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Comarch Technology Review 2010/01


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Published twice a year, Comarch Technology Review provides expert commentary and analysis on current trends shaping the telecommunications market, as well as gives insight on how to solve problems most commonly faced by telecom operators. This unique and comprehensive publication is written by our specialists with expertise in various fields, ranging from BSS and OSS to VAS and professional services.

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Comarch Technology Review 2010/01

  1. 1. no 1/2010 [11] The Magazine of Comarch Telecommunications Business Unit In ThIs IssUe: Customer spotlight Marcus Ras, One Phone: What Difficulties Do Corporate Customers Face With Regard To self service systems Automation? TR Contest Winner Does Cloud Computing have A Bright Future? Oss/Bss Features Is Your Business Reaching Its Optimum Performance? Cable TV Operators: Which service Are You Missing?
  2. 2. Telco Sphere blog a place to share ideas on the developments in the telecom world
  3. 3. Preface 3 The Human Being and the Internet of Things or communication service providers (CSPs), as well the role of real-time telco and non-telco mass data F as technology and software vendors, 2009 was a year of cost-cutting programs and rethinking processing, revenue sharing and wholesale. Although M2M is not a novel concept for CSPs, we expect significant changes of strategies. After the first quarter of 2010, and a review of in the business model and increasing adoption of the idea of 2009 annual reports and 2010 strategies, it is evident that for an “internet of things,” in both the consumer and B2B markets. CSPs this will be a year of further offer consolidation focused While the MVNO market was regulated from the beginning, on core services and the target customer segment, as well the M2M market grows based on traditional and simple as consolidation and simplification of the IT environment. business rules in a competitive business environment. On the other hand, technology vendors will focus on strengthening services and moving as close as possible to It appears that leading CSPs will take a significant step end customers, with their own COTS products. towards the global concept of FTTx and Ultra speed mobile broadband projects in 2010. Infrastructure investments are All Mobile Operators, Multiservice Operators (MSO), Cable not likely to be great immediately, growing gradually based and Broadband Operators, ISPs, and even application and on market needs and utilizing stimulus founds. We believe IT vendors will take a part in NGN as Cloud global challenge. that the mobile backhaul problem will be solved by the CSPs However, the battleground has changed. There are no and electricity, gas, water companies and private-public PIOTR MAChnIk big differences between mobile, fixed or cable access companies who own fiber networks. Our entire perception Comarch sA technologies, because network equipment is moving toward of the internet is going to change in the near future. We will Vice President, Product the unification of configuration and service management. choose not between 1Mbs or 10Mbs, but rather between a set Management & Marketing The real differentiators will be a smart offer, high quality of services. HD voice will be standard, with additional options Telecommunications services and low cost. The next step in network progress for mobile communication, M2M, home zone services and Business Unit toward new and cheaper technology will be the adoption entertainment, based on our own virtual access point to the of Self-Organizing Networks and network sharing. Network NG Access Network. neutrality? Maybe not in 2010. Perhaps next year an edition of our magazine will be shown Fortunately for Comarch, the business and operation on an ultra flat nano-tech screen printed on the first page processes are not usually self-organizing. Thus, in 2010, and presented for you by avatar of the leader of Comarch’s we see many opportunities in the area of service quality Business Development Center. For now, we wish you management; NG network planning; further network accurate business decisions and many opportunities to transformation and consolidation; adoption of new business increase your business and market share. We are always models, including two-sided business models; and increasing committed to your success. Comarch Technology Review is a publication created by Comarch experts and specialists. It is created to assist our customers and partners in obtaining in-depth information about market trends and developments, and the technological possibilities of addressing the most important issues. editor-in-Chief: Katarzyna Gajewska Technology Review is a free publication available Layout & DTP: Jakub Malicki by subscription. The articles published here can be Photos: copied and reproduced only with the knowledge and Proofreader: Alina Tylman consent of the editors. The names of products and Publisher: Comarch SA companies mentioned are trade marks and trade Al. Jana Pawła II 39a, 31-864 Kraków names of their producers. Tel. +48 12 64 61 000, Fax: +48 12 64 61 100 e-mail: To receive your subscription to the electronic version or see the previous issues, please visit: Print: Skleniarz Printing House ul. J. Lea 118, 31-033 Kraków Circulation: 1 500
  4. 4. 4 table of contents 26 Is Your Business Reaching Its Optimum Performance? As your sales margins decrease, time becomes news oss/bss features crucial. Performance management methodology 5 What’s new 16 slicing Up the M2M Revenue Pie: how To Get is one of the most important tools enabling Your share And Boost Your Business managers to make the right decisions, at the right customer sPotlight What is the main benefit of such automatic time. Considering the current communications 6 Interview with Marcus Ras: communication? The owner of the machines does market situation, it is important to measure all What Difficulties Do Corporate Customers not need to visit them personally to verify their critical business figures and processes, and Face With Regard To self service systems operation or read certain measures manually. effectively link them to goals. Automation? Such machines can automatically send the Self Service is gaining in popularity in the SME and information to the owner or to another machine 30 Managing Your network Quality And corporate segments. But creating a self service that processes the data further. Such Machine-to- Guaranteeing A First-Class Customer system that is valuable both to the operator and Machine communication (M2M) is cheaper, faster experience the customers is not easy. Marcus Ras, the CIO and brings new possibilities. Customer experience is considered the new OnePhone Services AB of One Phone, discusses battleground, and has recently evolved into his view on the challenges and opportunities in 20 Cable TV Operators: Which service Are You the most discussed topic. But how do you this field. Missing? manage customer experience without extensive The last few years have been very good for cable investments? One answer lies in augmenting 8 Case study: operators. With merger and acquisition strategies, the existing network performance management Comarch Oss suite Implementation at and rapid service portfolio expansion, these systems, to refocus them on the customer. T-Mobile Germany operators have been able to achieve sustained The results of R&SI project implementation revenue growth – an enviable feat. But that’s the telcosPhere blog are improved Incident, Problem and Change bright side. What went wrong? The customer 33 Comarch Oss/Bss User Group Commentary Management processes due to end-to-end relationship management side of things has service visibility, smooth integration of Service unfortunately been neglected. 34 Reactions To MWC 2010 and Resource layers and consolidated overview of ownership for services. 22 self Organizing networks: To have or not To 35The iPhone vs. the Rest of the World have Control? 10 Case study: Most people are familiar with the blackout 36striker, Midfielder or Defender – Which Comarch Oss suite Implementation at scenario within an electricity network. A single Position Is Your self Care Portal? Telefónica O2 Germany local failure at a specific network point can lead With the implementation of the Comarch to a blackout affecting half a nation. So what can technology a& innovation OSS Suite, an advanced network and service the blackout problem in electricity networks teach 37 Uniform Communication With everyone, management solution, O2 in Germany aimed to us with respect to telecommunication networks? everywhere unify and simplify the entire network management Next generation telecommunication networks Due to the massive increase in the capabilities process, while decreasing maintenance costs. regularly utilize Self Organizing Network (SON) of mobile devices, the range of communication concepts in order to significantly reduce the costs services provided to users has also increased tr contest winner of managing the increasingly complex network. significantly over the recent years. In addition to 12 Robert Dygas, PhD, The Besen Group MVne regular voice calls or SMS messages, handsets Advisor 24 Common service Models Across the Oss/Bss may also be used to make video calls, transfer Does Cloud Computing have A Bright Future? Landscape – (Im)possible To Achieve? media files, perform text chats or keep track of The phrase “cloud computing” is based on the In today’s world of service- and customer- what our contacts are doing cloud symbol frequently used to represent the centric OSS/BSS environments, service modeling internet. A great definition of cloud computing is essential. The main question is: are these 40 semantic Modelling of network Physical was put forth by Frank Gens, IDC analyst, who the same services? If we look at the service Devices: A Prototype stated that “…cloud computing means consumer layer of eTOM (specifically the horizontal level In this article we present a prototype application, and business products, services and solutions 1 process grouping “Service Development and which enables modelling the equipment using delivered and consumed over the internet.” Management”), everyone is able to talk about a dedicated Domain Specific Language (DSL) services. They should be in theory (this is the enriched with the best available logic-based assumption behind eTOM), but are very far from it reasoning services. This allows us to define in practice. a rich layer of semantics on top of the structural description of the devices. Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  5. 5. news 5 What’s New Recent Contracts: Recent Award 03 | 09 | 09 16 | 03 | 10 07 | 04 | 10 Comarch Releases A new solution For Mobile Operators: Comarch next Generation Comarch Completes the Implementation Comarch service Quality Management – network Planning of Comarch’s Field service Management Product of the Year 2010 Comarch announces a new solution for solution for WildBlue Communications On the 25th of March 2010, Comarch was mobile operators, Comarch Next Generation At the end of 2009, WildBlue Communications, awarded a third Golden Antenna (“Zlota Network Planning, which provides support Inc., a leading high-speed satellite Internet Antena”) for its Service Quality Management for activities related to the planning and service provider, signed a master technology tool, which has been recognized as management of mobile networks. It enables and services agreement with Comarch, Inc. “Product of the Year 2010” in the category of simplification and automation of network Telecommunications Operator Solutions. operation, delivering Self-Organizing Network 24 | 11 | 09 (SON) capabilities to your doorstep. Comarch Completes Polkomtel sA project Comarch SA, has recently completed the last Recent Partnership: phase of a project at Polkomtel SA. The result is the complete implementation of a robust 22 | 10 | 09 solution based on Comarch InterPartner Billing. Comarch enforces Its Presence On The Mediterranean Market 16 | 11 | 09 Comarch, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ergoman, Comarch Deploys Its Bss/Oss Platform For provider of tailor-made solutions in the OnePhone Deutschland telecommunications and IT business sector, OnePhone Deutschland, a new German in order to conduct common business operator created as a joint venture between Recent Product Launches: development activities in Greece, as well as KPN and OnePhone Holding with the purpose realize commercial contracts on the Greek of offering telephony services specifically for 11 | 02 | 10 market. enterprises, decided to deploy Comarch’s BSS and OSS Suite. new solution For satellite Broadband Providers Available On The Market 10 | 11 | 09 Comarch releases a comprehensive solution for satellite internet access providers - the Comarch has Been selected By e-Plus As Comarch Satellite Package. A strategic Outsourcing Partner For next Generation network Planning 10 | 02 | 10 Comarch has been selected by E-Plus as a strategic outsourcing partner for Next Comarch Introduces Its Latest solution – the Generation Network Planning. According to M2M Platform for Mobile Operators the letter of intent, Comarch and E-Plus plan To help mobile operators enter the M2M market to conclude the 5-year contract by the 18th of Comarch has designed a platform containing For more information, go to: May, 2010. the necessary features for operators to provide services for M2M partners. Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  6. 6. 6 customer sPotlight What Difficulties Do Corporate Customers Face With Regard To Self Service Systems Automation? elf Service is gaining in popularity in the SME and [MR] It is too early for us to tell at this point, but given S corporate segments. But creating a self service system that is valuable both to the operator and the that we are offering such a complete self service tool to our customers, we expect that they will find it much customers is not easy. Marcus Ras, the CIO OnePhone Services more convenient, performing any necessary actions AB of One Phone, has kindly agreed to discuss his view on the when and how they want. We will, of course, still challenges and opportunities in this field. support our customers through other more traditional channels, such as account management and call Could you describe the self service options you offer to centers. However, we believe that the self service tool your customers? will be an attractive selling point in our overall telephony solution. [MR] OnePhone offers customers an almost complete self service tool. We offer our customers the ability how can aversion to self-service be minimized? to virtually manage their entire telephony solution on MARCUs RAs their own, after the initial implementation has been [MR] Seeing is believing, meaning that educating the OnePhone services AB set up. This includes setting up new subscribers customer regarding the benefits and possibilities of the Chief Information Officer and providing appropriate products. Pending the self service tool will serve to convince them of its value. It product, these can be provisioned by the customer is crucial to understand that customers will not find and themselves in near real-time. Even complex PBX explore these value-added functions on their own. Thus, it products and functions can be managed by the is up to OnePhone to pro-actively assist the customer in customer themselves, through our service/client using the self service portal. portal. Of course we offer more traditional functions such as FAQs and Support. However, in the area of how will you encourage customers to use the self care cost structure management we have once again portal instead of other, more expensive channels? stretched beyond the average functional set, to offer not only complex cost hierarchies, but also extensive [MR] As mentioned earlier, in taking on an active reporting capabilities. With our solution, not only do all role, we are hoping to get our customers to use and subscribers of a customer have access to the service appreciate the self service tool that we have made portal, but the customer telephony administrator can available to them. An important first step is education. also assign different functional privileges to users As part of the customer implementation project, within their company. some of our customers’ telephony administrators will be invited to attend a course to learn more about Please tell us about customer attitudes towards self- OnePhone tools. The second step is to bring the new service. Do they like the idea or would they still prefer features and functions that will be made available, being helped by a customer service agent? throughout the customer lifecycle. Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  7. 7. customer sPotlight 7 Which customer inquiries would you say are What are your thoughts on the self service effectively executed if the customer could best handled via traditional customer service portal working as a sales tool, rather than perform these themselves during the contract channels, such as a call center, and which are just an online bill presentation, ordering and period. Typically, this includes managing handled better by customers themselves? ticketing solution? accounts, subscribers, ordering products, etc. For more complex inquiries, such as customer [MR] There will always be exceptions to the rule, [MR] In order for a self service portal to be expansion projects or serious service outages, but traditional inquires such as “How do I…? a successful and realistic selling point, it needs it is again important to allow customers How much do we spend on…? How does this to truly show value to the customer. This is, to speak directly with customer service function work? When is this function becoming of course, much easier said than done. Our representatives or account managers. No single available?” are all traditional self service approach is to give the customer as much channel is the answer to how to communicate portal inquires that are very easily addressed functionality as possible, not only through with customers correctly. Instead, this is driven and answered by this tool. We have tried to our telephony offerings, but throughout the mainly by the strategic decisions made by the increase the transparency of the information surrounding services as well, wherever such company. we store about the customer to the customer integration makes sense. This gives the themselves. This means that traditional call customer the added value of not just a few What is difficult to automate by self service center data, such as personal information disparate functions, but a more thought- systems for corporate customers? and address information is provided to the through end-to-end solution. This value add is customer through the self service channel, something that we can then package and use [MR] Primarily, the most difficult thing including ability to manage actual cost as a sales point to our customers. to “automate” is the personal customer structures, such as bills. experience. Many corporate customers, Where do you see self service going within specifically small to medium businesses, If you were OnePhone’s customer, what your company, in the next few months and feel that personal service is often neglected, features/benefits would you look for in a self further? and that this is often a luxury only afforded service portal? to large enterprises. However, it is important [MR] We intend to offer more functions to to not forget that while customers [MR] We are looking for things that we can customers through self service. The more would frequently like to execute tasks learn from other industries. The biggest lesson a customer can do without being dependant independently, they would also appreciate that operators can learn comes from the more on the operator, the more seamless their being served by a real person on certain traditional e-commerce service providers, telephony solution. So as we grow our occasions. Therefore, it is important that, specifically from their functional offerings. For telephony product portfolio, we will also for instance, contact information is not instance, we can learn a lot from the postal grow our self service portal. Additionally, this so hidden on the self service portal that it service industry, where customers can track will include further integration between our seems forbidden. In fact, the opposite should the current location and expected delivery telephony offerings and our administrative be the case. If a customer wishes to contact of a package minute by minute, by using capabilities. We also look forward to hearing OnePhone, they should be able to easily do a tracking number. These functions could be from our customers over the next few months, so. With this information readily available, similarly applied in provisioning and/or in ticket to gather their initial perceptions and feedback. they are likely to trust the new contact management. Another example is the airline Based on the information received, we will work channel for further interactions. This trust, industry, which has an extremely complex to accommodate their wishes into our product gained by interacting through a self service pricing structure, and yet it is very easy to roadmaps as much as possible. portal, has the same impact and importance search, book and pay for airline tickets through as interacting through the more traditional the web with no human assistance. If the Which contact channel between corporate contact channels. airlines can quote, order and provision through customer and operator do you think is better the web, so should the telecommunications for the customer: face-to-face contact with Service providers usually have applications industry. The simpler a complex service is a sales representative, self service via web allowing their corporate customers to manage perceived to be, the more popular it seems portal, contact center or other? Why? the standard product offering. However, these to become. While this is a generalization, it applications are not adept at handling “exceptions, is still a major argument for the development [MR] Given our target customer segment and and exceptions from exceptions,” such as of simpler functions representing complex the type of solutions we offer, it is difficult mass ordering of services, special discounts solutions. It is often difficult to build solid to single out a preferred channel. There are on handsets, logistics (e.g. tracking, reservation business cases around this type of many different scenarios that impact the of handsets) and bill disputes. Even if these functionality and development. Therefore suitability of a contact channel. For instance, applications are able to reflect corporate structures these functions are often only deployed by during the customer acquisition stages, face- – it is only to show spending reports. Subscription startup companies, which are later forced to to-face meetings with sales, technical sales, management is not always possible in the same re-prioritize for reasons given above. However, project managers and customer service context or even in the same application. the customer and business value of this type of representatives are very important. There functionality should not be underestimated. are a number of tasks that could be more Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  8. 8. 8 customer sPotlight Comarch OSS Suite Implementation at T-Mobile Germany aced with the challenges of today’s The Business need F telecommunications world, T-Mobile Germany was consolidating its OSS landscape using NGOSS T-Mobile’s operations are constantly faced with increasingly principles. The Resource and Service Inventory (R&SI) is used to complex provided services, along with the need to optimize CuStomeR manage Customer-Facing Services, Resource-Facing Services Incident, Problem and Change Management processes, T-Mobile and resources used for these services coming from different at the resource and service level. These challenges led to Germany Inventory and Configuration Management systems. The T-Mobile introducing a Service Inventory system, integrated Resource and Service Inventory system is also integrated with with Inventory and Configuration Management systems InduStRy other OSS systems, such as Fault Management and Trouble already present in the environment. Communications Ticketing. The R&SI project is a crucial element of T-Mobile’s strategy of migration towards next generation networks and The main problem of the T-Mobile project was the T-Mobile is a business OSS. This is the first step towards a self-organizing and self- cooperation between the Service Inventory and different unit of Deutsche optimizing network concept, which is a natural continuation of Resource Inventory Management systems. Telecom. Responsible the R&SI project. for mobile operations, it concentrates on the most dynamic markets in Europe and the COMARCh ResOURCe & seRVICe InVenTORY United States. By the end of the first quarter s s s of 2009, more than 149 editable resource R (managed by R&SI) million customers were s s s s s s served on ten T-Mobile read-only resource markets. T-Mobile is R (provided by 3rd s s gradually integrating party) OSS systems used in its R R R R R R R European operations in s editable service order to simplify network R R R R R R R management and provide providing the resources a common management platform for an entity that is composed of multiple national GSM operators in R R R R R R Europe. R R R R R R Figure 1 Logical architecture of the solution Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  9. 9. customer sPotlight 9 The Approach Comarch Service Inventory provides a flexible The Result service modeling function that enables Because of the large scope of the project, it was representation of complicated mobile service The results of R&SI project implementation divided into several phases. Proof of Concept was in today’s networks. It allows for definition of are improved Incident, Problem and Change realized in the first phase. Comarch implemented many-to-many relations between resources and Management processes due to end-to-end basic functions of the system and provided sample Resource-Facing Services layers and between visibility of the services, smooth integration of integration with other T-Mobile systems. The goal of Resource-Facing Service (RFS) and Customer- Service and Resource layers and consolidated the initial phase was to develop and agree on the Facing Service (CFS) layers. The data model of overview of ownership for services. system functions and to check the functionality of Comarch Service Inventory is based on SID. It integration interfaces. Meanwhile, the requirements enables association of RFSs with different types of Cooperation between T-Mobile and Comarch is not for the final solution were gathered and crucial resources: limited to a single system installation. Rather, this functions were also discussed. is only the beginning of a complex transformation Equipment of the entire T-Mobile environment. With an When the system was accepted by the operator, ongoing effort towards environment consolidation the functionality developed during the first phase Equipment groups composed of multiple national operators, solutions of the implementation was only a basis for further developed by Comarch will play a central role in expansion of the Inventory Management system, Connections T-Mobile’s future operations. An increasing need within functionality and integration. for unified operations will inevitably push T-Mobile Connection groups towards integration, and Comarch will be a key T-Mobile demanded a system that offered enabler in this process. integrated and flexible service modeling, and Device components a wide integration ability to seamlessly cooperate Case study was published in the 8th Volume of TM with other systems Applications Forum Case Study Handbook, December 2009. Configuration Why Comarch? It also enables flexible service representation in Of all vendors offering similar OSS solutions, only mobile networks. According to NGOSS and eTOM Comarch offered an already established product principles, R&SI is the master system for the with significant market position, together with the service models, i.e. the service models maintained possibility of implementing specific functional within R&SI are used by Fault Management and requirements for advanced data sharing. Trouble Ticketing applications, and in the future, all applications requesting access to Service In some network domains, R&SI is the master Inventory (e.g. SLA Management). This approach system for resource creation, while in others it results in more consistent service modeling ComaRCh pRoduCt: holds only the read-only copy of the resources processes and management. Event propagation up used for services creation. The integration with to service level and alternatively down to resource Comarch Resource & Service 3rd party systems was realized by common level are possible, as well as event suppression Inventory information present in the environment, which based on change information. enables simplification of the overall architecture and reduction of the number of interfaces. Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  10. 10. 10 customer sPotlight Comarch OSS Suite Implementation at Telefónica O2 Germany With the implementation of the Comarch OSS Suite, available through the dedicated Element Management W an advanced network and service management solution, O2 in Germany aimed to unify and simplify Systems used previously, including firmware upgrades, while at the same time enhancing these systems with additional the entire network management process, while at the features. Further, the integration of the systems entailed CuStomeR same time decreasing maintenance costs. All provider the development of unified network-level management Telefónica O2 telecommunications networks are comprised of a wide functions. Additionally, the system needed to correlate and Germany range of network elements, supplied by various vendors. subsequently present data gathered from all the managed The reason for this is quite simple: the highly competitive network elements in one consistent view. InduStRy nature of the equipment market allows operators to choose Communications the most cost-effective and technologically advanced solution, regardless of which vendor provides it. Going one The Approach Telefónica O2 Germany step further, it is important to remember that operators need Gmbh & Co. OhG belongs to manage all of these network devices. Of course this can The strongest aspect of Comarch’s offer was the ability to to Telefónica Europe and be done with a set of disparate proprietary management specifically tailor the offered solution to customer needs. is part of the Spanish systems. However, this kind of approach is usually expensive In this case this meant, among other things, enhancing telecommunication and has additional flaws making it unacceptable for O2. Comarch’s system with a set of specific management group Telefónica S.A. What the operators should be trying to achieve is a single, consoles, each for a different type of network element. The Company offers comprehensive and integrated Network Management System its German private and that directly manages and monitors all the different network The introduction of Comarch InsightNet* is a good step business customers elements and services. in operations optimization, integrating the management postpaid and prepaid of our transmission technologies into one homogeneous mobile telecom products platform. as well as innovative The Business need mobile data services Günter kaufmann based on the GPRS and For this project, O2 did not restrict itself to acquiring Manager, Operation Support Systems, Telefónica O2 Germany UMTS technologies. In a solution that would act as a manager of managers, *InsightNet is the former name of the Comarch OSS Suite addition, the integrated integrating with its already existing management systems. communications provider Instead, the company sought to completely replace the also offers DSL fixed element management systems in use. This required a system Why Comarch? network telephony and with a direct interface to thousands of network elements high-speed internet. from different vendors. In order to achieve this, a set of Comarch Inventory Management is the basis for other Telefónica Europe has specific data adapters needed to be created. modules, which operate using data collected and stored in nearly 49 million mobile and its database. It is designed to store complete information on fixed network customers One challenge was to equip the system with functionalities network resources. The information is kept up-to-date with in Great Britain, Ireland, the enabling the configuration of every network element. The changes occurring in the network thanks to the integrated Czech Republic, Slovakia solution should allow the operator to perform all actions network reconciliation module. and Germany. Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  11. 11. customer sPotlight 11 Comarch Configuration Management supports the The Result configuration of network elements of O2 network ComaRCh infrastructure in Germany. The functions of this module The implementation of the Comarch OSS Suite resulted in pRoduCtS cover: software/firmware management, including scheduled the following benefits: & SeRvICeS: upgrades, direct configuration of each of the network elements via a dedicated GUI, population of the initial Centralized and unified control across all network Comarch Network configuration of new devices, as well as modeling and domains Inventory provisioning of end-to-end connections. Management Information on network elements and their The Comarch Fault Management module monitors existing configuration gathered in one place Comarch network infrastructure elements. It receives, displays and Configuration efficiently tracks alarms, all of which allows users to manage Seamless integration with the existing environment Management potentially debilitating network problems quickly and effectively. The system also enables users to fully configure Unified solution for real-time network performance Comarch Fault the way alarms are processed. This is done through the management and monitoring Management creation of rules utilized by the built-in correlation engine. Improved network reliability Comarch The main goal of Comarch OSS Performance Management Performance (PM) is to provide a centralized point of performance policy Full automation of fault management tasks, including Management monitoring and network performance reporting. Here, the correlation module focuses on collecting all performance data (both short- and long-term) and forwarding it to O2‘s central PM Future-proof design (easy extensibility) data analysis system. Due to its wide functionality scope, the Comarch OSS Suite A sophisticated sophisticated visualization interface was is reliable step towards an integrated network management provided for the presentation of the gathered data. This system, simplifying the management process and reducing interface is capable of displaying all elements and alarms. OPEX. In addition to simply listing devices and alarms, it is also possible to use maps to visualize the status of network infrastructure and services. The system offers a GIS map- based visualization, logical layout, as well as a hierarchical view of the network and the devices within. Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  12. 12. 12 tr contest winner Does Cloud Computing Have A Bright Future? The Concept of Cloud Computing can be provided over the internet, such as access to data warehouses, IT platforms, servers, applications, etc. Even The phrase “cloud computing” is based on the cloud symbol the cloud computing business process can be provided as frequently used to represent the internet. A great definition a service. According to a forecast from the IDC, the cloud of cloud computing was put forth by Frank Gens, IDC analyst, computing market will reach $42 billion by 2012. What does who stated that “…cloud computing means consumer and this figure mean? If compared to Microsoft’s or Google’s business products, services and solutions delivered and revenue for 2008, which was $58.4 billion [1] and $22.3 consumed over the internet.” Additionally, these can be billion respectively, this is clearly a significant market. Merill delivered and consumed anytime, anywhere. This is the Lynch estimates the market to be worth $160 billion by 2011, essence of the cloud computing concept, which is easy to including $65 billion from online advertising. Regardless of define, but can be difficult to control and manage in practice. which figure is correct, it is clear that the cloud computing This concept arises mainly due to technology development, market is significant and continues to grow. Some of ROBeRT DYGAs service specializations, as well as the current economic this market’s key attributes include shared services that The Besen Group crisis, which has forced companies to look for cheaper can be offered to multiple parties, scalable and remotely MVNE Advisor solutions in using IT and telecom services. It is difficult to manageable turnkey solutions, packaged services that imagine a telecom operator without the physical network or customer pay for based on usage, authorized and secured infrastructure, but this way of thinking is outdated. Several network access, and web service APIs. of today’s mobile operators, such as Virgin Mobile, are completely virtual. They do not possess the infrastructure As can be observed in Figure 1, not surprisingly, the most themselves, typically utilizing already available services significant attribute is competitive pricing (83.2%), while from the internet, or specially designed interfaces. Thus, a lack of previous business relations is not very important today’s market is service, rather than product-oriented. (30.4%). Also crucial is which service is commonly used What infrastructure elements are needed? Any service that by customers. Based on research (2008), Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  13. 13. tr contest winner 13 internet application hosting, on-demand remote storage risk an investor is exposed to, the more profit is expected in and database centers are the most valued, due to the return. But what is the real value added in cloud computing digitalization of services, requiring special applications and service models? Cloud computing allows companies to start software to operate. a business with very limited capital investment. Providers use platforms for direct volume sales of different services to There are different types of cloud computing companies, potential customers, who strongly believe in the brand power including IBM Cloud Service,, Amazon EC2, of the service provider. Customers are often able to try out, GTS CE, Alcatel-Lucent, Comarch, Huawei, etc. the product before deciding to purchase and are charged The main threat for traditionally organized companies is the proportionately as their usage grows (pay-as-you-go). This possibility of a reduction in their own IT resources. Increasing is key for the value of the cloud computing business model. competition and open access to new technology requires However, is this stable over time or is the value of cloud new business models in order to survive on the market. This computing only temporary? Because cloud computing is is why today’s IT world is showing significant interest in the not regulated, this cannot be confirmed. But a business value cloud computing business models can bring. that begins operating by utilizing cloud computing may be able to construct its own infrastructure as it develops. The same is true in business acquisitions where assets need to The Value of Cloud Computing Business be estimated. So, could the cloud be the asset? Financially Models speaking, probably not, therefore complicating the situation for modern CEOs, since the concept is attractive, but difficult Business models are typically public, private or a hybrid of to monetize and audit. the two. Here we focus on the value each of these can bring when applied in the real world. Most companies believe that Of course cloud providers want to see value as well. The cloud computing will transform expenditures from capital majority of efforts are spent on finding the optimal strategy, to operational, which may help optimize financial ratios and giving the customer freedom to decide which option is more improve business flexibility. This is the virtualization impact convenient (see Figure 2). Besides the freedom to choose on the business, which strongly influences the company’s it should be also financially attractive. The key is to have finances. Since there’s no such thing as a free lunch, either a high usage or low cost per each user. On the other a price has to be paid. In this case, it is the Service Level hand, more users and more traffic require extra investments Agreement, and the security of data flow and transactions, for development (i.e. capacity for data centers on-demand). which are web based. Thus, virtualization makes business Thus, it is important to ask how much is necessary for more flexible, but less secure the same time. This is similar a cloud computing company to break even. If both the to the risks and gains in the stock market, where the more fixed costs and the contribution margin are measurable, Q: Importance of IT cloud services supplier attributes (1=not important, 5=very important) Offer competitive pricing 83.2% Offer performance-level assurances/SLAs 81.1% Understand my business and industry 68.0% Can move cloud offerings back on-premise 67.2% Can provide a complete solution 61.9% Are future-oriented, an innovator 58.2% Can support many of my IT needs 55.4% Have a large network of partners 54.1% Have local presence 46.3% Are a large, established company 40.6% Have done business with my organization 30.4% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% % responding 4 or 5 Figure 1. Importance of IT cloud services (supplier attributes) / Source: IDC Enterprise Panel, August 2008 n=244 Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  14. 14. 14 tr contest winner provide enabling offer customers 2 technology to other cloud 1 a growing number of providers applications as SaaS PUBLIC CLOUDs services PRIVATe CLOUD SaaS SaaS paaS InteRnet paaS IntRanet IaaS IaaS paaS/IaaS enabler or 3 Give customers the users provider choice to deploy technologies in either private clouds or public IaaS clouds objectives: Ensure that cloud computing is fully enterprise grade Support both public and private cloud computing – give customers choice Figure 2. Possible cloud computing strategy / Source: Oracle the answer can be easily found. The question then becomes of this article includes customers, business products, and how to calculate the price based on usage and number of infrastructure offered and consumed anytime, anywhere customers over time, for a variety of services (XaaS). This in real-time over the internet. This is, of course, a much potentially requires the calculation of margin thresholds to broader concept than defined by Gartner. Cloud computing determine exactly how volatile usage may be over time. There itself appears to be a temporary trend, drawing the are no winners yet on today’s market, because no standards attention of many CEOs, although the concept of software are available to measure and compare the profitability of as a service (SaaS) is actually most important, and has cloud computing services. Everything is on-demand and the most promising future in the IT world. It is important to tailor-made with no industry standardization. Therefore, cloud recognize that something that is a valuable business today computing should not initially be used for any particularly can evaporate like a cloud tomorrow. Cloud computing may sensitive activities that may have a dramatic impact on the have a bright future, provided security and SLA issues can core business. As a result, mobile operator billing systems be resolved. Otherwise it will be nothing more than a trend, are not expected to be based on cloud computing services surrounded by operational and financial risk. in near future. The Future of Cloud Computing According to Gartner Group [2], research virtualization [1] The Economist, October 17th 2009, page 72-73 and cloud computing are some of the top ten disruptive IT strategies in 2009. Specifically, cloud computing here [2] Gartner lists 10 most disruptive technologies of 2009 http:// means computing capabilities (mainly software) as a service (SaaS). The definition of cloud computing for the purpose technologies-to-watch-in-2009/ Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  15. 15. featureD ProDuct 15 achine-to-machine (M2M) traffic can provide m additional revenue sources for operators battling against reduced revenues from voice services. telCo opeRatoR m2m paRtneR The number of connectable machines is 5 times greater than the amount of humans (source: eTsI), and the number of machines currently connected is extremely low. Gartner external Systems predicts that the level of mobile M2M modules will continue to grow at a rate of 28% CAGR until 2011. Self partner’s Comarch management administrators As the level of M2M traffic increases and M2M devices existing BSS m2m become more common, the price of individual M2M hardware platform platform components falls, boosting M2M popularity even further. In Integration m2m partner addition, the declining price of data services facilitates more existing oSS Systems M2M business scenarios. Scenarios that a couple of years platform ago were deemed useless, due to high costs, now present an attractive business opportunity, with telco operators able to attain a new revenue source by offering M2M connectivity Integration services. underlying network The Comarch M2M Platform for mobile network operators Services and M2M enablers supports rating and charging, and also provides tools for actions such as performing mass operations on SIM cards, and integration with inventory and a self service portal. The platform contains a B2B Gateway for secure web service integration with a partner, thus enabling self management and provisioning functionalities that partners can utilize via their systems. This platform can be added to the existing MNO infrastructure in the same way that MVNE platforms are added to support MVNO business. the Comarch m2m platform is designed to support mobile network operators and m2m enablers with their Comarch M2M Platform – Benefits: m2m business operations. In addition to rating and charging, the solution contains other functionalities Single platform for various types of M2M services: such as mediation, provisioning, self-service (including service-agnostic data processing for multiple types of industries self-provisioning) and partner management, depending on the requirements of the m2m enterprise. With this Able to process vast amounts of data solution, the operator and m2m enabler are able to control resources (such as SIm cards) and manage Increased automation and cost efficiency workflows. Enhanced cooperation with business partners Flexible integration with external systems: standardized More info is available at: interfaces, modern and open technology Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  16. 16. 16 oss/bss features slicing Up The M2M Revenue Pie: How To Get Your Share And Boost Your Business n our everyday lives we are using more and Why should You Be Interested In M2M? I more automated and intelligent machines. These include vending machines, new energy meters M2M communication is developing into an interesting in homes, monitoring equipment and many more. Such business opportunity for telecom operators struggling IdeaS In BRIeF: machines can provide important information (e.g. various to maintain or increase their revenues. As the revenue measures or alarms). They also need to be managed and growth from voice services’ declines and the market How can M2M monitored. Increasing numbers of machines are able to do becomes more saturated, the M2M segment shows a lot of communication this automatically and without the control of their owners. potential to introduce additional revenues. The number of help you acquire This sounds dangerous, especially in a scenario where all connectable machines is five times greater than number of additional our household appliances are capable of sending such people (source: European Telecommunications Standards revenue sources? information to the producer regarding our lifestyles and Institute [ETSI]), although the number of machines currently behavior. Fortunately the situation hasn’t reached this stage, connected is extremely low. What types of yet. Machines initiate communication in order to provide vital companies are information and save time and money. Such technology is Figure 1 presents a very basic M2M communication active on the currently employed by energy meters, vending machines, or business case from a mobile operator’s perspective, where M2M market? monitoring equipment, etc. connectivity is provided to the M2M partner. What are the What is the main benefit of such automatic communication? As the level of M2M traffic increases and devices typical features of The owner of the machines does not need to visit them become more common, the price of individual hardware an M2M platform personally to verify their operation or read certain measures components falls, boosting M2M popularity even further. and how can manually. Such machines can automatically send the According to Gartner, the average price of an M2M module they support your information to the owner or to another machine that processes (one that is attached to a connectable machine and enterprise? the data further. Such Machine-to-Machine communication contains the necessary communication capabilities, such (M2M) is cheaper, faster and brings new possibilities. as SMS/GPRS) will amount to approximately 20€ by 2011. Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  17. 17. oss/bss features 17 Compare this to the average price of a similar module in connectivity services to M2M partners who own or operate 2007 – almost 40€, and we can see that the hardware cost these machines. The second group, M2M partners, represent has decreased by half. various business sectors – for example, vending machine operators, electricity suppliers, monitoring companies and In addition to the reduced hardware costs, the declining many more. price of data services allows for additional M2M business scenarios. Scenarios that a couple of years ago were If the operator is only offering M2M connectivity services, the deemed useless due to high costs, are now an attractive revenue stream in most cases originates solely from monthly business opportunity. Instead of taking the market share fees for M2M subscriptions. However, there are numerous away from mobile operators, the companies that use M2M other possibilities and services, which can be offered to M2M kRzYszTOF services introduce new business opportunities. partners helping operators maximize this revenue. kWIATkOWskI Comarch sA Other aspects important for operators should also be Figure 2 presents a scenario where a mobile operator BSS Product Manager, considered. The churn rate for M2M subscriptions is gains additional revenues from the services it offers to the Telecommunications extremely low, the machines can be controlled in groups, M2M partner. Compare this to Figure 1, in which the mobile Business Unit and the data from machines does not usually overwhelm the operator only provides connectivity services – the difference network. Additionally, most of the M2M subscriptions do not between the levels of revenue can be quite significant. require complex customer service. Of course, the ARPU of an individual M2M subscription is lower than that of one person, The most substantial difference is in offering services such but the amount of connectable machines is higher. as provisioning, self service portals, B2B gateways, rating, charging services and resource management. This decreases M2M is a new and promising area that is developing very the complexity of the IT systems required by M2M partners, rapidly, with machines becoming an increasingly important enables faster and easier startup of M2M businesses and customer segment for mobile operators. simplifies the management of M2M subscriptions. Such services can be delivered by the mobile operator through the platform, which operates like a gateway (or service enabler) A Multiplayer Game placed between existing mobile operator systems and various M2M partners. Delivering such services to M2M partners PekkA VALITALO Telecom operators are not the only players in the Machine- facilitates mobile operators with increasing revenue. Comarch sA to-Machine world. At this moment in time they offer BSS Market Analyst, Telecommunications Business Unit Invoice moBIle opeRatoR m2m paRtneR Machine- existing Systems It Systems of m2m to-Machine of mobile operator partner communication (M2M) is cheaper, faster and brings new possibilities. Connectivity Services network equipment m2m devices Figure 1. Basic M2M business model – mobile operator provides connectivity services to the M2M partner Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  18. 18. 18 oss/bss features Invoice moBIle opeRatoR provisioning m2m paRtneR Self Service portal existing Systems m2m It Systems of m2m of mobile operator platform B2B Gateway partner Rating & Charging Resource mgt Connectivity Services network equipment m2m devices Figure 2. Extended M2M business model – additional revenues from auxiliary services new Roles emerge – M2M enablers M2M partners? Figure 3 presents an example of a business case, in which an M2M platform is integrated with the In addition to the operators that are expanding into M2M, new existing systems of a mobile operator and provides services It is important that types of players have arisen as a result of M2M business to M2M partners. operators can add growth – M2M enablers offering services to M2M partners. the M2M platform Let’s take a look at the typical features of an M2M platform to their existing A typical M2M enabler is the owner of the M2M platform and how they support the business of a mobile operator or systems. (Figure 2), delivering services to various partners, with an M2M enabler. With these features, they can both attain a connection to more than one mobile operator or ISP in most additional revenue by offering advanced services to their cases. M2M partners. These features include: An M2M enabler’s business model bears many similarities Provisioning of services such as activation and to the business model of a Mobile Virtual Network Enabler deactivation of SIM cards; the M2M partner does not (MVNE), already known in the telecommunications world. need to perform complex integrations with mobile Both offer necessary network connectivity (that can be operator systems, yet the mobile operator can provide obtained from the MNOs), back-office operations and IT easy-to-use interfaces, allowing the partner to perform Cooperation with platforms allowing end operators to concentrate on their core mass provisioning operations on M2M SIM cards on an M2M enablers businesses. ad hoc basis or with mobile operators offering The enabler’s role in the M2M business is very important, Data mediation for the M2M partner to collect, unify and the appropriate especially when considering how many of the new M2M correlate data from the machines (e.g. meter readings), services can boost partners and enterprises on the market came from industries which is then sent for further processing the development of other than telecommunications (e.g. utilities, security and M2M business. automotive markets) and lack the sufficient expertise to Rating of events allowing the mobile operator to charge cooperate closely with mobile operators. the M2M partner for the service usage, as well as provide charging services for end users of the M2M partner as a value-added service; in this case the M2M What should You Look For In An M2M partner does not need to have their own billing system Platform? Integration with inventory as a repository of M2M SIM What features are essential for an M2M platform used by cards and M2M equipment with customized structure, a mobile operator or an M2M enabler providing services for lifecycle management and logistics Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  19. 19. oss/bss features 19 moBIle opeRatoR m2m paRtneR existing Systems existing Systems It Systems of m2m of mobile operator of mobile operator partner Rating Invoicing Interface CRm Retail Billing System & Charging partner Billing System monitoring Business Interface process management m2m Service provisioning mediation Subscribers database Self m2m Service monitoring Service Interface monitoring provisioning portal Service & network Resource B2B management Gateway Interface provisioning Inventory network equipment Connectivity m2m devices Figure 3. A single M2M platform – multiple M2M partners with customized services A self-service portal for M2M partners and end- Conclusions M2M is a new and customers enables the operator to lower costs by promising area shifting the focus of customer service to the web The M2M revenue pie is likely to be substantial in size, but which is developing it is still an open issue as to who will get the biggest piece. very rapidly, Mass SIM card management enables M2M partners Telecom operators and M2M enterprises are not the only with machines to control the SIM cards (such as mass activation or players that will benefit from M2M business growth. M2M becoming an deactivation in a specific building or area) on their own, enablers may also play a key role in this market and can increasingly without involving the mobile operator benefit directly from it. important customer segment for mobile B2B gateway making it possible to safely expose all Cooperation with M2M enablers or with mobile operators operators. features of the platform to multiple partners with easy- offering the appropriate services can boost the development to-use interfaces (e.g. Web Services) and integration of of M2M business. With this approach, partners and the M2M partner systems. enterprises can focus on their business without the need for investment in complex IT systems, which are not directly It is important that operators can add the M2M platform connected with their core business. to their existing systems similarly to the way in which the MVNE platform can be added to the MVNOs infrastructure. Mobile operators and M2M enablers should prepare their With the M2M platform, mobile operators can enter the platforms for offering services to M2M enterprises and M2M market without performing complex changes to their management of M2M services and traffic. The current existing systems, limiting the risk and increasing potential systems designed for management of human-to-human profitability. traffic may not be capable of processing this increased amount of data and the different characteristics of these new “customers”. To reap the rewards of the M2M business, appropriate adjustments to the underlying IT platforms are required, and it is important to make these adjustments early on in order to be a step ahead of the competition. Comarch Technology Review 01/2010
  20. 20. 20 oss/bss features Cable TV Operators: Which Service Are You Missing? Conquering new Markets billion in telecom services revenues just in the first half of 2009 alone. Leading cable operators have succeeded in It isn’t news that communications service providers have transforming their businesses, and almost 40% of their always had to explore new markets. Fixed operators have revenues come from telecommunication. To compare, telcos’ IdeaS In BRIeF: gone mobile. Mobile operators have started to provide revenues from IPTV are well under $10 billion per year (where internet services. ISPs have begun offering VoIP and TV. total global annual revenues are at $1.7 trillion). Cable TV operators Cable TV operators, too, were forced to transform and were forced to became triple-players or quad-players, in order to secure And the future is bright as well. Cable operators are expected to transform and revenues and compete effectively. When the economy was double their telephony revenues within five years. assumed the still booming, many went on a merger and acquisition spree. roles of triple- or Due to market deregulation and all-IP transformation, cable quad-players, in operators began to bite and sneak more and more of the houston, We have a Problem order to compete incumbent operators’ cake. effectively However, it seems that this transformation was too quick for These strategies seem to have yielded very good results. MSOs. With operators merging and services portfolio growing, Transformation According to TeleGeography Research, since 2003, cable IT infrastructures began to swell and succumb. This has been was successful, companies around the world have been increasing their a step-by-step process, with each step adding more silos, but occurred revenues from telecom services (primarily broadband complexity and limitations, in both the network and BSS/ to quickly for internet and telephony) by an average of 28% each year. OSS layers. As a result of chasing competition, new systems MSOs - customer MSOs (Multiple System Operators) generated over $30 were added quickly, without paying attention to the general relationships appear to have I want to been forgotten terminate the oK. What’s don’t you want I don’t need your name? to know why? to... contract With operators Case no 1 merging and the Customer Cable Customer Cable services portfolio operator operator expanding, IT infrastructures began to swell, please hold please hold on the line on the line meaning a Case no 2 significant cleanup may be necessary Customer ReGISteRInG ISSue Customer 30 mInuteS lateR... High quality services can offer now you can a sustainable We changed watch 5 kids competitive Case no 3 your program channels instead package of your favourite advantage on sport channel markets with Customer Customer multiple MSOs Figure 1. How cable operators care about their customers Comarch Technology Review 01/2010