provide more value and benefits to the programme members,” said Darius Ner, vice president of Comarch Canada, “The Comarch Loyalty Solution (CLM) is a world-class system that offers great customizable features, scalability and delivers more innovation to the loyalty industry.”

Redknee launches converged billing at iTSCOM Redknee has launched its billing and customer care solution at Tokyu Group’s iTSCOM, a leading Japanese cable TV service provider and existing Redknee customer. As a result, iTSCOM has signed an additional multiyear contract for Redknee’s converged billing and customer care solution to support future growth. This deal reiterates Redknee’s commitment to provide its customers and

communications service providers (CSPs) with highly scalable and flexible monetisation and subscriber management solutions to support their growth strategies. The deal will further support iTSCOM to consolidate its billing systems from across its multiple lines of business as well as provide billing as a service offerings to other application service providers (ASPs) and iTSCOM’s business partners. Redknee’s cloud-based multi-tenant billing and customer care solution enables service providers, such as iTSCOM, to manage partner relationships, quickly rollout new services and enhance the customer experience. In addition, the expansion will also support iTSCOM’s future business growth objectives such as diversifying into other industries and cooperating with business partners for M2M and utilities. 11


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Manish Goel joins Guavus as CEO Guavus has announced that Manish Goel has joined the company as chief executive. The former CEO and founder of Guavus, Anukool Lakhina, handpicked Goel as his successor allowing Lakhina to focus on innovation as the company expands into additional markets with systems for closed loop decisioning. As CEO of Guavus, Goel will continue the expansion of decisioning applications for communication service providers (CSPs) and the enterprise globally.

cloud and big data analytics are converging to create unprecedented levels of business agility,” said Goel. “It is already established as the market leader for big data analytics for the CSP industry and has an enormous opportunity to be a multi-billion dollar business across enterprise markets globally. I look forward to leading the company through the next stages of growth as they redefine the next era in business applications by creating systems that support closed loop decisions and data-driven, automated business processes.”

“Guavus is at the heart of a fundamental shift in the industry where social, mobile,

Goel joins Guavus from NetApp, a storage and data management solutions company,

where he was executive vice president of product operations. During his 11 year tenure with NetApp, Goel had also maintained positions such as senior Manish Goel vice president and general manager, software group, vice president of enterprise accounts and president, India operations. He also held senior positions at Copper Mountain Networks, Cadence and McKinsey. Goel holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from IIT, Chennai and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

2operate appoints Claus Munkholm vice president of sales 2operate has named Claus Munkholm to be its new vice president of sales. Munkholm brings Claus more than a decade of Munkholm telecoms industry business development and sales experience to the company. Munkholm will be responsible for growing sales globally to enable network operators worldwide to benefit from simplified, automated processes achieved through the 2solve system from 2operate. “We are very happy that Claus has joined

our team to ensure that our offerings are made available to network operators worldwide.” said Lars Moltsen, CEO of 2operate. “Claus is not only a great and honest person, he also has a deep understanding of the needs and challenges in modern network operator organisations, and he will be able to assist our customers in exploiting the benefits of true, automated reasoning provided in 2solve.” Munkholm joins 2operate from Dantherm Power, a power backup solutions provider for telecoms networks, where he served as global sales director. He was responsible for building the global sales organisation as

well as establishing sales channels and partners, achieving 100% turnover growth year over year for four consecutive years. “I am very pleased to join 2operate,” said Munkholm. “The company is on to something really great, and I look forward to promote our state-of-the-art solution for OSS and CEM, 2solve. 2solve is very easy and fast to deploy and it is simple to use via its outstanding user interface making troubleshooting in mobile networks an easier task with minimal resources involved and hence being a great asset for mobile operators for whom customer satisfaction is essential.”

Hemming to lead Axiros EMEA sales effort Axiros has added Matthew Hemming to its corporate management team. Hemming will serve as vice president of sales and business development and will lead the company’s continued expansion in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with particular focus on customer growth and satisfaction. Hemming brings more than 20 years of management experience in critical business IT solutions, with more than ten years spent in the telecoms field. He has led sales and deployment teams in the European, South American, African and Middle Eastern markets. Hemming comes to Axiros from

UnboundID, where he was general manager and vice president of sales, EMEA. Prior to that, he worked as managing director, Northern Europe for Motive, which is now owned by Alcatel-Lucent. “I fully appreciate the responsibility Axiros has placed on me,” said Hemming. “As a fast-growing provider of critical technology systems, it is essential that we continue to scale our business to meet customer requirements. I look forward to using my experience to help our customers achieve maximum value from our solutions, while we as a company continue to meet our

growth targets.” Nicola Zenesi, Axiros’ managing director of worldwide sales, added: “We are experiencing a significant increase in our global market penetration due to our recognised technology leadership, flexibility and commitment to customer satisfaction. In the last few months alone, we’ve closed an impressive number of strategic transactions in a variety of industries, including broadband, utility and cable. The appointment of Matthew strengthens our ability to continue creating unique and competitive advantages for our customers.”

Netadmin Systems appoints Fernandes Netadmin Systems has hired Clairton Fernandes as a sales representative focusing on new business development in Europe and the Americas. Claes Hiort, vice president of regional sales at Netadmin Systems, said: ”We see a great potential for our solution within the 12

industry worldwide and are therefore we are expanding our business, focusing on our expansion plans to continue to grow our business even further in Europe but also in the Americas. With Clairton’s extensive experience within international business development we hope to expand and accelerate our business even further.”

Fernandes has extensive experience within the global telecoms industry. He has previously held several senior sales positions within organisations such as Polystar, Basset, Exact Software and Siebel Systems. He holds a Business Administration degree from the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht, Netherlands.


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CSPs need to focus on internal integration, not just getting customers to do more CSPs are taking The Hypocritic Oath when it comes to lecturing customers on the need to adapt, writes Nick Booth octors, builders and communications workers have very different roles which call for a variety of life skills. If one thing unites them it’s that they’ve all taken the Hypocritic Oath.

In truth, of course, CSPs are desperately interested in their customers. A lost customer costs a fortune to replace, so you really are better off not losing them in the first place. Somewhere, there’s an internal communications problem.

Which is why doctors who warn you about excessive smoking and drinking are often in no position to lecture you. The same pledge means builders live in homes that could really use a bit of improvement. The Hypocritic Oath also seems to affect communications companies because they‘re often terrible communicators. Internally at least.

The same blockages seem to occur between many other departments apparently. It’s not just the computer generated data that is kept in silos: humans are good at holding information without passing it on too. For silos, read departments. It seems that decision makers in IT and security and compliance don’t talk as much as they ought to.

This pledge is the only possible explanation for why communications service providers (CSPs) are so slow to adapt sometimes. They spend their days and nights thinking up ways to entice us to get in touch more often. It doesn’t matter if it’s with a man or a machine we must communicate, we’re told. Every mailshot, poster, tweet, viral videos or event has the same underlying message. Talk!

“If you go to a mobile operator and tell them they’ve got fraud problems and you know where they are, you would expect them to be interested,” says Andy Gent, CEO of Revector, which specialises in plugging leaks in the revenue stream. “Sometimes you could be saving them millions. But it still takes them three years to make their mind up.”

D The author, Nick Booth, is a contributor to VanillaPlus and a technology journalist

Every engineer will be plugging away, closing every possible gap in the cellular network, to remove any excuse for you to put your phone away and read a book. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a mogul or a mother, if you’re not in touch with the zeitgeist 24X7 (says the marketing), you’re in trouble. Unless you’re constantly ready to adapt, then you’re doomed. That seems to be the message that most CSPs push.

“If you go to a mobile operator and tell them they’ve got fraud problems and you know where they are, you would expect them to be interested”

Which is odd, as they don’t seem that open to new ideas in their own companies. Despite all the exhortations to the rest of us to become customer centric, many CSPs don’t seem all that responsive when you approach them. A call centre does for customer relations what the ‘talk to the hand’ gesture achieves on the Jerry Springer show. It’s a way for Party A to tell Party B that they’ve got very little interest in them. Nothing tells you more about your place in a relationship than a screened phone call. When a company diverts your call to the other side of the world, you know the relationship’s not good. If that wasn’t bad enough, they make you take out your bad temper on some poor blameless soul who is doing his or her best to understand you in their third or fourth best language. Since CSPs are skilled communicators – after all, that’s what they enable – it’s easy to conclude that the company really doesn’t like you. Why else would they make you talk to the hand? CSPs know exactly what they’re doing don’t they?

48

Whereas cyber crime is a young person’s industry, some CSPs have a similar culture to British Telecom when it still felt like a branch of the civil service, he says. One of the criticisms BT faced from its channel partners, when it started to address the new competition it was getting, was the impossibility of getting clear information. A comms dealer might tell the customer that their lines would be up and running on Monday, but in fact that would be the day when the engineer decided he was going to put in his first appearance. Though BT was the only company that had the complete smorgasboard of products and services, for some reason they allowed chinese walls to exist, so clients never had a one stop shop. BT’s big advantage, its comprehensive range, was neutralised by the internal culture. The same appears to be the case in some of the biggest mobile operators. It’s all very well fine tuning machines and tinkering with the syntax and interfaces between all the different silos and operating systems and networks. Granted, that will improve the flow of information. But there are some infinitely more sophisticated bodies of intelligence, that have been a work in progress for millions of years, that simply won’t share information with each other willingly. If you could get these bodies – Homo Sapiens Version 2013 – to integrate with each other, imagine the value that could be unlocked. You could save a fortune on prevented fraud for a start.


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