12 Sep 2013

The Importance of Networks In the Customer Experience: Effective Service Assurance to Maintain Availability and Minimize Revenue Loss

In today’s complex network environments, effective Service Assurance is essential to maintain availability and minimize revenue loss due to Service Level Agreement violations. The time taken to identify and resolve service-impacting network problems are key indicators of the efficiency of the Service Assurance process.
Accurate and efficient network event correlation offers the potential to accelerate the whole Service Assurance process, since:
    - The time taken initially to identify network problems and their consequent service impact is significantly reduced;
- The time taken subsequently to resolve network problems is on average reduced because accurate problem analysis has the major benefit of reducing ‘bad truck rolls’.

Event correlation is available in many forms, for example reducing the volume of events presented to operators so they may see the ‘wood from the trees’. Typical event reductions of 75-80% are practically achievable using tools commonly available today. More interesting, is the potential to combine knowledge of the physical, logical and service structures in a network to identify network problems and service impacts using automated root cause analysis, so-called topology correlation.

The results of the application of topology correlation at MTN, one of the largest Mobile network infrastructures in the African continent, demonstrates the inherent flexibility of the approach as it utilizes pre-packaged and tested correlation knowledge and operates over interdependent network sub-domains.

Of particular interest to MTN is the combination of business data with the correlation process to drive unique service oriented dashboard displays that provides rapid indications of network problems and consequent customer impacts in a user-friendly way. When used by executives, product managers and customer service managers it also reports the potential cost of delays in problem resolution thereby facilitating a revenue-driven approach to resolving ongoing network issues.

Meet NetBoss Technologies at their exhibition stand P15, at Africacom 12-14 November 2013:  CTICC Cape Town, South Africa and find out more about customer focused service assurance.

11 Sep 2013

Digital Music - the present, the future, the everything??...

We're really looking forward to hosting the first ever Digital Music Africa event at Africa Com this year.. and thought we'd share this graphical visualisation of why Digital is so integral to music right now and in the future...

Current Outlook for Digital Music Services
by samir75in.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

Scott Gegenheimer, CEO, Zain: “The telecommunications industry is experiencing one of the most prolific periods of change, disruption and innovation”

Scott Gegenheimer, CEO, Zain Group
The Middle East Com team caught up with Scott Gegenheimer ahead of the Middle East Com Conference and Exhibition, taking place at the Sofitel Dubai in UAE - 23-24 September to find out a bit more about his experiences and focus at the event.

Middle East Com: Is Zain considering expansion in new markets and what is your strategy in general for a company with ZAIN’s profile?
Scott Gegenheimer: "Today, the telecommunications industry is experiencing one of the most prolific periods of change, disruption and innovation. Change is good but must be effectively managed and Zain Group is poised to capitalize on the opportunities for innovation, business transformation and financial discipline"
Read the full interview HERE
Middle East Com: With LTE deployed in three of your territories, you are one of the region’s leaders. What have you learned from your LTE deployments and what are your plans for the rest of the Group?
Scott Gegenheimer: "We are firm believers that mobile broadband is the growth opportunity of mobile networks and so we believe our early investment in 3.5G and 4G technology places us in the right position to benefit from the development in this area."
Read the full interview HERE
Middle East Com: As voice revenues continue to decline, more focus is on data. Zain’s data growth is strong. What do you attribute this to, and how do you plan to continue the growth?
Scott Gegenheimer: "The strong growth in non-voice revenues is as a result of a concerted effort on our part to bring mobile digital services to our customers and ensure the entire eco-system from networks to devices is optimized for high quality services.
Investing in next generation networks and partnering with strong content providers is essential to the continuing uptake of digital services, as is the availability of devices suitable to access such services through."
Read the full interview HERE

Find out more at Middle East Com. Scott Gegenheimer will be speaking on Day 1 at 09:30 on “Revitalising the Zain Group”.

Meet Scott Gegenheimer by registering here

9 Sep 2013

48% of operators say they are already implementing Big Data

However, lack of a clear business proposition and skilled team are still major barriers

Informa Telecoms & Media’s new research highlights the main challenges and opportunities for telecom operators regarding Big Data. The research was based on a survey conducted with approximately 120 operators in June 2013.

In an era where customer data is a key benefit, operators are in a good position to generate new opportunities with the data collected daily through their different customer touch-points, including their network: 58% of the operators interviewed in the Informa survey agreed that the main long-term driver for Big Data will be generating new business models. However, the short-term drivers are believed to focus more on solving internal challenges, such as improving data warehousing, increasing loyalty and customer experience management.
“It makes sense for operators to use Big Data to understand the key challenges and improve the customer experience. By using big data to optimize processes and improve quality of services, operators will already be building a platform to explore new business opportunities”, says Julio Puschel, the research co-author. The research also shows that 72% of current Big Data implementations are focused on specific business applications rather than on an end-to-end solution.”Business applications with a tangible and defined benefit will help secure budget for Big Data projects, but, even if the initiatives are focused on specific applications, operators still need to optimize their investment by building a platform that will also support future business models”.
In terms of investment, the operators said that Big Data currently represents 10% on average of their total IT budget. This share is expected to increase to approximately 23% in five years, demonstrating how Big Data is becoming a strategic priority for the telecoms operators.
It is about building a platform: Big Data is not a “magic solution” that is going to solve all operators’ problems, neither is it a service in itself. Big Data is a platform that will allow operators to use customer data in order to support internal initiatives (CEM, operational efficiency, etc.) as well as new business models (digital services, profile brokering, etc).
About the report “Big Data: Building the next business platform for telecoms operators” 
The research (www.informatandm.com/bigdata) details the first initiatives of Big Data in telecoms, evaluating the challenges and opportunities for operators as well as the vendor footprint and competition. It also includes the results from the survey we conducted with 120 operators about Big Data.
Julio Puschel,
Operator Strategies,
Informa Telecoms & Media

Big Data in Africa event takes place in Cape Town on 14th November 2013 - http://www.comworldseries.com/africa
About Informa Telecoms & Media
Informa Telecoms & Media (www.informatandm.com) is the leading provider of business intelligence and strategic services to the global telecoms and media markets.
© Informa UK Ltd 2013.  All rights reserved.